Northern Ireland

NI paper review: Border patrols and festival fund concerns

FRONT PAGE DAILY MIRROR Thursday 24 January 2019
front page News Letter Thursday 24 January 2019 Image copyright News Letter

Border patrols, Ian Paisley's response to flight claims and criticism over festival funding make the headlines on Thursday.

There are questions around the allocation of public funds for a festival which is in line for £200,000.

Sinn Féin councillors recommended that 2019 Féile an Phobail receives increased financial support.

It comes as a "new cultural strategy" is to be adopted from April.

Alliance councillor Sian O'Neill told the paper: "There has to be an open call for submissions, there has to be an application process and criteria."

Image caption The council is to adopt a "new cultural strategy" is to be adopted from April

"Why I took £6,000 flight," reads the front page of the Irish News.

DUP MP Ian Paisley has defended the price of a "last minute" flight to the US in February 2018, which cost a charity thousands of pounds.

He told the paper: "My engagements at either side in London and my constituency, the shortness of time in New York city explain the costs of a business class flight."

In a statement, the DUP said Mr Paisley, "attended this event in a personal capacity and registered the associated costs paid by Cooperation Ireland as required".

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Ian Paisley succeeded his late father as MP for North Antrim in 2010

'Border patrol if crash-out'

The Belfast Telegraph claims Dublin is planning to deploy hundreds of uniformed gardaí (Irish police) to the Irish border in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The paper reports that its estimated about 600 officers will be required at the 300 border crossings.

It adds that gardaí will work alongside 400 new Irish customs staff.

The UK is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29 March.

Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption Michael Stone (centre) being restrained during the attack at Stormont in 2006

Loyalist Michael Stone has secured a legal route to the UK's highest court in his bid to overturn a ruling that he must remain in jail until 2024, reports the Irish News.

Earlier this month, the killer was told he must serve a further five-and-a-half years in prison before he can be considered for release.

Stone, 63, was freed under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in 2000, but was returned to jail six years later for trying to kill Sinn Féin leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness at Stormont in 2006.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption At the funerals of three IRA members, loyalist gunman Michael Stone fired shots and threw grenades at mourners

He claims that six years he spent out on licence should be counted towards his minimum term of imprisonment.

'Increase in demand'

A charity claims the removal of funding will leave about 2,000 children vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse, according to the Daily Mirror.

Breakthru, which works across counties Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh and Down, has been in action for the last 23 years and has 14 staff members.

It says its future is now in jeopardy due to a change of the Public Health Agency's (PHA) fund commissioning rules.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Breakthru says its future is now uncertain

Bernadette McHugh, manager at the charity, says the demand for their service has increased.

"A lot of young people are so vulnerable and in many ways traumatised through their experiences," she added.

"The board have said we need to find between £25,000 and £30,000 a year to keep running, which is really not a lot of money.

"When the PHA money stopped that's when the whole thing turned."

'Frozen grief'

A funeral has been told about the "cruel and untimely" death of a father-of-two who was shot dead on Friday.

Wayne Boyle, 37, was shot dead in a flat on the Lower Dromore Road at about 19:30 GMT by two masked men.

Twenty-one year-old Alice Louise Burns was also injured.

Cannon John Kearney condemned the attackers who, "interrupted God's perfect timing to inflict frozen grief", reports the Belfast Telegraph.