30/05/2008

NI News In Brief

TV Appeal On Murder

The unsolved murder of a local farmer is to feature on the BBC's Crimewatch programme. Patrick Devine was shot dead almost four years ago while eating his dinner in his remote farmhouse in the Sperrin mountains near Claudy.

Smoke Ban Works

The air quality in bars is over 90% cleaner since the smoking ban was introduced in Northern Ireland. A leading environmental health charity measured air particulates including nicotine in over 80 bars across the country before and after the introduction of the ban. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health also found a 72% reduction in the number of bar workers reporting symptoms or side effects attributable to tobacco smoke since April 2007.

Engineering Student Awarded

A Coleraine student has been named as the recipient of a national Engineering Leadership Advanced Award from The Royal Academy of Engineering. Glenn Sloan, a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate at Queen's University, is one of only 30 people across the United Kingdom to receive the award this year. The objective of the awards is to allow ambitious, inspiring engineering undergraduates, to become leadership role models for the next generation of engineers. In addition to a £5,000 award, Glenn will now undertake an accelerated personal development programme, planned with assistance from the Academy of Engineering.

NI Car In Donegal Robbery

Two armed and masked men have robbed a filling station in County Donegal. At about 3.30pm on Thursday, the pair - one carrying a shotgun, the other a handgun - entered the premises just over the border from Northern Ireland - near Killea. They held up two members of staff and escaped with a small amount of cash, then drove off in a red van with a Northern Ireland registration. No shots were fired and no-one was injured in the robbery.

Escapee Held

A PSNI spokeswoman has revealed that an escaped prisoner has now been recaptured. He was held in Co Down shortly before midnight on Thursday. Leon Chakravarti, 21, escaped from police custody at around 4pm earlier that day and was last seen in Killyleagh, Co Down. He had first been arrested earlier in the day after presenting himself at Downpatrick courthouse.

Best Players Honoured

A statue featuring Northern Irish football legend George Best was finally unveiled outside Old Trafford yesterday. The bronze sculpture - which has been dubbed Manchester United's 'Holy Trinity', as it depicts three of the club's greatest ever players, Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Best - was unveiled to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Red Devils lifting the European Cup for the first time. Among those present for the symbolic event was George's sister Barbara McNarry, who described the unveiling as very emotional, but on a day that filled her with pride.

Bangor Roads For Investment

A £2.5 million infrastructure investment has been announced for the North Down Borough Council area this year. Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy said: "This year we plan to spend £2.5million on a number of road improvement projects in North Down Borough. Roads Service will continue with its carriageway and footway resurfacing programmes and other safety schemes will be undertaken such as traffic calming measures at Drumhirk Drive; Grayshill; and Castle Park Road. Collision remedial works will also be carried out on the A2 Bangor Road at the Old Belfast Road junction; and street lighting upgrades will be provided in a number of locations in the Borough."

Carrick Rocked

The latest flare-up of violence in Carrickfergus has now seen six houses reportedly attacked in the town last weekend. Local people have blamed the breakaway South East Antrim faction of the UDA for the attacks. There has been ongoing violence in the town between the faction and the so-called "mainstream" UDA since last year.

(BMcC)

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