Northern Ireland

Weekly newspaper review: Amusement park sale and ATM theft bid

Front page of the Coleraine Chronicle Image copyright Coleraine Chronicle
Image caption Front page of the Coleraine Chronicle
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Front page of the Ballymena Guardian Image copyright Ballymena Guardian
Image caption Front page of the Ballymena Guardian
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Front page of the Mourne Observer Image copyright Mourne Observer
Image caption Front page of the Mourne Observer
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Front page of the Impartial Reporter Image copyright Impartial Reporter
Image caption Front page of the Impartial Reporter
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Front page of the Lurgan Mail Image copyright Lurgan Mail
Image caption Front page of the Lurgan Mail
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The sale of an amusement park and the attempted theft of a cash machine are among the stories hitting the headlines in Northern Ireland's weekly newspapers.

The announcement that Barry's Amusements in Portrush is to be sold as a going concern features on the front page of the Coleraine Chronicle.

Its owners, the Trufelli family, said the 11 full-time staff had been informed and would be kept in employment throughout the sale process.

The family said it hoped to "pass on the baton to someone who will ensure generations can still enjoy the fun that Barry's offers our local and wider community".

The newspaper reports that it is expected that councillors will seek to "ring-fence" land occupied by Barry's Amusements for leisure use only "to avoid ending up with a building site for apartments".

Image copyright ©KENNETH ALLEN/CCGEOGRAPH
Image caption Barry's Amusements in Portrush is to be sold as a going concern, its owners have announced

The Ballymena Guardian reports that there has been a call for action after a number of suspected drug deaths in the town in recent months.

A recent full meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council passed a motion committing to tackle issues of mental health and suicide.

It was highlighted that drugs and alcohol abuse played a major factor in such matters, and the Public Health Agency has warned that "all drugs, whether illegal drugs or prescription medication, carry risks".

Members at last month's full council meeting unanimously passed a motion that council will commit to tackling mental health and suicide issues through their Community Plan "in order to save and improve the lives of the most vulnerable people in our Borough".

The newspaper also reports that the Magee clothing business has closed its Ballymena distribution facility after an association of almost 100 years in the town.

Several hundred people were once employed at the Magee factory in Paradise Avenue.

The distribution facility has now moved to premises in Donegal.

The Mid-Ulster Mail reports that a public meeting detailing plans for a £2.5m regeneration of Maghera is due to take place in the town next Wednesday.

The newspaper says the plans would see new lighting, paving, planting and street furniture, and would also address "substandard footpath widths, poor pedestrian access and traffic flow issues".

A public information session will take place at the town's leisure centre in Coleraine Road on 27 November from 14:00 to 20:00 GMT.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Damian Anysz worked as a chef at Sizzlers Restaurant in Magherafelt, County Londonderry

Elsewhere, the newspaper says that a Polish chef subjected to racial discrimination, harassment and abusive language, has spoken of his relief after an industrial tribunal found in his favour.

Damian Anysz worked as a chef at Sizzlers Restaurant in Magherafelt, County Londonderry, from November 2016 to July 2018.

He was awarded more than £15,000 by an industrial tribunal.

Sizzlers Restaurant has now ceased trading.

The reaction of a County Down businesswoman to the attempted theft of a cash machine at a petrol station in Ballynahinch makes the front page of the Mourne Observer.

The attack happened at Carlisles' on the Belfast Road in Ballynahinch on Monday morning.

A digger is believed to have been used to ram the petrol station during the incident, and the forecourt roof collapsed.

The family-run business has decided to donate perishable foods to the local foodbank.

Donna Carlisle, who has worked for the business since she was 16, described the attack as "devastating" and said she had been "overwhelmed" by the support from the local community.

Image caption The forecourt roof of a petrol station in Ballynahinch was damaged during the attempted theft of a cash machine

The Lurgan Mail features the resolution of a dispute over pay and conditions at a meat packing plant on its front page.

It says a ballot of Unite union members saw 94% vote to accept a management offer secured through negotiations after a 24-hour strike at ABP's Lurgan site earlier this month.

Unite regional officer Brian Hewitt said the pay deal that had been accepted would "see an uplift to pay of 5.2% over two years".

A spokesman for ABP said it was pleased that its pay offer had been accepted and thanked the Labour Relations Agency for its "prompt assistance in securing a satisfactory outcome".

The Impartial Reporter highlights the fear of a businessman whose house was ransacked in a burglary in Belcoo, County Fermanagh, last Saturday.

A safe containing a sum of money and personal documents were stolen during the incident.

The businessman said he was shocked at what had happened and described the impact of the break-in on his neighbours, many of whom are elderly.

"They are all trembling," he said.

"It's not just me, it's everybody else."

The paper also reports that the PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne has met with the directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) following the abduction of Kevin Lunney.

Mr Lunney, a director of QIH, was driving from work to his home in Kinawley when he was abducted on 17 September.

Mr Byrne said he had "reassured" Mr Lunney and the QIH directors that the PSNI was working closely with An Garda Síochána (Irish police) "in a bid to bring those responsible to justice".