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Ministers have announced a six-month delay on plans to end a system of childcare vouchers after representations by the DUP. Education Secretary Damian Hinds made the concession at the end of a Commons debate called by Labour, after a question from DUP MP Emma Little-Pengelly. Employer-backed childcare vouchers are being…
The Government would be acting unconstitutionally if it stepped in to pay compensation to abuse victims in Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley has insisted. The Secretary of State said an intervention on the emotive issue would undermine the terms of 1998 peace agreement. Mrs Bradley has faced criticism for not taking…
A former Irish president has revealed her youngest brother was "seriously, physically, sadistically" abused by a paedophile priest Fr Malachy Finnegan. Mary McAleese said her brother only revealed the abuse at the age of 49. She said the physical abuse happened throughout his seven years at St Colman's College in…
Stuart Olding has dismissed as "completely untrue" allegations that he and his friends tried to cover up drunken sexual activity with a woman who has accused him of rape. The Ulster and Ireland rugby player also batted away prosecution suggestions that he had gone "way beyond what was acceptable", insisting…
The UK Government has tabled a budget for Northern Ireland in the ongoing absence of devolved ministers due to the powersharing crisis. Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley unveiled the £12 billion Westminster spending plan for the region in a written statement to Parliament. The budget includes £410 million of the…
The Irish Government has finalised the wording for an abortion referendum giving the go-ahead for voters to have their say on liberalising Ireland abortion laws. Ministers formally approved the referendum bill at a Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings in Dublin. The move comes in the wake of the Supreme Court…
Paddy Jackson has denied "concocting" a story with his friends to cover their tracks in case of rape allegations. The Irish rugby international was giving evidence on the 28th day of his high-profile trial at Belfast Crown Court. Arthur Harvey QC, representing Blane McIlroy who is contesting an exposure charge,…
A Catholic bishop in Northern Ireland has resigned following claims he celebrated Mass alongside a priest he knew was a paedophile. Dr John McAreavey was Bishop of Dromore. Diocesan secretary Fr Gerald Powell said he had resigned with "immediate effect". Fr Malachy Finnegan has been accused of sexual abuse by…
Prosecutors have concluded their case against two Ireland and Ulster rugby players accused of rape. The Crown completed presenting evidence on day 24 of the high profile trial at Belfast Crown Court. Paddy Jackson, 26, from Oakleigh Park in Belfast and his team mate Stuart Olding, 24, from Ardenlee Street…
Kincora child abuse survivor Clint Massey has died. Mr Massey spent eight months in the notorious East Belfast residential home aged 16. It opened on Belfast's Upper Newtownards Road, close to Stormont's Parliament Buildings in May 1958 and closed in October 1980 following the sex abuse scandal. Survivors' campaigner Margaret…
A woman who has accused two Irish rugby players of rape was branded a "silly girl" who was "causing trouble for the lads" in messages exchanged among their friends, a court has heard. A series of text and WhatsApp communications were read into the record at Belfast Crown Court, where…
Victims of the Northern Ireland Troubles are tired of their rights being used as a "bargaining chip" in the push to get a deal at Stormont, a campaigner has said. A number of groups representing relatives bereaved in different fatal incidents have taken to the streets of Belfast to call…
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