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Summary

  1. Updates for Monday 30 March 2015
  2. More updates from 07:00 on Tuesday

Live Reporting

By Conor Macauley and Ciaran Daly

All times stated are UK

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Firth named in GB swimming team:

BBC Sport

Fresh from setting a world-record in 100m backstroke at British Para-Swimming International Meet at the weekend, Northern Ireland's Bethany Firth has been named in

Britain's para-swimming team at July's IPC World Championships in Glasgow.

Bethany Firth
Getty Images

Goodnight!:

Ciaran Daly

BBC News NI

We're calling time on BBC News NI Live for another day. It may be pretty miserable out there tonight but here's a pic of a spectacular sunset sent to us by Little Lamb from the Ards peninsula last night.

Ards pennisula sunset
Little lamb

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

BBC News NI website.

Busby knocked back Glens' offer:

Former Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby wrote a letter in 1970 saying he could not commit to playing a match against Glentoran in Belfast aimed at promoting the Ulster 71 festival.

Sir Matt Busby
BBC

Leeds United eventually played Glentoran instead on 5 May 1971 which the Glens famously won on a score-line of 3-1. Busby's letter is in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland's (PRONI) archives.

Security at four park and rides to be suspended:

Dan Stanton

BBC News

Security and guarding arrangements are to be "suspended" at four park and ride sites due to budget cuts. The sites that will be affected are at Blacks Road, Sprucefield, Cairnshill and Dundonald.

Park and ride
BBC

The heated and dry waiting area for the public at Cairnshill Park and Ride will also close in May.

£40,000 for 'gay cake' dispute

The Equality Commission has defended its role in court today as

it set aside £40,000 to pay for legal costs in the case taken by gay rights activist, Gareth Lee against Ashers Bakery.

Ashers
Getty Images

Judgement has been reserved at the end of the 'gay cake' case in Northern Ireland.

Poverty link to elderly deaths:

Derry Journal

The Derry Journal

reports that 2,390 pensioners have died as a result of conditions related to fuel poverty over the past four years in Northern Ireland according to figures released by
the Age Sector Platform.

Cash in hand
BBC

Danske Bank continues Premiership sponsorship:

BBC Sport NI

Danske Bank will

remain as sponsors of the Irish Premiership for another season after agreeing an extension of its deal with the NI Football League.

Cliftonville players celebrate winning the Irish Premiership title last year
Press Eye

The 2015/16 season with be the fourth sponsored by Danske Bank.

Unsettled weather on the way:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

It's going to be a fairly unsettled week.

Tonight there'll be very strong winds, especially for coastal areas. A Met Office weather warning is in place until 19:00 tomorrow evening.

Evening weather 30 March 2015
BBC

There'll be scattered showers throughout the night. Tomorrow, it's going to be wet and windy and the north-westerly winds will make it feel colder than the 7C or 8C that has been forecast.

Adams dismisses speculation

Stephen Walker

BBC News NI Political Correspondent

The Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams says talk of a hung parliament and whether his party would eventually take their seats at Westminster is "a distraction".

Adams
PAcemaker

Gerry Adams was speaking in Belfast as his party launched an election billboard entitled 'A People's Pact '.

Bus lane woman charged

A 24-year-old woman from Derry, captured

on camera being left in a bus lay-by by two police officers, has been charged in connection with the incident.

Pic of woman incapacitated on street in Derry being lifted onto bus lane by two police officers
BBC

Bridget Patricia Mongan from Stanley's Walk appeared at Londonderry Magistrate's Court on Monday, charged with assaulting her boyfriend, obstructing a police officer and with disorderly behaviour.

Woman admits pillow attack on mother

A woman who repeatedly pressed a pillow on her stroke-victim mother's face

has been warned she could be jailed.

Belfast Magistrates Court
BBC

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard Catherine Strong subjected the elderly victim to a drunken attack as she lay in bed at their home in the city.

Union warns of more road deaths:

BBC News NI's Kevin Sharkey

tweets:

Road deaths warning
Twitter

Horse and hound

It's a bit of a grey day across most of Northern Ireland and you can see a few shades of black, white and grey in this photo sent in to us by Mark Cunningham from Desertcreat, County Tyrone.

Horse and hound
Mark Cunningham

You can send us your pictures by emailing bbcnewsni@bbc.co.uk.

Minister 'greatly values' environmental NGOs

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan says he values "greatly" the expertise across the NGO sector and has apologised again if any damage has been done to the relationship he enjoys with them as a result of the cuts announced last week.

Environment committee Stormont
BBC

The session has now ended. The minister is to be invited back before the committee for an update by the end of the month.

Bailey loses case against Irish state

Ian Bailey has lost his case against the Irish government over the investigation into the killing of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork on December 23 1996.

Ian Bailey arrives at the Four Courts in Dublin
PA

Mr Bailey, 57, moved to west Cork more than 23 years ago, was arrested twice over the murder but never charged. He had claimed that Irish police (Garda Síochána) conspired to frame him for the unsolved murder of the French film-maker.

Cuts to be managed 'on a staged basis'

Permanent Secretary of the Department of the Environment Leo O'Reilly says it was decided to allocate funding streams for NGOs for three months due to the fact that a guarantee of money to all NGOs would have stopped "for certain" next year otherwise.

Leo O'Reilly
BBC

Mr O'Reilly said savings from voluntary redundancies and revenue raised from the carrier bag levy will be used to "manage the position on a staged basis over the coming months".

Easier entry for UK students to Irish universities:

Students from the United Kingdom should soon

find it easier to gain entry to Republic of Ireland universities due to change in the admission points system.

Trinity College, Dublin
BBC

From September 2016, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) is set to increase the number of points awarded for most A-level grades.

Cuts communication not handled well

DUP MLA Peter Weir tells the environment minister Mark H Durkan that environmental NGOs feel that the process of informing them about cuts wasn't handled well.

Peter Weir
BBC

Carrier bag levy to generate additional funds:

Mark H Durkan says there will be money to be distributed from finances generated from the carrier bag levy.

Mark H Durkan
BBC

The Minister says he wants to discuss how that extra cash can be redistributed to protect the environment.

Full house for environment committee:

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has acknowledged the large turnout at the environment committee today.

environment committee
BBC

Environmental groups in Northern Ireland are facing large cuts to their budgets after the money they receive from government was slashed last week.

Lo expresses disappointment:

Chairperson of the environment committee Anna Lo tells Environment Minister Mark H Durkan that she was disappointed that he did not engage with the committee prior to releasing his final budget.

durkan
BBC

Unexploded grenade found:

Belfast Telegraph

The Belfast Telegraph

reports that an unexploded grenade has been found during a security alert at a house in Coleraine.

The security alert at James Street has now ended.

Boy racers:

Racing with a twist tonight as

True North explores the world of ninja karts. The programme follows nine-year-old Adam McFall as he races on tracks at up to speeds of 55mph.

True North
BBC

It's on BBC One Northern Ireland at 22:45.

Walsh believes a woman can win the National:

BBC Sport

Katie Walsh believes that

a female jockey can win the Grand National, though she would need a late call-up ahead of next month's race to have a chance this year.

Jockey Katie Walsh
BBC

Katie Walsh was 12 metres away from becoming the first female jockey to win the Grand National at Aintree in 2012 when she finished third on Seabass.

Ombudsman clears policeman over punch

The Police Ombudsman has concluded that a police officer was justified in punching a man who had subjected a "defenceless" woman to a beating with what appeared to be a metal bar, during an incident in Portrush in the early hours of Sunday 26 June 2011.

Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland sign
BBC

The incident was captured on CCTV. The tape showed "a vicious attack" during which the man hit the woman a number of times with the bar.

P&O Express sailings cancelled tomorrow:

BBC NI Travel

P&O Express fast-craft services have been cancelled tomorrow, Tuesday 31 March 2015. The services affected are the Larne to Troon sailing at 16:00 and Troon to Larne sailing at 19:15. Passengers will be accommodated on the next available conventional sailing to and from Cairnryan.

For further information passengers can ring the contact centre on +44 (0) 845 839 0845.

New NI country music station:

BBC News NI's Business and Economics Editor John Campbell

tweets:

Country station
Twitter

11-week wait for cancer sufferers:

Belfast Telegraph

The Belfast Telegraph

reports that patients with cancer are waiting up to 11 weeks for their first hospital appointment.

Chemotherapy
BBC

Doctors said the waits for hospital appointments were having a knock-on effect on surgeries.

Coleraine security alert:

PSNI

There's a security alert in Coleraine after reports of a suspicious object at a house in James Street. The road's been closed to traffic and a number of homes have been evacuated.

O'Neill praises Irish spirit:

BBC Sport NI

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has praised his side's spirit after

Shane Long's late goal earned a vital draw in the Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland.

Martin O'Neill shouts out instructions to his Republic of Ireland players in Sunday's 1-1 draw against Poland
Inpho

Long's 91st-minute goal kept the Irish three points behind the Group D leaders after the 1-1 draw.

Wet outlook:

Barra Best

BBC News NI Weather Presenter

No washing on the lines this week - it's looking pretty miserable and the wind chill factor will make it really cold tomorrow!

Weather
BBC

Sports industry dark side:

BBC Spotlight

Do you use sports supplements at the gym? Are you aware of the chemicals used in them?

BBC Spotlight goes undercover to expose the dark side of the industry tomorrow night at 22:35.

Drugs
BBC

Delays expected for Circuit of Ireland:

Trafficwatch NI

tweets:

trafficwatch
Twitter

Man jailed for £17K theft:

Natalie Lindo

BBC News

A 29-year-old man has been handed a 20-month prison sentence for theft, fraud and impersonating a police officer.

Cormac McGuckin
BBC

Cormac McGuckin, from Castledawson, stole over £17,000 from a pensioner to pay for his wedding and gambling debts.

Charges in David Black murder:

Gordon Adair

BBC News NI

A preliminary inquiry has opened into the case of the only person charged in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black. This morning, Damien McLaughlin, from Kilmascally Road in Dungannon, appeared at Craigavon Magistrate's Court.

David Black
BBC

Mr Black was shot dead on the M1 in November 2012 as he drove to work in Maghaberry Prison.

Judgement reserved in 'gay cake' court:

Mark Simpson

BBC News NI

At end of the three-day "gay cake" case, judgement has been reserved. The judge gave no indication to the court about when a judgement will be issued.

Paedophile teacher in guilty plea:

A

County Armagh teacher who was jailed in 2000 for sexually abusing his students has appeared in court on more historical sex abuse charges at the same school.

Daniel Patrick Eccles pleaded guilty to 15 offences involving students at St Aidan's Primary School in west Belfast. He'll be sentenced in May.

Gay cake row has 'wide-reaching consequences':

Mark Simpson

BBC News NI

The 'gay cake' controversy

could have widespread implications for shop owners with religious beliefs, a court heard today.

Gay marriage cake
BBC

A barrister for Ashers Bakers said if they lost the discrimination case taken by gay rights activist, Gareth Lee, there would be wide-reaching consequences.

'No justification' for Creggan attack:

Keiron Tourish

BBC News NI

Creggan community worker Seamus Heaney says there can be no justification for

a paramilitary-style attack on a man in Derry last night.

Creggan
BBC

The man is being treated in hospital for head and leg injuries.

Equality Commission role defended:

Mark Simpson

BBC News NI

The

role of the Equality Commission in the 'gay cake' case was defended in court today. The Commission has set aside £33,000 to pay for legal costs.

Equality Commission
BBC

A barrister said the Commission was the "guardian" of anti-discrimination laws and was duty-bound to defend them.