Northern Ireland

NI paper review: Paramilitary crackdown, lotto mystery

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton
Image caption PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton gave a progress report on the team's successes

A crackdown on paramilitaries leads the Irish News and News Letter, which both report 100 arrests over the last two years by a specialist police team.

The team, which includes members of the PSNI, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and customs officers, has also seized more than £450,000 of suspects' assets.

Among the items seized were guns, pipe bombs and drugs.

The team has been working on the initiative for more than a year and its activities are about to be stepped up.

The move is part of the 2015 Fresh Start Agreement, but the Irish News points out that the team's "first progress report was delivered without a single political representative present".

The paper says civil servants are managing the team's £50m budget.

Job fears

Belfast Telegraph staff stayed up late to wait for a US ruling on the Bombardier trade dispute, which could threaten thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland.

The aerospace firm lost the first round of its battle against its US rival Boeing, which accused it of anti-competitive practice in the sale of its C-Series planes, which are partly made in Belfast.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The C Series project supports hundreds of jobs in Belfast

The paper says the US Department of Commerce has proposed a punitive import tariff of almost 220%, which could jeopardise a major order with US airline, Delta.

Inside, the paper features a David versus Goliath battle at Northern Ireland's biggest tourist attraction, the Giant's Causeway.

It reports how a small family-run souvenir shop, which has been in business at the beauty spot for more than 70 years, faces eviction by the National Trust.

The owner, Tommy McConaghy, tells the paper the trust is planning to turn his shop into new toilet facilities.

'Horrified'

In Larne, heartless grave robbers have left a grieving family distraught by desecrating a man's final resting place, reports the News Letter.

Nuala Yetman's husband, Mark, died last year at the age of 46, and she decorated his grave with "beautiful, iridescent, heart-shaped stones".

She told the paper that when she visited the graveyard on Sunday, she was horrified to discover that every single one of the stones had been stolen.

A south Belfast restaurant has been forced to eat its words after a ill-judged lunch promotion sign appeared to trivialise domestic violence.

Ribs and Bibs on Botanic Avenue has apologised over the sandwich board sign which read: "Ya can beat the wife, but ya can't beat a £5 lunch."

'Lack of respect'

The Daily Mirror quotes a Women's Aid spokeswoman who said: "We are appalled a local restaurant has used a joke about domestic violence to sell lunches."

If that's not enough to put you off your food, the Belfast Telegraph reports on a "frying shame" at the Labour Party conference.

It says a supply of potato bread or fadge - a much-loved staple of Northern Ireland breakfast tables - was specially flown in to the event in Brighton.

However, something was lost in translation as the delicacy was served up cold, and photographic evidence was tweeted by BBC political correspondent, Stephen Walker.

The paper says his image of the cold fadge "caused consternation on social media".

Chef Paula McIntyre tells the paper the abomination showed "a complete lack of respect for potato bread".

Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Mary Murphy, Bere Island's postmistress, sold the winning ticket from her post office last week

Several of the papers tease us with a few sparse details of an Irish island's "worst-kept secret".

A group of residents from Bere Island, who shared a 500,000 euros win on the Euromillions lottery, travelled to Dublin to collect their winnings on Tuesday.

The Daily Mirror reports on how the syndicate managed to give the international press the slip as they arrived at the National Lottery HQ.

One of the winners, who did not want to be named, told the paper: "We're timed this perfectly as we hear there's a TV crew from Sky on the island looking for us this morning."