Invest NI briefing on flags protest impact cancelled

Union flag Protests have been taking place over the decision to only fly the union flag at city hall on designated days

Invest NI will not be addressing an assembly committee on the impact of the union flags protests on the local economy on Thursday as planned.

The organisation's director of international investment was to have addressed he enterprise committee.

However, committee chairman, Patsy McGlone, said minister Arlene Foster had indicated she would like to brief the committee on the matter herself.

He said she had withdrawn the Invest NI official as a result.

Mr McGlone said he wanted to arrange a meeting with the minister at a later date "given the nature of the issue and given the concerns which have been expressed within the community".

"There seems to be a wee bit of nervousness at Invest NI about how to deal with this," he added.

In January, NI Secretary Theresa Villiers warned that riots linked to flag protests were causing "significant damage" to the economy.

She said the "negative images" were "threatening jobs" and urged politicians to find a way forward.

On 3 December Belfast City councillors voted to limit the days the union flag flies over Belfast City Hall.

The campaign of street demonstrations started in December.

Some of the protests have been violent and resulted in more than 100 people being arrested and dozens of police officers sustaining injuries.

The cost of policing the flag protests is believed to be more than £7m.

The loyalists' central demand is for the decision to be reversed but the political make up of the council means there is little chance of that happening.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Northern Ireland stories

RSS

BBC News NI Live

  1.  
    13:39: Ministers visit Strabane site

    Minister for Social Development, Mervyn Storey and Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O'Neill have visited the site of a new centre for government services in Strabane.

    Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry

    The multi-purpose centre, which is in the early stages of construction, will provide a jobs and benefits office, and a Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) Direct office.

     
  2.  
    13:29: Stay posted for eclipse info Cecilia Daly BBC News NI Weather Presenter

    On 20 March we've got a solar eclipse and a spring equinox - I'll keep you posted on the forecast.

    Eclipse graphic
     
  3.  
    13:19: 999 call in murder trial: Natalie Lindo BBC News NI

    A recording of a 999 call from the girlfriend of a man shot dead in Londonderry in 2013 has been played at the trial of the man accused of his murder.

    Kieran McLaughlin

    The court heard Barry McCrory's partner Elizabeth Timony telling the operator that a masked man had forced his way into her flat and that she thinks he shot her boyfriend.

    Kieran McLaughlin, 60, from Elaghmore Park, Derry, denies murder.

     
  4.  
    13:09: Translink must take action

    The chief executive of Translink has warned that the firm could go out of existence unless it increases fares again or makes cuts to services.

    David Strahan

    David Strahan told the Regional Development Committee at Stormont: "If we do not take action, Translink is not a sustainable organisation and it will not be here in the future."

     
  5.  
    12:59: Win some, lose some:

    Tuesday was a mixed day for rugby star Andrew Trimble - on one hand, his alma mater Coleraine Academical were beaten in the Schools Cup semi-final but it was also announced he'd signed a new contract with Ireland and Ulster.

    Andrew Trimble
     
  6.  
    12:47: Soaking up the sun:

    Hope everyone's enjoying the spring sunshine as much as these alpacas in Portadown (thanks to A Steveneson for the photo).

    Alpacas
     
  7.  
    12:37: Ulster University's economic impact

    Universities UK says the Ulster University's annual output is £192m.

    University of Ulster

    The statistic is part of an infographic the body has produced showing the return from our universities as part of its opposition to higher education cuts.

     
  8.  
    12:37: Church split on 'conscience clause': Belfast Telegraph

    A split has opened in the Church of Ireland over its attitude to the DUP's 'conscience clause' bill, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

     
  9.  
    12:23: Stamp of peace:

    Londonderry's Peace Bridge will be celebrated as part of a new set of stamps launched by the Royal Mail.

    Peace Bridge

    It is one of ten bridges from across the UK that will feature on the new stamps.

     
  10.  
    12:13: Economic role of NI universities

    Universities UK has produced infographics on the economic role of our universities.

    Queens

    The body, which represents universities, says higher education budget cuts here will affect the ability to provide a world class education and hit the wider economy.

     
  11.  
    12:00: Teaching staff face cuts: Maggie Taggart BBC News NI Education Correspondent

    Education Minister John O'Dowd has told the education committee that schools are likely to face 500 job losses amongst teachers and 1,000 amongst non-teaching support staff.

    John O'Dowd

    However, the minister said it was too early to tell the full impact of the £28m cuts and it would be May or June before he had all the information from schools.

     
  12.  
    11:49: Talkback talks to prisoners: BBC Talkback
    Prison special
     
  13.  
    11:34: Are prisons fit for purpose?

    Coming from Hydebank Wood prison at 12:00, BBC Talkback will be asking whether Northern Ireland's prison service is fit for purpose.

    Talkback
     
  14.  
    11:20: From one day to the next:

    What a difference a day makes. This picture was taken by Paige Browne in Limavady yesterday.

    Limavady snow

    The thaw continues and BBC News NI weather presenter Cecilia Daly explains that milder weather is on the way.

     
  15.  
    11:09: Talkback at Hydebank:

    BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback team has arrived at Hydebank Wood young offenders centre and prison for an outside broadcast today.

    Hydebank
     
  16.  
    11:00: Executive to give £32m for gas

    The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Arlene Foster says that the Northern Ireland Executive will contribute £32m to a project to connect around 40,000 homes and businesses to the gas network in the west of Northern Ireland.

    Arlene Foster

    "It will bring greater energy choice for consumers and increase the potential for businesses and the public sector to use a cleaner more efficient fuel," she says.

     
  17.  
    10:49: £15m retail park planned: Belfast Telegraph

    The Belfast Telegraph reports that Ards and North Down borough council has granted planning permission for a £15m retail park in Holywood, County Down.

     
  18.  
    10:39: Universities 'worth £1.5bn to NI economy':

    New reports released by Queens University Belfast and the University of Ulster say that the universities contributed £1.5b to the Northern Ireland economy.

    Queens

    The universities say that over 18.000 jobs created or supported by the two institutions alone.

     
  19.  
    10:27: 'No panic' for Ireland: BBC Sport NI

    Ireland will not panic after the Cricket World Cup hammering by South Africa, says Irish wicketkeeper Gary Wilson.

    Gary Wilson given out lbw against South Africa

    The 201 run defeat "is simply a bump in the road for us", he says.

     
  20.  
    10:17: Half of rivers 'polluted by fuel laundering': Irish News

    The Irish News reports that fuel laundering has polluted more than half of Northern Ireland's rivers in the past three years.

    River Enler
     
  21.  
    10:04: Gas pipelines by 2017:

    BBC News NI economics and business editor John Campbell tweets:

    Twitter 4 March 2015
     
  22.  
    09:52: Chair of new education authority

    Sharon O'Connor will be the chairperson of the board of the new education authority, which will be established formally on 1 April 2015. Ms O'Connor has been chief executive of Derry City Council since 2011.

    Sharon O'Connor

    The education authority will replace the five current education and library boards in Northern Ireland.

     
  23.  
    09:42: Norbrook family to expand brewery: Belfast Telegraph

    The Belfast Telegraph reports that family members behind Northern Ireland pharmaceutical giant Norbrook are planning a massive expansion of another arm of the firm - brewing.

    Beer

    Station Works, which is run by the sons of late Norbrook founder Lord Ballyedmond, is undertaking a major expansion of its brewery in Newry.

     
  24.  
    09:32: Blooming weather

    The snow and ice is thawing and signs of spring are becoming harder to ignore. Thanks to Paul McFarland for sending us this picture of daffodils in bloom in Dromore, County Down.

    Daffodils in Dromore

    If you capture any signs of spring in your area you can share them with us by emailing bbcnewsni@bbc.co.uk.

     
  25.  
    09:21: Translink considers cost-cutting measures: Translink

    Translink says it is considering measures that would need to be taken as a consequence of the reduction of its government funding.

    Ulsterbus

    A statement says: "As part of this, we are currently reviewing how we can best design our network to work within our allocated resources while protecting the routes most important to our customers."

     
  26.  
    09:10: Circus decision criticised: Newtownabbey Times

    The Newtownabbey Times reports that animal rights activists have reacted angrily to a decision by councillors not to ban circuses that use wild animals in their acts from council-owned land.

    Lion in captivity
     
  27.  
    09:00: Union boss warns of Translink cuts:

    Public transport company Translink will face major cuts due to the reduction of the Department of Regional Development's budget, according to a union representative.

    Translink sign

    Davy McMurray of Unite told Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster: "There's a leaked document released by the chief executive of Translink stating that there'd be 20 local town services would have their buses cancelled, stopped entirely."

     
  28.  
    08:54: Galvin returns from retirement: BBC Sport NI

    Gaelic footballer Paul Galvin is to come out of retirement and rejoin the Kerry football squad.

    Paul Galvin during his final Kerry match in the recent McGrath Cup final

    The 35-year-old was the 2009 footballer of the year and had retired after Kerry's opening game in the 2014 Allianz League. but trained with the Kerry squad last night.

     
  29.  
    08:44: Bishops to be honoured: BBC Radio Foyle

    Retired Catholic bishop Edward Daly and the Church of Ireland bishop James Mehaffey will be granted the freedom of Londonderry at a reception on 24 March.

    Foyle

    Former editor of the Derry Journal Pat McArt said: "They were two very nice men but they had a core of steel. It's richly deserved."

     
  30.  
    08:33: Frontline services warning

    Minister for Department of Regional Development Danny Kennedy has warned that services will suffer as a result of the 0.6% reduction in his department's budget.

    danny kennedy

    Mr Kennedy told BBC Good Morning Ulster: "You simply cannot cut to the level of £60m and expect to maintain all frontline core services."

     
  31.  
    08:27: M1 crash reports: BBC NI Travel

    There are reports of a crash on the M1 between Lisburn and Belfast, Traffic is slow from J6 Saintfield Road.

     
  32.  
    08:23: Cricketers may tour Pakistan

    The Press Association are reporting that Ireland could travel to Pakistan after confirmation talks have re-opened over a possible tour of the strife-torn nation.

    Ireland have beaten the West Indies and United Arab Emirates at the 2015 World Cup

    Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom has revealed that contact was made with the Pakistan Cricket Board in January about reviving hopes of the tour.

     
  33.  
    08:11: Training programme for students: Clodagh Rice BBC News NI

    Randox Laboratories is offering students of science, technology and business at Queen's university a place on their new industrial training programme.

    Randox is one of the largest manufacturers of laboratory quality control products in the world

    The Apex scheme will create up to 40 opportunities each year for full-time undergraduate students to receive paid, full-time work placements throughout their degree.

     
  34.  
    08:01: Ireland defeat Italy: BBC Sport NI

    The Irish men's hockey team defeated Italy in their final pool game of the World League Two in California to remain on course for a place at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

    Eugene Magee

    Eugene Magee and Shane O'Donoghue were the goal-scorers. Ireland will now face Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday.

     
  35.  
    07:57: BBC Radio Foyle back at 08:00:

    BBC Radio Foyle will back on the air at 8am after technical difficulties were resolved.

    BBC

    Listen to BBC Radio Foyle live here.

     
  36.  
    07:56: Black ice

    BBC NI Travel tweets:

    4 March 2015
     
  37.  
    07:53: Budget row:

    Finance Minister Simon Hamilton has responded to comments from UUP Minister Danny Kennedy about the budget allocation to the Department for Regional Development.

    Simon Hamilton

    Mr Hamilton said: "Its reduction of 0.6% in current expenditure is massively better than my own department or the likes of DCAL, DOE and DSD."

     
  38.  
    07:45: Brighter days ahead

    Sunrise is getting that little bit earlier with each day as this picture of Ormeau in south Belfast sent to us by Emma Gornall this morning shows.

    Ormeau sunrise

    You can send us your pictures or comments by emailing bbcnewsni@bbc.co.uk.

     
  39.  
    07:41: Having a ball: Clodagh Rice BBC News NI

    A yellow football made in County Antrim by LMInnov8s has been scoring in more than 50 countries around the world since sales kicked off in November.

    I'll be revealing the company's new project on Good Morning Ulster at 7.45am.

     
  40.  
    07:35: Milder weather on the way:

    The weather is improving, it should get milder over the next few days but there is a risk of ice on untreated roads this morning.

    Weather 4 March 2015

    A good chunk of the day will be be dry and bright with some sunshine. Temperatures should lift up to around 8C or 9C.

     
  41.  
    07:29: Ward closure protest:

    About 100 people have attended a public meeting about the proposed closure of a GP hospital ward in County Down.

    Bangor hospital meeting

    A public consultation is under way about whether to permanently close the 20-bed unit at Bangor Community Hospital.

     
  42.  
    07:25: Delays on the A1:

    BBC NI Travel tweets:

    Delays on A1
     
  43.  
    07:18: Ice on the roads

    Transports NI says that there is a risk of icy conditions in all areas this morning, including patches of black ice.

    Salting is under way on main routes and expected to be completed by 07:30. Drivers are advised to exercise caution particularly on untreated routes.

     
  44.  
    07:10: Radio Foyle not on air:

    BBC Radio Foyle is not on air at the moment because of a technical problem.

    Foyle

    Engineers are tackling the problem and normal service will resume as soon as possible. In the meantime Radio Ulster can be heard wherever you usually tune into Radio Foyle.

     
  45.  
    07:05: 40,000 to be connected to gas network: John Campbell BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

    A project to connect around 40,000 homes and businesses to the gas network will be formally launched in Enniskillen on Wednesday.

    gas ring

    The Gas to the West scheme will cost around £250m, including a grant of up to £32m from the NI Executive.

     
  46.  
    07:01: GPs could have saved millions

    Tens of millions of pounds could have been saved if Northern Ireland GPs had prescribed lower cost drugs, according to a new report.

    Tablets

    Stormont's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says NI doctors tend to prescribe more expensive branded medicines.

     
  47.  
    07:00: Good morning!: Ciaran Daly BBC News NI

    Good morning and welcome to BBC News NI Live on Wednesday 4 March 2015. We'll be brining you the latest news, sport, travel and weather from across Northern Ireland up until 19:00 this evening.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • Kinetic sculpture violinClick Watch

    The "kinetic sculpture" that can replicate digital files and play them on a violin

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.