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Calls to address housing inequality

There are new calls to urgently address what the United Nations has described as persistent housing inequality in north Belfast.

Housing Executive figures - released under a Freedom of Information request - reveal the extent of the waiting list for social houses in parts of the north of the city.

But a former DUP Housing Minister insists the need is the same across the constituency. Judith Hill reports.

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Cliff dangers highlighted after girl rescued in ‘nick of time’

The Coastguard has sent out a strong warning over the dangers of walking round cliffs during the rapid spring tides after a girl was rescued “in the nick of time”.

The 16-year-old became trapped at the foot of a cliff at Castlerock on Monday evening and had to be rescued.

Two of her three friends that she was with had managed to get to safety but had to be treated in hospital.

Chris Little from Coleraine Coastguard explained: “She was hypothermic and exhausted and had to be winched up from the cliff.

“One of our own Coastguard rope rescue technicians was lowered from the top of the 100ft cliff to the girl at the bottom, secured her in a harness and brought her up just as the waves broke over the platform.

“We were concerned not just about the hypothermia the first casualty had suffered but also the fact that two of them had taken in sea water and as a precaution against secondary drowning they were sent to hospital by ambulance to be treated.”

“Being at the bottom of a 100ft cliff is a very dangerous place to be and with a rapidly rising spring tide you are going to be washed away, so it was really an operation that was conducted just in the nick of time.”

– Chris Little, Coastguard

Mr Little stressed the risks of coastal walks if you are unfamiliar with the area.

“When the tide is out you can walk round the base of the cliff, but in just a few hours the area becomes submerged again,” he said.

“It’s very deceptive and if you don’t know the area it’s very very easy to be caught out.”

He added: “Don’t explore rocks in this way, it’s far too dangerous. Secondly, if you see someone in difficulty or get into difficulty yourself, don’t hesitate, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

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