Northern Ireland

Weekly newspaper review: Wayne Rooney and 'Ireland's oldest draper'

Londonderry Sentinel Image copyright Londerry Sentel
Mid-Ulster Mail Image copyright Mid-Ulster Mail
Ballymoney and Moyle Times Image copyright Ballymoney and Moyle Times
Impartial Reporter front page Image copyright Impartial Reporter
Lurgan Mail Image copyright Lurgan Mail
Ulster Gazette front page Image copyright Ulster Gazette

Let's kick things off with the Ulster Gazette, where an Armagh man has pitched a claim to fame.

According to the paper, Shane McGeown played an important role in footballer Wayne Rooney's first match back as an Everton player.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Wayne Rooney announced this week that he was leaving Manchester United for Everton

The Toffees flew out to Tanzania on Tuesday for a pre-season friendly with Gor Mahia on Thursday and Rooney told his new club's TV channel that he was looking forward to some time on the pitch.

And Rooney can rest assured that the playing surface will be in perfect condition, because Mr McGeown has been in Tanzania for the past five weeks completely re-laying the pitch.

Mr McGeown is certainly a man in demand and last summer spent a number of weeks in France overseeing the Republic of Ireland's training pitches for their appearances at the Euros.

From Tanzania all the way back to Ballymoney now, where a farmer has been handed a hefty fine after he admitted polluting a waterway.

In July 2015, a Water Quality Inspector from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency took a sample from water at the Caldanagh Burn at Carnany Bridge in Ballymoney and found 100% fungal growth coverage on the waterway.

The Ballymoney and Moyle Times reports that Robert Skelton, from Kilraghts Road, Ballymoney, was fined £500 at Coleraine Magistrates Court this week.

Also in the paper are record-breaking Irish dancers from Loughgiel, County Antrim.

The Loughgiel Folk Dancers have become the first ever group in the history of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales to score a perfect 100/100.

Image copyright ukapala
Image caption The dancers, from Loughgiel had plenty of support

Not surprisingly, the group took first place in the competition.

Inside the paper there is a gallery of pictures of the successful dancers dressed in matching red and black, as well as some of their proud supporters.

The Lurgan Mail reports on a "crackdown" on parking at Craigavon Area Hospital.

A licensed car parking contractor will begin patrolling the Craigavon site and will issue parking tickets to drivers from 17 July.

Esther Gishkori, director of acute services for the Southern Trust, told the paper: "Those familiar with our busy hospital sites will be very well aware of the ongoing issues.

Image caption Parking charges will be £60 or £40 if you pay within a specified time

"It is absolutely vital that we protect emergency routes and allow ease of drop off for those who need access to the hospital."

One woman who knows all about dealing with emergencies is Rosie Mullholland.

Ms Mullholland, who is a nurse, was awarded a Spirit of NI award for her services to health.

The mum-of-six has been described as someone who goes "above and beyond" in her job "constantly".

Ms Mullholland also cares for her mother who has dementia and offers a home to a foster child.

A judge in the competition said: "In spite of all this, Rosie never loses the smile from her face and continues to inspire those around her with her grace and humility."


There's concern in the Mid-Ulster Mail that there will be traffic "misery" over the coming months.

That's because two major schemes get under way at opposite ends of Cookstown next Monday.

NI Water roadworks and the £250m Gas to the West project is also kicking off.

Traffic at the Moneynick Road, one of the main routes into Cookstown, is expected to be restricted to one lane, while Drum Road will be closed for the same period.

The Londonderry Sentinel has issued a stark warning from the Western Trust that fraudsters are targeting residents in the Creggan area.

Image copyright ChristianHjortland
Image caption The police have also said door-to-door callers should always be asked to show ID

"Fraudsters have been going door-to-door in the estate claiming to be junior doctors from the trust and seeking funds for heart procedures.

"A spokesperson from the Trust said: 'It has been brought to our attention that there may be bogus callers operating in the Derry area claiming to be from the trust, cold calling doorsteps and asking residents for cash'."

The trust has warned people to be vigilant and asked people to share the warning with elderly and vulnerable people.

The police have also said door-to-door callers should always be asked to show ID.

Also in the paper is the uplifting story of Stephanie Burton who has just graduated from Queen's with a first-class honours degree in nursing - despite suffering from a brain injury after being attacked on holidays just two years ago.

"At first Stephanie struggled with her diagnosis, overwhelmed by the journey ahead of her," the Sentinel reports.

'Heart of the community'

"But after a gruelling six months of appointments Stephanie was ready to get her life back on track."

Stephanie is now working at Altnagelvin Hospital, where she says she will strive to give patients the same support she received.

In the Impartial Reporter there's the news that 'Ireland's oldest draper' has died.

Josie O'Hanlon, who the paper says has served in the occupation for 83 years, died last Sunday at the age of 98.

He is described as "a content man at the heart of his community".

The paper reports that Mr O'Hanlon, who died eight weeks after his brother, Tommy, remained active at his work until a short time before his death.

Image copyright vins_m
Image caption Mr O'Hanlon's Singer sewing machine was brought to the funeral as a symbol of his working life.

According to the paper, Josie was third in a family of 14 and taken out of school at the age of 15 by his father to take up the trade.

His Singer sewing machine was brought to the funeral as a symbol of his working life.

Elsewhere in the paper, there's a family who say they hope lessens can be learned from their son's death.

An inquest into the death of Niall Leonard found he killed himself in prison and that "inappropriate and inadequate actions" were taken which led to his untimely death.

Image caption Niall Leonard was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a woman

Mr Leonard, a law student from Fermanagh was found dead in his single cell in Maghaberry in July 2012.

A lawyer representing the family said: "Too often vulnerable prisoners fail to receive adequate levels of care.

"Whilst it is too late for Niall - my clients hope that appropriate lessons can be learnt from his tragic death."