Northern Ireland

NI Paper Review: Troubles pension fallout and west Belfast shooting

front page of Daily Mirror Tuesday 23 July 2019 Image copyright Daily Mirror

The government's confirmation that a pension will not be given to those who carried out acts of terror during the Troubles, leads the majority of Tuesday's papers.

The announcement came on Monday in the House of Commons following an urgent question by the DUP.

Northern Ireland minister John Penrose told MPs a Troubles pension "should not become a pension for terrorists".

The Daily Mirror reports that in response, the DUP's Emma Pengelly welcomed his comments.

Image caption John Penrose was speaking in the House of Commons

"It is vital we should have a victim-centred process, and a pension focused on those innocent victims should be a key part of that success," she added.

Victims campaigner Alan McBride said "toxic debate" should be ended, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

"People are overdue the pension, but are increasingly frustrated by some in the media, politicians, and others, who thwart progress by getting embroiled in discussions that stir up tensions and do nothing to aid the healing process or deliver the pension," he added.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Judith Thompson says the government cannot "kick this issue down the road any longer"

Meanwhile, the News Letter claims the Victims' Commissioner is facing further pressure to resign.

Doug Beattie, Jim Allister and the Orange Order have added their voice to calls that Judith Thompson's position is untenable, the paper adds.

It comes after Ms Thomspon previously said the pension should also be available to those who staged attacks.

Following the government's comments on Monday, UUP MLA Doug Beattie told the paper: "It is now clear the commissioner no longer has the confidence or support of many victims and survivors groups."

'Critical'

The front page of the Irish News reads: "Gunmen shoot victim in legs on busy street".

On Monday evening a man, who the paper reports is in his late 20s, was shot after being chased by attackers on the Springfield road.

It's understood he was followed after leaving a fast-food outlet, began running and attempted to jump into the back seat of a passing car.

Image caption The incident took place in the Springfield road in west Belfast

The man is now in a critical condition.

Sinn Féin MLA Fra McCann said people were "shocked" and "coming to terms with the fact that once again someone has been shot within their community".

Football focus

In east Belfast, football supports have helped to restored a wartime pillbox that has been hidden for years, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

The Oval site, where Glentoran play, was bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1941.

The structure that has now been replaced was once used as part of defences during the Second World War.

The Glentoran Community Trust undertook the task of repairing the building to preserve and explore the clubs history.

Sam Robinson, a member of the group, told the paper it took "eight hours over three days" to complete the hard work.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The County Offaly man has been celebrating his win in Dublin

Celebrations continue for Lowry

The newly crowned British Open champion Shane Lowry has continued celebrating his golfing victory, according the to Irish News, Daily Mirror and News Letter.

Each paper features a picture of the 32-year-old in a Dublin bar, holding the coveted Claret Jug.

He claimed the top spot on Sunday with a six-shot victory on 15 under par.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Warnings have been issued following the find

The Daily Mirror reports that police are investigating after razor blades were left along a cycle path in east Belfast.

It comes after one cyclist took to social media, claiming a "wee present" had been wedged upright in a manhole cover along the Cregagh Road.