09/06/2010

Other NI News In Brief

BT Cleans Up

Hilary Scott, Retail Development Manager, Ulster Cancer Foundation (UCF) congratulates BT volunteers Paul Logue, Peter Breen and Lynda Rainey who cleared up the yard at UCF's charity shop in Lisburn. She said this made a positive contribution to the environment and improved the work area for UCF shop staff and volunteers and noted that, when covered, it will provide extra storage space for larger stock items, such as furniture. UCF charity shops offer a full range of goods at a fraction of their previous prices. It welcomes donations of clothing, accessories, homeware, books, CDs/DVDs, toys, furniture and knick-knacks.

Prince Takes Giant Steps

The Earl and Countess of Wessex have begun a second day of engagements with a visit to the Giant's Causeway Visitors' Centre and World Heritage site. Prince Edward and his wife Sophie were greeted by Joan Christie, Lord-Lieutenant of Co Antrim and went on to meet Roy Bailie, Chairman of the National Trust and Hilary McGrady Northern Ireland Director. They walked the short distance to the Causeway stones and enjoyed the views of the site and had the opportunity to meet tourists visiting the site before returning to the centre and joining a reception. The Earl and Countess of Wessex then visited Rathlin Island, the only inhabited offshore island in Northern Ireland. Departing from Ballycastle Harbour the couple were welcomed ashore by Noel McCurdy Chair of Rathlin Community Development Association and then dined at a pub on Rathlin after their original lunch arrangement at the island's only hotel was cancelled. See: Edward Is Royal Guest At Hillsborough

Slates Tumble As Plane Lands

Commenting on today's incident when the 'wash' from an airplane flying to Belfast City Airport is alleged to have damaged a roof, Dr Liz Fawcett, Chair of the Watch Steering Group said: "It appears that we now have a further incident in which a low-flying aircraft was responsible for dislodging roof tiles in east Belfast, and that, on this occasion, a man was unfortunately injured. This is the second such incident in this area within the past few days, and the third within the past nine months," she said. "In the light of these incidents, we are calling on the Environment Minister, Edwin Poots, to insist – with immediate effect - that the airport does not allow aircraft to fly so low over houses in this area and to bring in the Civil Aviation Authority to carry out a thorough review of safety." Dan Melrose from Parkgate Drive said the plane was flying into or from the City Airport just after 10pm on Tuesday but in a statement, the airport said it had investigated the incident insisting that the plane in question was not flying low. It said a contractor had carried out temporary repairs on the roof until a full investigation is completed.

PUP May Go

The UVF-linked Progressive Unionist Party may be about to vote itself out of existence when it meets this evening to consider its future after the resignation of party leader, Dawn Purvis who resigned following the murder of loyalist Bobby Moffett who was gunned down on the Shankill Road on 28 May. The former member the Red Hand Commandos was shot dead in broad day light by two masked men and the police believe the UVF was linked to the killing, with many more members of the party now considering their future with the PUP.

Iris Probe To Proceed
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An independent investigation set up by Castlereagh Borough Council into the activities of former councillor and MP Iris Robinson is to go ahead. The inquiry was delayed whilst the PSNI investigated issues raised by the BBC Spotlight programme that revealed a council contract to run the Lock Keepers Inn was awarded to Mrs Robinson's then-lover Kirk McCambley. This week, a council spokeswoman told the BBC that the consultancy firm Deloitte would begin its investigation as soon as possible. The inquiry will examine whether the council suffered financial loss by awarding the lease for the cafe to Mr McCambley.

Nesbitt's New Role

The curtain rose on a new role for actor James Nesbitt yesterday when he was formally installed as the fourth Chancellor of the University of Ulster. Over 250 eminent academics and figures from public life - including former Taoiseach Dr Garret FitzGerald - crowded into a packed Riverside Theatre to see the Coleraine man assume the duties of Chancellor.

Portugese Killers Sentenced

The killers of a Londonderry businessman beaten to death in Portugal last year have been sentenced. Diego Dias, 20, and Jones Sousa dos Santos, 28, both from Brazil, were convicted of the manslaughter of Paul Houston, 51, in Portugal last year. They were handed-down 14 years in prison when they appeared in court in Portugal on Monday after Mr Houston was attacked on a golfing holiday in the Algarve with his wife. See: NI Businessman's Death In Algarve 'Suspicious'

Guns Spark Arrest

Firearms have been found during police raids in Co Down. It happened on Tuesday and led to the two guns being discovered at a house and an outbuilding in Castlereagh. Two houses in Ballygowan were also searched and a woman aged in her 50s has been arrested.

Shredder Success

A local mobile document shredding company boss is to explore his success in the face of the recession in a talk, 'Bucking the Trend: Success in a Recession' when he will share his thoughts and experiences on what it takes to start-up, grow and succeed in tough financial times. The ShredBank boss will also give attendees an insight into how to protect their businesses by disposing of information securely and is offering a 'complimentary shred' to anyone attending its business workshop next week. The event is one of a series of masterclasses run by the Management Leadership Network and will take place Wednesday 16th June from 6.00pm at The Mount Conference Centre, Woodstock Link, Belfast (with complimentary shredding takes place between 6pm – 6.30pm). For more information email: info@mln.org.uk

City Hall Goes Green

Eco-warriors of all ages are being encouraged to inject some colour into their communities as the 'Brighter Belfast' awards were launched at City Hall. The council initiative, now in its fifth year, yesterday called for entries from across the city with six special awards up for grabs. The awards, in conjunction with 'Belfast in Bloom', recognise community groups, schools and businesses involved in 'green' projects that are helping to improve the local environment. Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery, said: "Belfast is a city that has seen great change over the last number of years and we're attracting more visitors and tourists than ever before. These awards are about recognising those who are working hard to create a brighter Belfast for everyone, and a city that is cleaner and greener."

(BMcC/GK)

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