25/01/2017 BBC Newsline


25/01/2017

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This is BBC Newsline with Tara Mills.

:00:11.:00:12.

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is criticised after a major

:00:13.:00:16.

Expressing condolences, I am sure of the whole House to the family of the

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police officer who lost his life over the weekend in Northern

:00:31.:00:31.

Ireland. The unease in one Stormont

:00:32.:00:32.

department over a controversial aid The second in our series

:00:33.:00:34.

on whether former soldiers should be put in the dock

:00:35.:00:39.

for Troubles related killings. It is a New Year and the start of

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new challenges for so many people who started part-time and night-time

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courses, joining the at this campus of Belfast Metropolitan College.

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And tomorrow looks like a day for the big coat as temperatures

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take a tumble and a cold wind digs in.

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First, there's gridlock across Belfast this evening

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after a crash closed the Westlink out of the city.

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Our reporter Maggie Taggart is live on the Grosvenor Road

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I am just on a slip road which links the Grosvenor Road with the motorway

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and the Westlink is complete gridlock era. As usual, one single

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Rd traffic collision has caused this mayhem over the city centre. People

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are having difficulty getting along the road and having difficulty

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getting out of the car parks for the commute home. People are being told

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not to even bother trying to getting out of the city, if they can

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possibly delay it. Thank you. Our reporter Kelly

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Bonner has the latest. Yes, I am at the Europa Bus Centre

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and there are long delays here. We are standing outside and as you can

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see behind, many people are queueing to try and get home tonight on the

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bus. Translink have tonight tweeted their bus services are badly

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affected due to that crashed on the Westlink. We have been here for

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about half an hour and had seen a number of buses coming in and out of

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the city centre tonight. A person told me tonight he has waited up to

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two hours very bus home and he will be waiting a long time yet. -- for a

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bass. The Labour Party says its leader

:02:30.:02:30.

made a genuine mistake after he incorrectly told the House

:02:31.:02:34.

of Commons that the police officer wounded in a gun attack in Belfast

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last Sunday night had Jeremy Corbyn was speaking

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during Prime Minister's Questions. The party said no

:02:41.:02:43.

offence was intended. As Stephen Walker reports,

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the Labour leader has Order, questions to the Prime

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Minister! Traditionally at the beginning

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of Prime Minister's Questions, there are often references

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to members of the armed services and police officers who have

:02:58.:03:00.

been killed or injured Today, Theresa May mentioned

:03:01.:03:02.

the PSNI officer injured I am also sure that the whole House

:03:03.:03:14.

will join me in sending our thoughts to the police officer who was shot

:03:15.:03:18.

in Belfast over the weekend and his friends and family.

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When he got to his feet, Jeremy Corbyn also spoke

:03:20.:03:22.

about the weekend shooting, but he said the officer involved had

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I join the Prime Minister in condolences and expressing

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condolences, I am sure of the House to the family of the police officer

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who lost his life over the weekend in Northern Ireland.

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The shooting happened in the constituency of Nigel Dodds

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and the DUP MP wanted to put on record his thoughts.

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I join the Prime Minister in wishing a speedy recovery to the police

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officer who was shot and injured in my constituency in north Belfast on

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Sunday night. Thankfully he was not killed. That was not the intention

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of the terrorists, of course. And there was a call

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for Jeremy Corbyn's For the family and for police

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officers generally, could we have that corrected by the front bench

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spokesman as urgently as possible? So the record of this House does not

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contain the serious fact that a police officer was murdered.

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The Speaker said a further statement from Jeremy Corbyn

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He said a mistake had been made. I recognise what the honourable

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gentleman said and how upsetting that would have been. But it was a

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mistake and it has subsequently been corrected.

:04:39.:04:39.

The PSNI officer shot in the arm on Sunday night in North Belfast

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At lunchtime today, the Police Federation

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of Northern Ireland called on Jeremy Corbyn

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They said he had made a shocking error which needed to be corrected.

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A spokesman for the Labour leader told the BBC

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They said Jeremy Corbyn said the officer had died

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This evening it's understood Mr Corbyn has written a letter

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to the Chief Constable, George Hamilton,

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The BBC can reveal more about unease felt within the Department

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for the Economy over a controversial ?9 million aid package

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Official documents show minister Simon Hamilton,

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with Executive backing, overruled several concerns,

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Here's our business correspondent Julian O'Neill.

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In the end, the rescue did not work. United pulled out two weeks ago,

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seeing the deal broke rules around state aid and gave the executive a

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refund. The package was to have been worth ?9 million spread over three

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years with most of it being paid through invest NI. However, new

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details have emerged around concerns about Simon Hamilton's course of

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action. His department's permanent secretary expressed unease in

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writing. Papers seen by the BBC, Andrew McCormick wrote at one point,

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this project is not considered affordable. He also noted some of

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United's conditions meant the grant would be against basic principles of

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public accountability. Mr McCormick further stated in his assessment

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there is no realistic possibility of demonstrating value for money. But

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Mr Hamilton with executive approval overruled him and his only regret is

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that United ultimately left. I have been on record in this house and

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elsewhere stating my belief in the importance of having more direct

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routes to North America, both for business and for tourism reasons.

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I'd it is deeply regrettable that United package didn't work out. The

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paperwork seen by the BBC reasons other points and an options paper

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states the European Commission would clearly be concerned the United Keys

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may set a bad precedent in terms of cash for airlines. The document also

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notes that losing the service by doing nothing could be viewed as

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being as a direct result of Brexit, a position the DUP supported. Mr

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Hamilton told us because United want a quick response there was no time

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frame business case demonstrating value for money, adding he would

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have been criticised for failing to support the flight. United's

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departure and the refund has probably taken the most of the sting

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out of any lasting controversy. However, what it might mean is that

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future help for other airlines may come under more scrutiny than ever

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before. The DUP leader Arlene Foster has

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said she will work with Sinn Fein's new Northern leader Michelle O'Neill

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at Stormont after the forthcoming In her first public comment

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on the appointment, Mrs Foster said it was important to get the devolved

:07:58.:08:03.

institutions up and running She has been appointed by Sinn Fein,

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so I will have to work with Michelle O'Neill as the leader of Sinn Fein.

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We need to get to the other side of the election so we can put these

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institutions back in place, to make them work for the people of Northern

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Ireland because that's what I am hearing very strongly that people

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want, they want devolution and they want it to work.

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The Department for the Economy has not yet followed through on plans

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to publish the names of firms getting renewable heat payments.

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One DUP MLA today offered to let journalists look

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at her bank statements to prove she wasn't benefiting.

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And the regulator OFGEM has confirmed it's investigating one

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case of suspected fraud worth ?2.5 million.

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Here's our agriculture and environment correspondent

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The department had said that it intended to publish the names

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of boiler owners in the interests of transparency and because they

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But a court case yesterday may have temporarily derailed that plan.

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A group of boiler owners got a court order granting them annonymity

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for at least a week while the first stage of a legal challenge to

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Around 450 boiler owners expect to be covered by that

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annonymity guarantee, but that still leaves around 1,000

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firms who were not party to that group action,

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and who on the face it could still be named today.

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But this morning there appears to be little clarity with the Department

:09:29.:09:31.

for the Economy about whether it's still determined

:09:32.:09:33.

Those who took the case say they're happy for names to be published,

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but only after audits are done on the firms to prove which have

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Once those audits have been carried out and we know who the goodies and

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baddies are, and we have isolated the people who might be acting

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fraudulently, we're happy for the means to be released.

:09:58.:09:59.

It seemed appropriate that the last item of business at this Assembly

:10:00.:10:01.

was the scheme which helped to bring it down.

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RHI was up at the public account committee, one member confirming

:10:05.:10:06.

a sister-in-law's husband was in the scheme, something she'd

:10:07.:10:08.

I was unaware of it. My mother and father have farms and do not have

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RHI and I can let any journalist see my bank statements and they will see

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very clearly that there is no financial benefit from RHI.

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Sinn Fein has already said that the PAC member

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Michelle Gildernew, absent from today's meeting,

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has a brother who's got the renewable heat scheme subsidy.

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The public concern is about the alleged abuse. A story in this

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morning Telegraph will keep the spotlight on that. It is

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investigating three suspected fraud cases, one worth ?2.5 million.

:10:59.:11:05.

The DUP has asked the Prime Minister to make it clear that former members

:11:06.:11:09.

of the security forces who served in Northern Ireland should

:11:10.:11:11.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the North Belfast MP, Nigel Dodds,

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It is clear their intention is to rewrite the history of the past.

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Will she make it clear the one-sided legal persecution of police officers

:11:24.:11:26.

and soldiers who did so much to bring peace to Northern Ireland will

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not be allowed to continue? There are a number of investigations by

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the PSN eye into former soldiers and their activities in Northern

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Ireland. It is absolutely right we recognise that the majority of

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people who lost their lives as a result of terrorist activity and it

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is important that that terrorist activity is looked into, that is why

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one of the issues that my right honourable friend effective state

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for Northern Ireland is looking at is this legacy question and how that

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issue of investigation on all sides can take place in the future.

:11:59.:11:59.

A law firm representing former soldiers facing prosecution

:12:00.:12:01.

for killings during the Troubles have called for an

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The call comes after a number of unionist and Conservative MPs

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criticised recent decisions to take legal action against former members

:12:08.:12:14.

of the army who served here during the Troubles.

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With the second in a series of reports on the debate

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about whether former soldiers should face legal action,

:12:20.:12:21.

here's our home affairs correspondent Vincent Kearney.

:12:22.:12:23.

Another march like this is due to take place in London on Friday -

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ex-soldiers protesting about a decision to re-investigate

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All of us signed a cheque to our country to the value of our lives.

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Recent decisions to prosecute former soldiers for killings

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during the Troubles have provoked a furious response from some MPs

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There have been calls to introduce emergency legislation to make it

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impossible for former soldiers to be prosecuted.

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Some have even suggested that decisions to prosecute have been

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This MP is a former major who served in Northern Ireland.

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Troops that are serving right now will not be able to expect

:13:15.:13:17.

that their Government stands with them for the actions they take

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on the battlefield if what they can see is those who have served before

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now being subject to prosecution so long after their duty is done.

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And these prosecutions cannot be allowed to continue.

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Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, himself a former UDR minister,

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was part of a DUP team involved in failed negotiations about how

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He accepts that those who broke the law should be held to account,

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but says current legacy investigations are unfairly

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The question for me and for many people in Northern Ireland,

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including the innocent victims, is who's investigating

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the 3,000 unsolved murders, who's investigating the 90%

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of killings that were carried out by terrorist organisations

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This is an unbalanced process, it's an unfair process,

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it's an unjust process and we're not prepared to go along with it.

:14:10.:14:15.

This London based law firm represents some former soldiers

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facing prosecution for a number of killings, including

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These are soldiers whose shootings were investigated at the time.

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They took place and the then DPP took a decision based

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upon the evidence that was then available that no action

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They've got on with their lives, their memories have faded,

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and now after in some cases more than 40 years,

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they face the prospect of being prosecuted and they feel

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that is very prejudicial for them and they are very

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Justice must be seen to be done and I think in these circumstances

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it would help everybody if someone, such as a senior judge,

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were to be instructed by the Government to review

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the processes and procedures that have been put in place.

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The Public Prosecution Service has said it applies the law as it

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currently stands in Northern Ireland and does so without fear,

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The PSNI says it has a legal responsiblity to ensure

:15:12.:15:16.

there are effective investigations into all killings

:15:17.:15:20.

So what of the families of those killed by the army

:15:21.:15:29.

during the conflict and the possibility of prosecution

:15:30.:15:31.

It's now known that the Government' view in the early days

:15:32.:15:35.

of the Troubles was that "the army should not be inhibited in it's

:15:36.:15:38.

campaign against terrorism by the threat of court proceedings

:15:39.:15:41.

and should therefore be suitably indemnified."

:15:42.:15:44.

Mervyn Jess has been speaking to the relatives of two civilians

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shot dead by soldiers, one in the seventies, the other

:15:48.:15:50.

John was a civilian shot dead by the Army in February 19 73. The

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33-year-old victim's brother discusses his family's long campaign

:16:08.:16:11.

to get to the truth of what happened that night. Along with Tina whose

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15-year-old brother Daniel was also shot by a soldier in 1981. I have no

:16:17.:16:24.

hatred and bitterness but I am still very, very angry that my life and my

:16:25.:16:31.

family's life has been torn apart by such an act. I want those

:16:32.:16:37.

responsible to be held accountable. Whatever course that takes I am

:16:38.:16:41.

quite happy to go along with that. It is not about revenge, it's not

:16:42.:16:45.

about anything like that. It is about trying to bring a certain

:16:46.:16:51.

amount of closure to my life, even at my age now. Nothing in our family

:16:52.:16:56.

was the same after he died. It had a detrimental effect and destroyed it.

:16:57.:17:00.

My family -- father died prematurely. I would say personally

:17:01.:17:07.

I regard him as a victim also. He died a young healthy man. One west

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Belfast solicitor who has represented several families seeking

:17:14.:17:15.

and is outlined their basic starting position. From my experience, we

:17:16.:17:22.

have to remember the context of all this. The families never got a

:17:23.:17:26.

proper investigation into the deaths of their relatives, they never had a

:17:27.:17:33.

proper inquest. All the evidence was before the inquest. Lethal force

:17:34.:17:40.

incidents involved would be investigated by the police which is

:17:41.:17:45.

a very unsatisfactory situation. There is no proper investigation for

:17:46.:17:50.

these families. Republicans accused the British Government of blocking

:17:51.:17:54.

progress on legacy cases because of concerns of State security. What we

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have said from the very start as people deserve the truth. British

:17:59.:18:02.

people, Irish people, whether the victims are from the British Army

:18:03.:18:07.

are from the IRA and Loyalist, that is our basic decision. Look at how

:18:08.:18:15.

much has been achieved. This is something they could just maybe

:18:16.:18:20.

bring along at ease, this is the closure needed for everyone. For

:18:21.:18:24.

those whose lives were directly affected, legacy is an issue that

:18:25.:18:26.

won't go away. At the conclusion of another legacy

:18:27.:18:27.

inquest earlier today, the Belfast coroner revealed

:18:28.:18:30.

the identity of a British soldier who shot dead a 29 year

:18:31.:18:32.

old father-of-six in Henry Thornton was killed

:18:33.:18:38.

as he sat in his van close The vehicle backfired twice,

:18:39.:18:42.

and the soldier opened fire, The victim's family was in court

:18:43.:18:45.

to hear the soldier named as Sergeant Allan McVitie,

:18:46.:18:50.

who is now deceased. Doctors here have taken another

:18:51.:18:57.

step closer to leaving Members of the British Medical

:18:58.:18:59.

Association agreed at a meeting that practices could leave the health

:19:00.:19:03.

service at some future date. If 60% of members vote

:19:04.:19:06.

in favour of the move, GP's could operate independently,

:19:07.:19:09.

charging patients up to ?45 It's never too late

:19:10.:19:11.

to try something new, Donna has been to meet

:19:12.:19:27.

people who've taken on very different challenges

:19:28.:19:30.

for their personal and professional development at the Belfast

:19:31.:19:32.

Metropolitan College. What's happening here in the college

:19:33.:19:38.

this evening is replicated in so many community centres, sports halls

:19:39.:19:43.

and church halls all over the place. Life long learning. People are

:19:44.:19:47.

setting themselves new challenges, stepping outside their comfort zone

:19:48.:19:51.

and learning something new. It could be doing a pottery course, it could

:19:52.:19:56.

be learning a new language. I have even read up about a course where

:19:57.:20:01.

you learn to become a comedian. Lorena small used to be a dentist,

:20:02.:20:05.

she plans to open a boutique guesthouse and so she is doing a

:20:06.:20:09.

cookery course at the Titanic campus in Belfast. Initially I had some

:20:10.:20:16.

reservations about joining a class where I would definitely be the

:20:17.:20:21.

oldest, I am older than some of the tutors in our chorus, but we have

:20:22.:20:25.

integrated really, really well and if you have a dream, you have to

:20:26.:20:34.

live it. Here at Belfast met, we get all kinds of students, every race,

:20:35.:20:39.

colour, creed, nationality, the come to the door is under very welcome.

:20:40.:20:42.

We have had former ambulance drivers, teachers, barristers. I

:20:43.:20:50.

think they've got a passion for food and an interest in the industry. If

:20:51.:20:58.

they want to learn, we are lucky to be able to nurture that passion and

:20:59.:21:02.

to be able to introduce them to a vibrant industry that is very busy

:21:03.:21:11.

and crying out for them. Here at the Millfield campus, you will also find

:21:12.:21:15.

people challenging themselves to do something different, to be created.

:21:16.:21:24.

Alan, you joined the chorus here. I retired seven years ago are my

:21:25.:21:28.

friend said why don't you come down and do something different? I came

:21:29.:21:30.

along and I haven't had an idea what I was going to do but started making

:21:31.:21:36.

moulds and either bands from that and became a bit more adventurous.

:21:37.:21:41.

Did you knew you had that creativity already? Had you exercised it before

:21:42.:21:47.

in your job, and other hobbies? I am junkie. I like techniques and this

:21:48.:21:55.

was an opportunity to try something different. -- technique junkie. You

:21:56.:21:59.

are using ancient techniques, the Greeks and Romans used these and

:22:00.:22:03.

it's fascinating to see how your piece develops. There is great

:22:04.:22:07.

excitement when you knock the ceramic cut-off to see what you've

:22:08.:22:11.

got. There is a great social aspect to this, it's great fun. We are

:22:12.:22:18.

learning different things. It does a critical when you go to see

:22:19.:22:22.

something, even some of the larger sculptures. And you ask, how did

:22:23.:22:30.

they do that? Firmly, that is the fascinating thing, seeing how other

:22:31.:22:33.

people do it. You learn from each other, he finds that he has an idea.

:22:34.:22:40.

You think you'll try that. You knock the ceramic frenzy that has gone

:22:41.:22:43.

slightly wrong Laura Wright commits you try again. It's all part of the

:22:44.:22:47.

fun. Night-time and part-time courses take so many people along

:22:48.:22:53.

very different paths. The great writer WB Yeats once said education

:22:54.:22:56.

is not about the filling of a pale but the lighting of a fire. If you

:22:57.:23:03.

set yourself a new challenge for the New Year, join the conversation on

:23:04.:23:05.

our Facebook page. The words of 15-year-old Donegal

:23:06.:23:07.

actor Art Parkinson after the film in which he plays

:23:08.:23:10.

a starring role was Our north-west reporter,

:23:11.:23:13.

Keiron Tourish, caught up He rose to prominence in game of

:23:14.:23:16.

thrones. Art Parkinson was back at his old

:23:17.:23:33.

Irish speaking school today taking all the headlines in his stride. In

:23:34.:23:38.

any language, his latest success is the big deal. The unassuming

:23:39.:23:42.

15-year-old voiced the lead role in the animated 3-D film. It has been

:23:43.:23:54.

nominated for Best animated film and Best visual effects at the Oscars.

:23:55.:23:59.

The Donegal schoolboy was told in the school corridor between classes.

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I spent all day thinking about and buy lunch had completely forgotten.

:24:05.:24:07.

I didn't get the the chance to check. Then somebody let me know. It

:24:08.:24:14.

hadn't really struck me at the time then I got home and I was looking up

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and reading about it and is just crazy. It's an honour, really. I

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never really thought this could ever happen. It's always been a dream of

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mine being an actor, something I've always thought about. I didn't think

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it would happen to me at such a young age. He was delighted but

:24:33.:24:37.

realised he still had two classes. The trials and tribulations of being

:24:38.:24:43.

a big movie star. It's great to see the wee lad going to the Oscars. He

:24:44.:24:52.

has worked hard for it obviously. He will be rubbing shoulders with

:24:53.:24:54.

co-star Matthew McConnachie, the Donegal teenager will be taking his

:24:55.:24:59.

schoolbooks along with hammer. Art Parkinson says he is both excited

:25:00.:25:03.

and nervous about treading the red carpet at the Oscars ceremony next

:25:04.:25:09.

month. He paid tribute to family and friends here in Donegal who are

:25:10.:25:16.

keeping well grounded. Good luck to him.

:25:17.:25:17.

Golfer Graeme McDowell gets his season underway tomorrow in Qatar.

:25:18.:25:19.

After a frustrating couple of years, during which he failed

:25:20.:25:22.

to qualify for the Ryder Cup, the Portrush man says he's still got

:25:23.:25:25.

what it takes to win another major tournament.

:25:26.:25:27.

Before he flew out to the middle East, McDowell talked

:25:28.:25:29.

Welcoming stars of stage, screen and sport to a charity function in New

:25:30.:25:44.

York. Just one of the many commitments Graeme McDowell

:25:45.:25:47.

undertakes any busy global schedule away from playing his sport. His

:25:48.:25:53.

focus is now on what first meeting successful. All the business stuff

:25:54.:25:57.

that's been going on, it's been a learning experience to learn how to

:25:58.:26:00.

juggle that mentally, to make sure I have the right people around me to

:26:01.:26:03.

look after it so it doesn't take any energy away from me. So I can get

:26:04.:26:08.

back to what I do best. It doesn't matter how great a businesses, my

:26:09.:26:12.

potential is still on the golf course. McDowell has been practising

:26:13.:26:16.

hard as he sets out on another season on two. After what has been a

:26:17.:26:20.

hectic couple of years in his personal life. Getting married and

:26:21.:26:25.

having children, you never really understand the duty from your

:26:26.:26:28.

priorities point of view, from a desire to play the game of golf

:26:29.:26:33.

point of view, they had more of an effect than I thought we were going

:26:34.:26:36.

to. I wouldn't change it for the world. I am at the other end note no

:26:37.:26:41.

clear of mind. I do want more things from the next five to ten years of

:26:42.:26:47.

my career. McDowell most famous tramp at the US Open is now nearly

:26:48.:26:52.

seven years ago. The Port Rush Mann has the belief that he can rekindle

:26:53.:26:59.

that major winning form. I'm not comfortable playing... I see how

:27:00.:27:02.

good everyone is now and the bar needs to be raised. I need to get

:27:03.:27:07.

myself back there soon either going to bypass me. I think it's a make or

:27:08.:27:12.

break. All I can do is get myself in the path where they want to be and

:27:13.:27:14.

if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. I want to give myself every

:27:15.:27:18.

opportunity I can in the next two years. I am not going to be

:27:19.:27:22.

impatient. If my goods are not good enough, so be it. The RA big two

:27:23.:27:28.

years for me. I've got to be really patient with it and view it as a

:27:29.:27:34.

marathon, not a sprint. Graeme McDowell, refreshed, refocused and

:27:35.:27:38.

ready for a very important season, determined to get back to the very

:27:39.:27:39.

top of world golf. Chilly today and it will get colder.

:27:40.:27:53.

We have had sunshine today and lots of places have been dry as well. It

:27:54.:27:57.

will be predominantly dry tonight but if you are out and about, it

:27:58.:28:02.

will be cold in that wind. At the same time, the wind should keep the

:28:03.:28:06.

frost away from most places, temperatures staying above freezing

:28:07.:28:10.

but a much colder night compared to last night. Tomorrow, we are going

:28:11.:28:14.

to half the temperature and still have a cold wind. If anything, the

:28:15.:28:17.

wind will feel absolutely bitter tomorrow.

:28:18.:28:31.

Most definitely a day for the big coat. Lower temperatures tomorrow.

:28:32.:28:33.

Mostly dry and it will feel cold in that wind. Some thicker patches of

:28:34.:28:36.

cloud which could bring a few pieces of rain. Maybe even snow over the

:28:37.:28:39.

hills. It looks like the bulk of the date will be dry. One or two

:28:40.:28:42.

brighter spells and the odd when to shower. Five or 6 degrees, cold in

:28:43.:28:49.

that wind, when you take the wind into account it will feel more like

:28:50.:28:54.

it's freezing. A really cold day tomorrow, better and most definitely

:28:55.:28:58.

as the day for the big coat. Tomorrow looks like it will still be

:28:59.:29:02.

quite cold and windy, largely dry as well. It could get close to freezing

:29:03.:29:07.

in one or two spots. On Friday, the cold wind starts to ease and will

:29:08.:29:12.

gradually dragged a weather front in from the west. Dull dampened drizzly

:29:13.:29:16.

weather at some stage on Friday. It certainly will not be reading the

:29:17.:29:20.

whole day. Dry gaps as well. The Weekender start and settled with

:29:21.:29:23.

showery rain but the wind eases and it looks like a nice day to come on

:29:24.:29:31.

Sunday with some sunshine. The rush-hour traffic congestion in

:29:32.:29:35.

Belfast tonight. An accident is that includes the west link towards the

:29:36.:29:39.

M1, these pictures show some of the gridlock. Police said a short time

:29:40.:29:43.

ago they hope to reopen the road soon after a very serious incident.

:29:44.:29:45.

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

:29:46.:29:51.