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  1. Updates for Thursday 26 February 2015
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 07:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Conor Macauley and Ciaran Daly

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Ciaran McCauley


Looks like it's going to be a cold night but at least the north coast got a stunning sunset to look at.


Thanks to

Derek Barr and
Judy Nelson for the views from Portstewart (top) and Portrush. We'll be back from tomorrow at 07:00.

Ice tonight:

Angie Phillips

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

Expect wintry showers and icy stretches in places tonight. The Met office has issued a warning for ice.

Check the latest forecast for the evening and take care on the roads.

Ice Warning

Counting stolen sheep:

Police say they have recovered 40 stolen sheep in a search operation near Draperstown.

They also found an illegal filling station at the premises on Drumderg Road. A 32-year-old man has been arrested.

Tale of two villages:

Rick Faragher


In Northern Ireland, some communities are

booming while others are struggling to survive.


I visited Eskra, a hamlet near Omagh, and Crumlin to see the how changing demographics are challenging and enhancing communities across the country.

'Legacy' fund impact:

Jayne McCormack


Members of a repatriation fund set up in Newry say it has helped bring

60 people who died abroad back to the island of Ireland.

Kevin Bell

The fund was set up by GAA members after Kevin Bell died in a hit-and-run in New York in 2013. His father Colin says the fund is "Kevin's legacy".

Silver spoon jab:

BBC Sport NI

Carl Frampton got involved in a bit of verbal sparring with Chris Avalos ahead of their

world title fight this weekend.

Carl Frampton

When Avalos suggested the champion from Tiger Bay was "born with a silver spoon in his mouth", he

offered a quick counter: "I've had a silver spoon? I'm from the ghetto mate - I'm from T Bay."

'Belly-bounce' conviction:

A Belfast man has been convicted of assaulting an elderly neighbour by

using his belly to "bounce" her away from his house.

Laganside Courthouse Belfast

Morrison Whelan, 58, of Rotterdam Court, in Belfast, claimed he was trying to get the neighbour off his garden path during a dispute.

Archive: Raging bull

BBC NI Archive

Earlier we were talking cows, and now we're talking bull - specifically a furious one, who ended up trapped in the old Post Office yard off Cromac Street in Belfast in 1968.


Our archive video even shows an abortive attempt by a would be matador to corral the belligerent bovine.

Durkan backs Derry homes:

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan says the department intends to give the go-ahead for the construction of 1,600 new homes in Londonderry.

Mark H Durkan

He says he is confident Derry City Council will back the proposals, including a plan to build 1,400 new homes off the Skeoge Road.

Judge to decide on report?:

Gareth Gordon

BBC News NI Political Correspondent

A High Court

judge may be called in to decide if a Stormont committee should be given a full copy of a report into the behaviour of a DUP special adviser.

Mervyn Storey

Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey has

refused to hand over the document in full.

The name game:

Jack and Emily were the

most popular baby names in Northern Ireland in 2014 - but what about some of more unusual names?

Baby names

The annual figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) revealed more unique names like Blessing, Kanye, Princeton and Peanut.

Pool charges U-turn:

A mother of two children with disabilities

says she is relieved by a council's U-turn on a decision to raise swimming pool fees by over 2,000%.

Pool campaign

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council had voted to increase annual charges for those with disabilities to £165 per year. The current cost for children is £5.75 per year and £11.45 for adults annually.

Lending conditions improve:

BBC News NI business correspondent Julian O'Neill


Business lending

Desertcreat campaign:

Mid Ulster Mail

A cross-section of Cookstown's community will board a bus for Stormont next Monday on a mission to push forward the delayed Desertcreat police, fire and prison service training college,

the Mid-Ulster Mail reports.


Increase in Irish medium pupils

A total of 5,248 pupils participate in Irish-medium education in Northern Ireland, which has

increased by 1,200 pupils since 2009/10 and more than 300 pupils since last year.

Irish language posters in classroom

Corporation tax cut questioned:

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

A leading economic think tank has questioned if corporation tax devolution is the most appropriate policy for growing the Northern Ireland economy.

Bank notes


Institute for Fiscal Studies says it's "not clear" whether the planned reduction to 12.5% will address concerns about the size of the private sector.

BBC urged to invest in NI:

MLA for Lagan Valley Basil McCrea



Three changes for Ulster:

BBC Sport NI

Ulster have made

three changes for Friday's PRO12 clash against Scarlets.

Ulster team vs Scarlets

Dan Tuohy, Luke Marshall and Clive Ross come in for Iain Henderson, Stuart McCloskey and Mike McComish.

Romantic holiday ruined:

Derry Journal

The Derry Journal

reports on a young couple whose romantic trip to Paris turned into a nightmare after they were refused entry at the gate to their plane.

Passport mixup
Derry Journal

Megan Meenan and her boyfriend Adam Clarke were stopped at Gate 10 of Belfast International airport when an Easyjet assistant expressed uncertainty over Adam's passport.

Weapon after

PSNI West Belfast

tweets that a 47-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon "following an assault on two females last night in the Hawthorn Street area" of Belfast.

PSNI West Belfast

Song and dance for prince:

The Earl of Wessex met pupils at Belfast Royal Academy earlier when he attended a Duke of Edinburgh event in the school.

Prince Edward

Prince Edward is on his second day of engagements in Northern Ireland.

Missing teenager appeal


Police say they're worried about 16-year-old Lesley Ann Dowds.

missing teenager

She was last seen at Bawnmore Road, south Belfast on Tuesday evening and may be in Newtownards or Comber.

Play park reopens after vandalism:

A playground in west Belfast has reopened following repairs to £8,000 worth of damage caused by vandals.

Falls Park playground
Anne Donegan

Falls Park playground was temporarily closed after vandals set a wheelie bin alight and it damaged several play objects in the park.

SF MLA speaks on 'emotional' loss:

Marie-Louise Connolly

BBC News NI Health Correspondent

Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín has spoken about

what it was like to lose a baby due to a fatal foetal abnormality.

Cathal Ó hOisín

In his first interview, the East Londonderry MLA described the experience as "very emotional and fairly surreal". You can see more tonight on

BBC's The View at 10.40pm on BBC One NI.

Extension in murder inquiry:

Police investigating the murder of

Pauline Carmichael in Antrim have been granted additional time to question a 37-year-old man.

Pauline Carmichael

Detectives have been granted a detention extension until Friday.

Scenic whatever the weather:

It's cold out and scattered showers have been forecast for Northern Ireland.

White Park Bay
Brian Fullerton

There are certainly ominous clouds forming in this photo sent to us by Brian Fullerton at White Park Bay in County Antrim. You can send your snaps and comments to us on

Footballer drugs sentence:

A Glentoran footballer has been sentenced to 220 hours of community for having large quantities of ecstasy and cocaine.

John McGuigan
©Russell Pritchard / Presseye

John McGuigan, 21, of Hawthrorn Hill, Hannahstown, was told by judge that he could face jail if he does not complete the sentence.

Cattle with sea legs:

BBC NI Archive

Earlier, we told you that at 1.5m there are almost as many cattle in Northern Ireland as there are people.

Rathlin cattle


as this archive from 1957 shows, some cattle, like those from Rathlin Island, need a bit more handling than others in search of pastures new.

Crash on A1 to Newry

crash tweet

Tonne of tobacco seized:

Almost a tonne of raw leaf tobacco and 10,000 suspected illicit cigarettes have been seized by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Seized cigarettes

HMRC officers and police searched a vehicle at a farm in south Armagh on Tuesday where the raw leaf tobacco, worth an estimated £236,000 in lost duty and taxes, was seized.

Portaloo causing blockage

A blockage in the Bellsbridge area of the Belfast is causing quite a stink with commuters.


Workmen carrying out repairs to the roads in the area won't be relieved to see this.

Schools' roll up

According to the Department of Education the number of primary school pupils in Northern Ireland's schools is at its highest since the 2002/03 academic year.

Pupils in a lesson

The number of secondary school students here, however, has fallen for the fourth year in a row.

Pipe bomb parts found after explosion

Police say they've found parts of an exploded pipe bomb at the scene of yesterday's explosion in south Armagh

Roads reopened tweet

The man injured as he took down a booby-trapped poster has been named as Francis McCabe Jnr.

Ram raid shop:

BBC Radio Foyle

Shop in Hazelbank, Derry rammed at 4am by a stolen car. Those in the car then robbed the shop.

ram raid shop

DUP react to BBC meeting:

Mark Devenport

BBC News NI Political Editor

Peter Robinson says the DUP heard nothing from the BBC today which strengthens their "threadbare argument" for not including his party in planned TV election debates.

DUP meeting

A DUP delegation held talks with the BBC at the Stormont Hotel to discuss the debate and the corporation's wider plans for election coverage.

Daughter of murder victim speaks

A daughter of

murder victim Pauline Carmichael speaks to
BBC Newsline at 1.30

Murder victim Pauline Carmichael
Family photo filmed by BBC

She describes her mother as a good person who loved her family.

Legal aid payments:

Justice Minister David Ford plans to put a proposal for a 15% levy on legal aid payments to an Executive meeting later today.

David Ford

The Minister told Good Morning Ulster: "My jobs is to maintain the justice system, not to provide employment service to solicitors and barristers."

£30k average salary for new jobs

Software firm Kainos is creating

400 new jobs in Northern Ireland. The company has tweeted this about the salaries.

job salaries

Exploris urged to drop fish from menu

PETA has called on Exploris aquarium in Portaferry to

declare their café a seafood-free zone when it reopens next year.

Exploris aquarium entrance

A PETA statement reads: "Serving fish in an aquarium is like serving monkey nuggets at a zoo."

Murdered woman 'good person':

Will Leitch


The daughter of murdered Antrim woman Pauline Carmichael, whose

body was found on the shore of Lough Neagh yesterday, tells the BBC that she was a "good person".

Pauline Carmichael

Realana Mitchell said: "She loved her kids, her grandchildren. She was an easy person to talk to - she would've listened, she would've done anything for anybody. It's just so sad, the news that we got."