21/02/2020

Other News In Brief

JLS Announce Second Belfast Date Amid High Demand

JLS have added a second Belfast date to their Beat Again reunion tour.

Tickets for the SSE Arena gig went on sale this morning and sold out in just a matter of hours, prompting Marvin, Aston, JB and Oritsé to add a further date.

Almost seven years after their split, the boys will kick off their stint in Belfast on 11 November, before heading to Dublin's 3 Arena on November 12 and then returning to Belfast again on November 13.

Tickets for the additional concert will go on sale next Friday, 28 February and can be purchased via Ticketmaster.

Farming Community Raises Several Concerns Over Points-Based Immigration Plans

'Several concerns' relating to the UK Government's proposed points-based immigration system and the seasonal agricultural workers scheme have been raised among the farming community, according to the Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU).

The union's deputy president Deputy Brown called for further clarification on the specific matter of seasonal workers as the industry continues to struggle with maintaining labour all year round.

"Securing access to temporary workers going forward may also be challenging," Mr Brown commented.

"The agri-food industry in NI must be able to retain access to non-UK labour and given the border with the Republic of Ireland (ROI), it should be treated differently to other parts of the UK. In excess 60 - 70 percent of those working in our agri-food processing sectors are EU citizens. If free movement of workers is not allowed, it will undermine the position of our processors and our wider industry who will not be able to compete with their counterparts south of the border."

The Government's announcement will also have specific severe consequences for the NI horticulture industry, according to the union, as both growing and processing are highly dependent on access to non-UK labour.
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"The points-based immigration system has the potential to bring huge ramifications for both the growing and processing horticulture sectors. The feared outcome could shift production from NI. The implications of which will create a greater dependency on imports and will have serious environmental implications, especially for crops that are traditionally grown here," said Mr Brown.

The UFU has already raised this issue with the NI Assembly Agriculture Committee and will continue to monitor and review the new immigration policy on behalf of members and the wider industry.

First Ever NI Judo Adaptive Open Held In L'Derry

A little piece of Judo history was made in L'Derry last weekend as 40 adaptive players from across Ireland and the UK took to the mats for the first ever Northern Ireland Judo Adaptive Open.

Adaptive sports are competitive or recreational sports for people with disabilities, where the individual needs of each player are catered for.

The Northern Ireland Judo Federation, which hosts all the major events in the Derry City and Strabane District Council facility this year, hopes the event will be a springboard for further inclusive events.

"We wanted to get this right, not only for the players, but their families and coaches who made the effort to attend from far and wide," said NIJF Chairman Bill Taggart.

"It seems we have done that so far as there were smiles, hugs and handshakes all around from the competitors, families and their coaches.

"I'd like to thank all the event organisers, officials, volunteers, coaches, the competitors and their families for their help and support in making our first event so memorable.

"The best part for me was people asking when they can come back," he added.

Alongside the Adaptive Open, over 80 of the top Minors (8 years to 11 years old) in Northern Ireland Judo contested the Minor Championship.

Fierce competition took place as the younger Judoka vied to win the title of NI Champion and claim their place on the podium.



(JG/MH)

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