Other News In Brief

Woman Convicted Of Benefit Fraud

A woman has been convicted for claiming benefits she was not entitled to at Londonderry Magistrates' Court.

Yvonne Blackwell claimed Income Support totalling £5,969 while failing to declare employment. She was given 100 hours Community Service.

She is also required to repay any outstanding money wrongfully obtained to the Department for Communities.

Bristol Firm Fined For H&S Breach In NI

A firm based in Bristol has been fined for a health and safety breach in Northern Ireland.

Vertase FLI Limited was fined £6,000 plus costs of £1,033 for one health and safety breach at Dungannon Magistrates' court.

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) launched an investigation into a workplace incident on 26 May 2015 in Omagh.

Vertase FLI limited was contracted to carry out a land remediation project at a mining site in the Gortin area of Co Tyrone, which involved welding large rolls of lining membrane together on reclaimed land. The incident occurred when workers were tasked with unloading a delivery of the geotechnical lining membrane from a curtain sided lorry.

The rolls of membrane had been transported on curtain-sided trailers and were being off-loaded on site using straps attached to lifting chains suspended from an excavator.
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However the rolls of lining had moved during transport from the manufacturer. On opening the curtain side it could be seen that the rolls were unstable, but Vertase FLI Limited did not put sufficient measures in place to stabilise the load or to remove personnel from the area. As a result, an employee working for them was struck by a falling roll of lining membrane, weighing approximately half a tonne, sustaining serious injuries.

Anne Cassidy, an inspector with HSENI's major investigation team, said: "Every employer must ensure that lifting operations involving lifting equipment are properly planned by a competent person, supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

"The dangers of a load moving in transit are well recognised and employers must ensure that all lifting operations are carried out without risk to those in the area."

Serious Questions Remain Over Donation To DUP For Brexit Campiagn - SDLP

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has said that serious questions remain over the donation of over £400,000 to the DUP as part of the Brexit campaign.

Mr Eastwood called on the DUP to explain why the money was funnelled through their party and what the group’s agenda beyond Brexit is.

He said: "Under pressure, the DUP has finally revealed that their Brexit benefactor is the little known Constitutional Research Council. But the admission raises serious questions about the group's origin, makeup and agenda.

"The group's chairman, Scottish Tory Richard Cook, is known to have links to the former head of the Saudi Intelligence Service and a range of other foreign business interests. This raises fundamental questions about where this money originated, who exactly provided it and what agenda they’re working to.

"Brexit is the biggest economic, social and constitutional threat to this island since partition. People here realised that and voted to remain in Europe. They deserve to know why this secretive organisation funnelled money through the DUP to fund campaign adverts outside of Northern Ireland. They deserve to know if political donation laws were exploited to keep the activity of the Constitutional Research Council secret."


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