Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: Poleglass deaths and naval chief's broadside

Front page of the News Letter on Friday Image copyright News Letter
Image caption Front page of the News Letter on Friday

The sudden deaths of two people at a house on the outskirts of west Belfast make the front pages of most of the newspapers on Friday morning.

The Irish News says the community of Poleglass has been left "in shock" following the discovery of two bodies at a house at Woodside Drive.

The causes of the deaths have not been confirmed and police say an investigation is under way.

The Belfast Telegraph says a young boy screamed as he ran out of his home after finding his mother dead in the house.

They report that another neighbour assisted the teenager before a second body was found in the property.

Image caption Two bodies were found at a house at Woodside Drive in Poleglass

The News Letter leads with a call from a former head of the Royal Navy for the next prime minister to end what he says is the "disgrace" of soldiers facing prosecutions over Troubles-related deaths.

Former First Sea Lord Admiral Alan West says there is no "moral equivalence" between troops doing their duty and terrorists.

The Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland has previously said that of 26 so-called Troubles legacy cases it has taken decisions on since 2011, 13 related to republicans, eight to loyalists, and five are connected to the Army.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Legacy issues make the front page of the News Letter

The Irish News also reports that the parents of murdered west Belfast man Eamonn Magee Jr, have expressed their shock at being ordered to remove their son's boxing-glove shaped headstone from Hannahstown Cemetery.

The newspaper says they are the second grieving family to speak out about the issue.

The story also makes the pages of the Daily Mirror, which reports on another mother - Loretta Nolan - who has been asked to take down a butterfly-shaped headstone for her daughter Emma.

The parish cemetery committee has said that several people have been asked to remove headstones erected "without approval".

Eamonn Magee Sr told the Irish News he had contacted his solicitor about the issue and claimed other headstones in the cemetery are significantly larger than his son's headstone.

Elsewhere, the News Letter reports that an Anglican bishop has criticised "liberal elements" of the Church of Ireland as he announced he was standing down after 22 years in the role.

Harold Miller, the bishop of Down and Dromore, told a gathering in Lurgan on Thursday that he would step aside at the end of September.

He said the "vast majority" of Anglicans are orthodox, but the "wealth, the power and the communications are generally in the hands of the declining, numerically weak parts, which exercise much more control than their numbers would warrant".

He also described the ratification of the Good Friday Agreement as "miraculous", but said he wished it had "progressed further by now".