23/01/2017 BBC Newsline


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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


via Facebook and Twitter.


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