NI election 2022: Who’s in and who’s out at Stormont

“I didn’t have a huge amount of notice, but it was a good thing because it meant I didn’t have time to think about it, I just gave it 110%,” he said.


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Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-61383161

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Beggs condemns Larne sledgehammer attack

In a statement, Mr. Beggs said: “It appears that four masked men attacked a property with sledgehammers but thankfully no-one was inside the house at the time.


Parliamentary reports show first speaker only - follow this lnk for the full transcription.
Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/politics/beggs-condemns-larne-sledgehammer-attack-968655

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Northern Ireland politicians slam P&O and call for urgent government action

Politicians in Northern Ireland have reacted with shock after ferry giant PO sacked 800 seafarers and replaced them with cheaper agency workers.

There were calls for the British government to intervene to ensure the “vital” Larne to Cairnryan service continued.

DUP representatives said today that a conversation with the chief executive of PO had assured them that there would be no redundancies at Larne Port as a result of the action taken by the company.

The move by PO has prompted outrage from politicians and workers, many of whom refused to leave ships, leading to security guards with handcuffs being deployed to remove them.

The ferry operator, bought by Dubai-based logistics giant DP World in 2019, has insisted the decision to cut jobs was “very difficult but necessary” as it was “not a viable business” in its current state.

But the move has been met with concern in Northern Ireland.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said she was “shocked” by the news.

“My thoughts are with those staff working for PO who have lost their jobs and also with those whose travel has been disrupted,” she said.

“This is a developing situation and officials are working on a cross-departmental basis to assess any local impacts, especially for supply chains, and are keeping in close contact with their counterparts in the Department of Transport in London.”

She called on the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, to “take every possible step to save jobs and to maintain connectivity for passengers and freight on Irish Sea routes”.

These concerns were echoed by the DUP MP Sammy Wilson and MLA Gordon Lyons, the Economy Minister.

Mr Lyons said the decision would have an impact on the wider Northern Ireland economy.

“The company have informed us that it will be another week before ships can operate from Larne Port,” he said.

“Whilst customers have been directed to Belfast Port in the short-term, they will not have the capacity to ramp up operations in a sufficient manner to accommodate demand.

“With over half of all our freight moving through Larne Port, this announcement will also cause supply problems for companies and supermarkets in Northern Ireland, as well as those firms based here who sell to GB.”

Mr Lyons stressed that he had been told there would be no job losses at Larne Port.

“The chief executive of PO has assured us that there will be no redundancies in the Port of Larne and that the company will be making an investment in the future to enhance the attractiveness of the port,” he said.

“Whilst this is welcome, it does not make today’s announcement and the manner in which it was done any more acceptable.”

Meanwhile, Mr Wilson said that the treatment of staff was “unacceptable” and accused the company of paying “third world wages” to the crew.

Some of those who lost their jobs were informed of the decision on a video call from a PO official who said: “The company has made the decision that its vessels going forward will be primarily crewed by a third-party crew provider.

“Therefore, I am sorry to inform you that this means your employment is terminated with immediate effect on the grounds of redundancy.”

Mr Wilson said that while speaking to the PO boss, he expressed his concern “at the manner in which the staff, who are to be made redundant, have been treated”.

“I have been assured by the company that staff will be compensated for the lack of notice of termination,” he said.

“The way in which staff were removed from the ships is totally unacceptable and is not how any employer should treat their employees.

“Despite operating purely between UK ports, PO will now be paying third world wages to their crew. This raises serious concerns about the company’s morality.”

The Sinn Fein economy spokesperson in Northern Ireland, Caoimhe Archibald, said that the treatment of workers had been “shameful”.

“At a time when soaring prices are exacerbating a cost-of-living crisis, that a company would make workers redundant in such an arbitrary fashion is disgraceful.

“I extend our party’s solidarity with those workers and their families who are today receiving this awful news.

“I have written to the DUP economy minister asking what contact he has had with worker representatives and urging that all efforts are made to support workers and protect jobs including representation to the British Transport Minister.

“PO must be held accountable for these unscrupulous actions and the British government needs to take action in defence of these workers,” she said.

Stewart Dickson, the Alliance Party MLA in East Antrim, called for urgent clarification and urged the Department for the Economy to engage with PO.

“I am deeply disappointed in how PO have handled this entire episode, showing underhanded behaviour which is not acceptable at best and draconian measures to remove staff at worst. There appears to have been no consultation done with staff or unions over this move,” he said.

The Ulster Unionist Party MLA for the area, Roy Beggs, said that ferry staff had been treated “brutally”.

“I have never heard of a company treating its staff and customers so poorly,” Mr Beggs said.

“This does not bode well for the immediate future of the Northern Ireland economy.

“Ferries have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, leaving passengers and time-sensitive freight scrambling to book on the rival Stena Belfast to Cairnryan route.

“There is also an urgent need to clarify the status of staff at both the Port of Larne and those at the Port of Cairnryan.”


Parliamentary reports show first speaker only - follow this lnk for the full transcription.
Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2022/03/17/news/northern-ireland-politicians-slam-p-o-and-call-for-urgent-government-action-2617805/

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Northern Ireland politicians slam P&O and call for urgent Government action

Politicians in Northern Ireland have reacted with shock after ferry giant PO sacked 800 seafarers and replaced them with cheaper agency workers.

There were calls for the UK government to intervene to ensure the “vital” Larne to Cairnryan service continued.

DUP representatives said on Thursday that a conversation with the chief executive of PO had assured them that there would be no redundancies at Larne Port as a result of the action taken by the company.

The move by PO has prompted outrage from politicians and workers, many of whom refused to leave ships, leading to security guards with handcuffs being deployed to remove them.

The ferry operator, bought by Dubai-based logistics giant DP World in 2019, has insisted the decision to cut jobs was “very difficult but necessary” as it was “not a viable business” in its current state.

But the move has been met with concern in Northern Ireland.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said she was “shocked” by the news.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said officials were working on a cross-departmental basis to assess local impacts (Liam McBurney/PA)

“My thoughts are with those staff working for PO who have lost their jobs and also with those whose travel has been disrupted,” she said.

“This is a developing situation and officials are working on a cross-departmental basis to assess any local impacts, especially for supply chains, and are keeping in close contact with their counterparts in the Department of Transport in London.”

She called on the UK secretary of state for transport, Grant Shapps, to “take every possible step to save jobs and to maintain connectivity for passengers and freight on Irish Sea routes”.

These concerns were echoed by the DUP MP Sammy Wilson and MLA Gordon Lyons, the Northern Ireland Economy Minister.

Mr Lyons said the decision would have an impact on the wider Northern Ireland economy.

“The company have informed us that it will be another week before ships can operate from Larne Port,” he said.

“Whilst customers have been directed to Belfast Port in the short-term, they will not have the capacity to ramp up operations in a sufficient manner to accommodate demand.

“With over half of all our freight moving through Larne Port, this announcement will also cause supply problems for companies and supermarkets in Northern Ireland, as well as those firms based here who sell to GB.”

Mr Lyons stressed that he had been told there would be no job losses at Larne Port.

“The chief executive of PO has assured us that there will be no redundancies in the Port of Larne and that the company will be making an investment in the future to enhance the attractiveness of the port,” he said.

“Whilst this is welcome, it does not make today’s announcement and the manner in which it was done any more acceptable.”

Meanwhile, Mr Wilson said that the treatment of staff was “unacceptable” and accused the company of paying “third world wages” to the crew.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson at Larne Port (David Young/PA)

Some of those who lost their jobs were informed of the decision on a video call from a PO official who said: “The company has made the decision that its vessels going forward will be primarily crewed by a third-party crew provider.

“Therefore, I am sorry to inform you that this means your employment is terminated with immediate effect on the grounds of redundancy.”

Mr Wilson said that while speaking to the PO boss, he expressed his concern “at the manner in which the staff, who are to be made redundant, have been treated”.

“I have been assured by the company that staff will be compensated for the lack of notice of termination,” he said.

“The way in which staff were removed from the ships is totally unacceptable and is not how any employer should treat their employees.

“Despite operating purely between UK ports, PO will now be paying third world wages to their crew. This raises serious concerns about the company’s morality.”

The Sinn Féin economy spokesperson in Northern Ireland, Caoimhe Archibald, said that the treatment of workers had been “shameful”.

“At a time when soaring prices are exacerbating a cost-of-living crisis, that a company would make workers redundant in such an arbitrary fashion is disgraceful.

“I extend our party’s solidarity with those workers and their families who are today receiving this awful news.

“I have written to the DUP economy minister asking what contact he has had with worker representatives and urging that all efforts are made to support workers and protect jobs including representation to the British Transport Minister.

“PO must be held accountable for these unscrupulous actions and the British government needs to take action in defence of these workers,” she said.

Stewart Dickson, the Alliance Party MLA in East Antrim, called for urgent clarification and urged the Department for the Economy to engage with PO.

MLA Gordon Lyons said half of all regional freight moved through Larne Port (David Young/PA)

“I am deeply disappointed in how PO have handled this entire episode, showing underhanded behaviour which is not acceptable at best and draconian measures to remove staff at worst. There appears to have been no consultation done with staff or unions over this move,” he said.

The Ulster Unionist Party MLA for the area, Roy Beggs, said that ferry staff had been treated “brutally”.

“I have never heard of a company treating its staff and customers so poorly,” Mr Beggs said.

“This does not bode well for the immediate future of the Northern Ireland economy.

“Ferries have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, leaving passengers and time-sensitive freight scrambling to book on the rival Stena Belfast to Cairnryan route.

“There is also an urgent need to clarify the status of staff at both the Port of Larne and those at the Port of Cairnryan.”

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Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/northern-ireland-politicians-slam-po-and-call-for-urgent-government-action-1275869.html

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Peaky Blinders superfan spends £6000 getting cast tattooed on body

A Peaky Blinders superfan has spent £6,000 covering his back and arms in tattoos dedicated to the hit BBC gangster series. David Hatfield, 58, has spent 125 hours under the needle getting most of the main characters from the gritty crime drama inked onto his body.

The council worker from Halesowen, West Midlands, had his first Peaky Blinders tattoo in July 2016 after wanting to cover up an old inking from his youth. He started with a portrait of protagonist Thomas Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, before adding more characters across his entire back.

Mr Hatfield has since forked out several thousand pounds more covering both of his arms in images of mafia man Luca Changretta and Tommy’s brother Arthur Shelby. And he says he is not finished yet as he plans to add a tribute to Aunt Polly actor Helen McCrory, who died of breast cancer last year.

Tattooist Martin Thornton from Ink Envy in Birmingham has carried out the artwork. Mr Hatfield said: “I’m a massive fan of the show and the characters are really wonderfully portrayed.

“I was going to have The Great Escape on my back as it came out in 1963 when I was born, but I chose Peaky Blinders instead as I just fell in love with it. My back took 64 hours and 11 sittings to complete because a lot of them are cover ups of rubbish old tattoos I had when I was younger

“I was in the chair for seven hours for the first tattoo, and it’s £350 a sitting. It’s roughly £6,000 altogether so I’ve spent a fair bit on them. I did it because I thought it was an original idea. I must have been the only one at the time.

Peaky Blinders superfan David Hatfield plans to add a tribute to Aunt Polly actor Helen McCrory

Peaky Blinders superfan David Hatfield plans to add a tribute to Aunt Polly actor Helen McCrory
(Image: SWNS)

“I’ve seen a couple more full back pieces now but I think I’m the only one with a full back and arms. I was speaking to Packy Lee, who plays Johnny Dogs, on Facebook and we were going to meet before Covid, but he is a busy man.

“I’m keeping my left arm mainly free for a tribute to Helen McCrory. I’ve always intended to get her as it was terribly sad when she died. She was an integral part of the show and a wonderful actress.”

Despite having spent thousands of pounds on tattoos, Mr Hatfield says he is still not used to the pain that comes from the dedication to his Peaky Blinders body art. “Some of them can be a breeze but other times you can lie there in agony”, he said. “The worst pain I had was my inner bicep and my lower back.

“I should’ve learnt my lesson by now and I said I’d stop when I did my back. But I will definitely finish it, with Aberama Gold and Polly to finalise both sleeves.

“I’m thinking of having a noose in a space around my elbow, connecting to the tat of Arthur as he tried to kill himself. I’ll have the ribs done next. I might have the back connecting to the ribs so it’s just one big piece. Once you get the bug you just keep on going.”

The final series of Peaky Blinders is currently airing on BBC One every Sunday at 9pm. Mr Hatfield says he reckons he knows how it is going to conclude.

Peaky Blinders superfan David Hatfield had his first Peaky Blinders tattoo in July 2016

David Hatfield had his first Peaky Blinders tattoo in July 2016
(Image: SWNS)

“It’s going to be sad when the series ends because it has just been superb from start to finish. I reckon it’s going to end with Michael and Tommy fighting, maybe Tommy dies as Michael blames him for his mum’s death.

“I think the grey man Tommy’s daughter kept talking about that was coming to get her is Michael Gray. I’ll definitely miss it when it’s no longer on but I really look forward to the film coming out.”

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Parliamentary reports show first speaker only - follow this lnk for the full transcription.
Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/peaky-blinders-superfan-spends-6000-23392256

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