NI paper review: Burglars, international caps and clowns

By Niall Glynn

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image copyrightNews Letter

Libyan compensation, parochial house burglaries, international caps and a defence of clowns make Friday's papers.

"Government has broken my heart: IRA victim's mum" is the headline on the front of the Belfast Telegraph.

The paper says that the government has been criticised for rejecting a call for a compensation scheme for victims of Libya-sponsored IRA terrorism.

Hamida Bashir, whose son Inam, was killed in the 1996 Docklands bombing said she was appalled by the decision.

"This report shows that the government has great words of false sympathy, but in reality they don't care, because we are all expendable," she says.

image captionPolice at the scene of the 1996 Docklands bomb in which 29-year-old Inam Bashir and another man were killed

The Irish News leads with a call for tough sentences for two men convicted of a string of burglaries, including at a number of parochial houses.

During one of the break-ins by Owen Maughan, 37, whose address was given as Maghaberry Prison and Patrick Maughan, of Birchdale Manor, Lurgan, an elderly priest was threatened as his home was ransacked.

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood says they "should face the fullest extent of the law".

Also on its front page the paper has the tragic story of Lurgan father of four Jerome McAreavey, who died of a heart attack just hours after taking his grandson to his first Premier League game.

The Man City fan, who was 73, had travelled with his son and grandsons, aged eight and 10, to see his team beat Liverpool 5-0 last Saturday.

The hottest headline of the front pages is "Sinn Fein under fire on incinerator stance" - the splash in the News Letter.

It says one of the reasons a controversial waste incinerator on the outskirts of Belfast was given the green light was that the Department for Infrastructure, headed at the time by Sinn Féin's Chris Hazzard, took a "neutral stance" on it.

image copyrightBecon Consortium
image captionAn artist's impression of the proposed waste facility

Sinn Féin has been highly critical of the decision to give the go ahead to the scheme, but the UUP's Steve Aiken accuses them of "once again attempting to rewrite inconvenient facts to suit their current position".

The Belfast Telegraph reports on the funeral of Belfast man Stephen Ferrin, the third of three brothers from the north of the city to have taken his own life

Stephen's parents described him as a "handsome, bubbly and witty young man" who would be "deeply missed".

Football caps not old hat

A number of sports-related stories make the news pages of the papers.

The Telegraph says that members of Northern Ireland's women's football team have finally been recognised by the IFA, more than 30 years after representing their country on a tour of the US in 1981.

Coleraine woman Patricia Rohdich tells the paper it was worth the wait to receive her international cap and that it's not old hat.

Patricia was one of three of the women offered the chance to return to the US and play professionally, but says she didn't have the nerve to do it.

She says one of the others took up the offer and is still involved in coaching in America.

image copyright©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
image captionCaoimhin Hynes was left for dead after being attacked in Belfast city centre in May

Meanwhile, the Irish News says that west Belfast boxer Caoimhin Hynes will be back in the ring next week, just five months after being left for dead.

Caoimhin was punched, hit with a bottle and slashed from ear to neck with a knife on Royal Avenue in May.

"The fact is I still don't know who did it. I could be walking past him for all I know," he tells the paper.

Hurricane Irma continues to feature in the papers.

Magherafelt man Gary Dunseith tells the Daily Mirror that he was playing cards with his wife and children in their Florida home when a tree crashed through their roof.

The family spent the rest of Sunday night huddled together as the wind and rain poured in.

image copyrightGetty Images

Finally, as the new version of Stephen King's It hits the cinema screens, the News Letter features a defence of clowns.

Downpatrick clown Silly Tilly - whose real name is Noleen Fries Neumann - insists that clowns are not scary.

"I wouldn't be doing this if I was scaring children, I do this because I love to see their faces, I love to make people laugh," she tells the paper.

Personally I've never found clowns scary and I've encountered quite a few over the years.

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