Northern Ireland

NI Newspaper Review: Ulster fries and Arlene turns pink

Front page Image copyright News letter

It's been a week of firsts for the DUP leader and Arlene Foster beams out of the front pages again on Friday.

She proved Monday's poster girl after she stood for the Irish National Anthem at the GAA Ulster Final as the crowd sang: "Come on Arlene".

By Friday, after a week of unbelievable sunshine, she has turned a tiny bit pink.

Mrs Foster is back in the headlines, mingling with the local gay community at Stormont.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Not quite a summer love-in, but the DUP leader's address was "an ice breaker"

"The value of each of us shouldn't be down to sexuality" reads the Belfast Telegraph headline.

The Irish News also headlines with her words: "I value LGBT community contribution".

The story's strapline adds a little proviso: "but urges respect for right to oppose same-sex marriage".

The Telegraph quotes the PinkNews chief who invited Mrs Foster saying that a "conversation has started".

Inside, journalist Ivan Little says the meeting with the gay community "stopped short of hugs and kisses", but it was an ice breaker.

"A summer love-in it was not," he writes, noting that her address was met with "only a ripple of polite applause" whereas Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Féin, and the UUP's Robin Swann were "cheered to the rafters".

Mrs Foster tells the paper: "I hope that some of the harsh words and abuse that has come from both sides will stop and there'll be a more measured engagement".

In its editorial, the Telegraph says that we should "applaud the gesture she has made".

The Mirror's headline reads: "Arlene's tickled pink with new pals" and carries a photograph of three rapt, smiling women chatting with the DUP leader.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Cooling down at the water fountain in Belfast

Inside the Telegraph, it's a case of "Ulster fries" as the heat wave spawns a wave of photographs of children frolicking in the pool, a comely Ulster maiden posing in shorts, a bikini top in the sun and a cyclist dodging the water fountain in Belfast city centre. Never mind the huge gorse fire at Glenshane Pass.

Rail delays and school closures are not uncommon in winter, notes one reporter, but in June they are "practically unheard of".

The Telegraph reports that children in one Lisburn school were sent home early for safety reasons after the temperature in the classroom reached 30C.

The paper also quotes a tweet from BBC NI's Barra Best who noted that a road in Carrickfergus appeared to be melting. He may have been able to fry an egg, if he'd tried, because as the headline writers have been reminding us, Ulster fries.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Marjorie and Michael Cawdery were found dead in their home in Portadown

The News Letter focuses on the jail sentence handed down to a man who used six knives to kill Michael and Marjorie Cawdery at their Portadown home last May.

The paper quotes the Cawdery family who say the ten year jail sentence imposed on Thomas Scott McEntee, 41, is "totally inadequate".

The Cawderys' son-in-law, Charles Little tells the paper that the lives of "two really good people" were "brutally and savagely taken".

McEntee has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and admitted two counts of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mr Little accused the Southern Health Trust of failing both McEntee and, in turn, the couple who were killed.

"He (McEntee) went for help on numerous occasions to the various health trusts and, in particular, the Southern Trust. He did not receive the help he wanted... and Mike and Marjorie paid for it with their lives," Mr Little tells the paper.

The News Letter also features photographs of the local heat wave, but includes one that is a little disturbing.

At first glance it looks like a river in full flow. Instead, it's a road in Portadown. The paper says people living at Tharthlogue Road are calling it a "river of tar".

They are begging the Department for Infrastructure to sort out the problem.

Image caption Ian Knox believes Irish people have a "visual bypass" when it comes to the built environment

Finally, the Irish News reports on an exhibition by the paper's well-known political cartoonist Ian Knox who is also a trained architect.

The Critical Crass exhibition opened in the offices of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) on Thursday evening and features drawings of architectural eyesores across Northern Ireland.

Ian, 75, is passionate about what he calls the people of Ireland's "visual bypass" when it comes to the built space.

He is blunt about his latest series of drawings. "It's one long, controlled, angry scream," he says.