Northern Ireland

NI paper review: A family fortune and costly council events

Front page of the News Letter, Thursday 21 February 2019 Image copyright News Letter
Front page of the Daily Mirror, Thursday 21 February 2019 Image copyright Daily Mirror

A family fortune, costly council award nights and a murder inquiry make the headlines in the Northern Ireland newspapers on Thursday.

The Irish News reports that police investigating a possible link between the murder of David Hugh Murphy and a serious assault that happened days before he was found dead.

The 52-year-old County Antrim man was found dead in his house on Church Road in Glenwherry on Tuesday.

Sources told the paper that Mr Murphy was attacked by three men at his home over the weekend.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption David Murphy was killed after a shotgun attack at his farmhouse

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said that was something its detectives "are looking at as part of the inquiry".

The News Letter reports that the officer leading the investigation said Mr Murphy's "home was his castle".

Det Supt Jason Murphy said it remained unclear when exactly the victim had been killed.

'Prioritise essential services'

"How NI councils spent big on awards night," reads the front page of the Belfast Telegraph.

It reports that councils spent £600,000 of ratepayers' money on awards ceremonies in Northern Ireland in three years.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council was the biggest spender, reaching £162,188, while Newry, Mourne and Down District Council spent the lowest at £2,013.

The data was revealed through the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Its CEO John O'Connell told the paper: "There's nothing wrong with congratulating staff who work hard or celebrating local businesses but councils should prioritise the essential services that they are paid to provide."

'Getting heads around big win'

Image copyright PA
Image caption Staff at Reilly's Daybreak in Naul, where the winning ticket was sold, celebrated the family's big win

It's a family affair in County Dublin, reports the Daily Mirror, as nine siblings celebrate winning big money in the EuroMillions.

The Rogers family syndicate were the lucky recipients of €175m (£152m) after matching all of Tuesday night's numbers.

It is the biggest jackpot ever claimed by an Irish ticket holder.

A family spokesperson told the paper: "It will take us some time to get our heads around this win."

Dermot Griffin, the CEO of the National Lottery, said that it has been "an incredibly lucky period for players on the island of Ireland".

In January a couple from Northern Ireland won a EuroMillions £115m jackpot.

'Capture modern imagination'

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fans of Andy Warhol will be able to see his work at a Belfast gallery

An exhibition of Andy Warhol's work is to be unveiled in Belfast next month, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

Among the portraits on display at an art gallery on the Lisburn Road will be self-portraits of the artist along with paintings of Marilyn Monroe and Mohammed Ali.

Gerard Gormley, the director of the gallery, told the paper it was a great opportunity for fans to see the work up close.

"Andy Warhol had an unerring sense for the powerful motifs of his time, creating contemporary images that capture the modern imagination," he said.

'Personal and political'

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Councillor Tim Attwood is stepping down from the SDLP

The SDLP's Tim Attwood says he will not seek re-election over concerns about his party's link up with Fianna Fáil.

The News Letter says Mr Attwood - who is the parties longest serving member of Belfast City Council - had taken the decision for "personal and political reasons".

Mr Attwood said he was "not an advocate" of the partnership but respected "the outcome of the vote and the will of the SDLP members".

"I have the greatest respect for the leadership of the SDLP and recognise that in a post-conflict situation there is a natural and wider debate about political realignment on this island," he added.

It is understood he will continue to be a member of the party.