Northern Ireland

Paper review: UVF flags, abortion row and George Best in bronze

News Letter front page Image copyright News Letter

Could an agreement on flying illegal flags be on its way?

The Irish News headline puns "UVF waives illegal flags," reporting that a community group linked to the east Belfast UVF has agreed a protocol on which flags fly and where.

The group tells the paper the flags will only be flown in public spaces and for a limited number of months.

In addition, only historical UVF flags commemorating its role in World War One will be allowed.

The shiny new Ulster University Belfast campus has been a long time coming, but it is hoped that work may soon be completed, says the Belfast Telegraph.

The £250m project has faced long delays, after construction companies went into administration, the paper reports.

However a new deal with a Portuguese firm has been "hammered out," to enable payments to subcontractors, bringing fresh hope that work will restart soon.

Image caption Mr Eastwood has said he supports a 'yes' vote

Is the stance taken by the SDLP leader on the upcoming Irish abortion referendum an "act of political suicide?"

That's what some anti-abortion groups have accused Colum Eastwood of doing, according to the News Letter.

On Friday, voters in the Republic of Ireland will decide whether or not to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the constitution, which dictates that.

Mr Eastwood said he supports a 'yes' vote.

However representatives from two anti-abortion groups have strongly criticised the move as confusing to voters on where the party stands on the issue.

There's a row over flags in the GAA, reports the Irish News.

The sport's Ulster Council has confirmed that the Palestinian flag is not allowed on grounds, the paper says.

It says it has been claimed that an official asked spectators to remove two flags from the Tyrone v Monaghan senior championship match in Omagh on Sunday.

The flags were not removed, the paper says, but the Ulster Council tells it that no flag other than the "official GAA flag, national flag and team colours" were permitted.

Furthermore it said the display and possession of flag poles was contrary to ground regulations.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption George Best - soon to be immortalised in bronze?

In the inside pages, the Belfast Telegraph reports that a crowd-funding appeal has been launched to finish off a statue of George Best.

Today would have been the 72nd birthday of the former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer, who died in November 2005.

The statue is due to be erected beside the entrance to Windsor Park at the new Olympia Leisure Complex.

Sculptor Tony Currie has said that his crowd-funding appeal needs to raise £40,000 to cast the clay sculpture in bronze.

"I was moved to make the sculpture because I was a huge fan of George," he said.

According to the paper, it is hoped that the statue will be completed by late September or early October and any surplus money raised will be donated to the Harry Gregg Foundation.

'Talk of the town'

Switching the focus from footballing royalty to the modern day monarchy, the News Letter focuses on Prince Harry's new title of Baron Kilkeel and the town's link to a fountain built in his late mother's memory.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The couple

The title was conferred on Prince Harry on his wedding day to Meghan Markle on Saturday.

The paper reports that in 2004, the Queen paid tribute to Kilkeel stone masons S McConnell and Sons at the official opening of a £3.6m memorial fountain in Hyde Park in London.

Several members of the McConnell family met Princes William and Harry at the ceremony.

South Down DUP MLA Jim Wells, who is writing to the newlyweds to invite them to the area, tells the paper: "There is no doubt this has to be linked to the fountain. That is certainly the talk of the town."