Northern Ireland

NI paper review: Dark Hedge tree sale and lost wedding ring

News Letter front page Friday 15 February 2019 Image copyright NEWS LETTER
front page Daily Mirror, Friday 15 February 2019 Image copyright Daily mirror

Fears over 'police secrecy', a lost wedding ring and the sale of a fallen Game of Thrones tree all feature in Friday's headlines.

One of the 200-year-old beeches which was part of the Dark Hedges in the HBO series Game of Thrones is up for auction.

The News Letter reports that the former tourist attraction will go to the highest bidder.

It is being sold by the man whose land it fell on after a storm.

Image copyright Northern Ireland Tourist Board
Image caption The intertwined beech branches and gnarled trunks make the Dark Hedges an iconic sight

Auctioneer Daniel McAlister told the Daily Mirror it would be a "special" sale.

"The tree came down a while ago on the Bregagh Road near Armoy which is a real pity because it was beautiful," he explained.

"It can be bought as a whole, but I also think we may be able to sell off branches too.

"If they want it for firewood, I'd say it would be a pretty expensive fire."

Image caption The Dark Hedges are estimated to date back to about 1775

A5 funding

Funding for the A5 road scheme from the Irish government has been given the go-ahead, two days after it was pulled.

The story about the Londonderry-Dublin road features on the front page of the Irish News.

The paper reports that the recommitment followed assurances by the Republic's Department of Transport that the earmarked €27m investment would not be affected by a huge overspend on the Nationals Children's Hospital in Dublin.

Image caption The A5 dual carriageway scheme would link Dublin to the north west of Northern Ireland

The Irish government had to source savings of €100m from various departments after the cost of the hospital expanded.

Departments on both sides of the border say construction work will begin on the road this year.

'Dysfunctional'

"Omagh relatives' fury over 'secrecy' of police," reads the headline of the Belfast Telegraph.

The paper reports that family members of those who died in the bombing fear the police did not hand over all the information relating to their cases to the Police Ombudsman.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Twenty-nine people, including a woman pregnant with twins, were killed in the 1998 Omagh bombing

It comes after if the PSNI apologised for not disclosing "significant, sensitive information" about a 1992 Ulster Freedom Fighter (UFF) killing to the police watchdog.

Michael Gallagher, whose wife Ann and son Aidan were killed in the Omagh bomb, described the system as "dysfunctional".

He told the paper Northern Ireland appeared to be a place where "heads never roll, no matter how great the failure or how badly victims are let down".

Wedding ring woe

A woman who lost her wedding while taking a romantic stroll with her husband along Portstewart Strand, has appealed to Belfast Telegraph readers to help her find it.

Tracy Orr, who lives in Belfast, thinks the white gold band with six embedded diamonds came off when she threw a ball for her dog.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tracy Orr thinks he wedding ring was lost on the sand

"We hadn't walked too far along the beach, just slightly past the first set of wooden posts near to the entry, so there can't be too big an area that I lost it in," she said.

"We thought it would be a lovely idea to spend a little time together.

"I didn't realise it was going to cost me my wedding ring."

Running for love

Runners looking for love are taking part in speed dating with a difference, reports the Irish News.

The event, held at Mary Peter's track in Belfast, is due to take place on Saturday and aims to help people find "the one".

"Running has become much more than keeping fit," organiser Nuala Muldoon told the paper.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The event aims to help people find love with those who have common interests

"There's such a social side to running and we hope people will get together based on their interest in running.

"We're not promising you will meet the runner of your dreams, but we're definitely promising a bit of craic while getting a good run under you belt."