Northern Ireland

NI weekly paper review: Parking trouble at Mass in Newry

Front page of the Down Recorder Image copyright Down Recorder
Front page of the Fermanagh Herald Image copyright Fermanagh Herald
Front page of the Larne Times Image copyright Larne Times
Front page of the Londonderry Sentinel Image copyright Londonderry Sentinel
Front page of the Mid Ulster Mail Image copyright Mid-Ulster Mail
Front page of the Newry Reporter Image copyright Newry Reporter

A story in this week's Newry Reporter shows there are no exceptions when it comes to parking tickets.

Elderly mass-goers at St Catherine's on Dominic Street, in Armagh, had an unwelcome surprise after returning to their cars from St Martin's Novena on Monday.

Parishioners found they had received tickets in an area they believed parking was allowed.

"They told me that there had been an informal agreement to relax the parking restrictions in the area at Mass times," said SDLP councillor Michael Savage.

"And they are annoyed that they are facing a heavy fine, which is a big hit for a pensioner."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Elderly mass goers could be facing a 'big hit' due to unexpected parking fines

Mr Savage called on those affected to appeal the tickets on the grounds of the supposed arrangement, and called for a long-term traffic management solution in the area.

The front of the paper focuses on a court ruling that a full investigation must take place into alleged collusion between security forces and the Glenanne Gang.

"All the families were ever looking for was the truth - they weren't looking anything else," said Eugene Reavey, whose three brothers were murdered by suspected members of the gang.


Over in Londonderry, a historic monument has been brought back to life.

From this week, anyone taking a walk around the historic walls of the Maiden City will be able to stop in on the Royal Bastion and plinth, which has been closed to the public for decades.

The front of the Londonderry Sentinel is given over to the restored plinth, which held a 100ft (30.5m) column with a statue of Rev George Walker until it was destroyed by the IRA in the 1970s.

Rev George Walker, a clergyman, lived in the city at the time of the Siege of Derry in the 1600s.

Image copyright Walls Friends/Stephen Latimer
Image caption Teachers and students from Lisneal College and St Cecilia’s College were given a special preview

Restoration work includes the creation of a new access point, an internal staircase, and ornate railings.

'I'd just be watching TV'

Inside, the paper has the story of Andy Donnell, the head gardener at Dunmore House in the small border town of Carrigans.

Mr Donnell has tended to the property's walled garden for the past 65 years, after taking over the role from his father.

A historian of the grounds and the local area, Mr Donnell has no intention of slowing down despite turning 79 and recently having a hip replacement.

"Sure, what else would I be doing but sitting watching TV," he said.

Stone throwing youths

"Unruly behaviour" makes the front of this week's Down Recorder.

It reports trouble in the Saintfield area will be the subject of a town meeting taking place next week.

Windows in the town have been smashed by "stone-throwing youths", the paper reports, flowerbeds damaged, and glass scattered on cricket and hockey pitches.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Smashed glass was left on the cricket and hockey pitches in the town

Canon Bernard Magee, who was buried this week and lived 45 years of his life with a bullet in his head, is remembered inside the paper.

Originally from Belfast, he served in Castlewellan for two periods during his 63 years in ministry.

He was shot in the head outside St Colmcille's Church in Ballyhackamore in east Belfast in 1974.

"At a personal level he was a gentle, gracious, and courteous soul who loved people and was loved in turn by his parishioners and those he encountered," said religious affairs journalist Martin O'Brien.

Meanwhile, many of the local papers across Northern Ireland focus on the the Twelfth parades.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Orange bands took to the streets across Northern Ireland for the Twelfth this week

The Larne Times leads with Islandmagee Orange Lodge having the honour of hosting the East Antrim Combine celebration.

The paper also has the story of a theft with a happy outcome.

Equipment was stolen from sightseeing boat Curiosity, which takes visitors on tours of Carnlough Harbour around Black Rock.

Skipper Davy Smyth said he had been "overwhelmed" by community support in the aftermath of the incident on 26 June.

Damage was caused to the boat, as intruders made off with equipment including radios, a navigator, and flares.

"I love this wee village and just want folk to enjoy it too," he said.

'We want redress'

The shockwaves of the events which saw three teenagers killed at the Greenvale Hotel in County Tyrone are still being felt, with the Mid-Ulster Mail reporting a new campaign group has been set up for those injured or traumatised.

It reports a leading law professor, Phil Scranton from Queen's University, has been engaged by the Survivors of Greenvale group.

Prof Scranton is known for his investigative work on the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool supporters died.

"We want redress for the hundreds of kids who thankfully made it home but are now struggling with what happened on what should have been a fun night out," said the group, writing on Facebook.

Image copyright Edendork GAC/Family/Facebook
Image caption Lauren Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and 16-year-old Connor Currie died after the incident

Elsewhere, the paper reports locals in Coalisland can look forward to a major £4m revamp of local council health facilities.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council's development committee, Ulster Unionist Councillor Trevor Wilson, said it was a "milestone" and added there would be several other developments in the next six months.

Meanwhile, a vicious attack on a man in Enniskillen makes the front page of the Fermanagh Herald.

The attack happened on Sunday, 7 July, with the man found at around 03:30 BST.

He was taken to South West Acute Hospital, and a spokesman for the Western Trust confirmed the 29-year-old remained in a "critical condition".

Elsewhere, the paper says there has been a "huge response" to plans for Fermanagh's first ever pride festival.

It reports that after plans for the event had been revealed, the response to it on its own Facebook page was "overwhelmingly positive".

"Live and let live, we are not here for a long time so let's party," wrote one user on the paper's Facebook page, in response to the proposal.