Northern Ireland

Paper Review: Cookstown disco 'case delay' and pay out over 'Provisional IRA' tweet

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

There are different lead stories across all Northern Ireland's Friday papers.

In The Irish News, the father of a victim of the Cookstown disco crush tragedy tells of his "devastation" over the length of time the investigation is taking.

Three teenagers died in the crush at a hotel in Cookstown, County Tyrone in March 2019.

James Bradley, whose son Morgan was one of the victims, tell the paper that he has been "re-traumatised by a case delay".

The paper reports that, almost one year on, the police have yet to send files to the prosecution service.

His lawyer has written to Justice Minister Naomi Long to ask for a meeting to discuss concerns about the investigation.

The PSNI said the investigation continues and all evidence will be reported to the PPS in due course.

A tale of two Sorchas

The News Letter leads with a "huge payout" for Alliance Party councillor Sorcha Eastwood.

She will receive a five-figure sum from a former DUP representative who falsely accused her of being a "mouthpiece for the Provisional IRA".

Graham Craig also issued an unreserved apology to Ms Eastwood.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption The remark was made on social media about Sorcha Eastwood

She sued over the contents of a tweet by Mr Craig in August 2018.

The Lagan Valley councillor says the unfounded allegation had caused her "distress and upset".

However she adds that she is pleased her "reputation has been vindicated and the record set right".

Image copyright David Young/PA
Image caption Sorcha McAnespy, pictured in 2018 after she became a member of Fianna Fail

On the front of the Belfast Telegraph we hear from a different Sorcha.

Former Sinn Féin councillor Sorcha McAnespy tells the paper that she has contacted the police over "untrue and malicious allegations" made on social media.

The mother-of-three, who is now a member of Fianna Fáil, says that false rumours have linked her to a "public figure in Tyrone".

The Omagh woman says the past seven weeks have been "just horrible" and she is speaking out now following the death of TV presenter Caroline Flack.

She says she has contacted the police and taken legal advice over her face being superimposed on "vile pornographic images".

However she says it is "highly frustrating that apparently nothing can be done to counteract such vile rumours".

Ms McAnespy has had to seek therapy because of the distress cause by the trolls.

Meanwhile, an accountant from Lisburn has been crowned Best Home Cook, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Suzie Arbuthnot, 36, won the BBC TV programme after eight weeks of challenges.

Her winning menu consisted of beetroot and goats cheese, chicken and sticky toffee cake.

"For the final I went for the traditional option of what I would feed my own family with really hearty food and earthy Northern Irish flavours," the mother of two tells the paper

Family and friends joined her to watch the big final in Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, where she plays.

Green area goes Orange

The News Letter reports that the Orange Order has overseen the purchase of a historically significant piece of woodland in County Armagh.

The site of almost 40 acres, known as The Glen, "owes its existence to the once thriving linen factory in Glenanne", reports the paper.

It was was used by workers and their families but has fallen into disrepair and the local orange lodge has put together a plan to restore it.

Adam Copeland says the association plans to put it back into community use.

"Everyone gets on very well. There's this stigma about Glenanne that it's this really sectarian place where this gang has come from, the reality is very far from that," he adds.

And finally, in The Irish News, there's a County Armagh teenager with a talent for golf.

Niall McCann, who has two prosthetic limbs, won the Irish Junior Open at the weekend.

Born with Ectrodactyly - a genetic disorder affecting the hands and feet - Niall had both lower legs amputated shortly before his first birthday.

After being forced to give up playing Gaelic football for his club Clann Eireann due to a problem with his knees, the Lurgan teen turned his hand to golf.

He received his trophy on Monday in Portmarnock and his mum Martina says he is "over the moon" with the win.

"He's very determined," she says.

"He never let his condition get the better of him, He really seems destined for big things," she adds.

Good luck Niall.