Northern Ireland

NI paper review: Hope for shipyard and fears for border

cranes Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson says "there is genuine cause for optimism" at Harland and Wolff

A warning that police could be put in the line of fire at the border and new hope for the Harland and Wolff shipyard feature in Friday's front pages.

The Irish News leads with Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin's concerns about what could happen at the border in the event of no-deal Brexit.

He said officers would be put at risk of attack if they had to protect other agencies carrying out border checks.

"We are striving to not securitise the border," he said.

DCC Martin said the police might have to provide security for other agencies whose staff would be in danger.

Both the News Letter and Daily Mirror focus on events at Belfast's Harland and Wolff shipyard.

A consortium which includes Harland and Wolff has won a £1.25bn contract to build five warships for the Royal Navy.

Image copyright Daily Mirror
Image copyright News Letter

"Warships contract a lifeline for shipyard" is the headline in the News Letter.

The paper quotes East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson, who says "there is genuine cause for optimism".

"Ultimately it is a good pipeline for work, but the administrator is going through his process with the bidders for the yard and my understanding is this sort of work is something [the potential buyers] would be keen on doing."

In the Daily Mirror, Susan Fitzgerald from the Unite union said that "through their courageous stand, the workforce at Harland and Wolff have held open the door for the company to participate in this work - they have kept this shipyard in the game".

She said the union's preferred option was still for the firm to be nationalised.

"There is a clear programme of work for the company into the future - all that is needed is the political will to safeguard a future for this shipyard."

Events at the notorious Kincora boys home in east Belfast are the lead story in the Belfast Telegraph.

Image caption The Belfast Telegraph says that confidential government files on the Kincora home have not been released as expected

It says that confidential government files on Kincora due to be released this summer "have been kept under wraps again".

The Kincora files had been due to be made public under the 20-year disclosure rule, but author Andrew Lownie says he has been told that they "need to be reviewed" before that is likely.

The Telegraph also turns its attention to events at Harland and Wolff, talking to current and former employees of the shipyard at the H&W Welders club.

"Our mood hasn't changed over there. We're resolute and we're going nowhere," David Thompson told the paper

"At least now there is some sort of light at the end of the tunnel."

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption A memorial to 7,160 babies who were stillborn or died shortly after birth has been unveiled

All the papers report on the unveiling of a permanent memorial to mark the resting place of 7,160 babies who were stillborn or died shortly after birth.

The memorial was unveiled on Thursday at Belfast City Cemetery.

Speaking behalf of families, Agnes Close is quoted in the News Letter: "To finally see this beautiful memorial in place gives our babies the dignity of recognition and also serves as acknowledgement of a loss suffered by so many."

The Irish News looks at reaction to the apparent axing from RTÉ of GAA pundit and former Derry player Joe Brolly.

Image caption Joe Brolly tweeted he is looking for a spare ticket for this weekend's All Ireland final replay

It says while Brolly remains under contract with RTÉ, he has been omitted from the commentary team for this weekend's All Ireland final replay.

Fellow pundit Colm O'Rourke tells the paper the often controversial Brolly would be "a serious loss" and that "the last thing you need is blandness".

The paper says that while Brolly has declined to comment publicly on the events, he tweeted on Wednesday: "If anyone has a spare ticket for the replay, I've just been let down."