Northern Ireland

NI paper review: Grief, laws and a flags row

Daily Mirror front page Image copyright Daily Mirror
News Letter front page Image copyright News Letter

The daughter of a couple killed in a car accident has called in the Belfast Telegraph for tougher sentences for killer drivers.

Katie Weir, 25, from Portavogie, County Down, said she was "angry and upset".

She added that she sometimes wished she too had died in the crash, which killed her parents Dean and Sandra Weir.

She spoke after Charles Hugh Macartney, 20, was jailed for 14 months for causing their deaths on Dunover Road in Ballywalter on St Patrick's Day, 2017.

Macartney, of Manse Road, Newtownards, lost control of his car while taking a bend in the road at almost 90mph.

Ms Weir told the newspaper she felt let down by a sentence that "won't serve as a sentence to others".

Image copyright Weir Family
Image caption Katie Weir with her parents Dean and Sandra

In the News Letter, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has urged MPs not to override devolution when it comes to issues such as abortion and marriage laws.

It reports that the plea was made to Westminister politicians on Thursday after the church learned amendments aimed at liberalising Northern Ireland's legislation on both matters could be tabled in the House of Commons next week.

Rev Trevor Gribben, clerk of the General Assembly and general secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, said devolved settlement in Northern Ireland must not be by-passed.

Image caption Rev Trevor Gribben said devolved settlement in Northern Ireland must not be by-passed.

The row over paramilitary flags continues in The Irish News today, which reveals that UVF flags are flying in the grounds of a leisure centre owned by Belfast City Council.

It says the flags have been erected on lamp posts in the car park of Avoniel Leisure Centre in east Belfast.

This comes after councillors voted to pursue legal action against the Department for Infrastructure to remove such flags from its property, the paper reports.

Image caption The flags row began after UVF flags appeared in the Cantrell Close area of Belfast where they have previously caused controversy.

The row began after UVF flags appeared in the Cantrell Close area of Belfast where they have previously caused controversy.

The death of Belfast-born lawyer jailed for abusing air stewards dominates the front page of the Daily Mirror Northern Ireland.

It reports that Simone Burns, who was jailed in April 2019, for a racist tirade against Air India staff, was found dead at the foot of cliffs in Sussex, England, 13 days after her release from prison on 20 May.

In a statement to the newspaper, Sussex police said the death was not being treated as suspicious.

The News Letter also reports on the restoration of an Orange hall that was damaged by flooding following torrential rain in August 2017.

The Somme Memorial Hall in Newtownstewart, will reopen on Friday evening, the paper reports.

The happy tale of two rescued seals being returned to the wild in County Down after being looked after at Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry features in The Irish News.

Amphitrite and Doris were rescued last October after being found by members of the public, abandoned and injured.

The papers says the duo needed to be shown how to eat fish and received extensive medical care before being released.