Northern Ireland

NI weekly papers: Hockey heroes and boy racers

Ballymena Guardian Image copyright Ballymena Guardian
Image caption Thursday's Ballymena Guardian
Ulster Gazette and Armagh Standard Image copyright Ulster Gazette and Armagh Standard
Fermanagh herald Image copyright Fermanagh Herald
Strabane Chronicle Image copyright Strabane Chronicle

Celebrations for the Irish women's hockey squad, a lamb attack and boy racers all feature in Northern Ireland's weekly papers.

Leading the Down Recorder is an appeal for dog owners to keep their pets under control.

It follows a savage attack on three lambs on a farm outside Killyleagh., County Down.

Three of the animals had to be put down as their injuries were so severe.

Farm owner Ernie Patterson said: "What my wife and I witnessed was absolutely horrific."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption St John's Point lighthouse, overlooking Dundrum Bay, has been a beacon for seafarers for more than 175 years

On a lighter note, the paper reports that the public is being asked to support the campaign to retain the sweeping beam at St John's Point lighthouse in Killough.

The lighthouse, which is run by the Dublin-based Commissioner of Irish lights, wants to replace it with a modern LED light.

The paper reports campaigners want the lights commissioner to channel more funds into preserving the cultural value of "magnificent lighthouses".

On a separate note, there is a "crackdown on boy-racers" in Enniskillen, according to the Fermanagh Herald.

The police issued a warning to the young drivers that they risk having their cars seized if they are caught participating in anti-social behaviour.

One local resident, who did not wish to be named, told the Fermanagh Herald the cars "squealing" kept them up "half the night".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The Irish women's hockey team celebrate their silver medals at the World Cup

Celebrations are continuing for the Ireland women's hockey team.

Fresh off the plane from London, the team have been interviewed by many media outlets, such is the pride of many people on both sides of the Irish border.

Fermanagh PE teacher Mary Swan was particularly delighted with the result.

Ms Swan coached silver medallist Shirley McCay when she was a pupil at Omagh Academy.

The PE teacher is a past president of Ulster hockey and Enniskillen Hockey Club.

Speaking to the paper, Ms Swan said Shirley "always gave you everything".

She added: "I'm very proud of her. I went down and presented her with her international shirt in Dublin before the World Cup."

Image caption Lizzie Colvin (left) and Zoe Wilson display the silver medals they won at the World Cup in London

Staying with hockey, the Ulster Gazette & Armagh Herald claims Lizzie Colvin as one of their own.

The former Armagh Ladies Hockey Club player has become "the only person from the city to have played in a hockey World Cup final" the paper reads.

Ms Colvin who hails from Loughgall Road, credits a local man as her inspiration.

"I began playing hockey under George Compston and he was brilliant," she told the paper.

Image copyright Getty Images

Inside the paper, James Speers from the Young Farmers Club of Ulster warns farmers to plan ahead to avoid a winter food shortage.

He told the paper: "We had an atrocious winter and a very bad spring with late growth. If we have a bad autumn, the farmers will have to feed animals early".

Strabane is to lose one of its last remaining free car parks, according to the Strabane Chronicle.

Leaked plans for the town's new leisure centre show it is set to be built on the grounds of the car park on Canal Basin off Dock Street.

The development would also see a road being diverted and the demolition of government offices.

Derry City and Strabane District Council confirmed the Canal Basin site is the "selected location" for the new development.

The paper reports that some local businesses do not believe it is the best decision for the town.

Dock Street businessman Terry McMahon says car parking is a "huge issue in the town" adding that many depend on access to this particular car park.

Image copyright Charles McQuillan
Image caption Mr Paisley could lose his seat and face a by-election if 10% of voters in North Antrim sign the petition

Ian Paisley is on the front page of the Ballymena Guardian as the electoral office is criticised about the location of three petition signing centres.

The centres opened following the suspension of DUP MP Ian Paisley from the House of Commons for 30 sitting days.

It followed his failure to declare two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

A by-election will be triggered if 10% of the constituents in the North Antrim constituency sign a recall petition.

The petition is open for signing from 8 August until 19 September.

Also in the paper is news that the only UKIP councillor in Northern Ireland has resigned from the party.

Donna Anderson sits on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

She resigned "with immediate effect" and accused UKIP of putting her under "intolerable pressure" in recent months.

In response, the party said Ms Anderson has been "completely absent" from all UKIP meetings and events in Northern Ireland since November 2016, and her position was becoming "increasingly untenable".

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