Category Archives: In The News

Meeting to address social issues in Larne

East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has welcomed news that ‘Redeeming Our Communities’ will be having a ‘ROC Conversation’ in Larne, on Tuesday May 28, at Larne High School. The initiative is aimed at tackling social issues. A similar event took place in Carrick recently supported by Mid and East Antrim Policing and District Partnership and borough council. An action group has since been formed. ROC is a national faith-based community engagement charity meeting a range of social needs across the UK. Their mission of ‘empowering people of goodwill’ is to work together for safer, stronger communities’ underlines all that they do. ROC works in partnership with churches, statutory agencies, community groups, charities, faith-based groups and residents to “transform communities in innovative and meaningful ways”. Mr. Beggs said: “I met ROC and their local worker Keeva Watson, at Stormont, last year and started a conversation about bringing Redeeming Our … Continue reading

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NI Assembly election: The strange, the funny and the confusing

While some commentators have described the 2016 assembly election campaign as fairly low-key, it has had its share of strange and quirky moments. Among the most surprising was the seeming confusion on the part of the DUP as to when exactly Northern Ireland was established. Part of the DUP manifesto covered plans for a public holiday and programme of events to mark Northern Ireland’s centenary. It reads: “Northern Ireland was established as a legal entity on May 5 2021.” Image caption The DUP got its dates badly wrong in its election manifesto No pictures of Belfast’s own De Lorean cars were included in this Back to the Future moment for the DUP. The most obvious way of telling an election is imminent – apart from the ever growing pile of leaflets shoved through your door – is, of course, posters of candidates. Sean Burns, South Belfast Labour Alternative candidate, found … Continue reading

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Post office mix-up sends letter meant for 94-year-old Australian woman to Sydney, N.S., instead

SYDNEY, N.S. — A Christmas card bound for Down Under will be a bit late after it made an unexpected stop in Cape Breton. The holiday letter was one of many sent by Doug and Jennifer Beggs, a retired couple from the Ottawa suburb of Manotick. It’s intended recipient was Jennifer’s 94-year-old sister, Pat Gillespie, who lives in North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The card was affixed with the proper $2.50 stamp and was postmarked on Dec. 18. A legitimate Australian address was legibly scribbled on the front of the envelope and the destination country’s name was underlined twice. But the letter has yet to arrive. It didn’t stay in Ontario, either. Somehow it ended up in the mail box of a Sydney, Nova Scotia, couple who just happen to share the same street name and the same address as the intended recipient in the other Sydney, the one … Continue reading

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UUP MLA brings motion to Assembly calling for review of bail policy in cases of terrorism and murder after suspect ‘disappears’ while on bail

Mid-Ulster Ulster Unionist MLA, Sandra Overend, along with her Ulster Unionist Party colleagues, Doug Beattie MLA and Roy Beggs MLA, has brought a motion to the Assembly calling for a review of bail policy in cases of terrorism and murder. This followed the revelation that Damien Joseph McLaughlin, who had been on bail charged with offences linked to the murder of Cookstown Prison Officer David Black, had not been seen by police since November. Mrs Overend said: “Earlier this month I was shocked to learn, through media reports, that a man accused in connection with the murder of David Black has not been seen by the police since November, whilst on police bail. “It is absolutely disgraceful that this man – a man that has already made headlines, when the authorities previously allowed him to attend a spa break in Fermanagh – was allowed to disappear while on bail. Those responsible … Continue reading

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Lisa Smyth: People fear change in the health service, but without reform disaster is inevitable

NI’s hospitals are under increasing pressure Lisa Smyth with her son Ethan Report author Professor Rafael Bengoa Arlene Foster previously talked about changing the health system Martin McGuinness previously talked about changing the health system By Lisa Smyth April 11 2019 The health service in Northern Ireland is at a crossroads. People can expect to wait up to four years for a first outpatient appointment and the outcomes for emergency care can vary depending on the time of the day, or week, or even which hospital, a patient goes to. It’s not the kind of NHS the public wants. And it’s certainly not the service that health professionals want to deliver. Successive expert reports and reviews have been clear: the NHS cannot continue to function in its current format. The most recent of these, the Bengoa report, made a series of recommendations for the future of the health service, including … Continue reading

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