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Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday 6 July 2016
  2. Chilcott inquiry finds Iraq War was based on 'flawed intelligence'
  3. Former Army captain Doug Beattie says families of dead soldiers 'deserve apologies'
  4. Housing Executive workers threatened
  5. Science institute settles sex discrimination case
  6. Picture: Sunrise at Dromore, County Down (by Paul McFarland)

Live Reporting

By Eunan McConville and Eimear Flanagan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight

That's it for today from us at BBC News NI Live. We'll have more news, sport, weather and travel updates from 07:00 on Thursday morning. Until then, have a great evening! 

Football: Stephen Robinson set to take over at Oldham

BBC Sport NI

Northern Ireland assistant manager Stephen Robinson is set to be appointed as the new Oldham Athletic boss.

Stephen Robinson
Press Eye

It's likely that Robinson, who is also assistant manager at Motherwell, will be forced to end his role with Northern Ireland if he is appointed at Boundary Park. 

Disabled nursery provision criticised as an 'unmitigated disaster'

The Education Authority's handling of nursery provision for disabled children has been called an "unmitigated disaster".  

Colin McGrath
BBC

The comment was made by SDLP MLA Colin McGrath during a hearing by Stormont's education committee.

System for managing shifts in Ambulance Service 'shambolic'

Lives are being "put at risk" because of a crisis within the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, one of its workers has claimed.

Ambulance
BBC

But the NIAS says it wants to reassure the public calls are being prioritised to ensure rapid response times.  

Sick animals found during cannabis raid

Cannabis plants with an estimated value of around £15,000 were seized during a planned search by the PSNI at a house on the Old Holywood Road in Belfast on Wednesday. 

Cannabis
PSNI
Dog
PSNI

During the search the police found a number of animals that they say appeared to be in a poor state of health. A local vet was contacted and the animals were transferred into the care of a local sanctuary.   

Traffic diversions due to Belfast parade tonight

Applications for Irish passports up

The number of passport applications for the Republic of Ireland has increased by more than 48,000 so far this year, a rise of 12.5% on last year. 

Irish passports
Thinkstock

Official figures show that applications from Northern Ireland went up by almost 14% and from London by 17% in the first six months of the year.   

UUP slams DUP for 'lack of leadership' over Brexit

The UUP MLA Philip Smith has described what he calls "the lack of leadership from the DUP post-EU referendum" as "farcical". 

Philip Smith
BBC

The Strangford MLA says that "it is clear that despite having campaigned to leave the European Union, the DUP are without a plan for our future outside it".  

Irish News: Former UUP MLA blames newspaper for tyres on bonfire

A former unionist politician is blaming the Irish News for "thousands of tyres" being on a bonfire in Ballycraigy, County Antrim, the newspaper reports.

View more on twitter

PSNI arrest man in England in connection to drugs in Northern Ireland

The PSNI have arrested a 41-year-old man in England as part of an ongoing investigation into the supply of Class A drugs into Northern Ireland. 

"Ton" of benzocaine
PSNI

During searches in the Grimsby area, police seized an estimated ton of benzocaine - a substance that can be used as a bulking agent for cocaine.  

Weather: Bad news for the weekend

Video: Finned friends join clipper crew

The Derry-Londonderry-Derry clipper yacht is returning to the city for a visit tonight as it sails the globe as part of the Clipper Round the World yacht race - and it's had some interesting companions on its journey so far. 

These dolphins joined the yacht for a leg of its journey recently, as captured by this footage taken by BBC Radio Foyle. 

Football: Cliftonville in Europa League action

BBC Sport NI

Cliftonville take on Luxembourg side Differdange tonight in Belfast with a place in the next round of the Europa League after last week's 1-1 away draw.

Cliftonville vs Diffedange
Press Eye

Cliftonville's away goal makes them favourites to progress but manager Gerard Lyttle has some selection issues to work out as his side aims to complete victory. 

Former Army officer 'contradicted' claims over Kincora murder link

A former military officer contradicted his own claims about the murder of a Belfast schoolboy in 1973, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry hears.

Kincora Boys' Home
BBC

The HIA earlier saw a document from 1982 in which Colin Wallace claimed an alleged cover-up in the murder of Brian McDermott and linked his death to a paedophile ring at Kincora Boys' Home. However, the inquiry heard that Mr Wallace had engaged in "disinformation" in his career.

New school building stalled due to lack of a suitable site

The Newtownabbey Times is reporting on the difficulties of finding a suitable site to build a new post-primary school in the area.

View more on twitter

Man cautioned for indecent behaviour in Belfast hospital

A 66-year-old man has been cautioned for indecent behaviour following an incident at a Belfast hospital.  

RVH
BBC

Police were called to the accident and emergency department at the Royal Victoria Hospital at 03:30 on Wednesday.

Clipper homeward bound after second place in yacht race

The Derry-Londonderry-Doire yacht is set to sail back for a visit home after coming second in the latest leg of the Clipper Round the World yacht race

Clipper crew
Clipper

The boat will sail into the city later today as part of the LegenDerry Maritime Festival. 

McGuinness 'can't fathom' Tony Blair's Iraq War actions

Agnew: "Tony Blair has the blood of thousands on his hands"

Green Party leader Steven Agnew MLA says he acknowledges the Chilcot report with a "heavy heart" as it "states Tony Blair exaggerated the case for the Iraq War". 

Tony Blair
BBC

"Tony Blair has the blood of thousands on his hands and he must be held accountable for a war which I believe was illegal," he adds.  

McGuinness: British intelligence role in Iraq war "no surprise"

Martin McGuinness says that the Chilcot report confirms "Sinn Féin's view that the war in Iraq was wrong, was not justified and should have never occurred".

Martin McGuinness
BBC

He added: "The role of the British intelligence services in the lead up to the war will come as no surprise to nationalists and republicans. Those same intelligence services repeatedly conspired to destroy the peace process and promote conflict in Ireland."  

Blair 'accepts full responsibility' for Iraq War decision

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he accepts full responsibility for the decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003.

Tony Blair
BBC

Speaking after he and his government were criticised in the Chilcot report, Mr Blair said it was the "most agonising" decision he ever made but did so in "good faith". He added that intelligence was not falsified.

Chilcot findings 'should not undermine UK troops'

Reacting to the Chilcot report on the Iraq War, DUP MP Sammy Wilson says "the work and sacrifices of those who went to that hostile environment to serve their country should not be undermined". 

Sammy Wilson
BBC

"Secondly we must avoid an over-reaction which prevents us from intervening in foreign wars when our interests and security are under threat," he added. 

'Fuel landering plants' uncovered in Draperstown

Where have all the butterflies gone?

Two poor summers in a row have depleted the local butterfly population, according to Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland .

The Marsh Fritillary
Oisin Duffy

From sightings of resident butterflies in Northern Ireland so far this year, most species have not been doing well except for the Painted Lady.  

Home team pipped at the post in Clipper race

Man dies after County Armagh car crash

A 38-year-old man has died following an overnight car crash in Kilmore, County Armagh, police have said.

Police accident sign
BBC

The crash, involving a red MG ZR car, happened on Red Lion Road shortly after 1am.

Drunk driver jailed for killing friend in crash

A drunk driver who killed his friend in a car crash while under the influence of alcohol and drugs has been jailed.

Police at the scene of the crash in 2014
BBC

Ciaran Paul Ferris-Farrelly, from Lagmore View in Dunmurry, crashed on the Upper Springfield Road in June 2014, resulting in his friend John Paul McShane being thrown from the vehicle

Iraq veteran calls for government apology

Families of soldiers killed in the Iraq war deserve apologies from government, a retired Army captain has said.

Doug Beattie,
BBC

Doug Beattie, now an Ulster Unionist MLA, said the 179 soldiers who died between 2003 and 2009 were sent to war "so poorly equipped for the task".  

Social housing 'to be built on bonfire site'

UUP MLA: Blair involved UK in 'neo-con conflict'

Former Royal Navy Commander, now UUP MLA, Steve Aiken says the Iraq War "was an ill-conceived campaign based on the faulty premise that by toppling Saddam Hussein there would have been a 'democratic' revolution across the Middle East".

Steve Aiken
BBC

Alliance Party leader calls for Tony Blair to apologise

Alliance leader David Ford has called on Tony Blair to apologise to the country, after the Chilcot Report revealed he had taken the UK to war in Iraq before all peaceful options had been exhausted. 

David Ford
BBC

The South Antrim MLA said: "Today's report shows the UK entered a major war under false pretences and without properly exploring the consequences, reverberations which are still being felt today."

PM due to make statement on Chilcot

Tony Blair responds to Chilcot findings

Responding to the publication of the Chilcot Report former Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "The report should lay to rest allegations of bad faith, lies or deceit."

Tony Blair
BBC

"Whether people agree or disagree with my decision to take military action against Saddam Hussein, I took it in good faith and in what I believed to be the best interests of the country."

Fire started 'deliberately' at former school

Fire fighters have been tackling a blaze at the site of the former Immaculate Conception College in Londonderry. The fire started at 05:00 on Wednesday morning.

View more on twitter

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service says that the fire was started deliberately.  

Iraq War: Chilcot's findings at a glance

The Chilcot Inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War took seven years to complete and its report runs to 2.6m words. 

The Chilcot report
AFP

Helpfully, BBC News has published a summary of the main points.

Iraq War report team disagrees with former PM's claim

Sir John Chilcot said his inquiry team does not agree with Tony Blair's testimony that the difficulties encountered in Iraq after the invasion could not have been known in advance. 

Tony Blair testifying to Chilcot Inquiry in 2010
PA

"We do not agree that hindsight is required. The risks of internal strife in Iraq, active Iranian pursuit of its interests, regional instability, and Al Qaida activity in Iraq, were each explicitly identified before the invasion," Sir John said.

Iraq invasion based on 'flawed intelligence'