Northern Ireland

Paper review: '£10k payout' for Queen portrait claim

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

Eleventh Night bonfires and a claim that £10,000 was paid to a civil servant over a portrait of the Queen feature on the front of Friday's Northern Ireland newspapers.

Bonfires were lit across Northern Ireland on Thursday night and the story of one controversial pyre is the lead story in the Daily Mirror and the Belfast Telegraph.

Under the headline "Fired Up", the Daily Mirror reports on the lighting of the bonfire constructed in the car park of Avoniel Leisure Centre in east Belfast.

Attempts had been made by Belfast City Council to remove the structure but they were abandoned on Thursday.

"Several hundred people cheered as the Avoniel pyre was set alight after a tense few days, which at times threatened to descend into violence," the paper reports.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Belfast City Council stood down its efforts to remove the Avoniel Leisure Centre fire on Thursday

It notes that about 100 bonfires were estimated to have been built across Belfast.

The Belfast Telegraph focuses on how the names of the contractors hired to remove the Avoniel bonfire were leaked.

The names were spray-painted on to walls near the site and the contractors subsequently pulled out of the job.

"Such intimidation must not be tolerated," said senior police officer Mark Hamilton.

Issues around the Avoniel bonfire are also marked in smaller stories on the front of the News Letter and the Irish News.

Civil servant 'offended by Queen portrait'

The News Letter's lead story focuses on a speech made by Lord Maginnis in the House of Lords this week.

The former Ulster Unionist MP said a senior Northern Ireland Office official was paid £10,000 in compensation because he was offended at having to walk past a picture of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Image copyright John Walton/PA
Image caption It is claimed a worker at the Northern Ireland Office received a payout of £10,000

"This individual, who had worked in the Northern Ireland Office for between 15 and 20 years, claimed that under human rights legislation it was unfair to him to have to work where he was offended by portraits," he said.

The Northern Ireland Office said it would not comment.

Sadness over young boy's death

The Irish News leads its coverage with the death of a 10-year-old boy at his home in Carlingford, just over the Irish border in County Louth.

"It's desperately sad for the family," said the SDLP MLA Justin McNulty, who the paper reports is a family friend of the child's mother Olivia Macklin.

"I hope they can find the strength from somewhere to get through this."