December 12, 2017

NI cheapest place to fill fuel tank in UK – BBC News

Doesn’t feel like it, does it?

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Drivers in Northern Ireland have something to celebrate – prices seem to be rising more slowly than in other parts of the UK.

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30 dogs stopped travelling from Northern Ireland ports – BBC News – BBC News

Forgot their passports, did they?

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Animals are stopped from travelling from Northern Ireland ports in a bid to prevent puppy trafficking.

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Police in Northern Ireland are sending Christmas cards to shoplifters reminding them that they are being watched during this festive season.

The PSNI hopes Operation Nutmeg will deter criminals from thefts over Christmas period.

Acorn Publishing
in Antrim

Festive Cheer, Police Style

Police in Northern Ireland are sending Christmas cards to shoplifters reminding them that they are being watched during this festive season. A PSNI Craigavon Facebook post warned criminals a “dedicated team” of officers would be monitoring past offenders, referred to as “frequent flyers” closely.

The police hope Operation Nutmeg will deter criminals from thefts during the Christmas shopping period and the messages are being sent to convicted shoplifters in towns across Northern Ireland.

“Today we launch Op Nutmeg. It is, in part, as festive as it sounds! To start with, being the caring bunch we are, we’re sending Christmas cards to our frequent flyers, reminding them that we’re watching.”

“We’ll be making it clear to them, in no uncertain terms, that their sort of work is not welcome in ABC district.”

“We now have a dedicated team [of officers] who have been up close and personal with some of our prolific shop lifters. They will be out and about, supported by colleagues in local policing and district support teams,” the Facebook post says.

The PSNi said each day of the festive season would see extra officers policing the district.

“We’ll be targeting vehicles and individuals known to be involved in crime, patrolling shopping areas, and keeping an eye on residential areas while folk are at work or shopping,” the post read.

Appealing to the public for help, it read: “Just last night there was a break in in Portadown, so we need you to keep an eye on neighbours. Report any suspicious activity, whether it be vehicles you know shouldn’t be there, or people snooping around.”

“Call 101 any time of day or night, or 999 in an emergency. If you’re in a shop and see someone shoving something inside their jacket, removing security tags, or blatantly up to badness, let security or shop staff know immediately”

republished by: Acorn Publishing


Biggest supermoon for 70 years to be seen from Northern Ireland

Weather permitting, skywatchers will get to see a supermoon in the sky on Monday.

Acorn Publishing
in Antrim

14% Bigger – 30% Brighter!

ITV Report

There will be a record ‘supermoon’ on Monday, when the moon will be the brightest and closest to Earth in almost 70 years.

The Irish Astronomical Association says it will be the best supermoon since 1948 and there will not be a closer one for another 18 years. A ‘supermoon’ is a full moon occurring very close to its perigee, the time when it is closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit. It then appears larger and brighter than usual – about 14% bigger, and 30% brighter.

It will be seen it at its best as it sets in the west just before sunrise at about 7am on Monday and as it rises in the east that evening just after sunset, at about 5.05pm.

The moon always appears bigger when rising or setting, because of the so-called ‘moon illusion’, so the supermoon effect will be enhanced by that effect just when it appears biggest to us.

“The diameter of the moon at those times will be 33′ 32″ (33 arcminutes and 33 arc seconds), or just over half a degree, as seen from Belfast,” a spokesperson said.

“The moon will rise slightly early the further east you are, and slightly later the further west you are, compared with Belfast, but the apparent size of the moon will be much the same.”

The experts’ advice for photographing the supermoon is to choose a location ideally with a landmark for comparison.

Last updated Sun 13 Nov 2016

republished by: Acorn Publishing


Antrim arson: Family ‘traumatised’ after attack on cars

People living locally said they feared an oil tank would explode…

Acorn Publishing
in Antrim

Senseless Violence

People living in an Antrim estate said they feared an oil tank would explode during an arson attack on cars.
Police believe one car was deliberately set alight and two others also caught fire during the incident in the Aghaboy Gardens area.

Damage was also caused to nearby fences in the incident at about 00:50 GMT on Friday.Chris Johnston, who lives close to the scene of the attack, said residents were “on edge”.

The arson attack happened in the Aghaboy Gardens area

It was reported in the early hours of Friday morning.

He said his car was burnt out last year and there had been a number of other incidents in the area this month.

“When I came up the three cars were on fire, the tree was on fire, the fence was on fire – it nearly hit the oil tanks – it was pure carnage,” he said. “My mum and sister were traumatised, they were screaming. I couldn’t even console them last night.”

Chris Johnston said people were on edge following the arson attack

“Nearly the exact same time last year, a car was burnt out and my car was beside it and got burnt as well.”
“Everyone living in this street is scared.”

Police Officers have appealed for information.

Damage was also caused to nearby fences

republished by: Acorn Publishing


Northern Ireland’ change to Irish driving licence branded ‘ridiculous’ by Dublin TD

A DUBLIN TD has hit out at a “ridiculous” change to a driving licence issued in the Republic, in which a motorist’s place of birth was changed from ‘Ireland’ to ‘Northern Ireland.

Acorn Publishing
in Antrim

EU driving on the wrong side of the road again?

Sinn Féin’s Dessie Ellis spoke out after a renewed licence issued to Co Tipperary resident Thomas Murray stated ‘Northern Ireland’ as his place of birth.

The 79-year-old Belfast-born driver, who has lived in Co Tipperary since 1973, previously owned a licence that simply had ‘Ireland’ as his place of birth, but a complaint to the National Driver Licence Service was dismissed as he “confirmed your place of birth as Co Antrim, which is a part of Northern Ireland”.

Mr Thomas said he wanted a licence that “clearly reflects my nationality”, but Ireland’s Road Safety Authority said in a statement that an EU directive which came into force in 2013 required all licences to display the holder’s place of birth.

A spokeswoman said:

“The NDLS decided to use Northern Ireland as the description on the licence where a person has a place of birth in Northern Ireland and does not specifically request the usage of The United Kingdom. This information relates to place of birth not nationality or citizenship.”
However, Mr Murray’s previous licence stating he was born in Ireland had been issued on 2013, after the directive came into force.

Dublin North-West TD Dessie Ellis has previously raised the issue of driving licences changing place of birth from Ireland to Northern Ireland in the Dáil, and said of Mr Murray’s case: “I think this is a ridiculous change which should be looked into immediately.

“If someone wanted Northern Ireland on their licence, fair enough, but if they don’t, there should be no changes that might offend those who hold the document.”

republished by: Acorn Publishing


Scotland’s offer to give abortions to Northern Irish women shames Stormont

Women call for change in the law…

Acorn Publishing
in Antrim
Local news reports.

Violation Of Women’s Rights?

A pro-choice rally in Belfast in January in support of 21-year-old facing charges under strict abortion laws. Northern Irish women are excluded from accessing NHS terminations elsewhere in the UK. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Scotland and Northern Ireland are separated by just a few short miles of sea. But when it comes to access to abortion, they are divided by more than 150 years of history. While Scots women are able to access abortions on the same basis as their counterparts in England and Wales, Northern Irish women still face a near-total ban on the termination of pregnancy.

In 2014-15, only 16 women were able to have lawful abortions in Northern Ireland. By contrast, 833 Ulster women travelled to England or Wales and paid for terminations at private clinics. And despite being full and equal taxpayers, Northern Ireland-resident women have been barred from accessing free abortions in NHS hospitals in England, Wales and Scotland.

It was into this breach that Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, stepped last week when she told the Scottish parliament that she would explore the possibility of women and girls from Northern Ireland being able to access terminations through NHS Scotland. Her intervention has enraged the deeply conservative Democratic Unionist party (DUP), Northern Ireland’s largest party of government, but been welcomed by pro-choice and human rights campaigners in the region.

While healthcare has been a devolved matter in Scotland since the creation of the Scottish parliament, it was only in May this year that abortion law was handed over to Holyrood. It is against this backdrop that Sturgeon’s intervention has demonstrated leadership on behalf of Northern Irish women sorely lacking both at Stormont and Westminster. There is near unanimous support in the Holyrood parliament for keeping abortion provision for Scotland in line with the 1967 Abortion Act. The picture couldn’t be more different across the water.

As recently as February this year, the Northern Ireland assembly voted to keep the region’s abortion law as it is, refusing to legislate for abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or where the foetus has no chance of survival outside the womb. This was despite a Belfast high court finding, just two months previously, that Northern Ireland law breaches the European convention on human rights.

Meanwhile, the UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt has determined that the NHS in England must operate a residence-based system so that women who live in Northern Ireland are barred from accessing NHS abortion services in England, despite being UK citizens. This position is currently the subject of a legal challenge at the UK supreme court taken by a Northern Ireland teenager and her mother. They want women and girls from Northern Ireland to receive free abortions on the NHS in England.

The young woman at the centre of the case was 15 in 2012 when she and her mother travelled from Northern Ireland to Manchester and were asked to pay for a private termination. It is estimated that, with private clinic charges as well as the cost of travel and accommodation, a Northern Ireland woman needs to find anything between £400 and £2,000 to obtain a lawful abortion across the water in Britain – NHS care available for free to women in every other part of the UK.

Stephen Cragg, who is acting as QC for the mother and daughter, told the supreme court at a hearing earlier this month that women and girls like his client are “second-class citizens” who “live in the UK, but – unlike all other women and girls in the UK – they are at risk of the most serious criminal penalty if they procure an abortion in their own area”.

In Northern Ireland, any woman or girl who has an abortion deemed unlawful is liable for prosecution and could face a sentence of up to life imprisonment. Earlier this year a woman who had induced her own miscarriage by taking abortion pills obtained over the internet was found guilty under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act and given a three-month suspended sentence. There are a number of other similar cases poised to come before the courts in Northern Ireland, including the prosecution of a mother who obtained the pills on behalf of her pregnant teenage daughter.

Despite all this, a majority of Northern Ireland’s politicians have set their face against reform. Comfortable in their self-designation as “pro-life”, they appear to be immune to criticism – even from the UN, whose human rights committee recently ruled that this part of the UK’s laws prohibiting and criminalising abortion constitute a human rights violation.

But, increasingly, Northern Ireland’s politicians are being left behind by the people. Independent polling published recently by Amnesty International showed that seven in 10 people want to see Northern Ireland’s harsh abortion laws changed, while more than half want to see abortion decriminalised altogether. The tens of thousands of people who are calling for abortion to be decriminalised also speak to that shift.

Sturgeon’s offer of possible help to Northern Irish women and girls should be a matter of deep embarrassment to ministers in Northern Ireland. Theresa May should match Sturgeon’s offer to stand up for Northern Irish women abandoned by their own politicians. When it comes to the human right to healthcare, lines on a map should be no barrier.

republished by: Acorn Publishing


Larne revealed as Northern Ireland’s hottest new holiday destination – the Irish News

April 1st, right?

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THE north's hottest new holiday destination has been revealed as Larne.

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Will Grigg to miss Northern Ireland’s opening World Cup qualifier to stay at home with partner due to give birth – Daily Mail

Seems like Will Grigg’s on fire off the pitch as well as on it!

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Will Grigg is set to miss Northern Ireland’s opening World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic. He has not been included in the squad for Prague due to personal reasons.

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