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This is BBC Newsline and these are the headlines
The attempted murder of a police officer in Belfast.
The Chief Constable describes the gun attack as reckless.
The other members of the community where it a massive risk as well and
the people who did this did not care whether or who they murdered last
night. Michelle O'Neill is the new Northern
leader of Sinn Fein Whenever I was growing up in Tyrone
as the teenager, if anyone had ever said to need that some stage in the
future I would be leading Sinn Fein in the north I probably would not
have believed them. What more do we know about Michelle O'Neill? I have
come to her home village in County Tyrone.
The biggest local manufacturer of wood pellets here shared
information about tariff changes in the RHI scheme before
A man who sexually assaulted young girls in a public swimming pool
Ireland look to some new faces in the Six Nations as Ulster
And we've got some rain on the way later tonight,
but that should keep the frost away. I'll be back with a full forecast.
Last night's gun attack on a police patrol was at a busy petrol
One of the officers was wounded in the arm and is said to be
The Chief Constable has described the shooting as reckless.
In a statement released in the last few minutes,
the police say they've recovered several bullets from other cars that
Images taken in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. Packed
with cars underlines just how busy the garage was at the time.
Automatic gunfire was spread across the forecourt, first aid equipment
still the ground. This is the security operation afterwords. A
police officer with his weapon aimed towards the main road. The policeman
was hit twice in the arm, he had an operation this morning and will
require further surgery. The Chief Constable spoke to the media shortly
after visiting him in hospital. We as police officers are citizens in
uniform. This officer was a member of the community. He was attacked
but other members of the community were at risk as well. The people who
did this did not care who they murdered last night, albeit it was
clear that the attack was aimed at the police officers on duty. The
shooting happened at around 730 last night. The area was still busy with
people, among them this eyewitness. We were coming around the corner and
shots were going off. We didn't know it was shot first, we thought it was
fireworks. It was consistent and I knew something was wrong. The
officer's body armour might have saved him from something more
serious. Dissident republican I being blamed. It was also described
as reckless. This threat against officers has been severe for some
time. We cannot be complacent about the nature of this type of attack
but it does concern me that others are trying to take advantage of the
political instability taking year at Stormont. A short time ago this
image was released of what the police think was the card used in
the attack. They are appealing for witnesses. -- car.
Our home affairs correspondent Vincent Kearney is with me now.
The officers were among customers, including children.
How fortunate were all in that station?
They were very fortunate indeed. This is a very busy forecourt, lots
of cards. These weren't small calibre handguns. High velocity
shots fired from an assault rifle. When they hit the target, they do an
incredible amount of damage. The police have said the body armour
worn by this officer was sent off for forensic investigation and it
was said that the bullet hit the armour. He was very fortunate
indeed. It does an incredible amount of damage these bullets.
The Justice Minister is concerned this attack may be being linked
What's the police service's assessment of that?
The police have always been concerned dissidents will try to
fill the political vacuum. We are not working on the bases this was
something organised quickly on the spot due to the collapse of the
assembly. We have to remember this is the series of attacks in Belfast
in recent years. There have been attacks and attempted attacks using
AK-47 rifles, home-made rocket launchers, home-made bombs, it is
the latest in a pattern rather than a one-off. The Chief Constable
George Hamilton said he does not believe this is opportunistic that
something well planned. Those who carried out this attack are likely
to have been watching these police officers for some time looking for
signs. The properly carried out some kind of dry run to check afterwords.
Not the kind of attack planned very quickly in response to what happened
in Stormont in the past week or two. Police will be concerned that this
has been in the planning for quite some time. Thank you.
Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill said today she is "following in
The current Health Minister is replacing Martin McGuinness
as the party's leader north of the border.
At a news conference this afternoon she said she had never been afraid
of a challenge and never afraid to act.
BBC Newsline's Mark Simpson takes at look at the new leader.
His report contains flash photography.
A new generation and a new era for Sinn Fein. The leadership role of
the assembly and to Michelle O'Neill. It is a big day and for me
when I was growing up in Tyrone as a teenager, if anyone had ever said to
me that at some stage in the future I would be leading Sinn Fein in the
north, I would not have believed them. I have worked with Martin
throughout all of my adult life. I have no doubt I am following in the
footsteps of the political giant. The man is a legend. He said if you
words himself. I haven't gone away, you know.
CHEERING I am overjoyed she is our leader and
overjoyed she is my leader. She will have my fullest wholehearted
dedicated and committed support. Michelle O'Neill knows that
all eyes are on her now. Her life may never quite
be the same again. She worked her way through the ranks
of Sinn Fein at Dungannon Council Here she is ten years ago arriving
in her new office at Stormont. My two kids are 13 and eight and
loving that I'm coming here today. All excited this morning and up
early this morning for money's first day at work.
She later became Agriculture Minister and clearly impressed
So much so that she was given the Health Ministry
at the last election, a spot she seemed to relish.
I am just delighted. She says she is also very proud to come from County
Tyrone and this is her home village. People in the village who know her
and let's leave that everyone does say she has three interests, her
family, the local GAA club and of course politics. She comes from a
strong Republican family in east Tyrone and as popular here. All the
best. Sinn Fein councillor runs the local pub. There is no better person
for the job. I think Arlene Foster needs to watch yourself. Michelle is
very capable. When it comes to crisis management, Michelle O'Neill
now faces her biggest challenge. The biggest manufacturer of wood
pellets in Northern Ireland has confirmed that it shared information
about proposed tariff changes in the RHI scheme two months before
they were officially announced. Balcas, based in Ballinamallard,
County Fermanagh said there was "nothing
sinister" in the move. It said it was not aware at any
stage that the information it had Here's our agriculture
and environment correspondent, Company-mac is a big player in the
wood pellet business and makes and sells 150,000 tonnes of boiler fuel
every year. In County Fermanagh and Scotland. It is an industry leader.
Now it's emerged in July 2015 it circulated information that had been
given about proposed changes to the tariff several months before they
were publicly announced. Last week, the permanent Secretary of the
Department for the economy doctor Andrew McCormick said e-mails he had
been sent anonymously should the industry knew in advance about the
changes. He said that information appear to have come from officials
in his department. The consequences are very serious because this shows
there was premature awareness of the potential for the tariff to be
reduced and the message went within the sector quick. The BBC has seen
two e-mails apparently circulated within the renewables industry in
July 20 15. Today, company-mac confirmed one of them had been
written by a member of its management at a time when
departmental officials were working on plans to make the scheme less
profitable. In the e-mail, the manager passed on information to one
renewables company which apparently came from another and were said to
have spoken to a senior departmental official. The Balcas manager said...
Referring to the possibility of a two tier tariff, the manager
added... Following questions from the BBC
about the e-mail, Balcas and a statement this morning and said it
was passing on information from the department that was responsible in a
scheme that had been heavily promoted. The company underlined at
no time was that information presented as confidential.
Acknowledging that serious error in the scheme led to the potential for
abuse, it said... We asked the Department for the economy if any
action had been taken in respect of its official named in the e-mail. A
spokesperson said as the issue was under investigation it would be
inappropriate to comment. Assembly Members have been debating
the Economy Minister's plan to cut the projected ?490 million loss
to the public purse Our political editor Mark Devenport
is at Parliament Buildings. Is there any conclusion
yet to the debate about the renewable heat scheme,
Mark? No. This was a scheme at the start
debating last week when they thought the Secretary of State Michael
Stoney assembly quickly. They got extra time and were able to adjourn,
come back to the debate. Simon Hamilton's ideas today. They started
at half past 12 today. During the course of the day we heard the
special adviser came up with the basic idea of cutting the cost of
this scheme which is projected to lose ?490 million but will be a lot
less of the adopted these regulations. We heard from the
former minister Jonathan Bell who was talking about special advisers,
he was accusing DUP rises of delaying the closure of the scheme.
He said the study about the senior GDP special adviser Timothy
Johnston. Members on the DV benchers to my left kept open because Timothy
Johnston's brother was installing the boilers. I am not getting into
who is what family member was in Stormont. If these members to the
left have information they are not going to try and felt it through me,
they've got to stand up and tell it like I had to stand up and tell it.
We got a complete denial from the DUP that allegation from their
former minister. They said Timothy Johnston's brother does not and
never has installed boilers, does not reckon the sector and has not
been involved in any renewable heat incentives. We challenged Mr Bell to
produce a shred of evidence outside the chamber.
DUP figures have previously declared interests in the scheme.
What's the development this evening with the Ulster Unionists?
Over the weekend, Jim Wells said four of his relatives were
recipients in the scheme. Tonight the Ulster Unionist Party said the
aunt and uncle of the MLA were also recipients in their family business
and they said a former Ella -- MLA had a wood pellet boiler in his
family business as well. The new Sinn Fein leader,
how is her appointment likely to go down with Sinn Fein,
their supporters and other It certainly seemed to energise the
Sinn Fein supporters gathered in the gallery here at Stormont when the
announcement was made. It was presented as a generational change.
It will be a challenging time over the next three teams first Michelle
O'Neill she will have to go and fight an election campaign and it
will be interesting to see how the party divvies up the various demands
between manifesto launches and debates between her and other senior
members. Tonight another women party leader of the Alliance party
congratulated Michelle O'Neill saying she trusts she is willing to
work with others and see stability restored in these institutions.
Michelle O'Neill answered, thank you, I am committed to making the
institution worked on the basis of equality, respect and integrity.
You're watching BBC Newsline and still ahead:
The families of three children with a muscle wasting disease
want to know why they haven't access to a potentially life changing drug.
A man has appeared in court charged with murdering a woman
Anita Downey was found dead at a house on Friday morning.
Louise Cullen reports from the court.
charged with murdering Anita Downey. to Lisburn Magistrates' Court to be
David Lyness, with an address at Toberhewny Hall in Lurgan,
spoke only to confirm his name and that he understood the charge.
The solicitor told the court there would be no bail application today.
The police were called to a house in Toberhewny Hall
in Lurgan in the early hours of Friday morning.
There, the body of Anita Downey was found and a murder
No further details were given in court and Mr Lyness
He'll appear again by video link in Craigavon next month.
A man died in an overnight car crash on the dual carriageway
No other vehicle was involved in the incident near Ballyrobert.
A 94-year-old woman has died in a house fire in County Armagh.
Fire crews were called to Bay View in Jonesborough at around half
The police say it's thought the fire was not started deliberately.
In County Down, the Fire Service says a fatal blaze at a flat
A man died in the fire at Ardmillan Crescent in Newtownards.
A man who sexually assaulted three young girls in a public swimming
pool in Enniskillen has been jailed for seven months.
Cristian Diaz, who is 35 years old and originally from Spain,
moved to the town two years ago to improve his English.
Here's our south-west reporter Julian Fowler.
This is the man who abused three young girls while they were
swimming, arriving at court accompanied by his sisters.
The parents of his victims were also in court to see him sentenced.
As one mother told me afterwards, "He came
in here as Cristian Diaz, he's going out as a registered sex offender."
He touched the children, who were aged nine, ten and 11,
in three separate incidents two years ago at the Lakeland
The judge said the swimming pool was a place "where children should
have been able to feel safe and where parents allow
He said the attacks had left the girls "understandably confused,
distressed and upset at what had happened to them."
A defence lawyer said that Diaz had described what had happened
"as the greatest mistake of my life."
Diaz was given a 14-month sentence, half to be served in prison,
and was put on the sex offenders register for ten years.
The parents of the three children watched as Diaz
shrugged his shoulders before being led away in handcuffs.
They thanked the police and also paid tribute
to their young children, saying that they were very brave
to come forward and should be very proud of themselves in helping
to stop further harm to members of the public.
An inquest is being held into the death of an 81-year-old
woman who was critically injured in a fire at a care home.
She was regularly given cigarettes and a lighter and supervised.
Kathleen Fegan was at Owenvale Court in west Belfast.
Kathleen Fegan was 81 and died any fire at Owenvale Court care home in
2012 which the police said was accidental. She had been living in
the year -- care home for six months. At the time of her death,
here at the home was provided by the Saint John of God Association. The
inquest was told on a number of occasions Kathleen Fegan was seen
smoking in areas she wasn't meant to be including her bedroom. The
inquest also heard that she burnt her underwear and trousers and left
cigarette buts burning in her bedroom then. Despite this, she was
regularly given more than one cigarette at a time and a lighter.
Giving evidence today was brother Michael who was acting manager at
Owenvale Court care home between 2010 and January 20 12. The coroner
enquired as to the appropriateness of simply having a conversation
about the dangers of smoking in a bedroom with a woman who had
dementia. Brother told the court he believed all steps were taken to
protect Kathleen Fegan. Asked if she fully understood the smoking rules,
her brother replied no. -- brother Newman replied, no, she was not able
to understand the rules. The inquest continues tomorrow.
The families of three children who suffer from a severe
muscle wasting disease want the Belfast Trust to tell them why
they're being denied access to a potentially life changing drug.
Another child has already started the treatment, which at present
Our health correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly reports.
Three-year-old Caoilte Fitzsimmons has spinal muscular atrophy or SMA
type 1, whcih means her breathing and mobility
She's one of four children in Northern Ireland who have it.
She has a really tough life. If she takes a cold, it could kill her. She
did take pneumonia. She was in hospital a couple of weeks ago and
was really bad. She just trips on. After years of trials,
a drug's become available Nusinersen arrived in
Northern Ireland in December. While one child has started
the treatment, the other families are calling
on the Belfast Health Trust to What's your favourite television
programme? Horrid Henry. Bye horrid Henry! We don't know what's going on
with the funding. Whether it's political. We not been told straight
answers. It's early days for this drug,
but it's understood to have been fast tracked not only due
to the severity of the condition but also because scientists
believe that the earlier these children get it,
the better impact it will have. But while their timing is crucial,
according to these families, no-one is rushing to
answer their questions. In an e-mail seen by the BBC,
a doctor tells a family For instance, to deliver the drug,
an anaesthetist, medical staff This would mean extra resources
at the Children's Hospital, The e-mail went on to say that
while the drug is free, in the future the ongoing
costs would be huge and the Children's Hospital staff
can't make that decision. It concluded that the current
instability at Stormont could mean I was angry, especially with
everything going on at Stormont just now. An election that is not even
needed. There are kids lives at risk.
The Belfast Healh Trust said the criteria around unlicensed
drugs is strict and based on clinical need.
It also said it hasn't been officially approved.
Sports next with gavin andrews and he starts with rugby.
Uncapped brothers Niall and Rory Scannell have fought their way
into Ireland's 40-man 6 Nations squad thanks to their impressive
Their provincial teammate Andrew Conway completes
Captain Rory Best is one of eight Ulster players named and is joined
The backs include Tommy Bowe, Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson,
Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey and Andrew Trimble.
And seven of those players featured in the 26 points
to 22 defeat to Bordeaux in the European Champions
Ulster finished bottom of their pool and have now lost
nine of their last 13 games in all competitions.
Ulster where playing for pride on Saturday but again it was their
inconsistency that proved to be their downfall. That is sensational
work. They showed glimpses of their attacking class. But ultimately the
French visitors powered past the Ulstermen. Is just not good enough
what is being produced there on the pitch at the moment. I don't know
why. If you think what we currently have is going to compete against the
top people. We just can't seem to do that. We have to do something
different, we can't continue to be the same mistakes. And when it came
to the crunch, it was mistakes from the home side that handed the
friendly win. Ulster have three weeks to re-evaluate and rest before
the vital pro 12 running begins. Ireland's women's hockey team have
won the World League 2 tournament in Kuala Lumpur,
beating hosts Malaysia Ulster's Zoe Wilson scoring
the third goal of the game. Ireland advance to the World League
semi-finals tournament, where their target will be
qualification for This year's McKenna Cup Final
will see Derry take on the holders Derry beat Down in yesterday's
semi-final by two goals and 12 While Tyrone overcame
Fermanagh by 14 points to 11 and Mickey Harte's side will now
attempt to win the trophy for a sixth year in a row
in what is a repeat We are coming at this again from
different places, both our teams will have changed in various places
since that game. I suppose we've learnt a lot over the last 12
months. It is just another challenge. It's almost a derby game.
It's one I'm sure the people playing against each other will do well in.
The European tour have confirmed Rory McIlroy will not be playing in
the Dubai to your next week as he continues to recover from his rib
injury. Cecilia Daly has the
latest weather details. It is on the change again. Still not
an awful lot of rain to come. It has been considerably drive. We've had
lovely sunshine over the weekend. That led to frosty nights. This
morning this is how much of County Down looked. Temperatures fell to
minus seven. This coming night it is all change because the cloud will be
increasing from the west, the breeze picking up and we've got rain coming
in mostly during the early hours, nothing too heavy that it will be
damp and blustery by the end of the night, also milder with no frost.
Milder tomorrow, no worries about scraping the car windscreen. You
will need your umbrella because that will be damp and drizzly through the
rush hour, grey and gloomy, low cloud over the health and fog over
high-level routes. From the temperatures first thing, well up
around seven or 8 degrees. Most of the persistent rain will move away
quickly, there could still be odd spot on and off during the day but
largely dry, quite breezy, breaks in the cloud up towards the north coast
but fairly cloudy skies. Temperatures will be in double
figures. We will keep that milder cloudy breezy weather. Drizzle here
and there. Temperatures staying up so no frost. On Wednesday, not an
awful lot changing, a brisk southerly wind, and blustery again.
A lot of dry weather to come and milder with temperatures up to 10
degrees. Rain threatening the west late in the day, that is a weather
front. That weather front will stay to the west of us but you will
notice there are a lot of lines on the chart which means it will
continue to be fairly windy. Not much rain to come after tonight
through the rest of the week. The wind will feel cold as the week goes
on but it was still continued to keep the frost awake and it also
means unfortunately we will have a lot of cloud in our forecast as
well. Hopefully you got to enjoy the sunshine that was around the
weekend. Some milder weather on the way. Not much in the way of rain
after tonight but very little frost. You can also keep in contact with us
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