Northern Ireland

NI paper review: Lyra McKee's family in plea

Lyra McKee Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Lyra McKee' family described her as a beautiful person with a warm heart

A grieving family's tribute to "a gentle, innocent soul" and a gun attack on a republican's home are among the stories on Wednesday's front pages.

"The only way to overcome hatred is with love" is the headline on the front of the Belfast Telegraph.

Ahead of her funeral on Wednesday, the family of murdered journalist Lyra McKee described her as "a beautiful person with a warm heart".

"A friend to all, a gentle innocent soul, who wouldn't wish ill on anyone."

Ms McKee was murdered by the New IRA during rioting in Londonderry on Thursday night.

Her family also described her as a "friend and confidante to so many of us".

The statement from the McKee family also features on the front of The Irish News, but its lead story is a gun attack on the home of prominent Lurgan republican Colin Duffy.

The paper says the 51-year-old was in the house at Forest Glade with his wife and three children when loud bangs were heard.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Shots were fired at Colin Duffy's house in Lurgan

A downstairs living room window was shattered, but no-one was injured.

Police attended the scene and said their enquiries are ongoing.

Mr Duffy is currently facing charges of preparing and directing terrorism.

The News Letter leads with the sale of two Northern Ireland power plants to a Czech-based coal mining and energy group.

American company AES Corporation is selling the coal-fired power station at Kilroot and the gas-powered Ballylumford plant to EPH for an undisclosed sum.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson welcomed the sale, saying it had been clear AES "did not seem to have any long-term commitment to providing electricity in Northern Ireland".

Alliance Party MLA Stewart Dickson tells the News Letter that AES had offered assurances that there would be no job losses at the two plants.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Kilroot power station is being sold to a Czech-owned company

The New IRA's apology over the killing of Lyra McKee is met with contempt inside the papers.

Writing in the Belfast Telegraph, Suzanne Breen says it was "a paramilitary group going through the motions rather than one showing any true and heartfelt remorse.

"It did not offer an ounce of comfort to those who loved Lyra."

She also criticises the "delusional nonsense" seen in a statement from the dissident party Saoradh at the weekend welcoming the release of two teenagers questioned by the police about the killing.

The group said "kidnapping innocent youths away from their families is unjustifiable".

Breen writes: "Kidnapping, really? Is that an accurate description of arrests where those detained (rightly) had access to solicitors and had their police interviews recorded?

"The sole use of emotive language was pointedly not in connection with the most terrible wrong committed, the gravest human rights abuse, the taking of a young and innocent life."

Physical force republicanism

In the News Letter, consultant psychiatrist Dr Phillip McGarry says "the New IRA are not ill or deluded, just doing what the IRA did".

He says those who killed Ms McKee are doing what the IRA have always done, use physical force to pursue a political agenda.

"What could genuinely help is actually quite simple," he says.

"We must demand of every community leader, political, religious and others, that the cause of Ireland and the the cause of Ulster/the union is not worth the taking of a single human life."

Both the Daily Mirror and Irish News feature pictures of a second Game of Thrones stained glass window that has been put up in Belfast.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Game of Thrones windows are being erected in Belfast as part of a tourism campaign

The first of the windows appeared opposite the entrance to city hall and featured the Stark family from the hit HBO show.

The new one, outside the Waterfront Hall, details the Lannister dynasty, including Cersei's walk of atonement and Tyrion's act of patricide.

It's all part of a Tourism Ireland campaign to mark the eighth and final series of the show, much of which was filmed in Northern Ireland.

The Irish News says in the coming weeks other windows will be erected featuring the Baratheon and Targaryen families, as well as various "epic battles, fire-breathing dragons, ice-blue white walkers and blood-red weddings".

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