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  1. Updates for Thursday 15 January 2015
  2. More updates from 07:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Ciaran McCauley and Dave Culbert

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodnight

    Ciaran McCauley

    BBC News NI

    That's us for today and thanks to all those who sent in photos. We'll be with you again from 07:00 on Friday with more news, sport, travel and weather.

    In the meantime, Cecilia Daly tweets that the winds are going to ease tonight but that it's set to turn colder. So best to wrap up in about eight to ten layers.

  2. Men released

    Three men arrested yesterday in connection with the murder of Brian McIlhagga in Ballymoney have been released unconditionally.

  3. Damage done

    Northern Ireland has had a battering from high winds today, and these pictures show just some of the damage.

    Storm damage

    Clockwise from left is the Shankill Leisure Centre in Belfast; an NIE team working on a fallen pole near Nutts Corner; and a marquee that collapsed at the Maze. Thanks to Aimee, Niall O'Lone and Sarah Lyness who sent them to our BBC Newsline Facebook page.

  4. Grievance payouts total £200,000:

    Portadown Times

    Portadown Times reports that more than £200,000 a year has been spent by Craigavon Borough Council on dealing with "out of control staffing issues".

    Craigavon Lakes and civil centre

    "There have been unnecessary tribunals and legal fees have run out of control," says UUP council member Arnold Hatch.

  5. Archive: Dunlop wins at North West

    Road racer Michael Dunlop has signed with Yamaha for the upcoming season - apart from being a star on the road, he is also part of the famous Dunlop road racing family.

    Michael Dunlop NW 200 2008

    In 2008, Michael raced - and won - at the North West 200 just 48 hours after his father, Robert, was killed racing in the same event. You can watch the emotional moment in our archive video.

  6. Drive aware

    If you're just about to hit the road for home after leaving work, it'd be best to check out the Traffic Watch NI website - it has the latest on what roads are closed because of fallen trees or flooding.

  7. 32 new jobs at software firm

    Belfast-based PathXL, a company that provides software to pathologists, is creating 32 jobs over the next three years.

  8. 2,400 without power

    Northern Ireland Electricity

    Emergency crews from Counties Fermanagh, Tyrone and Londonderry have joined the restoration process in the east of Northern Ireland.

    Engineers and emergency crews have restored electricity to over 11,000 homes and businesses. Around 2,400 customers remain without power at 6pm.

  9. BBC Newsline tonight

    Cameraman Phil Hilditch getting ready to film an item on personal debt for BBC Newsline - you can see it and much more, including coverage of the damage caused by today's storms, from 18:30.

    BBC Newsline Thurs 15 January
  10. Name shame?

    With 26 councils merging into 11 larger councils in April, there were bound to be some rows - but just agreeing on a name is proving difficult for many of Northern Ireland's district authorities as BBC News NI journalist Niall Glynn has been finding out.

  11. Dunlop signs for Yamaha

    BBC Sport NI

    Road racing star Michael Dunlop has signed to ride for the official Yamaha racing team this season.

    Michael Dunlop signs for Yamaha

    Dunlop will compete on the new R1 Superbike at the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix and Isle of Man TT. There'll be more on this story on BBC Newsline at 18:30.

  12. Low pressure

    A Queen's University weather station has tweeted that it has recorded one of its lowest ever pressures.

  13. Road closure details

    BBC NI Travel

    The stormy weather means that many roads are blocked with trees or flooded - for full details of roads affected check out the Traffic Watch NI website.

  14. Power out, roads closed in Armagh

    Gordon Adair

    BBC News NI

    In County Armagh, there has been disruption to power supplies and the main road between Armagh and Portadown has been closed for much of the day because of fallen electricity poles.

    At least two lorries collided with the lines and pulled down more poles and transformers. A local primary school was affected and sent children home early after power was lost.

  15. Hollywood calls

    Newtownabbey Times

    Newtownabbey filmmaker Michael Lennox is set to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in Hollywood after his film Boogaloo and Graham was nominated for an Oscar, the Newtownabbey Times reports.

  16. Ulster Orchestra to be saved?

    Gareth Gordon

    BBC News NI Political Correspondent

    Sources say the executive is to give several million pounds to the Department of Rural Development for street lighting and also cash to help save the Ulster Orchestra.

    Ulster Orchestra
    Image caption: The Ulster Orchestra employs 63 musicians and 17 staff
  17. Power update

    Northern Ireland Electricity

    2,500 homes and businesses are still without electricity as of 17:00.

  18. Executive agrees budget

    The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed a budget for 2015/2016, even though three parties - the UUP, SDLP and Alliance Party - voted against it.


    It passed with a majority of 9-4, and will be officially unveiled in the assembly on Monday.

  19. Man killed by falling tree

    A man has died after a tree fell on a van on the Hillsborough Road, Lisburn, police say.

    Man killed by falling tree near Lisburn

    The accident happened at about 11:30am this morning. The road is still closed.

  20. Three injured by 'blown off' pallet

    Kevin Sharkey

    BBC News NI

    Three people have been injured when a pallet was blown off a lorry in the Connswater area in east Belfast.

    A three-year-old child and a 75-year-old woman were among the injured. They were all treated in hospital for what are believed to be minor injuries.

  21. Killer's pension battle on hold

    Belfast Telegraph

    Double killer Hazel Stewart's legal battle over police pension benefits inherited from her murdered first husband has been put on hold, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

    Hazel Stewart
    Image caption: Hazel Stewart's solicitor described the ruling as a 'minor setback'
  22. Storm safety first

    Barra Best

    BBC News NI Weather Presenter

    Don't risk it! This is one lucky guy at Ballintoy Harbour in County Antrim today. Photos by Eddie Espie.

  23. Road blocked in Moneyreagh

    PSNI Castlereagh tweets:

    PSNI Castlereagh tweet
  24. Archive: Rathlin in 1957

    With strong winds battering Northern Ireland, ferries to Rathlin Island were cancelled again today - that's the fifth time in the last eight days that the island has been cut off.


    But what was life like on the island back in 1957? It was a completely different time for Rathlin as our archive footage shows.

  25. Where's squally?

    Barra Best

    BBC News NI Weather Presenter

    BBC News NI Weather presenter Barra Best has posted a vine of the stormy conditions in Portstewart.

    The strong winds have cause damage along Portstewart promenade
  26. Guilty plea in murder trial

    An east Belfast man, Alan Irvine, faces a life sentence after pleading guilty to murdering 52-year-old George Gray.

    George Gray

    Mr Gray's body was found at his home on Cregagh Road in September 2012.

  27. Tricky conditions

    Mervyn Jess

    BBC News NI

    Driving conditions on the M2:

    Motorway rain
  28. Riding out the storm

    Cecilia Daly

    BBC News NI Weather Presenter

    Oil rig

    The Byford Dolphin oil rig hasn't yet been able to make it into Harland & Wolff in Belfast for a refit because of the high winds.

    Viv Beck got this great shot of the rig off Groomsport, County Down, this afternoon.

  29. Trees down

    Julian Fowler

    BBC News NI

    Fallen trees have blocked several roads in Fermanagh. This one has just been cleared from Gardrum Road in Belcoo...

    Trees by side of road
  30. Ballygowan bus service cancelled


    Translink tweets:

    Ballygowan service
  31. Road Closed

    Trafficwatch NI tweets

    Traffic tweet
  32. Victim rejects Blair OTR stance:

    Impartial Reporter

    The Impartial Reporter reports that an Enniskillen bomb survivor has rejected the claims of former Prime Minister Tony Blair that the On The Runs (OTRs) scheme was key to the Northern Ireland peace process.

    Tony Blair
  33. NI waits for Charlie Hebdo

    Ita Dungan

    BBC News

    Just off the phone with the distributor of Charlie Hebdo in Ireland - he says he'd requested more than 2,500 copies of the magazine, including 720 for 40 retailers in Northern Ireland. As yet he hasn't received any.

    Charlie Hebdo

    He said that French distributors are looking after the home market first because of high demand.

  34. 'Accident' cancels Maze show

    An agricultural event set for the Maze has been cancelled because of an "accident" caused by the weather, say organisers.

    Balmoral Show at the Maze

    Video from the Ulster Star shows that part of a marquee collapsed. Organisers say that no one was injured.

  35. Folk legends in studio

    William Crawley

    BBC Talkback presenter

    We had some very special guests on BBC Talkback today - Irish folk band The Fureys, who gave us an exclusive performance of some of their best known songs including Red Rose Cafe and Steal Away.

    The Fureys
  36. Judicial review on Durkan decision

    Traders in Newry will seek a judicial review of Environment Minister Mark H Durkan's decision to approve a major-mixed used development on the outskirts of the city.

    Carnbane Industrial estate, Newry

    The Newry chamber of Commerce and Trade has launched a High Court bid, arguing that the development could damage city centre investment.

  37. Trees down and roads blocked

    Barra Best

    BBC News NI Weather Presenter

    Careful if you're out there driving - the battering winds have knocked down a number of trees that are blocking roads.

    Trees blown over

    Clockwise from top left are: Clady; Dunmurry; Brustin Braes, Larne; and the Bann Road, Ballymoney .

  38. Oscar nomination for NI short film

    One of two short films made in Northern Ireland has been nominated for an Oscar.

    Oscar statues

    Boogaloo and Graham got through at the nomination ceremony today.

  39. Video: Storm damage

    storm damage

    Our reporters have been out filming the damage caused by the stormy weather.

    In County Londonderry, trees were blown down and the Foyle Bridge was closed for a time.

  40. Oscar hopes

    Two Northern Ireland short films have made it onto the long list for best live action short at the Academy Awards on 22 February 2015.

    Oscar statues

    You can watch a live stream of the Oscars nominations from 13:30 to see whether the films will be chosen to compete at the Oscars next month.

  41. Trees down

    PSNI Dungannon tweets:

    PSNI Tweet
  42. 5,000 homes without power

    NIE is now working to 5,000 homes and businesses as the wind gusts to 70mph in places.

    Power lines

    The problems are mainly in Tyrone and Armagh

  43. Windy city:

    Conor Macauley

    BBC News NI

    It's blowy in Belfast's Bedford Street as this Vine shows

    Blowy Belfast
  44. Patterson leaves the Brandywell

    BBC Sport NI

    Rory Patterson, Derry City's leading goal-scorer last season, has come to an agreement with the club to cancel the remainder of his contract.

    Rory Patterson in action in last month's FAI Cup final defeat by St Pat's

    The forward used Twitter to make the announcement, saying the decision was made in the club's and his own best interests.

  45. Murder court

    Three men have appeared in court charged with the murder of Randalstown businessman Nelson Cheung.

    Nelson Cheung
  46. Blown 'off their feet'

    Two teenage girls have been injured after being blown off their feet by the wind in Belfast city centre, police say.

    Paramedics in Belfast City Centre

    The pair fell against the side of a bus near the Albert Clock at about 11:00. They have been taken to hospital though their injuries aren't believed to be serious.

  47. Accident on Hillsborough Road

    The Hillsborough Road in Lisburn is closed after a serious road accident, say police.

  48. Call for Saul?

    BBC Sport NI

    New Institute keeper Saul Deeney could make his debut against Dungannon Swifts tomorrow night.

    Saul Deeney playing for Burton Albion against Manchester United in 2006
    Image caption: Saul Deeney playing for Burton Albion against Manchester United in 2006

    The 31-year-old is best known for keeping a clean sheet when non-league minnows Burton Albion drew 0-0 with Manchester United in a FA Cup third round tie in 2006.

  49. Power out for 2,500

    Northern Ireland Electricity

    2,500 customers are without electricity after severe gale forced winds caused damage to the electricity network this morning.

    Over 1,000 homes and businesses are without electricity in County Tyrone.

  50. Plane diverted to Belfast

    RTE is reporting that a small Aer Lingus regional plane has diverted from Dublin Airport to Belfast International Airport.

  51. Abortion changes talks

    Archbishop Eamon Martin has met Minister for Justice David Ford about proposed changes to abortion legislation.

    Eamon Martin

    Minister Ford has recommended that abortions should be allowed in Northern Ireland where the foetus has a lethal abnormality.

  52. Man killed in crash named

    A motorcyclist who died in a crash on the Larne Road, Ballycarry, on Tuesday is named as 26-year-old David Christopher Pollin from Greenisland.

  53. Frazer and Adams debate:

    News Letter

    The News Letter reports that victims campaigner Willie Frazer, whose father was shot dead by the IRA, will publicly debate with Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams within weeks.

    Willie Frazer

    A Sinn Féin spokesman said the party was planning to talk to him about how it could be done.

  54. 32 new software jobs

    Belfast software company PathXL will be creating 32 jobs over the next three years in a £3.6m investment.


    It's getting £390,000 of support from Invest Northern Ireland.

  55. Policing board court case

    Irish News

    The Irish News reports that a policing board member is suing a colleague for defamation.

    Policing Board members were briefed about On The Runs in April 2010

    It reports that Independent member Joan O'Hagan is taking a case against vice-chairman Stuart McDonnell and former chairman Brian Rea.

  56. New arrest in murder investigation:


    Police investigating the murder of Edward Gibson, in west Belfast in October 2014 have arrested a 61 year-old man. The suspect was arrested in the west of the city this morning.

    Edward Gibson
  57. McCann the man for Linfield

    BBC Sport NI

    Linfield have signed Northern Ireland midfielder Grant McCann from Peterborough United on a free transfer.

    Grant McCann is set to join Irish League club Linfield

    The 34 year-old has 39 Northern Ireland caps and is a former international team-mate of Linfield boss Warren Feeney.

  58. The age of austerity

    UUP leader Mike Nesbitt tweets: Just got a letter from Home Secretary. Cost me £1:53 - Theresa May signed it but didn't stamp it! #austerity

    Mike Nesbitt
  59. Collision near Strabane

    BBC NI Travel

    There has been a three-vehicle collision on the Melmount Road between Strabane and Sion Mills in County Tyrone. Police are advising drivers to expect delays.

  60. Gritter Lorry stoned:

    Newtownabbey Times

    Newtownabbey Times reports that the stoning of a gritter lorry was an attack on the community.

  61. Roads disruption:

    Keiron Tourish

    BBC News NI

    Sends us this picture of a tree blocking the Old Letterkenny Road.

    Tree Down

    He says there are strong winds and driving rain.

  62. Wind shuts garden

    The National Trust NI tweets:

    National Trust tweet
  63. Foyle Bridge closure chaos

    BBC Radio Foyle

    BBC Radio Foyle tweets: Major delays along the Culmore road and Strand road due to Foyle bridge closure which you can see in this vine.

    Foyle Bridge closed
  64. Pregnancy barrier to be investigated

    The Equality Commission is to investigate whether pregnant women and mothers face barriers to equal treatment in workplaces.

    Dr Michael Wardlow 15 Jan 2015

    Dr Michael Wardlow of the Equality Commission told BBC Good Morning Ulster that The Equality Commission regularly receives complaints from women who feel they have been treated unfairly.

  65. Rathlin ferry falls foul of weather:

    BBC NI Travel

    All sailings between Rathlin and Ballycastle have been cancelled today due to the extreme weather conditions.

  66. Return of the Mac:

    BBC Sport NI

    Rory McIlroy has opened his season with a five-under-par round of 67 at the Abu Dhabi Championship.

    Rory McIlroy posted a closing 69 at Augusta

    McIlroy picked up five shots on his back nine, putting him in a tie for fourth place, two strokes behind clubhouse leader Thomas Pieters of Belgium.

  67. Former IRA commander dies:

    Belfast Telegraph

    The Belfast Telegraph reports that veteran republican Paddy Joe Rice has died after a long illness.

    He was recently questioned about the 1972 murder of Disappeared victim Jean McConville.

  68. M1 lane blocked

    Trafficwatch NI tweets: The outer lane of the M1 is blocked westbound approaching J2 Stockmans Lane. Approach with care

  69. Bin collections back in Londonderry

    Derry city council says refuse collections will resume today after they were temporarily suspended due to the heavy snowfall in recent days.

    Bins in Derry
  70. Budget to be signed off:

    Julian O'Neill

    BBC News NI Business Correspondent

    BBC News NI Business Correspondent Julian O'Neill tweets: Indications are that it's very likely a final 2015/16 budget will be signed off at today's Executive with presentation to the Assembly on Monday.

    There has been a campaign to reduce the tax in Northern Ireland to 12.5% to stimulate economic growth
  71. Traffic lights out

    BBC NI Travel

    In Belfast, the traffic lights on the Sydenham bypass at the junction with Dee Street are out - approach with caution

  72. Bring the brolly

    Angie Phillips

    BBC News NI Weather Presenter

    There'll be heavy rain today, especially in the north. Combined with snowmelt, it could lead to some flooding. The Met Office has put out rain and wind warnings.

    Weather 15 Jan 2015
  73. Foyle Bridge closed


    The Foyle Bridge, Derry, has been closed due to high winds

  74. Lambing tales

    Good Morning Ulster

    On the programme at 7.50am hear reporter Teresa Craig as she joins a farmer for the lambing season

    New lamb
  75. Wins for Armagh and Down

    BBC Sport NI

    Armagh and Down record victories over St Mary's and UUJ in last night's Dr McKenna Cup.

    Armagh's Stefan Forker is challenged by St Mary's player Matt Fitzpatrick

    Gavin McParland hit 2-4 for Armagh as they went on to win 2-11 to 0-14. Down defeated UUJ 1-13 to 1-7.

  76. House prices

    Clodagh Rice, BBC News NI Reporter

    BBC News NI reporter Clodagh Rice tweets: we hear from The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Northern Ireland who say house prices here expected to rise 4% and from software company Datactics on expanding their Belfast HQ.

  77. ICTU criticise Stormont House Agreement

    The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has criticised the Stormont House Agreement as a "bad deal".

    Bank notes

    ICTU claims that money being offered by the government is not new money.

  78. Minister speaks on hospital pressures

    Our top story this morning. The health minister says there was no need for him to get involved during the recent hospital pressures

    Jim Wells
  79. Good morning

    Ciaran Daly

    Welcome to BBC News NI Live on this Thursday 15 January. We'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, weather and travel from across a blustery Northern Ireland right up until 19:00.