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  1. Updates for Thursday 12 February 2015
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 07:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Dave Culbert and Ciaran McCauley

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all for today

Ciaran McCauley


It's goodnight from us at BBC News NI Live - we'll leave you this dramatic sunset scene in Loughgiel captured by Sean McAuley.

Loughgiel sunset

We'll be back with more updates from 07:00 on Friday - until then you can keep up-to-date with the latest news on our website.

Unionist leaders clash

Mike Nesbitt has criticised the DUP leader for failing to agree on a unionist pact in east and south Belfast. Earlier today the first minister said agreement might be on a "more limited basis".

Mike Nesbitt

But the Ulster Unionist leader said if the parties couldn't reach a deal on where to run candidates before the general election, it would be "on Peter Robinson's head".

Island's only cafe destroyed

Highland Radio

reports that the only cafe on Tory Island has been destroyed in a fire. Cafe Anchregan, which had been running for nearly 30 years, was set alight last night.

The cause of the fire is not known yet.

Teacher training system 'unsustainable'

Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry says the

decision to retain funding for St Mary's and Stranmillis Colleges means "scant resources" are being used to support an "unsustainable and segregated system".

Stephen Farry

He said: "This decision clearly puts the interests of the institutions about the needs of students and the economy."

Archive: Derry's shirt factories

BBC NI Archive

Earlier we reported on how some residents in Londonderry have been angered by plans to turn the

Sinclair shirt factory into apartments.

Shirt factories

The once-thriving textile industry is a historic part of a city that has changed much since

our archive report from 1978. It offers a glimpse of the many people who made their lives in the factories and even shows how they were immortalised in song.

Harbour's future uncertain

Julian O'Neill

BBC News NI Business Correspondent

The finance minister says the future of Belfast Harbour, including the possibility of its sale, is being looked at by the executive.


Simon Hamilton said a panel is expected to be set up soon to advise on the way forward, and that other options besides selling the harbour were "worth exploring".

Funding for rock pool


Mourne Observer reports that Newcastle's iconic rock pool has been saved from closure for a year. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council voted to set aside funding for the open-air sea pool for 12 months yesterday.

EU funding awareness

Diane Dodds says the Special EU Programmes Body should make sure communities in Northern Ireland know how to access the new round of PEACE IV money.

Diane Dodds

The DUP MEP called for more

events on the funding to be organised in Ballymena, Newtownards, Bangor, Portadown and Coleraine.

Dealing with domestic abuse

BBC Newsline presenter Donna Traynor

Donna T newsline

Bangor delays

BBC NI Travel

A broken down car on the Sydenham bypass is blocking the left hand lane at Tillysburn, causing delays for Bangor bound traffic.

March solar eclipse

Ciaran McCauley


Put this date in your diary - on the 20 March, a rare,

almost total solar eclipse will be visible across Northern Ireland.


The partial eclipse will see the moon travel in front of the sun, and almost entirely block it out, from about 08:30 to 10:30. It'll be visible across all of Ireland, but will appear less complete the further south you are -

here's a taste of what it'll look like.

Gallagher could miss championships

BBC Sport NI

Paralympic champion skier Kelly Gallagher could

miss this month's world championships after her guide Charlotte Evans suffered concussion.

Gallagher and Evans
Getty Images

The pair collided during a training session last month. Doctors have banned Evans from skiing until next week, when a final decision will be made.

College welcomes cash decision

St Mary's University has welcomed the decision not to reduce its budget. Stephen Farry's proposals to cut £2m from the budgets of St Mary's and Stranmillis training colleges were

overruled by the executive earlier.

Noel Treanor
Charles McQuillan

The chairman of St Mary's board of governors, Bishop Noel Treanor, said he was strongly encouraged by the ruling.

From MP to 'colonel'

Upper Bann MP David Simpson seems to have taken on an interesting side-job judging by

a tweet earlier - the voice of
Colonel Edward Saunderson.

David Simpson
David Simpson

The DUP man says he is recording the voiceover for the new Orange Order interpretative centre.

Season over for Trimble

BBC Sport NI

Ulster and Ireland winger Andrew Trimble is to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery for a toe injury.

Andrew Trimble

Ulster Rugby says he is expected to be fully fit ahead of pre-season and the Rugby World Cup.

Colleges decision 'regrettable'

The employment and learning minister says it's disappointing and regrettable that his attempt to reduce the budgets of St Mary's and Stranmillis training colleges has been blocked by the executive.

Stephen Farry

Stephen Farry said the decision was an intrusion into the workings of his department. The move was part of a plan to make teacher training more cost effective.

Pod report

BBC News NI's Arthur Strain

tweets: @bbcnewsline reporter @R_Faragher gets the lowdown on the Belfast homeless pod. Did he try it out is the question?

Pod Belfast

Teacher training cash reprieve

Maggie Taggart

BBC News NI Education Correspondent

Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry has been overruled by the executive in his attempt to remove £2m from the budgets of St Mary's and Stranmillis training colleges. At a meeting today the executive agreed that the money should be retained.

St Mary's

Killers should 'come forward'

The officer heading up the investigation into the

murder of Bernard McGinley says that police know who did it and it would be better if they "come forward".

Wedding shooting

Det Ch Insp Una Jennings said those involved should "think about the prospect of a life constantly looking over their shoulder, fearing arrest or possible retribution". Mr McGinley was shot in front of his wife and grandchildren before a wedding in Newtownbutler yesterday.

SF MEP in appeal over Cypriots

Martina Anderson says Turkey should reveal the truth about the killing and secret burial of Cypriots by its military forces.

Martina Anderson

The Sinn Féin MEP called on the country to co-operate with efforts to find the remains of those who are still missing.

Course record for Hoey

BBC Sport NI

Michael Hoey fired a course record 64 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Thailand Classic at Hau Hin.

Michael Hoey
Getty Images

Talking welfare reform

Our political team over at

The View has

The View

Boycott over Brown inquest

Sinn Féin say they will boycott the next Magherafelt policing partnership meeting at the request of Sean Brown's family.

Sean Brown murder scene

An inquest into the death of Mr Brown, who was murdered by loyalists in Bellaghy in 1997, has been

postponed indefinitely.

Hunt for shooting suspect:

Police say they believe they know who was responsible for shooting and killing Barney McGinley

outside a wedding in Newtownbutler yesterday.

Una Jennings

Det Ch Insp Una Jennings said officers are searching both sides of the border for the suspect.

Graffiti cost:

News Letter

Over £6,500 in taxpayers' money is being spent every year undoing graffiti on Londonderry's historic walls,

the News Letter reports.

Derry walls

Council seeks pod approval:

Belfast City Council says it's planning to look for approval for a homeless pod to remain in the city's Jubilee Gardens.

homeless pod

The pod reappeared last night, just three weeks after

the council removed it for health and safety reasons.

UUP 'disgusted' over DUP welfare votes:

Political correspondent Chris Page


Ciaran McCauley

Remembering the storm:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

Storms and winds of 100mph this time last year collapsed part of the A2 near Warrenpoint and Limerick Boat Club lost its roof.

2014 storms

Young ambition:

BBC Sport NI

Craig Young says he

won't be overawed when he makes his first appearance at the Cricket World Cup this week.

Craig Young

UDA mural talks planned

Carrick Times

The Carrick Times

tweets that discussions are to take place over the next few days about the removal of a paramilitary mural that has appeared in Carrickfergus.

Claire Graham Twitter

Best cleared for France game

BBC Sport NI

Rory Best has been deemed fit and will play in Ireland's crunch Six Nations clash against France on Saturday.

Rory Best

The Ulster hooker was doubtful after suffering a bang on the head in the victory against Italy last weekend. There are three changes to that side, with Jamie Heaslip, Sean O'Brien and Jonny Sexton all included. Best will pick up his 80th cap.

Managers see funny side

A Limavady prankster can breathe a sign of relief - Tony Pulis and Neil Lennon

won't be coming after him.

Blain Morrison

Blain Morrison, a Limavady United footballer, called Pulis pretending to be Bolton manager Lennon and

the resulting video went viral. But both managers laughed off the incident on BBC Radio Five Live last night.

Goodwill from the banks:

BBC News NI economics and business editor John Campbell


John Campbell tweets

Unhealthy bunch?

Belfast Telegraph

Just 4% of young people in Northern Ireland are getting the recommended five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables, the Belfast Telegraph


The Department of Health report also found that 82% of adults aren't eating as healthily as they should be.

Public warned over ecstasy tablets

Police here have seized two batches of ecstasy which has been the

subject of a public warning.

Ecstacy tablets in evidence bag

1200 tablets were found in Derry. The other batch was seized in Portstewart.

Repossessions help:

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

Banks could do more to help mortgage customers who are

in negative equity or facing repossession a Stormont-backed taskforce has recommended.

Mortgage application form

The taskforce has been examining the high levels of negative equity and repossessions in Northern Ireland.

Redcaps grab a bagful:

BBC cameraman @albertkirky

tweets this video of a line of cars parked on the road near the Ulster Hospital which fell foul of the redcaps today

parked cars
ALbert Kirk

Company fined after worker death

A Ballymena company has been fined £22,500 for safety failings that led to

the death of a 39-year-old employee.

Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland

Michael Beston died in 2013 after falling four metres from the roof of a building that G&J Crothers was working on. The company pleaded guilty to a health and safety breach.

Priest says teenager `will not recover`

The parish priest of the critically ill Fermanagh schoolboy, Oisin McGrath, says he will not recover from his injuries.


Fr Seamus Quinn says Oisin's mother has told him life support is gradually being withdrawn. The 13 year old remains critically ill in hospital.