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  1. Updates for Thursday 19 November 2015
  2. More updates from 07:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Fiona Murray and Greg McKevitt

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good night

    Well that turned out to be another busy day here - that's the end of our coverage for now on BBC News NI Live. We're back again from 07:00 GMT in the morning. Hope you can join us.

  2. Colder tomorrow with increasingly wintry showers

  3. From champion jockey to movie star

    BBC Sport

    AP McCoy has been talking at the premiere in Dublin about the film documenting his final year as a record-breaking jump jockey.

    AP McCoy was champion jockey for a record 20 years

    The 20-times champion jockey said he did the film, Being AP, so his children could look back at his racing achievements. Click here to watch the video.

  4. Henderson returns

    BBC Sport

    Iain Henderson will make his first Ulster appearance of the season in Friday's European Champions Cup game against Saracens at Kingspan Stadium.

    Iain Henderson

    A hand injury has kept Henderson out since Ireland's World Cup quarter-final defeat by Argentina on 18 October.

  5. No job for 'a sensitive flower'

    On political life, outgoing DUP leader Peter Robinson tells the BBC: "It's a rough trade and the further you get up that greasy pole, the more people there are who are wanting to bring you down.


    "The notice I give to whoever takes over the position is don't expect the honeymoon to last too long - you will become a target, the crosshairs will be on your back straight away.

    "There is a nasty streak in politics with some people who feel that their job is to smear and try and bring people down. If you're a sensitive flower, this isn't the role to be taking on."

  6. Sailor was drunken, report finds

    The officer on watch when a cargo ship ran aground on Scotland's north west coast was drunk, according to a new report on February's incident.

    Lysblink Seaways, which ran aground

    The Lysblink Seaways was on its way from Belfast to Skogn in Norway when it ran aground at full speed near Kilchoan in the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. The officer, a 36-year-old Russian, had drank half a litre of rum earlier in the evening, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch report said.

  7. Criminal restrictions lifted over admin mix-up

    A judge has lifted civil restrictions on the activities of five convicted criminals because of a mix-up in the application process.

    High Court in Belfast

    Serious Crime Prevention Orders were granted against the men following requests made on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions, but a High Court judge was told today that those who made the applications were not on a list of staff to whom the DPP had delegated authority.

  8. Coming up on BBC Newsline

  9. More time to consider Poots appeal

    Belfast Telegraph

    Judgement was reserved today in former Health Minister Edwin Poots' bid to overturn rulings that his ban on gay men giving blood in Northern Ireland was irrational and "infected" by apparent bias.

    Edwin Poots

    He is also challenging judicial verdicts that he breached the ministerial code and appeared to have been influenced by Christian beliefs in maintaining the lifetime prohibition. A panel of senior appeal judges confirmed they wanted time to consider all submissions. Click here to read more.

  10. Fire out after eight days

    A fire at a recycling plant in Campsie, near Londonderry, that started eight days ago has now been fully extinguished.


    Residents were still being advised yesterday to close their windows as a smoke plume from the Electra Road facility continued to cause difficulties. The Fire and Rescue Service says the cause of the blaze is still being investigated.

  11. League Cup round-up

    BBC Sport

    Coleraine, holders Cliftonville and Warrenpoint Town have booked their places in the semi-finals of the 2015/16 League Cup.

    Aerial challenge in Ballymena United vs Coleraine clash

    Two goals by James McLaughlin earned Coleraine a 2-1 win over Ballymena, holders Cliftonville beat Glentoran 3-2 and Warrenpoint won 2-1 at Institute. Click here for a video round-up of last night's action.

  12. Robinson criticises 'negative' first minister comments

    East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson has described Peter Robinson as "the most self sacrificial individual in Ulster politics", and described comments criticising his role as "disgraceful" and "negative".


    He said he wanted to add balance to today's discussion on his career. "If I am allowed to have my say, I want to make sure people don't focus on aspects of the past which are without any context or any credibility given the situation which Northern Ireland rests today."

  13. 'I'm not going to stick my nose in'

    While Ian Paisley had an acrimonious fallout with Peter Robinson after he stepped down as DUP leader, Mr Robinson says: "I simply wouldn't find myself in the position where I'm going to turn on friends and colleagues who have supported me throughout my lifetime.

    Peter Robinson and Ian Paisley

    "I'll be there to give support, to encourage those who follow and if the party wants me to give advice I'll give it, but I'm not going to stick my nose in and interfere in future decision-making. I'll be there to encourage and support." Click here to watch a clip from the interview.

  14. Shooting victim 'critical'

    The Belfast Trust says the man who was shot in west Belfast earlier today is in a critical condition in hospital.

  15. ‘IRA structures unchanged’

    News Letter

    Former hunger striker and PIRA volunteer Gerard Hodgins has told of how "nothing has changed in the paramilitary structures of the IRA since Mike Nesbitt walked out of the assembly".

    Speaking to the News Letter after a deal was reached between British and Irish governments and Ulster's politicians to resolve the political crisis at Stormont, Mr Hodgins said: "I know they are saying there is an agreement, or whatever they are calling it, but I don't see any change in the body politic now that wasn't there whenever Mike Nesbitt walked out." Click here for the full story.

  16. 'Not much political common ground'

    New SDLP leader Colum Eastwood says he wishes outgoing First Minister Peter Robinson "all the best in the future and the best of health".

    Colum Eastwood

    He says: "His early career was forged as a right-leaning, hardline unionist so it's unsurprising that we don't have much political common ground. But despite our disagreements, on a human level it's clear to see that he has had a very difficult time personally and with his health."

  17. Close to The Edge

    U2 guitarist The Edge, who's in Belfast for two shows, has visited a new Mencap centre being built in south Belfast.

    The Edge

    He has been an ambassador for the charity since being invited in 2009 by his cousin, Ciara Lawrence, who has a learning disability. He says: "On a personal level, Mencap has done so much for my cousin, Ciara, in helping her reach her full potential. Everyone should have access to this kind of support."

  18. 'Courteous and amicable relationship'

    Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin says he has worked closely with Peter Robinson in the Office of First and Deputy First Minister since June 2008, and they have "faced many challenges together".

    Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson

    "During that time we have had a close and professional working relationship and, despite media perception it has always been courteous and amicable," he says.

    The deputy first minister adds: "Despite our political differences, I recognise fully the enormous personal contribution Peter has made, building on the work of his predecessor, Dr Paisley."

  19. 'Me time'

    On his lifestyle, Peter Robinson says: "It's remarkable just how quickly, even after a heart attack, you can slide back into the same old habits of staying up late at night, not getting your sleep, not eating properly or getting any exercise.

    Robinson family in 1992

    "The family, at least, will be pleased that I'm going to be having some 'me time'."

  20. Retirement plans

    Asked about whether he plans to remain in politics in some capacity, Mr Robinson says: "I don't think the history of those who have given up full stop is very good, and there's no way I'm the kind of person who's going to sit and idle around the house and get in (his wife) Iris' way.

    Iris and Peter Robinson

    "I'm going to be someone who finds something to do - I suspect it probably won't be politics, but we'll see as time goes on."

  21. 'Feet under the table'

    Peter Robinson says "towards the end of this year or the very beginning of next year" is the most appropriate time to leave, as "you do need to have some months for a new leader to get their feet under the table before the election".

    Nigel Dodds, Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster

    On the issue of whether his party leadership and first minister posts are split between two people, he says: "The rest is really up to the electoral college - if they pick somebody from outside the assembly, then clearly the position has to be divided. If they choose somebody from the assembly then that is an option that they hold both posts."

  22. 'Rigorous and brutal job'

    Peter Robinson suffered a heart attack in May, but he told the BBC that it happened after he had already informed his party officers he was stepping down as DUP leader.

    Peter Robinson's political career

    "If it had happened before, it may well have been one of the factors I would have taken into consideration - the job is an exacting job, it is rigorous and at times brutal," he says.

  23. 'Appropriate time'

    Outgoing DUP leader Peter Robinson tells the BBC: "Right back from the Westminster election in May, I indicated to party officers that they had to factor into their calculations that I would not be standing at the next assembly elections, so they could do their forward planning.

    Peter Robinson

    "But the assembly was in some disarray at that time, and the view was, I should remain and attempt to stabilise the assembly and executive - we've done that successfully, so now it seems to me the appropriate time to announce the departure and allow the party to take it forward."

  24. 'End of a chapter'

    Outgoing DUP leader Peter Robinson tells BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport: "In politics, it's very difficult to find the exact moment that is right to announce a departure, because politics, by its very nature, continues to flow on.

    Peter Robinson and Mark Devenport

    "You never really get the end of a chapter, and I think probably what we have at this present time, with the agreement being reached, is as close as you're going to get."

  25. Church slates robbed

    A large quantity of lead has been stolen from the roof of a church in Londonderry.

    The theft at St Columba's Church, Longtower, was discovered by contractors investigating a leak. Police say lead was also taken from the roof of Nazareth House in Bishop Street earlier this week.

  26. UUP on Peter Robinson

    The Ulster Unionist Party has issued a statement wishing outgoing DUP leader Peter Robinson "a long and healthy retirement".

    A spokesperson added: "He remains first minister of the Northern Ireland Executive at a time when we share the ambition of seeing Stormont delivering positive outcomes for all our people. We will continue to engage positively with that objective in mind."

  27. 'Transforming figure'

    DUP chairman Lord Morrow says outgoing leader Peter Robinson was "the tactician behind all of the major advances made by the DUP over the course of the last 15 years".

    Lord Morrow

    He adds: "When historians come to reflect upon the history of Northern Ireland they will, I have no doubt, record that Peter Robinson was a transforming figure: helping Northern Ireland transform from civil strife and constitutional uncertainty into political stability and prosperity."

  28. Different sides of Peter Robinson

    Veteran journalist Eamonn Mallie tells the BBC's Talkback: "There was a convivial side of Peter Robinson, but more often than not I would have incurred his wrath, and by golly, when one incurred his wrath you felt it."

    William Crawley interviewing Eamonn Mallie
  29. NI tax 'could put Republic in the shade'

    Belfast Telegraph

    Northern Ireland may now be a more attractive destination for inward investment than the Republic after a date and rate for a corporation tax cut was confirmed, it has been claimed.

    Northern Ireland will have a new lower rate of business tax of 12.5% from April 2018 - bringing it level with the Republic's levy, which has been credited with helping it attract global tech giants like Facebook, Google and Apple to its shores. Click here to read more.

  30. Manufacturing energy costs panel to be set up

  31. Family still waiting on apology letter

    Earlier we heard the story of Enniskillen teenager Sophie Kerr, who was left alone on a school bus for almost three hours.

    Sophie Kerr

    The family have told our South West reporter Julian Fowler that they're still waiting for a letter of apology from the Education Authority and have lost trust in the bus transport arrangements. Sophie is now being taken to school by taxi.

  32. Irish foreign minister's tribute to Robinson

  33. Welfare law brought before parliament

    Mark Devenport

    BBC News NI Political Editor

    The Northern Ireland Office confirms that the legislation putting welfare reform into effect here will be pushed through all its House of Commons stages on Monday.

    Houses of Parliament

    It will then be put before the House of Lords on Tuesday.

  34. Arts groups get funding restored

    Robbie Meredith

    BBC News NI Education Correspondent

    In-year funding cuts to 32 of Northern Ireland's biggest arts organisations have been reversed following the November monitoring round.

    The Mac

    Last month, the organisations were told they would lose 7% of their planned funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, but the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure now says the £620,000 will be restored for it to distribute.

  35. 'Inclusive and prepared to listen'

    Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern tells the BBC's Talkback that outgoing DUP leader Peter Robinson has been a "steady hand" in the Northern Ireland political process.

    Bertie Ahern

    "Of course he was controversial in the earlier period as far as we were concerned in the Republic, but I would far rather remember the role he has played over the last 15 or 16 years, and I think that was good political strategy, good tactics, bringing a party in that always said no to say yes, coming in with good policies and ideas."

  36. Burglars target pensioner again

    An elderly Belfast woman, who was beaten up by burglars four years ago, has been targeted again by a gang of men in her home.

    Josie Hamilton

    Josie Hamilton, who is in her late 80s, lives off the Shankill Road. It is believed that three men were involved in the latest burglary yesterday evening, taking money and a bank card.

  37. 'Sacrificial labours'

    DUP MLA Arlene Foster says Peter Robinson, who has announced that he will stand down as First Minister and party leader within weeks, "was instrumental in my decision to join the Democratic Unionist Party over 12 years ago".

    Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster

    She adds: "Unionism is stronger today as a result of the sacrificial labours of Peter Robinson and, for that, we are eternally grateful."

  38. 'Caring and compassionate'

    Paying tribute to outgoing DUP leader Peter Robinson, East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson says: "I want to acknowledge the caring, compassionate side of his life.

    Gavin Robinson, Nigel Dodds and Peter Robinson

    "Too young to remember the worst days of the Troubles, I cannot begin to imagine the pressure public service has had on him personally nor indeed his family, yet Peter never failed to put others first."

  39. Shooting arrests

    Two men have been arrested following a shooting in west Belfast.

    Shooting scene

    Det Ch Insp Gary Reid said: "A man in his 40s sustained a gunshot wound to the upper body in an incident at Rossnareen Avenue shortly before 9am. He was taken from the scene by car, and then transferred to an ambulance at Shaw's Road and brought to hospital." Police have appealed for information.

  40. Schlumberger job cuts

    John Campbell

    BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

    Oil services firm Schlumberger is cutting 37 jobs in Newtownabbey. The firm has been hit by a fall in oil prices and has cut 15% of its global workforce.

    Unite the union sasy 37 jobs is just over 10% of workforce at Schlumberger's Newtownabbey operation.

  41. 'Towering figure'

    Paying tribute to outgoing DUP leader Peter Robinson, the party's deputy leader Nigel Dodds says: "Mere words cannot convey the enormity of the thank you owed to Peter by the DUP and by everyone who values progress in Northern Ireland."

    Nigel Dodds and Peter Robinson

    He says Mr Robinson has been a "towering figure" in the party who has made "huge personal sacrifices in the service of others".

  42. Four decades at the heart of politics

    News Letter

    With a reputation as a steely strategist of ruthless ambition, Peter Robinson has been at the heart of Northern Ireland politics for almost 40 years.

    DUP leadership

    From rabble rousing during the street rallies of the 1970s and 1980s to thrashing out landmark peace deals, the 66-year-old has risen from a modest estate agent to one of the region's most powerful politicians running Stormont's "big house on the hill". Click here to read the News Letter article.

  43. TUV leader on Robinson: Wit to go 'before pushed'

    The TUV's Jim Allister has also been sharing his views on Peter Robinson stepping down from his role as First Minister and DUP leader.

    "On a personal level, I wish him well. Peter Robinson has been a very significant figure in our political landscape. He probably learnt from his predecessor about not overstaying his welcome.

    "I think he had the wit to go before he was pushed."

  44. Peter Robinson 'is my friend'

    The deputy first minister Martin McGuinness says he's never hated Peter Robinson and considers him as a friend, as he reflects on his political career.

    Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness

    Peter Robinson is stepping down from his roles as First Minister and DUP leader within weeks. "In politics, as in life, everything changes, nothing stays the same," Mr McGuinness told the Stephen Nolan show.

    "I think we have developed a good working relationship over the years."

  45. Police investigate shooting reports

    Sinn Féin MLA Rosie McCorley is at the scene of the west Belfast shooting. She says people are "shocked and concerned".


    BBC NI reporter Nicola Weir said after the shooting happened on the Shaw's Road, the woman who was driving the car continued driving towards the city centre and then stopped to get help for the injured passenger.

    Read more on this story on our website

  46. 'No surprise' at Robinson exit

    The DUP's Gregory Campbell tells the Stephen Nolan show that he's "not really surprised" Peter Robinson is stepping down as First Minister and DUP leader.

    Gregory Campbell

    "It's been speculated for weeks, if not months. I would have liked Peter to have stayed on. It's been a difficult time for Northern Ireland."

  47. Shooting scene '50 yards from school'

    Claire Graham

    BBC News NI

    BBC NI reporter Claire Graham is at the scene of this morning's shooting in west Belfast.


    "At the minute there's a black car being cordoned off in the middle of the road by police. It's got a side passenger door wide open. The window has been shot through. Ambulance, cars and police vehicles surround the cordon. We're only 50 yards from a primary and nursery school in the area."

  48. From the scene

    West Belfast shooting

    A man in his 40s has been shot in the head in the Shaws Road area of west Belfast. Our reporter Claire Graham is at the scene.

    Shooting pic

    The man is being treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital. His condition is not known.

  49. West Belfast: Man shot in head

    A man has been shot in the head in west Belfast.

    It happened on the Shaw's Road. He's been taken to hospital and his condition is not known. We'll bring you more updates as we get them.

  50. Shots fired in west Belfast


    A police operation is underway at Shaws Road in west Belfast. Police have confirmed that shots have been fired.

  51. Devolution and modernisation 'biggest legacy'

    Modernising his party in terms of the people he recruits and the "devolution of policing and justice powers back in 2010" will be Peter Robinson's biggest legacy, says Professor Jon Tonge.

    "There are no big wins ahead. It's a logical time to stand down."

    If you're just joining us, Peter Robinson says he's stepping down from his roles as First Minister and DUP leader within weeks.

  52. 'Leaving on a mini high'

    Professor Jon Tonge co-authored a major academic study on the DUP. He tells Good Morning Ulster that Peter Robinson will be "leaving a significant legacy".

    "He will get a great reception at his party conference this weekend no doubt. You can understand why he stayed on after the 2011 election result. They won 38 seats. It was a fantastic result. He has modernised his party."

  53. Peter Robinson's goals

    Good Morning Ulster

    Peter Robinson wanted to achieve a number of goals he felt would be a lasting legacy for him before he stood down, the Belfast Telegraph's Liam Clarke tells Good Morning Ulster.

    "One was to win back the East Belfast seat, Gavin Robinson did that. Peter set in place a strategy to achieve this at Westminster.

    "If he could get a date and a rate on corporation tax and if he could get the Assembly back on a firm footing. Party officers have asked him to remain on until the Assembly is on a firm footing, which he reckons will be in the New Year."

  54. Father tells of Sophie's bus trauma

    The Education Authority has apologised to the family of an Enniskillen teenager with disabilities, who was left alone on a school bus for almost three hours.

    Sophie Kerr

    Sophie Kerr, who's 17, was abandoned in a depot after both the driver and a special needs escort failed to deliver her to school. Her father Jon has been talking to our south west reporter Julian Fowler. Hear the interview on Good Morning Ulster after 8.

  55. Decision 'not due to poor health'

    Mark Devenport

    BBC News NI Political Editor

    Although Mr Robinson recently suffered a heart attack, he insists his decision to stand down as First Minister and DUP leader wasn't due to his poor health. He says he talked to the DUP party officers about leaving before his health scare.

    After 8am on Good Morning Ulster, we'll hear from the Belfast Telegraph's political editor Liam Clarke, who broke the news in the newspaper today.

    Listen to the programme online.

  56. Peter Robinson standing down

    Good Morning Ulster

    What will be the reaction at this weekend's DUP conference, presenter Karen Patterson asks our political editor Mark Devenport. "Will Peter be leaving on a high?"


    "He will think he will be leaving on that basis. At least this is a set matter and to that extent the DUP does tend to rally round at these times and I think they will."

    Stay with us here at BBC News NI Live for more on this big political story. We'll have reaction throughout Good Morning Ulster.

    Listen to the programme online and read more on this story.

  57. DUP leader and First Minister role 'could be split'

    We've been hearing from our political editor Mark Devenport on Peter Robinson's decision to quit as First Minister and DUP leader within weeks.

    Peter Robinson

    "He is confirming what was very much an open secret in the DUP," Mark tells Good Morning Ulster.

    "He hints that the jobs he holds - DUP leader and First Minister - will be split. Expectation and most of the hot money is on Nigel Dodds to be the next DUP leader and Arlene Foster to be the next the First Minister.

  58. Samurai sword seized in Armagh

    A Samurai sword and an axe have been seized by police and a teenager has been questioned after officers were called to a "disturbance" in Armagh.


    The 19-year-old man was arrested after the incident at Killylea Road during the early hours of Tuesday.

  59. First Minister to stand down in New Year

    Belfast Telegraph

    Peter Robinson says he'll step down as First Minister and DUP leader in the New Year, telling the Belfast Telegraph there are "massive pressures" on anybody in the job.

    Peter Robinson

    Despite suffering a heart attack in May, he denies he'll be leaving for health reasons.

    Ahead of the party's conference this weekend, Mr Robinson says it would be disrespectful to members to go through it with the pretence that he would be leading the party into the next election.

  60. Morning all!

    Claire Noble

    BBC News NI

    Good morning and welcome back to BBC News NI Live on this mild Thursday morning.

    Stick around for today's news as it happens - send us your tweets on @BBCNewsNI or email us