18/01/2017 BBC Newsline


18/01/2017

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That's all from the BBC News at Six, so it's goodbye from me,

:00:00.:00:14.

The heat gets turned up on the green energy controversy as a senior civil

:00:15.:00:20.

servant names Arlene Foster's former special advisor.

:00:21.:00:29.

My understanding was that Andrew Crawford was the person with that

:00:30.:00:36.

influence, but I have no direct evidence of that.

:00:37.:00:38.

A DUP advisor admits his father-in-law has

:00:39.:00:40.

A few days ago, he said no-one in his family had any.

:00:41.:00:44.

A brother and sister are still critical after being hit

:00:45.:00:47.

by a car near Randalstown - their principal says everyone

:00:48.:00:49.

The Prime Minister says the leaving the customs but what does that mean?

:00:50.:01:03.

Guy Martin is coming back to road racing in Northern Ireland.

:01:04.:01:14.

And sunshine still a bit elusive, but at least it's mainly dry.

:01:15.:01:21.

A senior civil servant says he believes a former special adviser

:01:22.:01:23.

to Arlene Foster exerted influence in relation to the Renewable

:01:24.:01:27.

Dr Andrew McCormick told Stormont's Public Accounts Committee

:01:28.:01:33.

that he understood the adviser had influenced a decision

:01:34.:01:38.

Naming the advisor as Andrew Crawford, he also told the committee

:01:39.:01:43.

that he had no direct evidence of this.

:01:44.:01:45.

Dr McCormick, who is a departmental permanent secretary,

:01:46.:01:47.

also said that leaked insider information may have had

:01:48.:01:50.

a significant impact on the ?490m overspend.

:01:51.:01:53.

Conor Macauley watched the committee hearing.

:01:54.:02:06.

He acknowledged it tends himself, there was huge interest in what he

:02:07.:02:15.

had to say. There is more attention on this than back in September. He

:02:16.:02:19.

is the senior civil servant in the Department for the economy, charged

:02:20.:02:24.

with clearing up this mess. It emerged today that he told me DUP of

:02:25.:02:28.

his belief that one of their special advisers was exerting pressure to

:02:29.:02:31.

keep the scheme open, even as applications were flooding in and

:02:32.:02:35.

officials wanted to shut it down. There was a view from others in the

:02:36.:02:42.

party that the date originally proposed should be extended, that we

:02:43.:02:49.

were aware of the time, where of some of those conversations through

:02:50.:02:52.

the summer of 2015. I was never clear exactly who was involved, that

:02:53.:02:58.

the person with the dealing with was Timothy Cairns, but he was making it

:02:59.:03:05.

clear to us that it was not his own idea, nor the Minister's idea. That

:03:06.:03:13.

led to an obvious question from the Public Accounts Committee, whose

:03:14.:03:16.

idea was it? The understanding that I expressed to the Minister and to

:03:17.:03:23.

his adviser in recent times is that Andrew Crawford had been the person

:03:24.:03:29.

exerting that influence. He was at pains to say he had no direct

:03:30.:03:33.

influence of that pressure. In the summer of 2015, Andrew Crawford was

:03:34.:03:43.

Arlene Foster's spa, and his brother is a claimant. At one point in

:03:44.:03:47.

proceedings, Arlene Foster's name came up to. Having considered all

:03:48.:03:53.

the material, have you seen any evidence of wrongdoing by the former

:03:54.:04:06.

First Minister? No. Mr McCormick was only getting started in a session

:04:07.:04:08.

where he confirmed he was permitted to speak freely. He said there had

:04:09.:04:14.

been a perfect storm of circumstances that led to the

:04:15.:04:18.

projected over stand, a lack of understanding by officials of the

:04:19.:04:21.

lucrative subsidy, the fact that the industry did understand, and that up

:04:22.:04:26.

to 100 installers were spreading the word to get in. And then this

:04:27.:04:34.

bombshell. Around the period of July, there is evidence of some

:04:35.:04:38.

premature information being made available to the industry, and some

:04:39.:04:46.

document appeared with me anonymously after Christmas, and

:04:47.:04:52.

this needs further investigation. I would prefer not to say too much

:04:53.:04:57.

about these because I don't want to prejudice the investigation, but the

:04:58.:05:00.

consequence is very serious because this shows that there was premature

:05:01.:05:04.

awareness of the potential for the tariff to be reduced, and the

:05:05.:05:08.

message went within the sector, getting quick. Would that be a

:05:09.:05:15.

suggestion that it has come from within your department? Yes. Not

:05:16.:05:20.

from any other source? The evidence suggests there was some information

:05:21.:05:25.

being shared prematurely with the industry from departmental

:05:26.:05:28.

officials, yes. There were further revelations about on tax with the

:05:29.:05:32.

police and allegations of abuse in the scheme. And a meeting with a

:05:33.:05:40.

density Minister, and proceedings may have been recorded in the

:05:41.:05:43.

chamber without his knowledge or consent. It seems that the drip feed

:05:44.:05:47.

of revelations has finally turned into a torrent.

:05:48.:05:56.

In a statement, Andrew Crawford confirmed that in the summer of 2015

:05:57.:06:00.

he had spoken to his fellow special adviser in the Department of

:06:01.:06:03.

enterprise, trade and investment about the R H I scheme. He said he

:06:04.:06:08.

would have been offering informal advice and assistance to a colleague

:06:09.:06:12.

and was not speaking behalf of the then Finance Minister Arlene Foster.

:06:13.:06:16.

He repeated that he had not sought to keep the scheme open against the

:06:17.:06:20.

wishes of the Deputy Minister, and had advised that changes to the

:06:21.:06:23.

terrorists take effect from October one.

:06:24.:06:25.

Meanwhile, Simon Hamilton's special advisor John Robinson is coming

:06:26.:06:27.

under pressure to step aside after he confirmed that his

:06:28.:06:29.

father-in-law is involved in the controversial RHI scheme.

:06:30.:06:33.

Mr Robinson has insisted he has no role in his

:06:34.:06:35.

But opposition parties at Stormont say he should not be advising

:06:36.:06:41.

Simon Hamilton at a time when the Minister is dealing with

:06:42.:06:43.

Our Political Correspondent Enda McClafferty reports.

:06:44.:06:53.

John Robinson is a key player in the DUP's backroom team.

:06:54.:06:56.

He's been advising the leadership on how best to deal with the press

:06:57.:07:00.

Now he's making the headlines, and here's why.

:07:01.:07:09.

The very first piece of information given to me at a mystic thing-macro

:07:10.:07:17.

ministerial office by the DUP appointed special adviser Timothy

:07:18.:07:20.

Cairns that you will not be allowed to reduce the tariff on this scheme

:07:21.:07:27.

because the special adviser to the then First Minister, and John

:07:28.:07:31.

Robinson, the director of locations to the DUP at that time, and now the

:07:32.:07:36.

special adviser to the economy minister has such extensive interest

:07:37.:07:37.

in the poultry industry. Both special advisors rejected those

:07:38.:07:40.

allegations and John Robinson then sought to put the record straight,

:07:41.:07:43.

issuing a statement. But 24 hours later he had to issue

:07:44.:07:54.

a second statement after it emerged his father-in-law

:07:55.:07:57.

was involved in the scheme. Again, John Robinson denied any

:07:58.:08:03.

personal involvement. He confirmed his father-in-law

:08:04.:08:18.

was in the scheme, saying: Some have questioned how

:08:19.:08:48.

the information was released. The DUP won't necessarily tell you a

:08:49.:08:56.

liar, but they won't necessarily disclose everything.

:08:57.:08:58.

John Robinson was not up for talking today, so we didn't

:08:59.:09:01.

get a chance to ask him if he is the right man to advise

:09:02.:09:04.

the Minister, Simon Hamilton, about fixing a scheme

:09:05.:09:06.

which his father-in-law is involved in.

:09:07.:09:09.

Obviously there is a conflict of interest there, and that is

:09:10.:09:14.

something that ought to have been disclosed at the earliest

:09:15.:09:16.

opportunity. It does not necessarily mean that it would prevent him doing

:09:17.:09:20.

the job well, but people ought to be aware that he has that conflict.

:09:21.:09:23.

John Robinson, the party officer who made a career

:09:24.:09:25.

out of helping others deal with tricky political questions,

:09:26.:09:28.

has had to come up with some answers himself.

:09:29.:09:30.

Joining me now is our business correspondent Julian O'Neill

:09:31.:09:35.

and our political editor Mark Devenport.

:09:36.:09:43.

It is very unusual to get such a senior civil servant releasing so

:09:44.:09:51.

many bombshells, even the revelation that one of his conversations he

:09:52.:09:55.

thinks may have been taped with his former minister. There was plenty of

:09:56.:09:59.

grist for the various opposition parties to talk about in relation to

:10:00.:10:04.

this. Sinn Fein talked about this being more evidence of mishandling

:10:05.:10:10.

of the R H I scheme, the Ulster Unionists talked about a gross

:10:11.:10:14.

misuse of power, but there were some elements within the permanent

:10:15.:10:17.

secretary's evidence that Arlene Foster might have taken a bit of

:10:18.:10:21.

heart from. Simon Hamilton will release the names of the RHI

:10:22.:10:27.

beneficiaries next week. Yes, it is his intention of his to publish a

:10:28.:10:34.

Who's Who of RHI recipients on the last sitting day of the assembly

:10:35.:10:39.

next week. We are talking about a list of up to 1400 businesses. The

:10:40.:10:44.

Minister and the DUP have been under political pressure to do this. All

:10:45.:10:51.

we have had thus far is a leaking of information of the location of body

:10:52.:11:00.

as. Dash-macro boilers. The assembly earlier this week was told it was

:11:01.:11:03.

the Department's intention to publish the list last week that it

:11:04.:11:08.

held off under threat of injunction. The Public Accounts Committee was

:11:09.:11:13.

today told that legal action is ongoing, but the minister wants

:11:14.:11:16.

openness and transparency around this. 90% of those people he wrote

:11:17.:11:20.

to before Christmas did not consent to their names being put into the

:11:21.:11:23.

public domain. He has got to balance that and he is now in the process of

:11:24.:11:28.

writing to them again, mindful of the Data Protection Act, but he does

:11:29.:11:32.

think it is in the public interest to publish. One assumes, if this

:11:33.:11:36.

intention is carried through, along with a list of businesses we will

:11:37.:11:40.

get information around when they applied. Was it during the

:11:41.:11:43.

well-publicised spike we have talked about, and how much have they

:11:44.:11:47.

received in payments? Who is going to take more comfort out of today,

:11:48.:11:52.

Arlene Foster or Jonathan Bell? Jonathan Bell was there watching the

:11:53.:11:56.

civil servant give his evidence. Until now he has been a voice crying

:11:57.:12:01.

on his own that there was a special adviser involvement in relation to

:12:02.:12:03.

this, so he will at least take comfort from the fact that Andrew

:12:04.:12:08.

McCormick has repeated that belief, it even though Andrew Crawford has

:12:09.:12:12.

denied what has been suggested. Arlene Foster won't like the fact

:12:13.:12:15.

that his former special adviser has been put centre frame in this, but

:12:16.:12:19.

she will take part from the fact that Andrew McCormick said there was

:12:20.:12:22.

no evidence of wrongdoing on her part. She to all the adviser

:12:23.:12:27.

officials had given her, and she was not told to close it down urgently

:12:28.:12:31.

because at that point there was not much uptake in terms of people

:12:32.:12:34.

signing up to take on the scheme. Thank you both.

:12:35.:12:37.

The principal of the school attended by a brother and sister knocked down

:12:38.:12:40.

yesterday near Randalstown, has said pupils and staff

:12:41.:12:42.

The pair, aged 14 and 11, are in a critical condition.

:12:43.:12:47.

Our north east reporter Sara Girvin has been to the scene.

:12:48.:12:51.

The brother and sister were making their daily commute

:12:52.:12:54.

home from school when they were hit by a car.

:12:55.:12:58.

Both children are pupils at St Patrick's College in Maghera.

:12:59.:13:00.

Their principal says it's been a difficult day for the community.

:13:01.:13:07.

They are lovely children, they are very popular with their peer group,

:13:08.:13:15.

well respected in the school. It is devastating news for this school

:13:16.:13:19.

community. We are very shocked. At this time, I just want to ask

:13:20.:13:23.

everybody to keep the children in your thoughts and prayers, as we are

:13:24.:13:27.

doing. Every prayer count at this stage.

:13:28.:13:30.

The children were making the half hour journey

:13:31.:13:33.

They got off the school bus and were crossing this road

:13:34.:13:37.

when they were struck by a white Audi A3.

:13:38.:13:39.

The vehicle remained at the scene and both children

:13:40.:13:41.

were taken to hospital, where they are in

:13:42.:13:43.

Residents say they've been raising safety concerns about

:13:44.:13:46.

People are just in shock. People are in shock, it could have been any

:13:47.:13:59.

family. This will touch every family in the local area will stop it is a

:14:00.:14:02.

small, tight-knit community. The Department of Infrastructure

:14:03.:14:04.

confirmed that a local MLA It said in light of that,

:14:05.:14:06.

the department had reviewed signage The road was closed in both

:14:07.:14:11.

directions overnight, Police have asked

:14:12.:14:14.

witnesses to come forward. Sara Girvin,

:14:15.:14:17.

BBC Newsline, Randalstown. Five people have been shot

:14:18.:14:21.

in paramilitary-style attacks in the Turf Lodge area of west

:14:22.:14:24.

Belfast in a month. The victim of the latest shooting

:14:25.:14:27.

last night was a 26-year-old man. Police say the number

:14:28.:14:30.

of paramilitary style shootings in west Belfast doubled in 2016,

:14:31.:14:32.

compared to the previous year. Over the last few weeks, under the

:14:33.:14:49.

cover of darkness, men have bought guns onto the streets. They have

:14:50.:14:53.

carried out a total of four attacks in Turf Lodge, injuring five people.

:14:54.:14:58.

The latest took place in this alleyway, around 10pm last night. A

:14:59.:15:03.

man in his 20s was shot in both legs. Police had been in the area

:15:04.:15:08.

investigating another shooting which took place very close to hear just

:15:09.:15:12.

last week. In that attack, a husband and wife were shot in their home. It

:15:13.:15:17.

is understood they were trying to protect their son. The week before,

:15:18.:15:20.

a 21-year-old man was shot in both legs. And, on 18th of December, a

:15:21.:15:29.

16-year-old boy was shot. Police say it is too early to link these

:15:30.:15:33.

incidents come which have all taken place within a one-mile radius, but

:15:34.:15:37.

say violent dissident republicans are behind some of the attacks. We

:15:38.:15:41.

have seen over the last year in west Belfast a lift in these types of

:15:42.:15:45.

incidents, and people are killing doing it for their own very selfish

:15:46.:15:50.

ends, trying to exercise control in the community, and try to pretend

:15:51.:15:54.

they are a police service. They are not. A police service in West

:15:55.:15:57.

Belfast is deeply service in Northern Ireland. No other society

:15:58.:16:00.

in the world would accept this, and my concern is that here in Northern

:16:01.:16:06.

Ireland there is an attitude of acceptability at times. Today, no

:16:07.:16:09.

one wanted to speak on camera, but the police say they need people to

:16:10.:16:14.

speak to them in order to bring this spate of gun attacks to an end.

:16:15.:16:18.

Teachers go on a half day strike over pay.

:16:19.:16:28.

Sinn Fein have accused the Taoiseach of having no plan for dealing

:16:29.:16:31.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that Brexit will mean the UK leaves

:16:32.:16:36.

It's the arrangement which, at the moment, allows

:16:37.:16:41.

for tariff-free trade across the border.

:16:42.:16:44.

So, leaving the Union could mean the return of customs checks.

:16:45.:16:47.

Our Economics and Business Editor John Campbell is at a haulage

:16:48.:16:52.

Both the Prime Minister and the Brexit secretary have spoken today,

:16:53.:17:07.

seeking to reassure people that however difficult things may be

:17:08.:17:10.

around the border, that can be sorted out in Brexit negotiations,

:17:11.:17:13.

but businesses are understandably concerned. A director of this

:17:14.:17:17.

company told us earlier that any move towards a hard customs border

:17:18.:17:23.

would be a disaster. My father founded the company in 1972, and I

:17:24.:17:28.

joined 20 years ago. We have 20 trucks, 50 trailers, and we do 20-30

:17:29.:17:37.

export a year. There is a bigger market in the south. At the moment

:17:38.:17:40.

it takes a truck to ours. If the Borders return, it we could spend

:17:41.:17:44.

four or five hours at the border clearing customs, which will impact

:17:45.:17:52.

us greatly. At the minute there is no border issues at all. You can

:17:53.:17:56.

drive straight through. Before the early 90s when the Borders came

:17:57.:17:59.

down, a driver had to make three stops. They had to stop with a

:18:00.:18:05.

security agent, this could take four or five hours. The working Time

:18:06.:18:09.

directive states a driver can only work 12 hours a day. 80% of our

:18:10.:18:15.

trucks operate in and out of mainland Europe, said the problems

:18:16.:18:22.

we face in the South will be tenfold compare to Europe. I would like to

:18:23.:18:25.

board is not to be there. Free trade is crucial to us. The Prime

:18:26.:18:32.

Minister's plans came under scrutiny today, but truth be told, we did not

:18:33.:18:35.

learn that much more about the detail of her customs plan.

:18:36.:18:43.

So we now have a much better idea of the Prime Minister's Brexit plan.

:18:44.:18:47.

Out of the single market, out of the customs union, and on the hunt for

:18:48.:18:51.

new trade deals. She said there will be a new customs deal, but when

:18:52.:18:54.

asked about it today, there was no detail. Frictionless borders in

:18:55.:19:00.

nation to the customs issue. An important issue for us in relation

:19:01.:19:04.

to our racial ship with the North of Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

:19:05.:19:10.

We are on a single page on this, we want to ensure we have the best

:19:11.:19:14.

possible arrangement that does not lead to a borders of the past for

:19:15.:19:19.

Northern Ireland. Trade experts suggest a new deal could be focused

:19:20.:19:24.

on important sectors like aerospace, to ensure firms like bombarding

:19:25.:19:32.

don't experience disruption to their supply chains. But there is no real

:19:33.:19:37.

precedent for what Theresa May is proposing. She is adamant about no

:19:38.:19:41.

return to borders of the past, but David Davis has conceded that we

:19:42.:19:44.

could return to a situation where lorries are being checked at the

:19:45.:19:50.

border. That has caused alarm among employers and trade union. Sinn Fein

:19:51.:19:53.

says it has caught the Irish government on the hop. When you say

:19:54.:19:58.

that you will protect this country, this country goes beyond dumb dog

:19:59.:20:05.

into the exotic lands of Newry. And as far as the Glens of Antrim. That

:20:06.:20:09.

is the responsibility and the jurisdiction that you hold must be

:20:10.:20:14.

want the plan, we need the plan. When do we hear the plan? No return

:20:15.:20:25.

to a hard border. We are going to work for that. All of the details

:20:26.:20:30.

will not be known for quite some time because the negotiations have

:20:31.:20:35.

not even started. The Brexit negotiations are due to begin by the

:20:36.:20:39.

end of March. Perhaps then we'll have a clearer idea what this will

:20:40.:20:40.

mean for the border. Tonight, John Britton has entered

:20:41.:20:50.

the debate. He has also been a former EU ambassador, and he says

:20:51.:20:56.

Theresa May's customs plans are simply unworkable.

:20:57.:21:05.

A Northern Ireland spokesman, Lord Dunlop, has said "any form

:21:06.:21:08.

of joint authority" would be incompatible with the

:21:09.:21:09.

He was responding to a question in the House of Lords this afternoon

:21:10.:21:14.

over whether or not the Republic would be given an enhanced role

:21:15.:21:16.

This is an important point. I can confirm that the government remains

:21:17.:21:23.

fully committed to the Belfast agreement, including the principle

:21:24.:21:29.

of consent governing Northern Ireland's constitutional position.

:21:30.:21:32.

It is on that basis that Northern Ireland is and remains a full part

:21:33.:21:35.

of the United Kingdom, and clearly any form of joint authority would be

:21:36.:21:39.

incompatible with the consent principle.

:21:40.:21:45.

Thousands of teachers belonging to the Irish National Teachers

:21:46.:21:47.

Organisation have held a half day strike over pay.

:21:48.:21:49.

Around 800 schools across Northern Ireland

:21:50.:21:51.

were affected, as our education correspondent

:21:52.:21:53.

About 7,000 teachers in Northern Ireland have staged

:21:54.:21:59.

Pickets, not parents or pupils, were at many school

:22:00.:22:04.

The pain makes teachers feel valued, and at the moment we don't feel

:22:05.:22:12.

valued. These INTO members in

:22:13.:22:13.

Londonderry were also out, and angry about a pay freeze last year

:22:14.:22:15.

and a 1% rise this year. My 1% equates to just over ?4. I

:22:16.:22:24.

have a 12-year-old daughter. I've was to give her ?4 to go to the

:22:25.:22:29.

cinema with her friends it would not even get her in. Some schools were

:22:30.:22:41.

closed this morning, and in some cases schools have had to close for

:22:42.:22:42.

the entire day. Back in Belfast, 300 teachers

:22:43.:22:43.

held a strike rally. This is the point where we have to

:22:44.:22:54.

stand up and say no more. We are not being walked on.

:22:55.:22:55.

There were hard words for the education minister

:22:56.:22:57.

What priorities are you placing on education? What priorities are you

:22:58.:23:08.

placing on schools and children, and what priorities are you placing on

:23:09.:23:09.

teachers? But the education boss

:23:10.:23:10.

chairing pay talks There is no money in the education

:23:11.:23:19.

budget to go back over previous pay negotiations. Given that we agreed

:23:20.:23:24.

to meet again next week, I don't understand what benefit will

:23:25.:23:28.

possibly be derived from striking today. What I do see is that

:23:29.:23:31.

teachers will lose pay, schools will be disrupted, pupils will lose

:23:32.:23:37.

education, and parents will have their lives disrupted and I am

:23:38.:23:38.

disappointed about that. These teachers returned

:23:39.:23:39.

to their classrooms at lunchtime, but with continued uncertainty over

:23:40.:23:41.

the education budget, disputes over their pay are likely

:23:42.:23:43.

to last much longer. One of the biggest personalities

:23:44.:23:49.

in road racing, Guy Martin, is to return to both the NorthWest

:23:50.:23:53.

200 and Ulster Grand Prix this year, One of the great draws in the sport,

:23:54.:23:57.

he has not raced since suffering multiple injuries in a crash at

:23:58.:24:06.

the Ulster Grand Prix two years ago. In the same year he was critical

:24:07.:24:09.

of the Northwest 200 circuit. But, after announcing a new ride

:24:10.:24:12.

with the Honda team, he's back. The last time Guy Martin raised in

:24:13.:24:29.

Northern Ireland, this happened. It was a high-speed crash which made

:24:30.:24:32.

him question his future in the sport. But he is returning with a

:24:33.:24:37.

new team, and his first road racing appearance will be at the Northwest

:24:38.:24:41.

200 in May, a race he said he did not ever want to compete in again

:24:42.:24:47.

after his appearance in 2015. Riding round chicanes. I am bored to the

:24:48.:24:53.

back teeth. No interest, no interest. No interest. But this is

:24:54.:24:59.

the machine which has tempted him back. The new Honda 2017.

:25:00.:25:07.

He will ride the Superbike at the fastest track in the world, where he

:25:08.:25:12.

has won many times. And he will go in search of his first Northwest 200

:25:13.:25:17.

success. The hugely popular rider will undoubtedly be a massive draw

:25:18.:25:21.

for both events. Looking forward to it.

:25:22.:25:22.

The Belfast boxer Michael Conlan has been speaking to

:25:23.:25:25.

the press in New York ahead of his professional debut.

:25:26.:25:27.

A former Olympic bronze medallist and amateur world champion,

:25:28.:25:29.

Conlan outlined some grand ambitions as a pro.

:25:30.:25:31.

He will fight the American Tim Ibarra on St Patrick's Day

:25:32.:25:34.

at the iconic boxing venue Madison Square Garden.

:25:35.:25:42.

It has been a dream for me to come here. I still feel a bit overwhelmed

:25:43.:25:51.

being here in the garden, and for my debut to be on Saint Patrick stay

:25:52.:25:54.

here is going to be special. The journey is a good one. I truly

:25:55.:26:06.

believe in my ability will stop I speak with complete confidence at

:26:07.:26:12.

all times. No matter who is in front of me, no matter what day it is, no

:26:13.:26:14.

one is going to beat me. Ulster won't rest their Irish

:26:15.:26:17.

international this weekend in their final European Rugby Champions Cup

:26:18.:26:19.

tie against French side Bordeaux. The game is effectively

:26:20.:26:22.

academic for Ulster, who can't now make the knockout

:26:23.:26:24.

phases of the tournament. Eight defeats in the last 12 games

:26:25.:26:27.

has certainly led to some reflection We have met as a player group, had a

:26:28.:26:44.

view honest words together, things that we feel we have not been up to

:26:45.:26:51.

scratch on, and what we are trying to fix in training. Like I said,

:26:52.:26:57.

there has been a bit of honesty over last couple of weeks, and that is

:26:58.:27:01.

the only way we can fix anything. That is something we have addressed.

:27:02.:27:03.

In last night's Irish Premiership action Glenavon snatched a draw away

:27:04.:27:06.

The home side took the lead with fifteen minutes to go

:27:07.:27:10.

when Joshua McIlwaine headed in his third goal in two games.

:27:11.:27:13.

But Glenavon equalised when player-manager Gary Hamilton,

:27:14.:27:16.

who had come on off the bench, sent a shot that was deflected

:27:17.:27:19.

into the net to rescue a point for the visitors who remain sixth

:27:20.:27:22.

Ireland's men's cricket team have beaten the United Arab Emirates

:27:23.:27:28.

by 24 runs in Dubai to reach the semi-final stage

:27:29.:27:30.

Let's get the weather now. It is all very quiet and still and

:27:31.:27:51.

settled. High-pressure is very much in charge. It will ensure a lot of

:27:52.:27:55.

dry weather. We should see some bright spells developing, but there

:27:56.:28:00.

will often be a lot of cloud, and it will become a little chilly. The

:28:01.:28:05.

temperatures today were actually above average. Not very inspiring

:28:06.:28:11.

whether beneath this swathe of stubborn cloud, so nice to see some

:28:12.:28:17.

early spring colour that with a rhododendron coming into bloom. We

:28:18.:28:21.

will hold onto those cloudy skies through this evening and into

:28:22.:28:25.

tonight, perhaps giving the odd spot of drizzle, but most places will

:28:26.:28:34.

avoid that. Into tomorrow, the cloud still the predominant feature, and

:28:35.:28:37.

we still have a lot of dry weather to come. During the morning with

:28:38.:28:41.

that low cloud, don't be surprised if you get the odd spot of drizzle.

:28:42.:28:48.

Again, it is mainly dry. Then it is not really changing through the day.

:28:49.:28:52.

Mainly cloudy. If you are in the West, a small chance you could see

:28:53.:28:55.

the odd bit of brightness coming through late in the day, but it

:28:56.:28:59.

can't began renting. At least those temperatures are above average at

:29:00.:29:05.

eight or 9 degrees. Into Friday, it'll get off to a cloudy and misty

:29:06.:29:09.

start, but Friday could be our best and brightest day of the next few. A

:29:10.:29:13.

better chance of some sunshine coming through as well. Into the

:29:14.:29:17.

weekend, we still have high in charge. It brings a drift of the

:29:18.:29:26.

continent, which is pretty cold. The blue extends right down into Spain.

:29:27.:29:31.

Instead of building sand castles in Alicante, the children have been

:29:32.:29:38.

building snowmen on the beach. A trend is for damages to come down. A

:29:39.:29:41.

lot of cloud through the weekend, but it stays mainly dry.

:29:42.:29:45.

You can also keep in contact with us via Facebook and Twitter.

:29:46.:29:48.

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