Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: Pigeons and a junior detective in Thursday's papers

News Letter front page Image copyright News Letter

Union flags, pigeons and a junior detective are just some of the stories featured in Thursday's papers.

The erection of a Union flag in a County Londonderry town features in all of the papers.

The front page of The Irish News carries a photograph of the flag which was, according to the paper, put up in the "dead of night" in the Diamond area of Magherafelt.

It was put up along with a pole in a flower bed on a roundabout.

The News Letter spoke to William Lennox from the British Truth Foundation who admitted his group, which he says includes some Orange Order members, was responsible for erecting the flag.

But a spokesman for the Orange Order's Magherafelt district told the paper that the district was "neither responsible for, not sanctioned, this occurrence".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mid Ulster Council says it is trying to resolve the flagpole issue in Magherafelt

The Daily Mirror says the flag was illegally erected in a space designed for public art work.

It says Mid Ulster Council is trying to resolve the issue.

The erection of the flag is not the only issue proving divisive in the papers.

The News Letter carries a warning from a dissident republican group who are planning to hold a counter protest against a veteran's march in Londonderry.


Justice for Veterans is holding the event next month to show its opposition to what it calls "the ongoing vindictive" criminal investigations into former soldiers.

The paper says news of the march sparked an angry backlash from republicans on social media.

The News Letter says one group, Saoradh, viewed the application with "disgust" and will organise a mass mobilisation to demonstrate local and national opposition to "this charade that seeks to justify the killing of Irish citizens".

The sisters of a Bloody Sunday victim described the march by veterans as "hugely insulting".

Kate and Linda Nash, whose brother William was among those killed by British soldiers in Londonderry in 1972, told the Daily Mirror they will be mounting a counter rally.

Image copyright Denise Brewster
Image caption Lenny McMullan, pictured with Denise Brewster, died suddenly at Christmas in 2009

From division to celebration and a woman who won a landmark ruling to access her deceased partner's pension says he would be proud that his death has helped others.

Denise Brewster, 42, from Coleraine, fought a long battle for a so-called survivor's pension and won her case in the UK's Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Her victory could pave the way for others in a similar situation.

She told the Belfast Telegraph that her long-term partner Lenny's tragic death had "helped so many others and, right now, I'm particularly comforted by that thought".

The Daily Mirror quotes a Treasury spokesman as saying: "We will need to examine the implications carefully."

'Absolute star'

Elsewhere and the paper reports that a young person has been described as an "absolute star" by police after he found and handed in a bag of shotgun cartridges.

In a post, the PSNI in Craigavon said the items had been found in an "unsecure derelict house in Portadown" and praised the "junior detective" for his actions.

News that Northern Ireland's attorney general is considering mounting a challenge to the legality of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme features in all of the papers.

John Larkin QC told a judge he was reflecting on whether to bring litigation against the Department of the Economy over a failure to put the non-domestic scheme before the full executive before it was introduced in 2012.

Image caption Pigeons have finally secured their freedom after concerned members of the public campaigned for the release of the 'BHS Four'

He made his comments after a group of boiler owners cleared the first stage in their legal battle at the High Court to ensure payments for the next 20 years.

Turning to a battle of a feathered kind and the Belfast Telegraph reports that a flock of pigeons have finally secured their freedom.

The 'BHS four' are understood to have became trapped about three weeks ago at the store in Castle Place which has been closed and vacant since last August.

Concerned members of the public had been campaigning for their release since then and their calls have finally been answered.

Maps Solution Europe, which manages the building on behalf of the administrators says the pigeons were released before the store was cleaned and locked up again.

A flappy ending.