Northern Ireland

NI paper review: Lyra McKee murder charge dominates front pages

Lyra McKee Image copyright Francesco Cuoccio/IJF
Image caption Ms McKee, 29, was shot while observing rioting in Derry's Creggan estate on 18 April last year

The news that a man has been charged with the murder of Lyra McKee in Londonderry dominates Thursday's front pages.

The charges being brought against the 52-year-old, from Derry, is the main story in the Irish News, Belfast Telegraph and Daily Mirror, and also features on the front of the News Letter.

Ms McKee, 29, was shot while observing rioting in Derry's Creggan estate in April 2019.

Under the headline "Man charged with Lyra murder", the Daily Mirror's coverage includes a call from the police officer leading the investigation for the public to provide more evidence.

Image copyright Daily Mirror

"While today is significant for the investigation, the quest for the evidence to bring the gunman to justice remains active and ongoing," said Det Supt Jason Murphy.

Cherry-picked news

Meanwhile - is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a new BBC drama staring Northern Ireland's James Nesbitt?

Inside the Irish News there's a story linking the spotting of a mysterious light in the skies over County Down with filming taking place in the area.

Image copyright Steffan Hill/BBC
Image caption The BBC drama Bloodlands, starring James Nesbitt, may have been to blame for an unusual sighting in the skies over County Down

The paper reports the crew of one flight was so concerned at an unusual light it reported it to air traffic control in Belfast International Airport.

The sighting was made last Wednesday at around 02:00 GMT.

A spokeswoman for the BBC drama Bloodlands confirmed the crew "were using a light on a cherry picker, which represented the moon".

'Put right the wrong'

Alongside its coverage of the Lyra McKee murder charge, the front of the Belfast Telegraph has an interview with the parents of Paul Quinn.

The 21-year-old from County Armagh was beaten to death in a barn near Oram, County Monaghan in 2007.

The Quinn family has always blamed the IRA for his death and their views became a major talking point in the run up the Irish general election last week.

Stephen and Breege Quinn told the paper of their disappointment that Finance Minister Conor Murphy had still not stated their son was not a criminal.

"Our hopes that Conor Murphy was finally about to put right the wrong he did our son were raised when Mary Lou McDonald told us last week that Conor was writing to us," said Mrs Quinn.

Found medical documents

The News Letter leads with a story about medical records found lying in the street.

It reports a man, who is unnamed, and his six-year-old daughter found the records while out walking.

The records are said to contain "detailed records for 18 patients on a ward at Craigavon Hospital", including age, social history, a brief medical history, and reason for admittance to hospital.

The documents were first handed over to the Portadown Times by the man who found them.

Image copyright News Letter

Responding to the story, a spokesperson for the Southern Health Trust, which oversees Craigavon Hospital, said the documents should not have left the site.

The front pages also feature images of the Duchess of Cambridge on her surprise visit to Northern Ireland.

The duchess was visiting as part of a nationwide tour to promote a survey she has launched on early years development.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The duchess got up close and personal to a number of creatures at the Ark Open Farm in Newtownards

Pictures carried on the front of the News Letter, Belfast Telegraph, and Daily Mirror show her at Ark Open Farm in Newtownards, getting up close and personal with a snake and an alpaca.

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