Northern Ireland

NI weekly paper review: Floods and anti-social behaviour

Ulster Gazette Image copyright Ulster Gazette
Antrim Guardian Image copyright Antrim Guardian
Newry Reporter Image copyright Newry Reporter
Impartial Reporter Image copyright Impartial Reporter
Ulster Herald Image copyright Ulster Herald
Coleraine Chronicle Image copyright Coleraine Chronicle

It's like something out of an apocalyptic Hollywood blockbuster - two men standing beyond a gaping hole where a bridge once stood on the Camlough Road near Carrickmore.

That is the image on the front page of this week's Ulster Herald.

The paper has three pages of coverage on the "havoc" of severe flooding in Tyrone.

The "worst floods in living memory" damaged homes, businesses and sports clubs in the mid-Tyrone area as well as drowning livestock.

The Ulster Herald comprehensively covers the story and prints a number of striking images of the damage.

The Herald also covers the funeral service of Emma Doogan, who died after taking drugs on Saturday.

The priest who said the mass condemned drug dealers as "destroyers of life".

However, Fr Kevin McElhennon said people who sell drugs should "not be demonised" as they also need help.

Holiday terror

"Mere moments" - that is what separated an Armagh family from the carnage of the Barcelona terror attack according to the Ulster Gazette.

"It could have been us," Edel and Oisin Halligan told the paper.

The Gazette features a picture of the mother and son on Las Ramblas shortly before the attack that claimed the lives of 13 people and injured more than 100.

Armagh woman Edel tells the paper of the panic that gripped the city in the aftermath of the van being driven into crowds of local people and tourists in the centre of the Catalan capital's tourist area.

"We had a fantastic holiday, but it had a horrible ending," she added.

The Ulster Gazette also details how plans to transform Armagh Gaol into a hotel "have progressed further".

Image caption Armagh Gaol: Fancy booking yourself in for a night here?

The plan has been mooted for a decade but an application for listed building consent could allow alterations to be carried out that could facilitate the development.

The prison, which closed in 1986, was not originally designed with luxury in mind of course.

Stark child safety warning

It is perhaps a reflection of our times but when a newspaper asks, "Where are your children?," readers have little doubt as to where the story is heading.

The Antrim Guardian says that "police have warned parents to make sure they know where their children are in the evenings".

The stark request comes after "a centre for vulnerable adults in Antrim was attacked this week for the third time in as many months".

Windows in the centre were smashed forcing people who use the facility to be moved to different rooms.

The paper's second story is in a similar vein - "PSNI urged to get tough as vandals threaten to de-rail good community work in Randalstown".

Local DUP politician Trevor Clarke is urging a police crackdown on anti-social behaviour as it takes its toll on the town.

Mr Clarke said when the police "pulled out of Randalstown promises were made to the community" but he questioned if a lack of police resources allow them to fulfil their commitments.

Documentary on Christmas murder

Over in the Newry Reporter, there is news of a national TV documentary on "one of the most horrific murders to ever happen in Newry".

Maire Rankin, 81, was murdered in her home on the Dublin Road in the city on Christmas Day 2008.

45-year-old Karen Walsh was convicted of the murder in 2011 and was sentenced to serve at least 20 years in prison before being considered for parole.

Image caption Maire Rankin was found murdered in her home on Christmas Day 2008

Walsh carried out a sexual assault on her victim in an effort to cover her tracks.

The documentary is expected to focus on Walsh and how it came to pass that she beat the elderly woman with a crucifix.

Fermanagh's Impartial Reporter leads with the story of the Newtownbutler "best friends" who lost their lives in a single-vehicle road collision.

22-year-old Luke Lynch died when the car he was travelling in collided with a tree on the Clones Road near the village on Sunday evening.

Ronan Melarkey, (21), was taken to hospital in a critical condition but died in hospital on Tuesday.

The story outlines the impact such an accident has, not only on the families of those who died, but only on the whole of their tight-knit community.

A third passenger involved in the collision was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Reporter also has two fascinating pictures of high-profile priest Fr Brian D'Arcy leaving the Graan Monastery in Fermanagh to take up a new role in Crossgar, County Down.

Image caption Fr Brian D'Arcy is one of the most high profile Catholic priests in Ireland

Under these pictures of Fr D'Arcy making his way down the stairs, suitcase in hand, the paper publishes a series of tributes to the cleric, from both local people and from celebrities such as television presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ryan Tubridy.

'Laser attack'

"Man accused of helicopter attack," is the startling headline on the front page of the Coleraine Chronicle.

The paper leads with the news that an arrest warrant has been issued for a Portrush man accused of "endangering a police helicopter during an alleged laser attack".

The charge relates to an alleged incident earlier this year in which a laser pen was pointed at a police helicopter engaged in a search and rescue operation.

And finally, good news for north-coast pie fans - the Chronicle reports that food chain Greggs plans to open a shop in Coleraine, which would of course be a jobs boost for the town.