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Summary

  1. Updates for Monday 18 April 2016
  2. Nun from Londonderry killed in Ecuador earthquake
  3. Man still held over Belfast murder
  4. Teenager due in court in connection with stabbing
  5. Picture: Haymaking in County Antrim (by Evelyn McCullough)

Live Reporting

By Fiona Murray and Ciaran McCauley

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight and good luck!

That's it from the Local Live team for tonight. We'll be back at 07:00 tomorrow morning to bring you the latest news in Northern Ireland.

A city in ruins

Delve deeper; discover more...

Man held over Michael McGibbon murder is released

A 34-year-old man - understood to be prominent republican Dee Fennell - who was arrested in connection with the murder of Michael McGibbon in north Belfast has been released unconditionally.

Dee Fennell
Pacemaker

Mr McGibbon, 33, a father of four, died after he was shot several times in the leg in Butler Place in north Belfast on Friday 15 April.

East Belfast car fire 'may be petrol bomb attack'

A car fire in east Belfast at the weekend may have been caused by a petrol bomb.

Police
BBC

Police are investigating the fire that happened at 02:45 BST on Sunday in the Short Strand. They have appealed for witnesses.

Spring has sprung!

The grass has riz

I wonder where dem boidies is?

Some fine weather to come tomorrow and over the next few days with a little #springwarmth

Some fine weather to come tomorrow and over the next few days with a little #springwarmth

Community reacts to north Belfast murder

NI's Mark Allen 'confident in Crucible quest'

Mark Allen says he must not allow himself to get frustrated when he faces debutant Mitchell Mann in the first round of the World Championship.  

Mark Allen
Getty Images

The Antrim man, 30, begins his Crucible quest full of confidence after winning the Players Championship last month, his third success in a ranking event.  

Almost 800 children face nursery place wait

Almost 800 children in Northern Ireland face a further wait to find out if they will get a pre-school nursery place this September.

Nursery School
PA

According to the Education Authority (EA), 22,219 children have had their pre-school place confirmed while 790 have still to be placed. 

Teddies torn up and ornaments smashed in graveyard

The damage done by vandals at Londonderry's city cemetery on Lone Moor Road "beggars belief", Danny McCartney who maintains the graveyard has said.

City Cemetery, Londonderry
BBC

"A number of teddy bears were torn up, ornaments smashed... we've tidied up now, but it's just very distressing that anybody could come and do that at a cemetery where people are grieving already," he said. "I'm totally shocked and slightly emotional about it. I'm very sad and angry."

Christopher Meli murder accused refused bail

One of the teenagers accused of beating a young father to death in west Belfast must remain in custody, a High Court judge ruled today.

Christopher Meli
Family picture

Lee Smyth, 19, of Colinbrook Gardens in Dunmurry, is among three teenagers charged with murdering 20-year-old Christopher Meli on 12 December last year.  A witness has made a disputed claim that he whistled for others to join in the attack.

Arlene 'would never have gone away without telling me' says sister

Arlene Arkinson's sister has told her inquest that she would never have gone anywhere without telling her.

Arlene Arkinson
Other

"She wouldn't have done that..no, no way..she always told me where she was," said Anita McGale. 

Arlene, 15, from Castlederg, disappeared after a night out in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Her body has never been found.

Dublin Luas drivers call off weekend strike

Drivers of the Luas tram service in Dublin have called off strike action planned for this Saturday and Sunday to allow for further talks.

Luas
Geograph

The planned action is part of a dispute between the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (Siptu) and tram operator Transdev over pay.

The baby elephant who beat the Belfast Blitz

After the bombing began in April 1941, the authorities feared that a direct hit on Belfast Zoo could allow dangerous animals to escape. So they ordered creatures including six wolves, a puma, a tiger, a black bear, two polar bears and a lynx to be killed.

But one animal was spared – a baby elephant!

How did an elephant beat the Belfast Blitz? bbc.in/1SF1WWw via @BBCiWonder

Why a smoke alarm is vital

Fire tweet
BBC

Chinese man and woman arrested for overstaying visa conditions

Two Chinese people have been arrested in Bangor, County Down by immigration enforcement officers.

Immigration
Other

A 52-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man are being held for overstaying their visas. The Home Office said steps would be taken to remove them from the country.

Ticking down to the deadline

We're ticking down to the deadline for registering to vote in the upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election... this is the last day.

Ballot box
BBC

The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland says people can fill in a voter registration form and return it to their nearest electoral office, or call the helpline, to check if they're registered.

Grandfather given two-year sentence for cocaine find

A Belfast grandfather who was caught with almost three kilos of cocaine in his car has been given a two-year sentence.

Cocaine
BBC

Hugh Brady, 50, of Molyneaux Street was caught with a bag of the drug in his car on 27 May 2015.

Two-tone calf adopts a mother

Sister Clare remembered 'for her smile and her good work'

Sister Kristin Tenreiro, a close friend of Sister Clare Crockett who died in the Ecuador earthquake, said she would be remembered for her smile and her good work. 

Sister Claire
Other

"When she was asked to work in Ecuador, she knew that there were dangers, but, despite that, she saw it as God's will. She gave herself to God and to the poor and the needy," she said. 

"I will remember her with a huge smile on her face, singing, writing songs and I will remember her jokes. She was a very funny sister and wherever she was, the entire group was laughing."

Football: Back-to-back titles would be 'biggest moment' for Crues

BBC Sport NI

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter says retaining the Irish Premiership title would represent the club's 'biggest moment'.

Crusaders
Press Eye

A win against Cliftonville on Tuesday night would mean successive titles for the Seaview club. "We have only won the league five times in our history so if we can do it back-to-back it will be an incredible achievement," said Baxter.

Vehicle parts found by police in Paul Quinn murder investigation

Irish police investigating the murder of County Armagh man Paul Quinn (pictured) have said vehicle parts were among items found in a quantity of illegal waste in County Monaghan.

Paul Quinn
Pacemaker

The 21-year-old, who was beaten to death, was found in a barn in Oram, County Monaghan, in October 2007. A man in his 50s, who was arrested, was released without charge on Friday.

Graves damaged in cemetery attack

Alliance condemns murder

Alliance councillor Nuala McAllister has also condemned those behind the attack on Michael McGibbon in north Belfast at the weekend.

Murder scene
Pacemaker

"There can never be any excuse for carrying out such a heinous act and I utterly condemn the thugs behind it," she said.

Martin McGuinness condemns alleyway shooting

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has issued a joint statement with the first minister condemning the shooting of Michael McGibbon.

Martin McGuinness
BBC

"The perpetrators of this attack have shown complete contempt for the local community and are trying to bring intimidation and fear onto the streets of north Belfast," they said.

Crash on A55 in Castlereagh causing some delays

Irish government offers sympathy to nun's family

Irish foreign affairs minister Charlie Flanagan has offered his deepest sympathy to the family of Sister Clare Crocket from Derry who died in the earthquake in Ecuador.

Charlie Flanagan
BBC

"The tributes paid to Sister Crockett since the weekend are a testament to the difference she made to the lives of the community she served. My department is providing consular assistance to her family," he said. 

Belfast boxer Irvine reflects on Olympic road ahead

Prominent republican arrested over Michael McGibbon murder

It's understood that the 34-year-old man arrested in connection with the murder of Michael McGibbon is prominent north Belfast republican Dee Fennell (pictured).

Dee Fennell
BBC

Mr McGibbon died after being shot in the legs in an alleyway on Friday night.

Sir John Leslie dies aged 99 years

Sir John Norman Leslie of Glaslough, better known as Sir Jack, has died aged 99 - the Leslie family has confirmed.

Sir Jack Leslie
BBC

He was a colourful character and was familiar around Castle Leslie, the family home turned hotel in the Republic of Ireland. Sir Jack was an Irish veteran of World War Two, famed for his love of disco dancing as well as his aristocratic connections. Read more about him here.

Michael McGibbon - first minister in appeal

First Minister Arlene Foster has called on people in north Belfast to cooperate with the police and help them get justice for the family of Michael McGibbon.

Michael McGibbon
Pacemaker

He died after he was shot in both legs in an alleyway at Butler Place on Friday night. Police said his killing carried the hallmarks of a paramilitary murder. 

Today marks Republic of Ireland Act

On this day in 1949, the Republic of Ireland Act came into force.

King George VI
Getty Images

Ireland could officially be described as the Republic of Ireland and the Act abolished the last remaining functions of King George VI in relation to the Irish state.

Slurry pit warning to farmers

Health and safety experts have joined with fire fighters to warn farmers about the dangers of slurry pits.

farmers
BBC

Firefighters have been called four times this year to deal with incidents where animals fell into slurry pits. They appealed to farmers to be vigilant.

Bishop pays tribute to Derry nun

The Bishop of Derry, Dr Donal McKeown, has paid tribute to Sister Clare Teresa Crockett who died in the Ecuador earthquake.

Donal McKeown
BBC

He said news of her death was "very shocking" and "very sad" and his thoughts are with her family and friends, as well as her community.  

Promises, promises...

A bit of sunshine later should feel quite pleasant. Breaks in the cloud tonight will lead to a chillier night. Cee
A bit of sunshine later should feel quite pleasant. Breaks in the cloud tonight will lead to a chillier night. Cee

A bit of sunshine later should feel quite pleasant. Breaks in the cloud tonight will lead to a chillier night. Cee

Veronica Guerin killer loses appeal bid

A man convicted of murdering Irish crime journalist Veronica Guerin in June 1996 has lost his bid to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice.

Veronica Guerin
BBC

The Court of Appeal sitting in Dublin ruled the application by Brian Meehan, 47, from Crumlin, Dublin, amounted to an abuse of process. Veronica Guerin was shot six times by a gunman riding pillion on a motorbike in June 1996.

News Letter: Ex-UUP peer 'knows nothing' about strike at media firm

MP pays tribute to nun killed in Ecuador earthquake

Foyle MP Mark Durkan has issued a statement on social media saying he is "deeply saddened" by the death of Sister Clare Theresa Crockett, who was killed in an earthquake in Ecuador.

Sister Clare Crockett
Home of the Mother order

"While no words can console Sister Clare's family on the loss of such a special person, I hope that everyone's sympathy and support will bring them some comfort at this very sad time."

Crash causing delays in Dunmurry

Talkback on marriage - a dying institution?