Northern Ireland

Weekly newspaper review: Scramblers and poachers

The Newry Democrat Image copyright Newry Democrat
The Larne Times Image copyright Larne Times
The Ulster Gazette Image copyright Ulster Gazette
The Impartial Reporter Image copyright Impartial Reporter
Ulster Herald Image copyright Ulster Herald
Coleraine Chronicle Image copyright Coleraine Chronicle

Scramblers, poachers and false rape allegations all make the headlines in the weekly papers.

The Newry Democrat leads the week's coverage with a mother's "anguish" for her son after he was falsely accused of raping another man.

The Newry woman has told the paper about the devastating impact it has had on him.

"Before this he was happy-go-lucky, loved to get out and about," she said.

"Now he takes three sleeping tablets at night... he takes anti-depressants."

Image caption Ban on bottles for the blue bins

The man who made the claims was convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Also in the paper is some rubbish news for those living in the Newry and Mourne District Council area, where councillors have voted to put an end to glass bottles being put in blue bins.

Those who want to recycle their bottles (wine, beer or otherwise) will have to take them to their nearest bottle bank.

The paper reports the move could save that £250,000 in 2018/19, but that those savings could be trashed if people start putting glass in their black bins.

Graffiti warning

In Glenarm there's worrying news about the state of GP services.

The Larne Times reports that 2,000 patients are set to be reassigned from the local practice after the outgoing GP revealed there had been no applications to replace him after his retirement.

Also in the paper is a story about a graffiti warning that appeared at Woodburn Forest last weekend.

PSNI Larne shared the image, warning that a similar fatal tragedy to that which killed mum-of-three Valerie Young at Colin Glen could happen in the area.

Image copyright PSNI Larne
Image caption The image calling for a ban on scramblers was shared by PSNI Larne

A PSNI spokesperson said: "We are actively looking for anyone who is illegally using an off-road vehicle on the road or other public ground."

A spokesperson for NI Water said it was illegal to use scramblers or motorbikes in this area.

The Ulster Gazette carries a story about a Keady woman who pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to 15 horses in her care.

Image copyright Sharon Harrison

Pictures obtained by the paper show the extent of some of the neglect after some of the horses were left without food or water and made to live in filthy conditions.

Orla Shortt of Granemore Park was given a three-month suspended sentence.

But a man with 118 previous convictions was not so lucky and was jailed for one month for stealing alcohol from a city-centre shop.

Jody Curry has racked up the record aged just 24.

Someone 'will get shot'

There's a warning to deer poachers in this week's Impartial Reporter.

An anonymous and "legitimate" deer stalker tells the paper that it's only a matter of time before someone gets shot in the midst of the illegal activity.

"The most common form of deer poaching locally is lamping," the paper reports.

Image caption The deer stalker warned someone could be killed by poachers

"Gangs drive along the roadside and use strong vehicle-mounted lamps to make the deer stand motionless," before shooting it, adds the paper.

The deer stalker warned: "A bullet from one of those high-calibre rifles will travel for a mile-and-a-half. No one can tell where it will end up when shooting at night."

Crack cocaine

Also in the paper, parents who lost a beloved son tell how gambling can be "a killer".

Pete and Sadie Keogh share the story of their son's death, which they believe was linked to a gambling addiction, in the hope of raising awareness about the dangers of addiction.

Image caption Mr Keogh said gambling released chemicals in to the brain to give a hit like crack cocaine

Lewis Keogh was 34 when he died and the couple have campaigned tirelessly for tighter regulations.

Mr Keogh tells says: "Research has shown that gambling can release chemicals in to the brain to give a hit like crack cocaine."

Revisiting GP services, the Ulster Herald reports that a Castlederg doctor is on the "verge" of handing in his resignation.

Dr Brendan O'Hare says: "If we do nothing we risk losing GP practices right across the county" and cites increased workloads and difficulty recruiting new GPs to rural areas as the reasons for the crisis.

Joining a "chorus of condemnation", Omagh Ethnic Support Group has "slammed" President trump's travel ban.

Nick Cassidy, from the group, tells the Ulster Herald the ban raises concerns about "racism and xenophobia"

On the same page, former Herald reporter Rachael Quigley, who moved to America six years ago, writes that the American Dream is "literally unfurling into a nightmare, at the head of which is Donald Trump".

Watch this space

Is an accident waiting to happen in Portrush?

That's the question posed by the Coleraine Chronicle as plans are passed for the creation of a new traders' area in a busy Portrush car park.

It says an even bigger risk is now posed for children who could be involved in accidents.

Image caption A reminder that obstructing the highway is illegal from the Coleraine Chronicle

Approval was sought and agreed at a meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on Wednesday for the for four trading points at Lansdowne Crescent.

Also on parking, people who use traffic cones to reserve spaces outside their homes are being reminded that the practice is illegal.

Parts of Coleraine, says the Chronicle, are popular with motorists as there is no charge to park cars, but people who live on these streets aren't always keen on sharing the spaces outside their homes.