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  1. Updates for Thursday 30 April 2015
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 07:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Conor Macauley and Ciaran McCauley

All times stated are UK

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BBC News NI Live draws to a close for another day. It's been a pretty good one weather-wise and this is the pick of the pics you've sent. Desmond Kelly captured the colourful scene in Myroe, outside Limavady in County Londonderry.

Desmond Kelly

We'll be back again at 07:00 on Friday. Until then and as usual, you can keep up to date with all of the latest news, sport, travel and weather on the

BBC News NI website.

Thrones star to say sorry

Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington will be on

The Arts Show on BBC Radio Ulster and rumour has it, that he's a very sorry boy.

Kit Harrington

Harrington provoked ire in some quarters earlier in the month when he described Belfast as having a "wonderfully depressing tourist board".

Evening weather forecast

Geoff Maskell

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

The temperatures are going to drop away quite markedly tonight because of the clear skies we've had. Tomorrow is shaping up to be a decent, dry day with some sunshine around.

Evening weather 30 April 2015

Over the Bank Holiday weekend, the skies will start to cloud over and rain will follow. It could be a soggy weekend before things gradually improve on Bank Holiday Monday.

Jezki beats Hurricane Fly at Punchestown

BBC Sport NI

The younger legs of Jezki won the day at Punchestown as Jessica Harrington's seven-year-old beat old rival Hurricane Fly in Thursday's World Series Hurdle.

Mark Walsh on Jezki beats Hurricane Fly ridden by Ruby Walsh

The 11-year-old Fly, winner of 22 Grade One races, had got the better of his opponent on each of their four previous meetings this year.

Strike to affect cross-border travel

Translink is advising passengers that some cross border services may be affected this Bank Holiday weekend as a result of industrial action and engineering works in the Republic of Ireland. Passengers can plan their journey on the

Translink website.

Bus Eireann depot

Due to industrial action by Bus Éireann unions on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 May, there will be no Bus Éireann services operating.

Coming up on BBC Newsline

Coming up on BBC Newsline: Catering facilities at the Kings Hall will be busy next week during the general election. Mark Devenport checks out the lie of the land. Tune in to BBC One NI at 18:30.

Kings Hall Belfast

Warm welcome home from Nepal

Kevin Sharkey


BBC News NI reporter Kevin Sharkey

tweets: Barry Torrens from Portrush is safely home from Nepal.

Barry Torrens

Barry was trekking in Nepal when he witnessed the country's deadliest earthquake for more than 80 years.

Boyce extends Ross County deal:

BBC Sport

Ross County have extended

Liam Boyce's contract until summer 2017.

Ross County striker Liam Boyce
SNS Group Bill Murray

The 24-year-old former Cliftonville striker has scored eight goals in 29 appearances since moving to Dingwall, with four of them coming in the last three games.

Crashes on Frosses Road:

Trafficwatch NI

There are reports of two crashes on the A26, Frosses Road in County Antrim

according to TrafficWatch NI. There are delays in both directions.

Aer Lingus claim £32m loss from Belfast

Aer Lingus lost up to 44m euros (£32m) from

having a base at Belfast International Airport (BIA), its chief executive has told a court. Stephen Kavanagh also said the airline only entered into a pricing arrangement for flying out of the airport.

Aer Lingus

BIA is suing Aer Lingus for £20m in damages over the switch to George Best Belfast City Airport in 2012.

Man sentenced over baton attack

A man who battered a cyclist with a baton and broke his ribs has been given

a ten-month suspended jail term.

Belfast court

Anthony Kearns, 18, of Arundel Walk had been found guilty of wounding the man during the attack in west Belfast last August.

GAA rejects pressure claim

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has rejected claims that it

pressured Paul Scott of the Safety Technical Group to approve plans for the new Casement Park ground in Belfast.

Aerial view of Casement Park GAA stadium

An Ulster Council GAA statement says: "The GAA is appalled at being brought into a live and ongoing HR grievance matter within Sport NI.

"We have an impeccable safety record within our stadia throughout Ulster and Ireland."

Not an average April

BBC News NI weather presenter Barra Best

tweets: Early figures show that we had a sunnier and drier April than normal with 132% average sunshine and just 70% of our normal rainfall.

Weather stats

SDLP says it will 'derail welfare cuts plan':

The SDLP has claimed it is the only Northern Ireland party that can derail Tory plans for

billions of pounds extra in welfare cuts.


The Tories have said they will cut the welfare bill by £12bn if they win the next election. However, the party has not explicitly set out where the cuts will come from.

Welfare spending:

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

Economics and business editor John Campbell

tweets that if pensioner benefits are protected and child benefit isn't cut, it implies huge move on housing benefit or tax credits.

Welfare spending

Jail for abusive patient

A man who verbally abused staff at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry has been jailed for 10 months.

Altnagelvin Hospital

Brian O'Hagan, 22, whose address was given as Maghaberry prison, abused members of the hospital's A&E department as they tried to treat him for head injuries.

Fire leads to drugs discovery:

Police say officers discovered a small cannabis factory after being called to a fire in south Belfast.

Officers found 20 plants in the roofspace of a house in the Annadale Crescent area on Tuesday. A 45-year-old has been arrested.

Urgent review of Casement project:

Political correspondent Gareth Gordon

tweets that Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín urgently commissions full review into Casement stadium redevelopment after hearing Paul Scott's evidence to her committee.

Gareth Gordon

Newtownards Road closed:

Trafficwatch NI has just

tweeted that the Newtownards Road is closed. Belfast-bound traffic is being diverted onto Albertbridge Road. Avoid the area if possible.


Student's judicial review bid rejected

A court in Belfast has rejected a student's bid for

a judicial review of a university's decision to suspend him. The student, known as CS, was suspended by Queen's University in Belfast after he was convicted of making child sexual abuse images.


He then had an appeal rejected by a university review appeals panel. His application for a judicial review of the decisions by the two panels has now been refused by a high court judge.

Police discover 50 cannabis plants

Police uncovered about 50 cannabis plants during a search at a property at Canmore Close in north Belfast this morning.

Cannabis plants

Scenic snaps

It's a beautiful, bright and sunny day and down in County Fermanagh, Tom Gilroy can see for miles as you can tell from this scenic snap.

Fermanagh skyline
Tom Gilroy

You can send us your weather pictures by emailing

United by football:

BBC Sport NI

Irish striker Stephanie Roche and Sahar El Hawary, the first woman appointed to the Egyptian Football Federation, may have grown up on different continents but are united by their love of the beautiful game.

Stephanie Roche
©INPHO/Donall Farmer

You can listen into

BBC World Service's The Conversation, a weekly programme with an all-female line up.

Derry seeking to bounce back:

BBC Sport NI

Derry City hope to bounce back from last week's defeat by Bohemians when they face Longford Town in Saturday's Premier Division game at Flancare Park.

Patrick McEleney

Candystripes captain Ryan McBride is suspended, while Patrick McEleney is ruled out with a torn groin.

Routes conference comes to Belfast

Belfast will host the Routes Europe conference in 2017. Routes Europe consists of approximately 1,200 aviation professionals, 125 airlines and 45 tourism authorities.

George Best Belfast City Airport

A spokesperson for Belfast City Airport has welcomed the announcement, saying: "Routes 2017 will direct the commercial aviation spotlight on Belfast and we will ensure we play our part in making the region shine."

Tyrone aim for U21 title:

BBC Sport NI

Tyrone hope to secure

their first All-Ireland Under-21 Football title since 2001 when they take on Tipperary at Parnell Park on Saturday at 18:00.

Tyrone's Cathal McShane battles with Donegal's Eoin McHugh in the recent Ulster U21 final
Press Eye

The Red Hands defied the odds to beat Roscommon in the semi-finals, ending with a comfortable five-point winning margin over the Connacht outfit. Tipp also sprung an upset by defeating Dublin at the last four stage.

You'll find flowers in a 'hopeless place'

An area of north Belfast branded a "hopeless place" by Rihanna in her controversial We Found Love video

is set for a wildflower makeover.


The multi-million selling R&B star filmed much of the video in the New Lodge flats. Now, as part of an environmental initiative, young people and residents will clear away foliage and weeds and plant an arrangement of native wild flowers.

Power restored:

Northern Ireland Electricity

NIE says power has been restored to those affected by this afternoon's power cut. It took about half an hour to get the power supply back to the 100,000 buildings that had been affected.

NIE are currently investigating what caused the fault.

Power cut tweets:

Gareth Evans

tweets: @BBCNewsNI Power out here in Sydenham area for about 10 minutes but restored now.

Ian Todd

tweets: @BBCNewsNI Bangor all out

Maeve Kelly

tweets: @BBCNewsNI we were affected in Castlereagh Hills but back on now. #Niblackout

Kate Daly

tweets: @BBCNewsNI I live in Carryduff. Electric went off about 25 mins ago but was only off for about 8 mins and came back on

100,000 premises hit by power cut:

Northern Ireland Electricity

NIE says that about 100,000 premises were hit by the power cut this afternoon. Over half of those premises have had their power restored now.

Currently, 40,000 remain without power but NIE are working on getting the power back on as soon as possible. There was a problem with the high voltage transmission network.

Power cuts:

Northern Ireland Electricity

Tens of thousands of people are without power due to a fault with a high voltage transmission network

The areas affected are in parts of County Down and parts of Belfast. NIE have no estimate as to when the power will be back on but they are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

Power out:

We're getting reports of a power cut across Belfast and north Down.

Power cut

BBC News NI political correspondent Gareth Gordon tweets that traffic lights are down in east Belfast, we've heard that the lights have gone out in Forestside and Newcastle and the computers even died temporarily here at the BBC too.

SDLP office attack:

There's been an attack

attack on an SDLP constituency office in Strabane.

Daniel McCrossan

A window at the office, on Butcher Street in the town, was smashed at about 23:45 BST on Wednesday. Daniel McCrossan, the party's election candidate in West Tyrone, described the attack as cowardly. A man has been arrested.

Ballymena murder:


says it's been granted more time to question two men and a woman in connection with the
murder of Matt Shirley in Ballymena.

Matt Shirley

Air routes conference:

BBC News NI business correspondent Julian O'Neill

tweets that Belfast will host a conference on air routes next year.

Air routes


DCAL committee member William Humphrey asks Paul Scott his view on responses made to the views of the Safety Technical Group (STG) during the planning stages of Casement Park.

Paul Scott

"I was taking that we were being attempted to be coerced, pressurised into signing off something that we were singularly uncomfortable with," he says.

Group wants a safe stadium at Casement

Chair of the Casement safety group Paul Scott

tells a Stormont committee the safety group is "supportive" of the Casement redevelopment


"We want a good stadium, but we want a safe stadium where supporters are not at risk." Mr Scott claims he was

put under pressure to approve plans for the ground.

Sun's out on the North Coast

Sunny Portrush east strand, tweeted to us by

Emma Gornall

East Strand
Emma Gornall

'Sleepless nights':

Basil McCrea MLA asks Paul Scott about the "undue pressure" he feels he's been under regarding Casement Park.

Paul Scott

"I've spent many a sleepless night," Mr Scott replies. "I am also seeing a stress counsellor. I've worked for Sport NI for 13 or 14 years and not had a single sick day. I've not even seen a doctor in that time. I've been to see the doctor several times now."

He added that he feels "very isolated and very alone".