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  1. Updates for Tuesday 26 May 2015
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel from 07:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Grania McFadden and Ciaran Daly

All times stated are UK


Ciaran McCauley


That's it from us at BBC News NI Live - you can keep up with the latest on our

news website and follow the ongoing Welfare Reform Bill debate on
Stormont Live.

We'll be back to do it all again tomorrow from 07:00 - we'll see you then.

More of the same tomorrow:

Cecilia Daly

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

Mostly dry and not too cold tonight, but it will be another cool and cloudy day tomorrow. Check out the

video forecast for a full overview of what's in store.

Tuesday weather

'Abandoned and betrayed':

BBC Spotlight

Tonight BBC Spotlight investigates the plight of former soldiers living with post-traumatic stress who

say they've been abandoned and betrayed.

Nikki Cunningham

You can see a

preview online and catch the full story on BBC Two NI at 22:45.

Time is money at Stormont?


welfare reform debate is still going (and going) into the evening - earlier Mike Nesbitt said Northern Ireland was being penalised £9.5m a month for not signing up to reform.

Mike Nesbitt

According to some "very crude maths" by our friends in political unit, that means during Alex Attwood's one hour, 14 minutes speech we paid about £16,500 in so-called Westminster fines.

Sand dredging decision due:

Conor Macauley

BBC NI Agriculture & Environment Correspondent

The environment department will confirm

how it intends to deal with the controversial issue of sand dredging in Lough Neagh in "the next few days".

Sand dredging

Warning letters telling dredgers to stop were issued in September 2014, but allegations have been made that the work has continued.

Referendum fallout and dog bans:

BBC Newsline's Tara Mills

tweets about what's coming up in tonight's programme.


M1 crash cleared:

BBC NI Travel

A crash on the M1 Blacks Road offslip has been cleared but there are still delays leaving Belfast from York Street on the Westlink.

FAI to vote against Sepp Blatter:

BBC Sport NI

FAI chief executive John Delaney says the

association will vote against Sepp Blatter in Friday's FIFA presidential election.

Sepp Blatter

Double murderer jailed for life:

A man has been

sentenced to life in prison after admitting to a double murder in Belfast.

Ravenhill murders

Could Aer Lingus takeover affect Belfast?

Julian O'Neill

BBC News NI Business Correspondent

Reports are suggesting

the Irish government could approve the takeover of Aer Lingus tonight - if so, there are 63 flights-per-week between Belfast City and Heathrow which could potentially be affected.

Aer Lingus

In January, IAG said it had "no current plans" to change the route network if it buys Aer Lingus. But the fear would be that IAG could free-up a number of Heathrow slots by reducing the frequency of Belfast flights.

First minister still in hospital:

Marie-Louise Connolly

BBC News NI Health Correspondent

The Belfast Health Trust confirms that First Minister Peter Robinson remains at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Police on banned England fans:

Evening Extra

On tonight's programme after 17:30, we'll be speaking to Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts from the National Police Chiefs' Council.

Lansdowne Road
Getty Images

He'll be telling us about the extra measures being put in place to

ensure banned English football fans cannot attend next week's game against the Republic of Ireland.

Broken down lorry on Westlink:

BBC NI Travel

In Belfast, a lorry has broken down on the Westlink under Grosvenor Road bridge, blocking the middle lane and causing delays from Broadway.

Aer Lingus decision 'within hours':

Taoiseach [Irish prime minister] Enda Kenny says a decision on a

proposed takeover of Aer Lingus by IAG will be made within hours.

Aer Lingus

The takeover needs the approval of the Irish government, which holds a 25% stake in the airline.

Debate rages on:

SDLP's Alex Attwood has proven his speaking stamina in today's welfare reform debate after talking for over an hour on the subject, the longest contribution of any MLA - so far.

Alex Attwood

Ross Hussey is currently speaking during the mammoth debate which is still going on - check out our live coverage over on

Stormont Live to get the latest.

M1 offslip crash:

BBC NI Travel

There's been a crash leaving Belfast on the M1 Blacks Road offslip, it's blocking lane one.

Archive: Dog cemetery

BBC NI Archive

Having heard that a local council are considering implementing dog-free zones, we went rushing off to our archive for some suitably shaggy footage.

Dog cemetary

Even better, we've found this from

notable reporter James Boyce, who
visited a dog cemetery in Bangor.

McIlroy to tee off with Fowler and Kaymer:

BBC Sport NI

How's this for an exciting draw - Rory McIlroy will play with US star Rickie Fowler and major winner Martin Kaymer in the

opening rounds of the Irish Open.

Martin Kaymer and Rickie Fowler

They'll tee off at 08:00 on Thursday. Graeme McDowell will play with Lee Westwood and Miguel Angel Jimenez at 07:50 with Darren Clarke teeing off ten minutes earlier.

Best weather in south east:

South and east seeing the best of today's sun and temperatures. It's cool in the north west breeze and single digits temperature wise - but at least it's dry.

Weather collage

Welfare bill 'should be binned':

The welfare reform debate is continuing, with the SDLP's Alex Attwood currently on his feet.

Alex Attwood

"Pull the bill," he says. "Tell London to put their welfare penalties where they should be - in the bin," he says. Our live coverage continues over on

Stormont Live.

Clarke sticking with Ryder Cup system:

BBC Sport NI

Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke says

he will not change the qualifying system for next year's team at Hazeltine.

Getty Images
Getty Images

He says he gave "a lot of thought" to changing the number of wild card picks but has decided to stay with three, who will join nine qualifiers.

Swing of things:

Many of the world's golfing elite took to Royal County Down earlier for a practice round ahead of the tournament's tee-off on Thursday.

Irish Open

Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and Ernie Els were among those captured taking on the course, and meeting fans, in

BBC Sport NI's photo gallery.

SOAK on 'incredible' referendum:

Londonderry singer-songwriter SOAK tells Newsbeat that she's delighted with the
result of the same-sex referendum in the Republic of Ireland - and is hoping Northern Ireland will follow suit.


"Ten minutes down the road, I can get married legally and where I live, I can't," she says.

O2 network working again:

O2 says its

phone network is back to normal after customers in several areas, including parts of Northern Ireland, complained of reception problems.

Getty Images

The company has apologised and says network equipment was to blame for the problem.

Westlink delays:

Trafficwatch NI

In Belfast, a van is blocking the left lane on the Westlink just before the M3 and causing delays from Grosvenor Road towards the M3 and M2.

Belfast environmental park announced:

Enterprise minister Jonathan Bell announces that a £9.5m environmental resource park will be built as part of Giant's Park in Belfast.

Giant's Park

The minister says the proposed plans will make Northern Ireland "a world leader in green technology" and bring together companies working in renewable energy, recycling and other environmental technology.

Crackdown on banned fans:

England football fans who have been banned from matches will

face extra measures to stop them going to next week's game against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

England fans in Lansdowne

UK police chiefs say they are taking action because of "deterioration in fan behaviour" during England's last four away games. The last time the sides met in Dublin,
a riot broke out at Lansdowne Road.

Shopping centre sold:

BBC News NI's reporter Julian Fowler

tweets that Erneside Shopping Centre has found a buyer.

Julian Fowler

Fido no go?

Andy West


There are

plans to ban dogs from some of the areas below in Carrick. I'm out at the consultation at the Civic Centre; it's on until 16:00.

Dog exclusion zones

Antrim roadworks:

Trafficwatch NI

In Antrim town, the Steeple Road is closed due to road-works at Stiles Way until 14 June.

There'll be no access to Antrim from the M1 at junction seven. Motorists are advised to use junction six on the M2 or junction one on the M22 instead.

Pienaar named in Barbarians team:

BBC Sport

Ulster scrum-half

Ruan Pienaar has been named in the Barbarians team to take on Ireland at Thomond Park on Thursday.

Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar

Welsh duo Alex Cuthbert and Adam Jones join the South African in a line-up captained by Ireland's Shane Jennings.

Clarke looks forward to 'special' Irish Open

Darren Clarke says "it's very special to be back playing the Irish Open In Northern Ireland" and paid tribute to Rory McIlroy for helping to attract star names to the tournament.

Darren Clarke Irish Open

Clarke said: "He's taken his position as world number one and embraced it - and to do what he's doing off the golf course says a lot about him. Rory's persuaded a lot of the guys to come and play."

Welfare reform debate resumes

The debate on the Welfare Reform Bill has now resumed at Stormont.

You can keep up with live coverage here.

Welfare reform debate

More police action ahead of Ireland v England game

Dan Roan

BBC sports editor

BBC Sports Editor Dan Road tweets that police in England have announced an increase

in enforcement activity ahead of the Ireland v England game in Dublin on 7 June after "deterioration in fan behaviour".

Policing for Ireland v England

Historic Opens at Royal County Down:

BBC NI Archive

You may have heard that the Irish Open is being played at Royal County in Newcastle this week. But here's some

archive footage of a different tournament at the same venue many moons ago.


The British Ladies Amateur Golf Championship was held at the same venue in 1927 and was won by Mademoiselle Simone de la Chaume of France, the first ever non-British winner.

Flat to the mat

Conor Macauley

BBC NI Agriculture & Environment Correspondent

BBC News NI agriculture and environment correspondent Conor Macauley

tweets that Minister for the Environment Mark H Durkan has proposed raising the tractor speed limit from 20 to 25mph.

Tractor speed limit

Largest solar installation in Ireland

Bombardier has unveiled

Ireland's largest rooftop solar installation at its Belfast base at Queen's Island.

Bombardier Solar panels
Leo Murray

It's made up of 14,000 PV panels which will generate 3,000 MWh a year - the equivalent amount of electricity needed for 1,000 homes.

No further action over playground naming row:

News Letter

The News Letter

reports that the Equality Commission has decided not to exert any further pressure to change the name of a Newry playground named after an IRA gunman.

Raymond McCreesh Park

The commission says that it will not be taking any further action, after seven years of correspondence with Newry and Mourne District Council over a park named after IRA hunger striker Raymond McCreesh.