Other News In Brief

Three Arrested After Belfast Brawl

Three men found with stab wounds after a brawl in Belfast City Centre have been arrested.

It's understood the men, aged 23, 29 and 38, were involved in a fight in the Great Northern Mall on Great Victoria Street at around 7.15pm on Saturday 18 January.

The brawl spilled out onto city centre streets.

One man was arrested at the scene while two others were apprehended on the Dublin Road.

All three were treated for non-life threatening injuries and arrested on suspicion of a number of offences, including causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

They have each been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Police are appealing for witnesses. Inspector Jamie Hughes said: "At this time we believe that only the three men in custody were involved in this incident however we would like to speak to anyone who witnessed what happened. Great Victoria Street and the Dublin Road would have been busy at the time and we are certain that a number of people would have seen the altercation unfold and may not yet have spoken to police. We would like to hear from anyone who was in the area at around 7.15pm or anyone who captured mobile phone or dashcam footage. Please call 101, quoting reference 1549 18/0120."

Armagh Village To Undergo Roadworks

Roadworks are set to begin in the Co Armagh village of Forkhill starting next week.

The Department for Infrastructure will move forward with a £215,000 scheme to resurface a section of the Shean Road from the border with Co Louth to Fairview, Forkhill. It will cover a 1,200-metre distance.

Work will begin on Monday 27 January and run until Friday 06 March.

Announcing the work, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: "This is a significant investment in this border road connecting people in Armagh and Louth. The work will greatly enhance the road surface and will better connect the local community and visitors in the area for many years to come. We in DfI are working with our stakeholders to co-ordinate these essential roadworks and are publishing details in advance to help people plan alternate routes and manage disruption.
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"I am committed to delivering the infrastructure needed to better connect people across our island and grow the all island economy - schemes like this are key to achieving that vision."

A daily weekday road closure will be in place between 8am and 5pm throughout. Access will be as per the signed diversion routes.

Drivers should expect some delays and are advised to leave additional time when planning any journeys.

Workshop To Take Place On NI Energy Strategy

The Department of Economy has begun preparations to deliver a workshop on the development of an Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council's Energy Group will work with the Department to press forward with the plans.

A Council delegation, headed up by Alderman Billy Ashe MBE, Chair of the Energy Group, has already met with senior officials from the Department to move forward with a policy, while lobbying has taken place at Westminster level by the Council's Chief Executive, Anne Donaghy.

Northern Ireland has exceeded a target for 40% of electricity from renewables by 2020, however, to achieve net zero, any future strategic direction will need to include the existing energy mix and how that can be reshaped.

The DfE recently launched a Call for Evidence as part of a public engagement process to inform any proposals, with the intention to have a draft strategy for presentation to the new Minister for the Economy, Diane Dodds, by the end of this year.

Alderman Ashe said: "Energy is a significant issue for Council and the wider Mid and East Antrim economy. Any government policy would have considerable implication for the local area and it is important that we engage with the Department for the Economy's consultation.

"We are home to two of Northern Ireland's biggest power generation sites at Kilroot and Ballylumford, so it is essential we reflect the need to protect our local economy while ensuring the proper infrastructure is in place to allow domestic users the opportunity to look at renewable and sustainable energy sources which are affordable and accessible.

"I would encourage all interested stakeholders, elected members, businesses and individuals to respond to the Energy Strategy consultation and look forward to hearing from the policy makers at the forthcoming workshop."


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