Northern Ireland

Kingsmill video controversy makes lead in NI newspapers

front page of the News Letter, Monday 8 January 2018 Image copyright News Letter
front page of Daily Mirror, Monday 8 January 2018 Image copyright Daily Mirror

Controversy over a video tweeted by Sinn Féin MP Barry McElduff features on the front page of Monday's papers.

The politician was filmed with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmills massacre.

He posted it on Twitter on Friday. Mr McElduff has since apologised and said he did not realise there was a link between the brand name and anniversary.

Ten Protestants were murdered by the IRA in the massacre on 5 January 1976.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Barry McElduff posted the video shortly after midnight on 5 January

The Belfast Telegraph reports that there had been no comment made on the incident by Sinn Féin leadership.

The Irish News headline reads - "Little Sinn Féin public support for McElduff".

It is understood the party leadership is to meet the MP on Monday to discuss the video.

The paper further reports that only one of Sinn Féin's 27 MLAs offered support to Mr McElduff on Twitter.

Image caption Ten Protestant workmen were murdered in the 1976 Kingsmills massacre

Meanwhile, the News Letter headline reads "Kingsmill stunt a 'Sinn Féin own goal'".

Colin Worton, whose brother was murdered in the attack, told the paper: "He was probably thinking that only a few of his cronies would laugh back at it, but now a whole new generation of people know what the IRA did at Kingsmills."

Significant progress

"Bomb parts the key to catching Kerr Killers," reports the Daily Mirror.

Detectives investigating the murder of Const Ronan Kerr believe tracing car bomb parts may hold the key to finding his killers.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption No-one has been charged with the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr

No-one has been charged with the murder of the 25-year-old in Omagh, County Tyrone, in April 2011.

Det Ch Insp John Caldwell said "significant progress" had been made in the investigation.

"The key to putting people before a court charged with Ronan's murder lies with local communities in Omagh and east Tyrone," he said.

"Ronan's family deserve to see his terrorist murderers behind bars where they belong."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The scene following the murder of Ronan Kerr, 25, who died in a car bomb in Omagh on 2 April 2011

TV repairs

Elsewhere, the Irish News reports that almost £250,000 has been spent replacing televisions in prisons in Northern Ireland over the past three years.

It is understood that the money was drawn from the Prisoners' Amenities Fund, which is used to finance activities throughout the prison system.

Since 2014-15 about £19,000 has been taken from the fund for snooker table repairs.

Image caption The Irish News looks at the issue of televisions in prison cells in Northern Ireland

A spokesperson for the Prison service told the paper: "The monies paid into the Prisoners' Amenities Fund are from the tuck shop, uncollected prisoners' personal cash receipts, rental income paid for the use of the in-cell TVs and sales generated within the workshop area."

They added that everyone "committed to prison" is offered a TV in their cell for £1 per week, and is considered a privilege which can be removed if rules are broken.

Dogs to find new play park

A dog park that was run by volunteers in south Belfast at an empty warehouse has been axed, according to the Daily Mirror.

Doggy Dynamos, which was based at the old B&Q site on the Boucher Road, was believed to be Belfast's only indoor dog park.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption A protest against the closure of the site took place on Sunday

Pet owners that used the area said the operators closed the doors without warning over Christmas.

Maeve O'Gorman told the paper: "We were in negotiation with South 13 after trying for month to set up a pay plan.

"The next thing we know they have closed the park.

"We are absolutely heartbroken for our lovely dog and their owners."

The paper reports that a spokesperson from South 13 declined to comment.

'No respect'

A pensioner has been left devastated after discovering his parents' grave had been vandalised at Belfast City Cemetery, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

Andrew McAllister, 82, said those behind the damage had "no respect".

Last year, a number of graves were attacked and fires were lit in the grounds.

Image caption Damage caused to graves at the cemetery in 2017

Belfast City Council has admitted that attacks are an "ongoing issue" at the City Cemetery.

It said that if a headstone is damaged the council will see that it is repaired, however, if it is damaged by natural wear and tear, repairs will be down to the grave owner.