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  1. Updates for Friday 1 July 2016
  2. The Battle of the Somme centenary is being marked across NI and in Thiepval, France where thousands of Irish men were killed
  3. An overnight vigil has been taking place at the Somme Museum near Newtownards and at other locations across the UK and France

Live Reporting

By Eunan McConville and Karen Atkinson

All times stated are UK

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That's all from BBC News NI Live on a poignant first day of July.

Somme centenary

We'll be back at 07:00 on Monday, but for now we'll leave you with some more images from today's Somme centenary ceremony in northern France.

McGuinness says Corbyn situation 'sad'

Weekend weather: Sunday the better day

Ulster counties face weekend replays

BBC Sport NI

Ulster final places are up for grabs this weekend with two provincial SFC semi-final replays being contested.

Donegal's Michael Murphy

Donegal bid for a final berth for a sixth year in a row on Saturday against holders Monaghan, while Tyrone face Cavan in Clones on Sunday.

Wife misses murdered husband 'every day'

The wife of east Belfast murder victim Matthew Goddard, whose killers were sentenced today, says their judgement will come "when they meet their maker".

Matthew Goddard's house

Maureen Goddard says she misses her husband every day: "I never even got the chance to say goodbye to him. It was an honour to have been his wife."

Machete attack 'part of feud over marriage break-ups'

A man was attacked with machetes and a pickaxe handle as part of a suspected feud between families over marital break-ups, the High Court in Belfast has heard.


Details emerged as bail was granted to two of those accused of the 20 June attack in Banbridge. Martin McDonagh, 26, and John Stokes, 23, both from Oak Grove in the town, face a number of charges.

Thinking of home as zero hour approaches

Rory drops shot but stays top

BBC Sport NI

Rory McIlroy remains joint top of the French Open leaderboard in Paris after a second round 66.

Rory McIlroy
Matthew Lewis

The Holywood golfer had gone into the lead on his own at six under but dropped a shot on the 18th hole to remain tied with Finn Mikko Ilonen and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee on five under.

What McGuinness thinks of Gove

Gareth Gordon

BBC News NI Political Correspondent

Amateur clubs 'set for 100% rates relief'

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has indicated he plans to do away with rates bills for amateur sporting clubs, the Irish News reports.

View more on twitter

The GAA has been campaigning for an end to rates bills that it claims are inflated, the paper adds.

How a Belfast-designed artificial arm helped soldiers

Thoughts with soldiers and their loved ones - Foster

First Minister Arlene Foster says she is very proud to have been a part of today's ceremonies to mark the Somme centenary.

Arlene Foster

She says that as she laid a wreath at the Ulster Tower "what was going through my mind was how people at home were thinking when their young sons, their young husbands were here in such terrible, terrible conditions fighting for freedom".

Two held as 156,000 litres of fuel seized

Two men have been arrested over the suspected importation and distribution of illicit fuel.

A customs officer

Customs officers seized 26,000 litres of oil at a fuel supply firm in County Armagh and 130,000 litres at Belfast docks. The seized fuel is believed to be a mixture of industrial lubricant and diesel.

Somme: doing their 'futile duty'

Council 'should vote again' on McCreesh park

A council should debate and vote again on the naming of a public playpark in County Down after an IRA man, as a previous process was not transparent, the Equality Commission says.

McCreesh park

Raymond McCreesh Park in Newry has been controversial since it opened in 2001.

McIlroy joint top in Paris

BBC Sport NI

Rory McIlroy is the joint leader of the French Open in Paris.

Rory McIlroy
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

The Holywood golfer is five under after 13 holes of his second round, level with Mikko Ilonen and Thongchai Jaidee.

Teenager admits bomb find charges

A 19-year-old man is to be sentenced next month after admitting a number of charges connected to the discovery of a remote-controlled bomb in north Belfast in May last year.

Brompton Park

Conal Corbett, of Ross Court, in west Belfast, admitted two counts of possessing articles for terrorist-related purposes and two of having a document likely to be of use in terrorism.

Londonderry band 'lifted spirits' at the Somme

From playing music to fighting on the front line at the Somme, the story of Londonderry's Hamilton Flute Band is a fascinating and tragic one.

Many band members lost their lives during the war

The band members served as stretcher-bearers, performed concerts to lift spirits and their bass drum was even used as a communion table.

Plaque unveiled for Fermanagh Somme hero

Julian Fowler


'No MI5 operation to exploit abuse'

MI5 was never involved in an operation "to exploit abuse taking place for intelligence purposes" at Kincora boys' home, a deputy director of the organisation tells the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry.


Officer 9004 also says the security service was more focused on mainstream loyalist organisations, rather than "fringe" ones like Tara, led by Kincora paedophile William McGrath.

Standard bearer's thoughts were with great-grandfather

Lt Conor McCracken, who carried the Queen's colours during the Somme centenary ceremony, said he was thinking of his great-grandfather who was injured during the battle.

Lt Conor McCracken

"Whenever I was standing at the back listening, I was thinking about what would have happened here 100 years ago and where in the battle he might have been," he said

Summer, Northern Ireland-style

Catholic archbishop 'wants to promote reconciliation'

The Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, has explained why he attended the Somme centenary ceremony in France.

Archbishop Eamon Martin

"We're very conscious of the tremendous sacrifice and bravery of those who went to war and also we're very anxious to promote a message of peace, healing and reconciliation. So my presence here today is part of that wish," he says.

Ulster Tower ceremony very moving - Corbyn

Among those at the Somme centenary ceremony at the Ulster Tower was Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Jeremy Corbyn

He said today's events were deeply moving and brought back the horrors of war.

Brothers to serve at least 17 years for 'savage' murder

Two brothers convicted of the murder of an east Belfast man in a "sustained, pitiless and horrifically savage attack" must each serve a minimum of 17 years of their life sentences, a judge rules.

Matthew Goddard home

James, 30, and William Turner, 37, beat Matthew Goddard to death in his Chobham Street home on 23 December, 2014.

Thunder and lightning for start of July

Commemoration comes to an end

Prince Charles lays wreath at Ulster Tower

Parades to cause Belfast delays

Where the 36th Division trained

Somme: Quiet reflection from leaders

The Irish President joined his French counterpart, as well as members of the Royal family at the Commonwealth commemoration service marking the Somme centenary. 

The Irish and French Presidents at Somme commemoration in France

Michael D Higgins also laid a wreath at the event at the Thiepval Memorial. 

Somme: Royals attend Ulster Tower service

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall have arrived at the Ulster Memorial Tower to mark the Somme centenary. 

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Ulster Memorial Tower for Somme Commemoration

The First Minister, Arlene Foster, and NI Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, are among those at the service of remembrance.

Archbishops unite in commemoration

Ireland's church leaders are attending the Somme centenary commemoration in France. 

View more on twitter

The Church of Ireland and Catholic archbishops joined the Methodist President and the Presbyterian Moderator in calling for "forgiveness and reconciliation" in challenging times. 

Tribute paid to Irish soldiers

The Irish Defence Forces were represented by CQMS Gerard White at the Somme ceremony in France. 

CQMS Gerard White

He spoke of the courage of Irishmen who fought for the British army and those of the 16th Division.   

Somme: Ulster Memorial Tower commemoration

Somme centenary commemoration at Ulster Memorial Tower in France

Soldiers' sacrifice 'must not be forgotten' says Ford

The sacrifice of those who died at the Somme "must never be forgotten," the Alliance leader David Ford has said. 

David Ford

Mr Ford was speaking at a commemoration in Ballynure, County Antrim: "Each generation should be reminded of the sacrifice made by their forefathers, so we can learn from mistakes and ensure the slaughter is not repeated." 

Irish minister at Belfast Somme service

Newsline special from the Somme at 1315

BBC Newsline

In pictures: Thiepval Memorial

Somme centenary commemoration at Thiepval Memorial in France