Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland year in pictures - January to March 2014

January

Connsbrook River Image copyright PAcemaker press

Residents in the Sydenham area of East Belfast were warned to pack bags following fears of a tidal surge. The surge, a combination of high tides, heavy rain and strong winds, caused water levels to raise along the Connsbrook River just short of flooding local houses.

Belfast Image copyright PAcemaker press

The tidal surge warning also brought a fear of flooding to the docks area in Belfast. Police officers were brought in to place sandbags in the Sailortown area of the city.

Mivan offices Image copyright PAcemaker press

The Antrim-based construction firm Mivan went into administration in January, resulting in about a third of the workforce being made redundant. The assets were later sold to the MJM Group, based in Newry, County Down. The new owners said it would continue to trade under the Mivan name and create between 40 and 50 jobs.

Theatre at the Mill Image copyright PAcemaker press

A play that was due to open at a theatre in Newtownabbey was cancelled, following claims it was blasphemous. Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged) was due to open in January for two nights but councillors called for the show to be stopped. The council later reversed its decision and tickets were put back on sale, selling out both shows.

February

Leila Webster

Leila Webster, the well-known Belfast actress and comedienne, died at the age of 90. She was born in south Belfast and started singing when she was 10 years old. For many years, she topped the bill as one of Northern Ireland's best-loved singers, actresses and cabaret artistes.

Snow in Derry Image copyright PAecmaker press

The first major snowfall of the year arrived, covering many parts of Northern Ireland, including here in Londonderry.

Surfer Image copyright PAcemaker press

Strong winds also came with the cold spell, which gave surfers ideal conditions along the County Antrim coast in front of the Giant's Causeway.

Paddy Hopkirk Image copyright PAcemaker press

A 'Mini Cavalcade' was held from Stormont to Belfast's Titanic Quarter to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Paddy Hopkirk winning the Monte Carlo Rally. About 1,500 people took part in the cavalcade of minis.

March

Image copyright PA

Former US President Bill Clinton visited Londonderry to pay tribute to John Hume. Mr Clinton honoured the former SDLP leader's contribution to peace in Northern Ireland in a speech at Guildhall Square after walking across the iconic peace bridge.

Image copyright PAcemaker press

The funeral was held of Belfast-born actor Jimmy Ellis, 82, who died from a stroke in Lincoln Hospital. The funeral cortege drove through parts of Belfast city centre where crowds gathered to say a final farewell.

Image copyright PAcemaker press

A man who was painting the St Johns Point lighthouse near Killough had to be rescued after he got stuck about 50ft (15m) above ground for an hour and a half. He was rescued by a specialist rescue team from the Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service.

Image copyright PAcemaker press

The annual St Patrick's Day parade took place in Belfast, with thousands of people lining the streets for a display which included a 'Back to The Future' flying DeLorean and a Doctor Who Tardis.

Image copyright PAcemaker press

St Patrick's Day was also celebrated in Armagh, where 30,000 spectators watched the annual carnival parade with the theme of 'world music and dance' pass through the town as part of a week of celebrations.