Northern Ireland

Newspaper headlines: Shootings, RHI and The Journey

News Letter Image copyright News Letter

While the RHI scandal rumbles on, the Belfast Telegraph front page instead focuses on the spate of paramilitary-style shootings in west Belfast.

It says three of the five people shot in the last month have, beforehand, been named on a Facebook page along with allegations of crimes they have been involved in. Updates on when they have been shot are also said to be posted on the page.

Both The Irish News and the News Letter lead with the latest development in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme - claims that a former special adviser to Arlene Foster had acted to delay the closure of the botched scheme.

Andrew Crawford was accused of influencing a decision to keep the scheme open by senior civil servant Dr Andrew McCormick during a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee.

Inside, the News Letter describes Dr McCormick's evidence on Wednesday as "devastating" and "explosive". It highlights a quote from Dr McCormick's testimony: "Deception wasn't necessary to abuse this system."

The Irish News says that Sinn Féin breached its boycott of Stormont committees in order to attend the hearing.

Empty shed raided

Staying with RHI-related matters, the News Letter reports that the police raided a building in south Armagh on the suspicion it was a cannabis factory. Instead, they discovered it was an almost entirely empty shed that had the heating on.

A source tells the paper that the owner admitted he was running boilers in the building because it was making him money, but that he was doing nothing illegal.

The Belfast Telegraph has an open letter to Northern Ireland politicians from east Belfast blogger Hannah Ruth Gibson, a "child of the Belfast Agreement".

She says politics in NI have become "predictable, boring and embarrassing".

The Irish News has the story of north Belfast man Davey McCrum's bid to climb 12 mountains in Ireland to raise money for an air ambulance.

Image caption The Journey has not yet received a cinema release, the Belfast Telegraph says

Mr McCrum and a friend previously helped rescue a German student who had lain injured for 24 hours after falling on Cave Hill.

He said it was only then that he realised Northern Ireland does not have an air ambulance service.

The paper also reports that newly declassified CIA documents include several references to Northern Ireland.

Inside the Daily Mirror is the story that the latest victim of a paramilitary shooting in Belfast was shot by appointment.

Finally, if you've been wondering when the drama about the unlikely friendship between Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness is hitting the big screens the answer may be "never, never, never".

The Belfast Telegraph says The Journey, starring Timothy Spall and Colm Meaney, has failed to gain a cinema release, despite being played at the Venice and Toronto film festivals.

The paper says no date for the film to open in cinemas has been set and it may be destined to go straight to DVD.