Other News In Brief

Principle Of Consent 'Not Up For Debate' – SDLP

The SDLP has warned the British Government that the principle of consent underpins the Good Friday Agreement and is "not up for debate".

Responding to comments made by Northern Ireland Minister Steve Baker MP at the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly today, SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood said: "The Principle of Consent is the bedrock on which the Good Friday Agreement is built. It provides the basis for parity of esteem for nationalists, unionists and all those who have a stake in our constitutional future.

"Steve Baker is right to acknowledge the significant deficiencies in the public debate that preceded the Brexit referendum. Lies went unchallenged, serious concerns about the impact on our island were ignored, people were fundamentally misled about what leaving the European Union meant. There are huge lessons for those of us who support constitutional change and a future referendum on unity.

"But fundamentally, there will be no super majority requirement for change because unionist votes cannot be worth more than anyone else’s. If a simple majority is the requirement to remain in the UK then a simple majority is what will be needed to unite our island. There’ll be no changing the goalposts now."

Two men Arrested In Connection With Vehicle Crimes In Holywood

Two men have been arrested in connection with a number of vehicle-related crimes and a burglary in the Holywood area in the early hours of Sunday, 22nd October.

The men, aged 21 and 26 years, were arrested in the Bangor Road area of the town.

Sergeant Young said: "We received a number of reports of two men attempting to gain access to motor vehicles parked in the Oakley Avenue and Dunville Link areas along with a report of a burglary in the Strathearn Court area, during which keys were stolen.

"Two men matching the descriptions provided by members of the public were arrested at around 2.30am, following a further report of an ongoing altercation beside the Bangor Road bypass.

"Both men have been arrested on suspicion of burglary and tampering with a motor vehicle. They remain in custody at this time.

"We would appeal to anyone who noticed any suspicious behaviour, particularly in the vicinity of the above areas, or who may have CCTV or doorbell footage which shows anything unusual, to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 239 of 22/10/23.

"Alternatively, you can submit a report online using the non-emergency reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/.

"You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org."

Elderly Man Dies In Suspected Accidental Fire In Ballymoney

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) has expressed their "thoughts and sympathies to the loved ones of a man who has died following a house fire in Ballymoney".

NIFRS responded to reports of a fire at a semi-detached house on Coleraine Road, Ballymoney, shortly before 3am on Saturday, 21 October.

Alan O'Neill, Group Commander, NIFRS said: "Two crews from Ballymoney and Coleraine fire stations attended the incident and rescued two people in their 70s.

"Tragically a man died at the scene, despite best efforts by Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and Firefighters.

"The fire was extinguished and crews left the incident at 04:29am. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but we believe it was an accidental fire."

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