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  1. Updates for Thursday 5 March 2015
  2. More news, sport, weather and travel updates from 07:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Conor Macauley and Ciaran McCauley

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodnight!

    Ciaran Daly

    BBC News NI

    That's BBC News NI Live done for another day. Thanks to Mairtin Ó hUigin for sending us home happy with this snap of Lurig Mountain in Cushendall, County Antrim.

    Lurig mountain

    We'll be back again on Friday at 07:00. Until then, you can keep up to date with all of the latest news, sport, travel and weather on the BBC News NI website.

  2. Ireland on course for Olympics:

    BBC Sport NI

    Ireland have hammered Trinidad and Tobago 12-2 in the quarter-finals of the World League 2 tournament.

    Stephen Dowds scored Ireland's first against Trinidad and Tobago

    Thursday's big win in San Diego is the latest step for Craig Fulton's team as they try to qualify for the Olympics.

  3. TV debates latest:

    The BBC Trust has rejected the Democratic Unionist Party's (DUP) appeal to take part in TV debates ahead of the general election. BBC News assistant political editor Norman Smith tweets:

    Norman Smith

    In an interview with BBC, Nigel Dodds said the decision "defied belief".

  4. Weekend weather:

    Barra Best

    BBC News NI Weather Presenter

    BBC News NI weather presenter Barra Best tweets: Here's how Friday and your weekend weather is shaping up. Windiest tomorrow and Saturday with some rain on Saturday too.

    Weekend weather 6 March 2015
  5. AP McCoy's top 10 horses:

    BBC Sport

    AP McCoy will be counting down the top 10 horses of his incredible racing career tonight from 20:00 on BBC 5 live Sport.

    AP McCoy
  6. Enniskillen director set for New York:

    News Letter

    An Enniskilen writer and director is set to world premiere his debut feature film at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival in New York next month, the News Letter reports.

  7. Irish printers refuse gay customer

    An Irish printing firm has refused a gay man's request to print invitations for his civil partnership ceremony, because of its Christian beliefs.

    Gay cake

    Beulah Print and Design, based in Drogheda, County Louth, confirmed it had declined an order from Jonathon Brennan, one of their former customers.

  8. No Ageas job cuts meeting yet:

    Michael Fitzpatrick

    BBC News NI

    A company that is cutting 200 jobs in west Belfast has to discuss its decision.

    Inside call centre

    Ageas Retail, which sells insurance, plans to shut its call centre operation in Springvale business park.

  9. Evans and Cisse charged:

    BBC Sport

    Manchester United' Jonny Evans and Newcastle United's Papiss Cisse have been charged with spitting by the Football Association.

    Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse

    Cisse had earlier apologised for his part in the incident, which happened during Manchester United's 1-0 win at Newcastle on Wednesday. Defender Evans has denied deliberately spitting at Cisse.

  10. Dodds criticises BBC decision

    DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has criticised the BBC after the organisation rejected the DUP's appeal against Northern Ireland being excluded from the proposed TV general election debates.

    Nigel Dodds

    Mr Dodds said: "This process has been shambolic from the start. The BBC has not engaged with us in a constructive manner. As an entirely predictable result, their management of this process has descended into chaos."

  11. Man critical after work incident:

    A man is in a critical condition in hospital after a workplace incident at Hayes coal yard in Belfast's Harbour estate.


    The man sustained serious injuries and was treated at the scene and is now at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

  12. Former doctor pleads guilty:

    A former leading ENT (ear nose throat) specialist, Dr Francis Gerard D'Arcy pleaded guilty to four charges of cheating the public revenue out of "quite substantial" sums of money.

    The 73-year-old, from the Malone Road has been granted bail until next month's sentencing.

  13. DUP appeal rejected:

    Norman Smith

    BBC Assistant Political Editor

    The BBC has rejected the DUP's appeal to take part in the television election debates.

    The move is now likely to trigger a judicial review by the DUP over their exclusion from the debates.

    A DUP spokesman described the decision by the BBC Trust as "a farce."

  14. 2016 - Year of food

    BBC News NI business correspondent Julian O'Neill tweets:

    Tourism NI
  15. BBC Newsline on super councils:

    BBC Newsline presenter Donna Traynor tweets:

    Super Councils
  16. Draft order on A5 due:

    Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness tweets:

    McGuinness on A5
  17. Minister 'can't agree' to Brimstone proposal:

    Gareth Gordon

    BBC News NI Political Correspondent

    A Stormont committee investigating the behaviour of a DUP special adviser says the Social Development Minister has refused to engage in a process of arbitration over the issue.

    DUP MLA Mervyn Storey

    It asked Mervyn Storey to agree to let a High Court judge decide if he should hand over a full copy of a report into the conduct of Stephen Brimstone but Mr Storey says he can't agree to the proposal.

  18. RNLI warning on cliff edges

    The RNLI is advising anyone planning on visiting its lifeguarded beaches on the north coast to stay away from dangerous cliff edges that have been affected by recent weather.

    Coastal erosion at Whiterocks

    Winter storms have dramatically changed the profile of beaches at Whiterocks, Portrush East and Portstewart creating high sand cliffs which are unstable.

  19. Settling scores:

    BBC Sport NI

    You can watch the decisive score in this afternoon's rugby Schools Cup semi-final between Wallace and Methody College Belfast.

    Wallace try

    Wallace came out the right side of a 12-10 scoreline of and this was the only try of the four scored today that was successfully converted.

  20. Better roads needed for economic future

    First Minister Peter Robinson has said that investment in the road infrastructure is vital for the economic future of the north west at a ministerial sub group on regional opportunities.

    Peter Robinson

    Mr Robinson said: "Improved public transport links enable people to take advantage of more employment and education opportunities."

  21. US cardinal compares IS to IRA:

    Belfast Telegraph

    The Belfast Telegraph reports that a US cardinal has compared Islamic State to the IRA, saying militants terrorising the Middle East are a distortion of "genuine" Islam, just as the Irish Republican Army was a "perversion" of Catholicism.

    Cardinal Timothy Dolan, file pic

    Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Catholic archbishop of New York, drew the parallel in an interview with CNN.

  22. Wallace in Schools Cup final:

    BBC Sport NI

    Wallace win 12-10 in their rugby Schools Cup semi-final with Methody.

    Wallace win

    There was a tense finish to the game as a last-second Methody penalty went wide. Wallace will play RBAI in the St Patrick's Day final.

  23. Appeal has 'no merit'

    The Crown has told the Court of Appeal that a woman's appeal against her conviction for the murder of a pensioner has "absolutely no merit."

    Karen Walsh

    Karen Walsh was jailed for 20 years for killing Maire Rankin, 81, at the pensioner's home in Newry on Christmas Day 2008.

  24. Policing board requests review of inquests:

    Mark Simpson

    BBC News NI

    The Policing Board is to ask the justice minister to commission an independent review of the PSNI's disclosure process in respect of inquests.

    PSNI crest
  25. Second try for Wallace

    Wallace score in the same corner where Methody touched down in the first half. Try by Ben Finlay, no conversion so Wallace lead 12-10

  26. 80% of women fail police fitness test:

    BBC News NI's Lisa McAlister tweets:

    Lisa McAlister
  27. House fire in Whiteabbey:

    Carrick Times

    The Carrick Times reports that two men had to be treated for smoke inhalation following a fire at a house in Whiteabbey, County Antrim yesterday.


    Fire crews from Glengormley and Carrickfergus stations responded to the blaze at a terraced house in Fernagh Court shortly after 10:00.

  28. Police shortages:

    Mark Simpson

    BBC News NI

    Budget cuts mean that police will have 200 fewer officers than they need next year.

    George Hamilton

    The chief constable George Hamilton told the Policing Board that the size of the force by April 2016 will be down to 6,773.

  29. Extradited over 'pig's head' charge:

    A man charged with sending a pig's head to the home of a police officer is being extradited to the Republic of Ireland from Spain.

    At Ennis Circuit Court, an assistant state solicitor said Brendan Mahony, 47, is due to arrive back in Dublin later.

  30. £8m trailer investment

    A Northern Ireland-based trailer company has announced an £8m investment in 400 new trailers, to be manufactured by SDC Trailers in Toomebridge.

    SDC Vice Chairman Darren Donnelly and Managing Director Mark Cuskeran with Tony Wan of Hireco

    Last year Hireco bought £10m worth of trailers from SDC.

  31. Watch try:

    BBC Sport NI

    Watch Methody score their second try in the Schools Cup rugby semi final against Wallace.

  32. Half-time lead for MCB:

    BBC Sport NI

    It's half-time in an excellent Schools Cup rugby semi final between Methody and Wallace.

    Methody lead 10-7 thanks to two unconverted tries, by Saul Herdman and Conor Kelly, in reply to a try by Wallace's Philip Hylands.

  33. Hit and run appeal:

    A man in his 20s has been struck in a suspected hit and run in Londonderry last night.

    The man suffered leg injuries after being struck just before 19:00 on Stanleys Walk. Police are appealing for information.

  34. Methody take lead

    BBC Sport NI

    Methody score in the corner to make it 10-7 in their favour. Touchline conversion attempt misses.

  35. Renewable energy:

    Renewable sources contributed 19% of Northern Ireland's total energy consumption according to a report by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

    wind turbines california

    Ninety two per cent of all renewable electricity generated within Northern Ireland from January 2014 to December 2014 was generated from wind.

  36. Wallace try

    BBC Sport NI

    Brilliant try under the posts by Phillip Hylands for Wallace in their Schools Cup rugby semi-final with Methody. Converted by Andrew Cardosi to give Wallace 7-0 lead.

    Wallace try
  37. Stormont in lights - your views:

    Frankie Connolly tweets: Yes, yes, yes...this is all very well...but will it turn Pink for Pride Day..!!??!!

    Tracey says: Great but can we now have the very many broken street lights fixed?

    Gary G tweets: what about turning blue to highlight pensioners choosing between heating or eating

  38. Evans says he did not spit at Cisse:

    Manchester United and NI defender Jonny Evans has released a statement on the club's website about an incident he and Newcastle's Papiss Cisse were involved in last night.

    Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse

    Evans says: "I would like to make it clear that I did not spit at Papiss Cisse."

  39. Burning tyres for the environment

    A Cookstown tarmac company has signed an agreement with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency that will see it replace a third of its fossil fuel consumption with waste-derived products like old tyres.


    Burning tyres produces fewer emissions than coal. Cement kilns like those at Lafarge Tarma are suited for containing the by-products of their combustion.

  40. Gas prices down in Belfast:

    Gas company Firmus Energy is to cut prices for those in the greater Belfast area but prices will not change for those outside the city.


    Within the greater Belfast licence area, tariff prices will fall by 6.38%.

  41. Marshall banned:

    BBC Sport NI

    Ulster centre Luke Marshall has been handed a five-week ban for kicking an opponent during the Pro12 win over the Scarlets.

    Luke Marshall

    Another Ulster player, Roger Wilson, has also been cited and charged with striking a Scarlets' player.

  42. 'Drop charges' urges brother:

    Patrick Lyttle, who was seriously injured when struck by his brother Barry in Sydney, says the charges against his brother should be dropped.

    Patrick Lyttle

    Barry Lyttle earlier appeared in court over charges of causing grievous bodily harm. Patrick said: "We love each other to bits, it was an accident."

  43. Race named after McCoy:

    The last race of next week's Cheltenham Festival has been renamed to honour retiring 19-time champion jump jockey AP McCoy.

    AP McCoy

    The new name honouring the Moneyglass man is for 2015 only.

  44. Ballycastle alert over:

    Police say the security alert in Ballycastle is over. A controlled explosion was carried out after an incendiary and a hoax device were found on the grounds of the PSNI station.

    People have now returned to businesses that had been evacuated.

  45. Northern Ireland's 'cleverest' donkey:

    BBC NI Archive

    Earlier we told you about the donkey found in Newtownabbey thanks to social media - and now we bring you possibly the cleverest donkey Northern Ireland has ever seen.

    Fanny The Donkey

    Meet Fanny - in 1976, reporter Laurie Margolis went to Omagh to meet the donkey carried milk churns without supervision. And her owner Margaret Moan says she is not for sale at any price.

  46. Ballycastle controlled explosion:


    Army bomb experts have carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious object found in the ground of Ballycastle Police Station.

    Earlier, a number of buildings were evacuated near the station on Ramoan Road.

  47. Jelly baby Basil

    Basil McCrea MLA has been to #fablabs in Londonderry where they've printed a 3D version of him.

    3D Basil

    Not sure if you want to hear this Basil, but we think it looks like a jelly baby!

  48. Ballycastle alert latest:

    Police say that a housing executive office and a shop in Ballycastle have been evacuated because of a security alert.

  49. Student flats approved for iconic Belfast building

    Planning permission has been approved for 413 student rooms and flats at the former Belfast Metropolitan College at College Square East

    The Belfast Tech Building

    The £16m project is expected to be ready for September 2016.

  50. Security alert Ballycastle


    There's a security alert at Ballycastle PSNI station. A suspicious object was found in the grounds this morning.

    Buildings nearby at Ramoan Road have been evacuated.

  51. Sent home for three months:

    Belfast Telegraph

    Hundreds of Belfast employees working on a HMRC contract for an outsourcing firm had to be sent home from work for nearly three months after an IT foul-up, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

  52. Post update

    BBC NI Travel

    Emergency Westlink closure has been lifted.

  53. Student flats contractors appointed:

    BBC News NI economics and business editor tweets:

    O'Hare and McGovern
  54. Seven new jobs at Connswater

    Seven new jobs will be created when a new Specsavers store at Connswater shopping centre opens on 24 March in east Belfast.


    The jobs are a result of a £300,000 investment that will see the size of the Specsavers store at the shopping centre double in size.

  55. Lights to send a 'positive message'

    BBC Talkback tweets:

    Talkback tweet
  56. Lighting up Stormont:

    Parliament Buildings will be turning purple next Monday to mark International Women's Day and on Tuesday of the following week it will be joining Belfast City Hall in going green for St Patrick's Day.

    Belfast City Hall
  57. Colour coding at Stormont:

    The four days on which the Assembly Commission has agreed to light Parliament buildings are:

    (Purple) 9 March to mark International Women's Day,

    (Green) 17 March to mark St Patrick's Day,

    (Orange) 12 July,

    (Red) 11 November to mark Remembrance Day.

  58. Stormont colours given the green light:

    The Assembly Commission has today announced that it has agreed four days for the lighting of Parliament Buildings in relevant colours.


    Under the external lighting policy, the commission can agree up to four days to light up Parliament Buildings each year.

  59. Collapsed manhole:

    Trafficwatch NI tweets:

    Trafficwatch NI
  60. Ireland train at Ravenhill

    The Ireland rugby team is training in the Kingspan stadium at Ravenhill in Belfast today.

    Ireland training session

    The Ireland team is the only unbeaten side in the Six Nations to date and the players received a warm welcome from the Ulster faithful. as you can see from this Ulster rugby vine.

  61. Rangers share freeze 'embarrassing':

    Rangers FC have had their shares frozen - but what does that mean if you own a stake?


    BBC Scotland's business editor Douglas Fraser says it's "another embarrassment" for the embattled club.

  62. Renewable power up:

    BBC News NI's business correspondent Julian O'Neill tweets:

    Julian O'Neill
  63. Man arrested during fuel laundering raid


    A man has been arrested in south Armagh after a raid on a suspected fuel laundering site.

    The 52 year old was detained at Loughross Road near Crossmaglen. He's being questioned about waste and contamination offences.

  64. Bank back in profit after 7 years

    John Campbell

    BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

    The parent company of First Trust Bank returned to profit in 2014 for the first time since 2008.

    AIB, which is still owned by the Irish state, showed a pre-tax profit of 1.1bn euro compared to a 1.7bn euro loss in 2013.

  65. Aer Lingus offer expected:

    The Irish government expects IAG to make a further offer for its 25% stake in Aer Lingus says Deputy Prime Minister Joan Burton.

    Aer Lingus
  66. Debates an 'utter mess':

    UK broadcasters have made a "complete and utter mess" over plans for TV debates says the DUP's Nigel Dodds.

    Nigel Dodds

    DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds made the claim after Prime Minister David Cameron issued an ultimatum about his own participation in the debates.

  67. Social media search turns up Daisy the donkey:

    Newtownabbey Times

    A Ballyboley donkey has been reunited with her owner after a social media campaign resulted in her being recognised seven miles from home, the Newtownabbey Times reports.

    Daisy the Donkey

    Daisy was recognised last weekend thanks to a campaign in local shops and on social media.

  68. Evans could face 'spit' ban:

    BBC Sport NI

    Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans could face a lengthy ban after he and Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisee appeared to spit at each other.

    Jonny Evans spit

    Television replays appeared to show Evans spitting towards Cisse, who was on the ground, during the game last night at St James' Park. The Senegal forward then appeared to spit in the direction of Evans.

  69. New season for City:

    BBC Radio Foyle

    Derry City's season kicks off tomorrow night away to Galway United. Defender Aaron Barry came into the Foyle studio to chat with Eric White.

    Aaron Barry
  70. New patrol direction:

    Clodagh Rice

    BBC News NI

    I spoke to Jonny Quinn this morning about his new music business Polar Patrol Publishing - he's best known as the drummer from Snow Patrol.

    Jonny Quinn
  71. Belfast hijack


    A couple was threatened and their car hijacked in south Belfast last night.

    The car was taken from them in Orpen Road, Finaghy and found later in Poleglass.

  72. Olympics place race:

    BBC Sport NI

    Belfast boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan say they are determined to qualify for the Olympics well in advance of the 2016 Games in Rio.

    Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes
  73. Troubles mental health link:

    Good Morning Ulster

    Research indicates that the Troubles are directly associated with nearly half the cases of severe mental health issues in Northern Ireland.

    Mental health

    We were joined in the studio by secretary of the Commission for Victims and Survivors and Siobhan O'Neill, Ulster University's professor of mental health sciences to discuss the study.

  74. Bishops honoured:

    Keiron Tourish

    BBC News NI

    Two retired Londonderry bishops are to receive the freedom of the city.

    Edward Daly and James Mehaffey

    Dr Edward Daly said he was honoured and that his pastoral work at the Foyle Hospice remains hugely important to him. Dr James Mehaffey said he was delighted with the award and paid glowing tribute to his wife Thelma for her love and support.

  75. Bandsman hits back:

    News Letter

    A leading loyalist bandsmen who is due to speak at the Sinn Féin annual conference this weekend has hit back at critics who say he should not attend, the News Letter reports.

  76. Cameron's 'ultimatum'

    The "ultimatum" letter issued by the Prime Minister's director of communications, Craig Oliver, says that the "leader of the DUP should be allowed to make his case for why he should be involved".

    David Cameron

    The letter says David Cameron will only participate in one debate featuring at least seven party leaders before the end of March.

  77. McIlroy's kick:

    BBC Sport NI

    World number one Rory McIlroy has described his missed cut at the Honda Classic as a "kick in the backside" which will do him no harm.

    Rory McIlroy

    McIlroy was speaking in the build-up to the WGC-Cadillac Championship which starts at Doral, Miami, on Thursday.

  78. Dry and cloudy:

    Angie Phillips

    BBC News NI Weather Presenter

    This morning it's dry, perhaps with the odd bright spell but mostly cloudy. There's the threat of patchy rain in the north and west in the afternoon - you can see the full forecast now.

    Weather collage
  79. Slow out of Carrick

    BBC NI Travel

  80. Only one debate for PM:

    David Cameron says he will take part in only one televised debate ahead of the general election, featuring seven party leaders.


    Downing Street said the DUP should also be considered for inclusion.

  81. Teachers could strike:

    The Irish National Teachers Organisation says a vote by its members clears the way for a possible strike.

    Teachers strike

    INTO is protesting about cutbacks that could mean up to 1,500 school jobs being cut.

  82. Good morning

    Ciaran McCauley

    BBC News NI

    Welcome back to BBC News NI Live - we'll be with you with all the news, sport, weather and travel right through until 19:00.