30/03/2009

Other NI News In Brief

Rural House Fire Kills Elderly Victim

An elderly woman, 83, has died in a house fire in Armoy, Co Antrim. The blaze, at the isolated property on the Hillside Road, was reported by a passerby at about 9.20am on Saturday. The fire service's Geoff White told the BBC that the fire was "well developed with a lot of smoke coming from the property" by the time three appliances arrived. The crews from Ballymoney and Ballycastle quickly got into action and wearing breathing apparatus, carrying a hose in, entered the building. Sadly, a short time later they discovered a lady in the living room area, who was later pronounced dead on scene." Police have said they are not treating the fire as suspicious.

Rowing Boat Man Plucked From Sea

There's been a happy outcome to a near tragedy at sea. A man whose rowing boat was taking in water has been successfully rescued from Strangford Lough. He was taken to the Downe Hospital by ambulance, but was discharged a short time later. The Portaferry lifeboat was involved in the rescue, which happened at about 6am on Saturday.

Ritchie 'Champions' West Belfast Regeneration
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NI Regeneration Minister Margaret Ritchie has said it is time to 'unlock the potential' of west Belfast. Ms Ritchie said the area needs to be better connected with the rest of the city, and has proposed a number of projects under her department's Andersonstown Gateway Feasibility Study. Plans are afoot to revitalise the Kennedy Way industrial estate through a new road connection to the Boucher Road retail centre, which would open up west Belfast to the rest of the city. Other proposals outlined by the minister include a landmark public building on the site of the former Andersonstown Police Station; major refurbishment for Kennedy Way, Falls Road and Glen Road; upgrading the frontage of Gransha shops and the appointment of a master plan team.

Omagh Blaze Controlled

Fire crews yesterday brought a large fire at a building yard outside Omagh, County Tyrone, under control. The blaze, on the Curr Road, was attended by 10 fire appliances, the Fire and Rescue Service said. A house on the property was destroyed and a dampening down operation took place at the site afterwards. The main Omagh to Ballygawley road was closed during the fire, with drivers told to take alternative routes.

Energy Efficiency Demand Growing, Says Minister

The scale of last week's Energy Efficiency Fair and Seminar in Belfast is evidence interest in the eco-sector is growing, Stormont Minister Arlene Foster has said. Ms Foster joined exhibitioners at the first ever Northern Ireland event, which was organised by Action Renewables and South Eastern Regional College. The fair aimed to promote training courses on energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy management, to businesses. Over 50 exhibitors of renewable energy products were represented at the fair, displaying renewable energy equipment such as solar panels and heat pumps

Extra Cash For Downpatrick

The NI Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie has announced modest funding - of £100,000 - for the Ballymote / Ballyvange area of Downpatrick. The funding will provide new sporting equipment to facilitate a range of activities in the area. The project, which is being funded through the Department for Social Development's Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund, is being managed by Down District Council, who are also making a contribution of £19,000 towards the overall cost.

(BMcC/JM)

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