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Tonight's top stories: A family's devastation as a young Donegal
Loneliness attached to grief and loss.
A Sinn Fein MEP's Brexit comments in the European Parliament
The search continues in the waters off County Mayo for three
Also on the programme tonight: Can Belfast City Council teach
Stormont about power sharing after it lost its unionist
There is no majority. We are all minorities.
New teams, big names, extra TV coverage.
Join me at the launch of motorcycling's NW200.
And cloudy and mild tonight with light rain
Brighter but cooler tomorrow after some early rain.
The mother of a young Donegal woman who was murdered in a tourist area
in India has paid tribute to her daughter and said
Danielle McLaughlin from Buncrana, who was described as beautiful
and kind-hearted, was found in Goa at breakfast time yesterday.
She'd received injuries to her head and face.
In a moment, we'll have the latest from India, but first
here's our North-West reporter, Keiron Tourish.
Described as bright, bubbly and full of life, but Danielle McLaughlin's
life ended tragically in India. She was discovered at 8am local time
yesterday in an isolated spot close the tourist spots in Goa. Her parish
priest said the family had been devastated by the death. They are
understandably grieving. They are overwhelmed by the sense of loss.
They are supported by staff and the community and the people around them
but nevertheless, as with all grief and loss, there is a terrible
loneliness attached to it. Danielle McLaughlin had been a pupil in
Buncrana before going to university in Liverpool. She loved travelling
and was hugely popular. She was outgoing, lively, she took part in
school musicals, she was a great Irish dancer, she had done soccer
and athletics. She was a great part of the school. In Buncrana itself,
people were left numb by the news. She was backpacking. Very sad time
for people in Buncrana. It is terrible, awful, devastating news
for the family especially. An absolute tragedy for the family.
Full of beans, happy-go-lucky. Buncrana is a town reeling from this
tragedy. Everyone here says the thoughts and prayers are with the
grieving family. Our correspondent, Yogita Limaye,
joins us live from Goa now. What more do we know
about the investigation It is in this field by minute that
Daniel's body was found yesterday morning. Police say she had injuries
to her face and head. They were initially able to identify with the
help of other foreign nationals living in the area as well as
information from social media platforms. A couple of hundred
meters to my right as the main highway that connects north and
south Goa with lots of beaches and restaurant around it that this is
quite an isolated spot. I have speaking with the officer
investigating the case and he says the for by people in connection with
the case and arrested one man yesterday. They believe they have
found the main culprit because they found compelling evidence including
CCTV camera footage showing the accused with the victim as well as a
two wheeled vehicle with blood stains on it and produce with blood
smears on them. They say have they had been in touch with British and
Irish embassies but are still awaiting the result of the
postmortem examination. Any reaction locally in Goa? Locally, a lot of
people were organising a vigil. One thing is certain, it is brought back
memories of the Scarlett Keeling case, a 15-year-old British national
was murdered and raped in 2008. Her court case went on for years and it
is only late last year that it came to the conclusion and even then, the
two men accused of killing her were acquitted by a local court here.
Police say that they believe that in this case, they actually had strong
evidence, they feel confident, they had been questioning this man to see
if he was acting on his own or if there were other people involved,
and they have him in custody until the 21st of March to continue that
investigation. Bonfire material dumped
on a new multi-million pound greenway in east Belfast has been
cleared after a month-long Workers from the Environment Agency
removed the wood and tyres which had been stockpiled
at Connswater Community Greenway. There will more than 100 wood
pallets on the Greenway but now there are none. There were dozens of
tyres but one by one they have been gathered up and taken away. Work
started at ATM. The Environment Agency ordered the clear up and no
one stood in the way. The bonfire material had been here for weeks. In
spite of complaints about the mess on the new ?40 million Greenway, the
authorities were reluctant to intervene. Then last night, a local
agreement was reached. Community worker Robert Osborne said the
decision had widespread support. There was a lot of money spent here
and we do not want to see that going to waste. If we make our community
better, it is better for us. So how are you able to persuade people to
allow this material to be removed? They understand that the community
comes first, there is a lot more to it. If we can progress as people. So
has there been a deal done? No deal, we have just come to an agreement.
It is just between us and the community. Would there be a payback
for the community? Definitely, from us, we will help the community out
anyway we can, if you approach me or any member of the community. We do
not want to see ?40 million go to waste. Can you guarantee there will
not be more bonfire material here tomorrow? We have come to an
agreement that there will not be a bonfire here at all. Although some
of the material was set alight, the damage has been minimal. Belfast
City Council say they are confident this new multi-million pound
Greenway will soon look as good as new.
The discovery of a white substance in an envelope
at Lagan Integrated College in the Castlereagh hills led
to a security operation there this afternoon.
The principal says classes continued as normal but pupils were supervised
by police and staff leaving the school at home time.
The police cordoned off from around midday. Fire and Rescue Service were
also according to deal with what amounted to a security alert. The
security alert began this morning after an envelope was received at
the offices of the school, containing white powder. The
emergency services were called in and that envelope and powder are the
subject of a close examination. Pupils continued the class is what
the operation to deal with the suspect went on although they were
kept away from that part of the building where the powder was
discovered. The principle of the school kept in touch with parents by
e-mail and text, telling them their children would leave the school as
usual at 3:30pm under the supervision of the police and
teachers. They were anxious parents waiting at the school gates. It was
a bit of a shock, coming to the school. There was no panic at all, I
don't think, no real danger we felt anyway. The police investigation
into who was behind today's is continuing.
A Sinn Fein MEP who said the Prime Minister could stick
a hard or soft border where the sun doesn't shine was dismissed
as belligerent in the House of Commons today.
Sinn Fein said Martina Anderson was reflecting anger
over Brexit but, so far, there's been no comment
from the party's Stormont leader, Michelle O'Neill.
Here's our political correspondent, Gareth Gordon.
This is the moment that Sinn Fein member of the European Parliament
became an Internet sensation. Armoured cars, tanks and guns could
not do in Ireland 27 member states will not be able to do, so your
notion of the border, hard or soft, stick it where the sun does not
shine! The Secretary of State will have heard the belligerent utterance
of the former Sinn Fein director of the Unionist engagement to the Prime
Minister can stick a hard or soft border where the sun does not shine.
Can I buy the Secretary of State to remind Martina Anderson that it sets
the terms for the future of Northern Ireland based on the majority of the
will of the people is not changed? James Brogan Scheidt dodged the
question, repeating only that the government did not want to see a
return to the borders of the past. Sinn Fein's Stormont leader recently
criticised her colleague for saying that Sinn Fein had put manners on
the DUP leader, Arlene Foster. I have spoken to Michelle but it is
not language I would use. I have seen in the last number of weeks and
months the DUP treat the public with contempt, arrogance and disrespect.
That is not the way we should conduct ourselves. Today she led a
protest alongside family is calling the inquests into the deaths of
their loved ones. So far she has not commented on Martina Anderson's
remarks but in a statement, Champagne told the BBC that the
comments were reflective of that anger that Northern Ireland could be
dragged out of Europe by someone who has no mandate in Ireland. Today
Martina Anderson issued a statement claiming that Brexit could
jeopardise further infrastructure projects that using much more
measured language. The government is not intending
to erect posts on the border with the Republic after the UK
leaves the European Union. That was the message from
the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, Mr Davis confirms the plan is to use
new technology to monitor Our political editor,
Mark Devenport, was watching How close is this high-tech border
to becoming a reality? David Davis told MPs that officials from the
Customs service and the Northern Ireland Office are already working
with their Irish counterparts in trying to design a new system but
admitted there was a lot of design work still to do. He expressed
confidence they would resolve the problems facing them because he said
both governments were determined to do it because he has also said the
technology available was much better than it was 20 years ago. The fact
is, there is a board of the and there are duty differences across
the border which are dealt with but dealt with in a subtle and not
highly visible way. And the trusted scheme I was talking about before is
the sort of thing that operates, and that is what we would have in mind.
It is not going to be easy, it will cost us money, a lot of work on
technology and so one, but without having heard a personal and so on,
and that is what we intend to do. Does David Davis think the European
Union will object? He does not think they will. He thinks they will
cooperate with this and the maintenance of the Common travel
area which allows for the freedom of movement of people between the UK
and Ireland because he says the European Commission has a strong
emotional investment in the Northern Ireland peace process and does not
want to do anything to jeopardise that. Speaking of the peace process,
we also heard from the Secretary of State today on the talks.
Absolutely. He was asking questions in the Commons on the state of
talks. He says progress is being made but more has to be achieved. He
would not get into speculating about contingency planning for failure or
any extension of the deadline instead he wants to concentrate on
trying to achieve a deal within that three-week period.
The global bank Citigroup has said it does not expect Brexit
to have a negative impact on its operation here.
The bank is one of Belfast's biggest employers.
But the hospitality sector has warned that tougher
immigration rules after Brexit could hit its plans to expand.
Here's our economics and business editor, John Campbell.
Citigroup has been a Belfast success story. It is set up here in 2014 and
after a series of reinvestment employs more than 2000 people. There
has been uncertainty after financial services jobs right across the UK.
Some will be relocated as was at the Brexit. HSBC is planning to move
1000 staff to Paris. But now the UK boss of Citigroup has reassured
there will be no exodus from Belfast. He said there is no
fundamental reason why Belfast's attractions to us should change as a
result of Brexit. I do not see its standing in the way of either what
we have gotten Belfast all our plans to continue developing. Also
announced today wasn't planned the big new office block in Titanic
Quarter. There is speculation that Citigroup is lined up as a tenant.
Meanwhile the hospitality industry has been giving evidence about
Brexit effects. Migration is a big issue in this sector. Look at the
numbers. Migrant workers are 8% of the Northern Ireland workforce. But
they make up 20% of the manufacturing workforce and almost a
quarter of all hospitality jobs. One representative said it is already a
struggle to fill jobs. There is a huge challenge for us to make a
demand. It affects the migrant workers we get from Europe. We still
do not know what limits will be placed on migrant workers after
Brexit. We could have a system of regional work permits controlled by
the Executive. That is assuming we have an executive.
Search teams looking for the three missing crew members
of the Coast Guard rescue helicopter which crashed off County Mayo
have detected a signal from the aircraft's black
It's close to Black Rock lighthouse, about ten miles from Blacksod.
The family of the helicopter pilot Dara Fitzpatrick,
who died after being found in the water, have been
Irish naval vessel stayed at sea overnight in the area where
debridement the helicopter has been found. In the distance, Black Rock,
close to where the helicopter disappeared without warning. At
first flight, Coast Guard helicopters returned to resume the
search for the missing colleagues. As well as the operation in the air
and on the sea, the search is now taking place under the water with
sonar equipment deployed and naval and Garda divers on stand-by to see
whether they should focus their efforts. Wreckage from the
helicopter was brought ashore throughout yesterday. Last night
relatives arrived at the Lighthouse to be briefed on the search
operation. Earlier in the day, Captain Dara Fitzpatrick was
recovered from the sea. Also on board was the chief pilot and the
winchman. Dara Fitzpatrick's sister, mother and father say they are
devastated by her loss. We feel like the lucky ones now because we have
the. We can kiss her, hold her, hold her hand. At the end of the day, I
hope the torment will be over, to a certain extent. Because this is
torment. Rescue 116 was often involved in missions in Northern
Ireland. The tragedy has been felt at the Coast Guard operations centre
in Bangor. They were like a family. It has hit steep. We had a visit
from the Queen when Dara was here. It still has not sunk in the rescue
116 and a Q1 not come home from the mission. Last weekend, the Dublin
-based helicopter was providing support. It has been a privilege to
work with them. They are consummate professionals, highly passionate
about what they do and highly experienced and a fantastic bunch of
people. As the search continues, so too does the agonising wait for
news. Still to come on the programme:
Join me live in Coleraine, where hundreds of fans are getting
the chance to meet some Introducing an Irish
language act would cost ?8.5 million over five years,
according to a leading Conradh na Gaeilge also estimate
the act would cost ?2 million a year to implement,
as our education correspondent, It's led to loud protests and widely
bearing estimates of the cost. The reason I am against an Irish
language act is because of the cost of it, tens of millions of pounds.
One of the main groups who want an Irish language act have produced
this, document which lays out what it would mean and what the bill
would be, ?8.5 million over five years, ?2.5 million a year to
implement. Among those costs are ?150,000 to establish and half ?1
million a year to run a translation department in Stormont. Of the ?1
million initially spent translating documents and forms and bilingual
road signs. But given Conradh na Gaeilge want an act, the figures
authoritative? There is no doubt our figures will hold up to scrutiny. We
think these are practical proposals that can be implemented at the best
possible time. This economist has also had a look at the plans. He
thinks they are an under estimate. Let me say this in front of the BBC,
they are leaving the costs to fall on the Department for Education and
have not cost of those. This is if anything is an understatement of
what anybody would expect to be the cost, if they develop an Irish
language process, became more established. Conradh na Gaeilge said
they have set up a reasonable bill for Irish language legislation but
those opposed it may not be convinced.
Unionists no longer have a majority in Stormont but it's 20 years
since the same thing happened at Belfast City Hall.
In 1997, the first nationalist mayor was elected, ending centuries
So can lessons be learned from Belfast when it
I've been speaking to three former lord mayors.
These portraits of former Lord Mayers tell their own story. Belfast
City Council was once described as a bear pit. Now it is more likely to
be held up as an example of how power-sharing can work. Do not speak
to any councillor like that, please. 20 years ago, relations between
nationalists and unionists were still tense on the council. This
motion perpetuates the myth that Irish language and the speaking of
the Irish language is something of significance in this city! Sammy
Wilson spent almost sent 20 years in the City Hall and was Lord mayor
twice. He concedes the earth did not fall on wind unionists lost the
majority but says there were important shifts. Once we lost the
majority, the symbolism at the City Hall of the flag of the country
flying at the capital city of the country, that was removed, and that
caused huge tensions in the city. The battle between the two camps
raged for decades during troubled times. The mayor does not want to
dwell on the Doctors of the past and says we need to seem beyond orange
and green. It is not about nationalism and unions are many
more. In my view, it is about those who live here in this blossoming
Irish community. The new Belfast people all over the city, the
greens, those on the left, those who have dreamt of a brighter future.
For many years, the Alliance Party has held the balance of power. One
academic says there is no longer any majority community. There are
unionists, nationalists and people classified as being other, so there
are three different groups of people, three different population
groups. The balance has to be struck between them because the reality is
there is no majority, there will not be a majority. We are all minorities
now that is how we have to make future. Alliance held the first
mayor position and was the support that enabled the first National is
mayor. The way we have seen the city developer has largely been as a
result of more collaborative working because despite the fact some of
those things are contentious, many decisions are taken on a cross-party
basis and there is much more discussion before decisions are
taken. It is not comparing like with like many believe the past of
Belfast City Council could help the future Stormont. Tell us what you
think on our Facebook page. Tonight, hundreds of motorcycle fans
are getting the chance to meet This venue is starting to fill up
and it will be a sell-out tonight for our special meet the stars
evening. Lots of new bikes and teams are here as well, lots of big names
including a couple of home-grown stars. Alistair, to you first of
all, you are the record-holder, number of wins with 17, can you
extend this year? I have been trying my best. I have a good team for this
year. We will go and try to add to our tally. With Kawasaki, for me, it
is continuity, I am with teams and bikes for I know, so we will try to
add to the tally break another effort. Ryan, you told as recently
that crash last year when you almost lost your life, you are bringing a
team to the North West 200 this year? I have just announced today
that Lee Johnson or right for me at the North West 200 on a bike in
ambulance colours, a charity very close to my heart. I thought was
good time to do something different. Support a charity that I feel will
save a lot of lives, not just a motorsport but in everyday life. I
also have a South African rider coming in as a newcomer. There are a
lot of road racers who have never heard of him that he is a big-name.
It will be an exciting battle. What is the appeal of the North West 200
to you? Because it is a local event, coming here is a boy and cheering on
the Dunlops, now for me to get that in the last lap, it is unreal, and
for me it is the atmosphere. You have got the seaside resorts, you go
there in the summertime, and we spend a week and it is a good family
outing, I tried to keep as calm as possible but come Saturday... Race
week starts on the 8th of May and all the action you can see and hear
on the BBC. Now let's get the
weather with Geoff. It has been a bit dull. Grey and
cloudy. This picture from our Weather Watcher sums up the problem,
a blanket of cloud sitting over us. Other than that, nothing much to
talk about at all. As we go overnight tonight, we will start to
see a bit of rain in the mix working its way in from the West. Light and
drizzly for the main, mostly confined to the higher ground, but
it marks a card for what is to come tomorrow. Overnight lows of seven or
8 degrees. Tomorrow, rain to the morning. It will brighten up later
on but that comes with a sting in the tale, too. As we go through the
morning, we will start to see these bands of rain working their way in
and as the weather fronts coming, the warmest temperatures through the
morning, nine and 10 degrees. Once this front of cleared out of the
way, cool, bright, clear air. Afternoon temperatures, highs of six
or 7 degrees. But it leaves plenty of brightness. Because we have got
those clearing skies, overnight, temperatures will drop away and we
will have a chilly night with overnight lows down to two or three
degrees. The outlook for Saint Patrick's Day is not good. A wet and
windy day, really rather unpleasant. This is the scene on Friday morning.
That rain sitting over us, spreading into all parts, heaviest in the
West, best chance of any bright nurse East. Very few places that
will get through Friday without seeing at least a little bit of
rain. As we head into the weekend itself, we will keep that rainy
theme. It will feel like the day that is starting to clear up just a
little bit. A hint of positivity there. With lots of sporting events
and parades in pageants planned for riding, I am just sorry the weather
is not playing its part. Our late summary
is at half past ten.