Other News In Brief

Alliance Brand Prevention Measures Ineffective As Bridge Struck Again

Alliance Party representatives for Bangor have said the latest bridge collision on the town's Ballysallagh Road proves that the current preventative measures in place are not effective.

The road was closed for a short time on Tuesday 08 January after a lorry struck the low bridge in an attempt to pass through.

Several similar incidents have occurred in recent months, sparking anger in the local community.

Alliance councillor for the area Scott Wilson said: "This is the latest in a long line of incidents that to date the Department of Infrastructure has been unwilling to recognise as a serious problem.

"Yes, responsibility falls on the awareness of drivers as well, but unless further measures are put in place these events will keep reoccurring, as today's incident proves. That's why I've spent a lot of time over the past few years pushing the Department to take on greater responsibility and will be working to ensure better preventative measures are put in place immediately, before another strike takes place."

Alliance representative Connie Egan added: "I'm one of the many commuters who use this route every day and it is extremely frustrating to see yet another bridge strike cause delays in the short term, with it as yet unclear as to if and when the road will have to be closed for repairs in the longer term.

"Alliance has consistently pushed the Department on this issue and will continue to do so in the weeks ahead, as the aftermath on the local community continues to make an impact."

Linfield Reach County Antrim Shield Final After Victory Over Ballymena
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Linfield have sealed their place in the final of the County Antrim Shield with a 2-1 win over Ballymena in their semi-final.

The game was initially planned for the end of November, but was rescheduled twice and eventually went ahead at the Ballymena Showgrounds on the evening of Tuesday 08 January.

Two goals from Andrew Waterworth, one in each half, put the side in a strong position to secure their final spot.

Although Cathair Friel managed to score for Ballymena in the 77th minute, it wasn't enough and they were left disappointed.

Linfield will now face Crusaders as the tournament comes to an end.

SDLP Call For Inclusive Public Appointments As Stormont Left In Deadlock

An SDLP MLA has expressed concern at the lack of new faces from the wider community taking up public positions in Northern Ireland.

Secondary legislation is set to pass through Westminster to facilitate the appointment of various roles, including a Commissioner for Children & Young People, an Attorney General and a Commissioner for Victims and Survivors.

East Derry MLA John Dallat said that a restored Northern Ireland Assembly is vital in hearing the needs of the wider community.

"Public appointments were intended to create opportunities for people to play an important part in shaping decisions reached by government and its agencies. The system wasn't perfect and commissioners for public appointments in the past had great difficulty persuading some departments to make it work properly but at least there was an opportunity to make it better and now that is also gone with the Assembly.

"This secondary legislation is to be approved on the second anniversary of the collapse of the Assembly and in a very real way underlines the absolute need for common sense to prevail and decisive action taken to restore the institutions that would normally make these appointments."


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