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Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday 28 January 2015
  2. More updates from 07:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Ciaran Daly and Conor Macauley

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight and take care!

That's BBC News NI Live for another day but we'll be back again at 07:00 on Thursday if we're not stuck in a drift somewhere.

Dromore
Paul Mc Farland

Until then, you can keep up to date with the latest news on the

BBC News NI website. It's going to be snowy out there tonight so take care.

No device at MLA's home

Police say they have searched the area around North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay's home and nothing untoward has been found.

Earlier, an anonymous caller contacted the MLA's Dunloy office claiming a device had been left at the family home.

Snow warning

There's an

amber warning for snow in place from 20:00 tonight.

Snowfall
BBC

As you can see from this picture by BBC Ireland correspondent Chris Buckler, the snow is already lying in Lurgan.

BBC Director General letter:

Read BBC Director General Tony Hall's letter to Peter Robinson explaining the DUP's omission from election tv debates.

Tony Hall
PA

Peter Robinson has responded, labelling BBC director general Tony Hall's

reasons for the omission as "irrational".

Open night closed

St Colman's High and Sixth Form College Ballynahinch, Co Down have been in touch to say they've had to cancel their planned open night due to the weather.

Laughing at our colleague

Cosy office-based BBC producer Chris Lindsay

tweets:

tweet
Conor Macauley

RNLI, now and then:

BBC NI Archive

RNLI lifeboats and lifeguards answered

565 calls for help in Northern Ireland in 2014.

RNLI lifeboat in Donaghadee
BBC

This

archive footage from October 1976 shows what was then a new RNLI lifeboat take to the seas for the first time near Donaghadee in County Down.

Delays through Carryduff

Traffic watch NI

tweets:

Twitter
Twitter

Metro service disruption:

Translink

Metro Services are currently subject to disruption due to poor weather conditions. 81 services are terminating at Glencolin (omitting Hannahstown Hill)

57 services are omitting the Wolfhill Terminus.

Health recommendation rejection

The expert who carried out

the review into the Northern Ireland health service says he believes one of its major recommendations will not be accepted.

Sir Liam Donaldson
BBC

Sir Liam Donaldson told the health committee it was "a very great pity" that his proposal for the establishment of an international panel of experts was unlikely to be taken up.

Homophobic bullying workshop:

Peter Coulter

BBC News NI

On

Evening Extra, we'll be hearing about a school in Dublin that has
postponed an anti-homophobic bullying workshop following complaints from parents.

Coláiste Eoin
Google

Declan Meehan from the charity Shout Out was due to give a talk charity at Coláiste Eoin in Stillorgan, County Dublin and will be discussing the issue on this evening's programme.

Timber firm fined £100,000

A County Londonderry timber company, Diamond and Son, has been ordered to pay over £100,000 in fines and costs for

criminal safety failings that led to the death of an employee.

Peter Lennon, 54, was crushed to death on in September 2012.

School closure tomorrow

St Teresa's Nursery School at Bearnagh Glen in Belfast will be closed tomorrow due to the adverse weather.

St Teresa's
Google

Subsidies for rates bills

Up to 350,000 householders in Northern Ireland will receive

a subsidy on their rates bill as a result of moving to one of the new so-called super councils.

Simon Hamilton
BBC

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said the discount would be automatically applied to rate bills.

Lorry overturned:

Impartial Reporter

The Impartial Reporter

says that a lorry has overturned close to the village of Arney, County Fermanagh this afternoon.

Lorry crash
John McVitty

Thankfully, the driver escaped unhurt and traffic is not being diverted from the scene of the accident.

Tweet a Giant

BBC Sport NI

BBC Sport NI

tweets: Belfast Giants
@Adam27Keefe and
@KWesty19 will be answering your questions on Twitter from 7pm.

Belfast giants
BBC

Just use #BBCAskAGiant to get in touch with a Giant!

DUP election debate rejected:

Norman Smith

BBC Assistant Political Editor

The Director General of the BBC has written to the DUP rejecting their demand to be

included in the TV debates.

Lord Hall arriving at New Broadcasting House on 22 November 2012
Getty Images

It's understood Tony Hall told them he saw no grounds to review the decision.

True grit:

Chris Buckler

BBC Ireland Correspondent

Gritters are out on the M1 ahead of the snow forecast to hit many areas across Northern Ireland this evening.

Gritters
BBC

Snowy scenes continue

The

snow is really coming down now in Belfast. Earlier Robert Stanley sent us this pic of the wintry scene near Katesbridge, County Down.

Katesbridge 28 Jan 2015
Robert Stanley

Remember you can send us your snow snaps by emailing bbcnewsni@bbc.co.uk

Arrests for suspected £640,000 tax fraud

Two businessmen from County Tyrone have been arrested for suspected income tax and VAT fraud estimated at £640,000.

HMRC sign
Getty Images

Officers searched a business and two homes near Coalisland and seized business records, computers and phones. Both men have been released on bail.

Tories in Sinn Féin poster move

Mark Devenport

BBC News NI Political Editor

Despite angry Labour denials, the Conservatives are

tweeting out a poster featuring Gerry Adams

poster
conservative

Sinn Féin say it's "fantasy politics".

Plain cigarette packaging:

Mark Devenport

BBC News NI Political Editor

The Health Minister will have to bring the issue of plain cigarette packaging to the Executive for it to become law in Northern Ireland.

Jim Wells
BBC

The First and Deputy First Ministers will also have to give their consent for the UK Secretary of State for Health to make the necessary regulations for Northern Ireland.

Kingsmills report:

News Letter

The News Letter

says that a police report has revealed that a group of IRA men responsible for the Kingsmills massacre were neighbours who lived just over a mile away from the scene of the atrocity.

Vandalised memorial
BBC

Ballygowan road reopens

Trafficwatch NI

tweets:

28 Jan 2015
Twitter

£50,000 raise for health chiefs?:

Irish News

The Irish News

reports that Sir Liam Donaldson, author of Northern Ireland's latest health review, believes that health chiefs should get pay rises of up to £50,000.

Sir Liam Donaldson
BBC

Bomb threat:

North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay

tweets:

Bomb threat
Twitter

Rates discounts:

Julian O'Neill

BBC News NI Business Correspondent

The Department of Finance has published

details on rates discounts.

They're aimed at helping people facing increases resulting from council mergers.

And still it comes....

Robert Stanley has sent us this picture of a snowy Katesbridge.

Picture of snowy Katesbridge
Robert Stanley

NHS strike goes ahead

A strike by NHS employees in Northern Ireland, including ambulance workers, will go ahead tomorrow after a "failure" to match a pay offer in England, the GMB union say.

Ambulances
BBC

White fields of Pomeroy:

BBC Newsline reporter Rick Faragher is out in the field - quite literally - in Pomeroy, County Tyrone, where he took this picture:

Picture of snow in Pomeroy
Rick Faragher

Passing the plain packaging

Mark Devenport

BBC News NI Political Editor

OFMDFM and the health department seem to be playing 'pass the parcel' over plain packaging for cigarettes.

On Friday, Peter Robinson told me it was a matter for the health minister. On Monday, Jim Wells told assembly it was a matter for OFMDFM. Today, OFMDFM say it's a matter for the health department, but that "any decision will require Executive approval".

Driving hazard:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

There are some treacherous driving conditions out there.

Picture of Cargan
Grizzpk

Thanks to Paul K for this picture, which was taken at Cargan, County Antrim

No border between arts

BBC Talkback

Artist Rita Duffy tells William: "There is no border between the arts on this island. I'd like to think we could have an all-Ireland arts administration body."

Glenavon sign Elebert

BBC Sport NI

Glenavon have signed former Derry City

central defender David Elebert on an 18-month contract.

David Elebert
Inpho

The 28-year old has also played for Shamrock Rovers, Hamilton Academical, Scarborough and Preston North End.

Ashes must be claimed before closure:

Newtownabbey Times

The Newtownabbey Times

reports that a Whitewell church which is facing closure is trying to track down people whose loved ones' cremated remains are stored in its columbarium.

Not quite a blizzard yet

Ciaran McCauley

BBC News NI

It's not quite Snowmageddon, but the snow is falling and it looks like we're going to get more as the day goes on.

Snow Wednesday 28 January
BBC

Clockwise from top left we have Downpatrick, Dromore, Lisburn and Loughinisland. Thanks to Joanna Madine, Kelly O'Prey, Lindsey Kidd and Liucia Byrne for the pictures.

Railway timetable

BBC Radio Foyle

Reporter Anna Quigley

tweets that the chief executive of Translink says that work on phase two of the Coleraine-to-Londonderry railway line will begin in May and be completed at the end of 2016.

Snow business like show business

Cee takes time out from her snow warnings to speak to children from St Patrick's Primary School in Saul, Co Down.

Cecilia
BBC

The children were on a tour of BBC NI