Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: Hero sisters rescue woman from fire

News Letter front page 21/02/18 Image copyright News Letter
Daily Mirror front page 21/02/18 Image copyright Daily Mirror

Heroic sisters are the toast of Wednesday's newspapers after they rescued a woman from a burning house.

The duo's bravery is the lead story on the front page of the Daily Mirror, which reports that Gemma and Grainne Rice ran into the house in Clough, County Down after a burglary victim was left tied up in the house.

"We're so glad we were there at the right place and time," Grainne told the paper.

The Belfast Telegraph also features the story on its front page, with a picture of the gutted interior of the house being surveyed by owner Matthew Davey.

Inside, it reports that Mr Davey has been left numb after masked burglars broke in, tied up his cleaner and then set fire to the house, leaving her inside.

Ambulance apology

"I feel guilty that she had to go through that, as she was just doing her job," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"She was completely innocent. They must have thought the house would be empty and didn't expect to find her here."

Meanwhile, the front page of the Irish News reports that an elderly woman died after an ambulance due to take her to hospital was delayed by five hours.

The head of the ambulance service has apologised to the family of the pensioner, who was living in a care home in Carryduff, County Down.

Shane Devlin said that the family "have a right to expect answers to any questions they may have in relation to how this call was handled".

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Bonfire builders in Dungannon have apologsed to residents whose homes were damaged last July

Elsewhere in the Irish News, we're still a few months away from bonfire season but it reports that bonfire builders in County Tyrone have apologised to local residents after a bonfire damaged their homes last July.

Doors and windows of several houses at Killymerron Park in Dungannon were damaged due to the heat.

In a letter to the residents, originally seen by the Tyrone Courier, the bonfire builders said they "deeply regret" the damage and outlined a number of measures they would take to prevent it happening this year.

Another major story featuring prominently on Wednesday is the ongoing rape trial of Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

All four of Northern Ireland's daily papers at least mention the story on their front pages, with the News Letter using Tuesday's day of evidence in court as its lead story.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding both deny rape

It reports that the court was told that the alleged victim at the centre of the case "gave different accounts" about a sex act involving one of the players.

The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, focuses on testimony given by a doctor who examined the alleged victim.

It reports that he testified that an internal laceration suffered by the woman was caused by "blunt force trauma" but he could not determine whether the sexual contact that had injured her had been consensual or not.

Meanwhile, the plight of a discarded puppy, believed to have been thrown from the back of a van, features in the Belfast Telegraph.

GAA 'pressure'

It reports that the terrified pup was found by a passer-by in Enniskillen but has since been taken to a dog sanctuary in Aughnacloy and is reported to be doing well. He's even picked up the name Obie and is now seeking a new home.

Finally, the News Letter reports that boys at a County Antrim school are being put "under pressure" to take part in GAA.

Parents say they're unhappy that Year 11 boys at Ballymoney High School have been told they will receive coaching in GAA alongside pupils from two other schools and that the initiative had an opt-out rather than an opt-in policy.

An anonymous parent told the newspaper: "The boys were told that if they have any concerns they could go and see the principal or the vice-principal about it. They are being put in a position where they have to single themselves out."