Northern Ireland

Weekly paper review: Nazi graffiti and Housing Executive office fears

Presentational white space
Front page of the Coleraine Chronicle Image copyright Coleraine Chronicle
Presentational white space
The Portadown Times Image copyright Portadown Times
Presentational white space
Front page of the Antrim Guardian Image copyright Antrim Guardian
Presentational white space
Front page of the Strabane Chronicle Image copyright Strabane Chronicle
Presentational white space
Fermanagh Herald front page Image copyright Fermanagh Herald
Presentational white space
Front page of the Newry Democrat Image copyright Newry Democrat
Presentational white space

Graffiti glorifying Nazis, fears over the future of Housing Executive offices and an appeal by an abuse survivor all feature in the weekly NI newspaper review.

The Antrim Guardian reports that graffiti praising Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan has been scrawled across the walls of the Barbican Gate near Antrim town centre.

The newspaper says the 201-year-old building was restored with financial backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2005.

However, it adds that since then it has been "a blank canvas for vandals".

Alliance councillor Neil Kelly said he was angry that "people peddling this sort of hatred are defacing this beautiful old building".

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption Graffiti glorifying Nazis was scrawled on the walls of the Barbican Gate in Antrim

Concerns for the future of NI Housing Executive offices in Portadown, Lurgan, and Banbridge are highlighted on the front page of the Portadown Times.

The newspaper says Sinn Féin assembly member John O'Dowd has written to the Housing Executive's chief executive.

He called on the organisation to carry out a full equality impact assessment and rural needs assessment "before any final decisions are made about the future of the local offices".

The NI Housing Executive said that it was looking at a number of options including "phased relocation and reduced hours given there are five offices within a short distance of each other".

However, it added that "no decision has yet been taken".

'Terrible shock'

The Fermanagh Herald features tributes to Unagh Gallogly who died in hospital on Monday, after being rescued from a submerged car in Lower Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, last weekend.

The newspaper says Ms Gallogly, who was in her 50s and based in Drumquin, was well-known in the community having worked as a nurse at the Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital.

Drumquin parish priest, Fr Kevin Mullan, said the death of the mother of three had come as "a terrible shock".

"They are a very respected and loved family, and the entire community is saddened and horrified that this could happen," he said.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Unagh Gallogly was rescued following an incident at Muckross Pier near Kesh on Saturday night

The front page of the Newry Democrat features an interview with abuse survivor Sean Faloon.

Mr Faloon, who is originally from Hilltown, was first abused as an altar boy from the age of 10 by Fr Malachy Finnegan.

The newspaper reports that Mr Faloon was targeted by Fr Finnegan for eight years from 1989, with the majority of the abuse taking place inside Hilltown parochial house.

He has expressed dismay after learning that St Patrick's Primary School, which is located nearby, has been using the front lawn of the parochial house for activities such as football and karate lessons for the past 18 months.

Image caption Sean Faloon previously lifted his anonymity to speak out about the abuse he suffered

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Dromore said that after being made aware of Mr Faloon's concerns, the school authorities were "reviewing this use of the grass area".

Fr Finnegan, who died in 2002, also abused boys at St Colman's College in Newry, where he taught from 1967 to 1976.

School places

The Coleraine Chronicle reports on its front page that three schools have been told that they have until next spring to draw up plans addressing the "rising number of empty desks in the Coleraine area".

It says Coleraine College, Dunluce High and North Coast Integrated College featured in the Education Authority's latest action plan for the Causeway Coast and Glens region.

Managing authorities at the three schools must "develop options for future provision" by March 2020, the report says.

Image caption Deirdre Shakespeare has called for the laws on child restraint in NI to be toughened

The Strabane Chronicle's lead story says there has been a "groundswell of support" for Knockavoe special school after one mother alleged her son was strapped into a chair at the school without her knowledge.

Deirdre Shakespeare has said she only found out how much her then five-year-old son Harry was being restrained when she saw a photo diary of his first year at his special school.

Harry has no mobility issues, but is autistic and non-verbal.

The newspaper said various parents had taken to social media to express their support for the school, with two parents also praising the school in interviews with the newspaper.