Northern Ireland

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    A record number of Coronavirus cases have been recorded in the north in the last 24 hours.

    There were 1217 new cases of Covid 19 and four additional deaths.

    A four week 'circuit breaker' lockdown will come into effect in Northern Ireland on Friday.

    The measures include an extended Halloween break for schools, which will reopen on November 2nd.

    Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill says the two week long school closure could be extended.

    Here, Cabinet Ministers will meet this evening to decide whether or not to move border counties to level four restrictions.

    A high level officials group was briefed by the Chief Medical Officer this morning after Northern Ireland entered a four week circuit break lockdown.

     It's expected Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan will be moved to higher restrictions while Louth and Leitrim may escape them.

    A full announcement is expected tonight as to whether those restrictions will be needed to bring the border counties in line with Northern Ireland.

  • The National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) is issuing a final reminder to anyone resident in Ireland with a UK / NI driving licence that they need to exchange it now, as their UK/NI licence will not be valid to drive here after 31 December 2020.

     While the UK has left the EU, a transition period was agreed that allowed for the exchange of driving licences to continue. That transition period ends on the 31st of December 2020. If you are resident in Ireland and using a UK licence to drive it will no longer be valid to drive in Ireland after this date.

     It’s necessary to have a valid driving licence, and you can legally drive in Ireland by exchanging a UK licence for an Irish driving licence.

     To exchange your licence, you must complete a licence application form and present it, the correct fee and your UK licence at any NDLS centre. You must make an appointment online at www.ndls.ie to attend any of the 36 NDLS centres.

    Visitors to Ireland holding a UK/NI licence, will continue to be entitled to drive in Ireland as a visitor with their existing driving licence. Visitors won’t be required to carry an International Driving Permit in order to drive here so long as they carry their UK/NI driving licence with them. 

     

  • Arlene Foster says she's stepping down as DUP leader and Northern Ireland's First Minister.

    It follows calls from within her party for a leadership contest.

    She'll step away from heading the DUP on the 28th May - but will remain first minister until the end of June.

    In a statement, Mrs Foster's described serving the people of Northern Ireland as 'the privilege of my life.'

  • Ian Baraclough is set to become the new Northern Ireland manager.

    The former Sligo Rovers boss has reportedly been offered the job ahead of their Euro 2020 playoff semi-final against Bosnia this autumn.

    Baraclough is the current manager of Northern Ireland's under-21s and his first games as senior boss would be against Romania and Norway in the Nations League.

  • Seven cases of the Indian coronavirus variant have been confirmed in Northern Ireland.

    The north's Chief Medical Officer says the news is not entirely unexpected and plans are in place for such an eventuality.

    Dr Michael McBride added confirmation of these cases does not mean the variant is going to become the most prevalent or dominant strain in the North.

     

     

     

     

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  • Mick Mulvaney has been appointed as the new US special envoy to Northern Ireland.

     

    He's been replaced as acting chief of staff, a role he's held since the end of 2018.

     

    Mr Mulvaney, who has links to Co. Mayo, will be replaced by congressman Mark Meadows.

     

    Scott Jennings, a former advisor to President George W. Bush, told CNN the timing of the changes is no surprise:

  • The ROI U16 team drew 1-1 with Northern Ireland in their penultimate Victory Shield match yesterday.

    Sligo Rover's Darragh Reilly captained the side in their final game of the Welsh Tournament.

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    A European leader says he's confident a solution on the Northern Ireland protocol can be reached in the next 48 hours.

    Vice-president of the European Commission, Maros Sefcovic, made his comments to members of the Stormont Assembly.

    The EU's indicated it could be willing to extend Wednesday's implementation date, over concerns cold meats and other goods could be banned from entering Northern Ireland from Britain.

    Maros Sefcovic insists the EU has taken a flexible approach to dealing with the issue:

     

  • Anyone living in Ireland with a UK/Northern Ireland driving licence is being urged to submit their applications to exchange it now as time is running out.

    As it can take up to 10 days to process an exchange, the National Driver Licensing Service says it cannot guarantee that any person applying in the second half of October will receive their Irish licence before Brexit day.

    In anticipation of an increase in demand for licence exchanges ahead of 31st October, the NDLS is offering some extra opening hours in some of their centres.