NI newspaper headlines: ‘Organised criminals’ suspected of RUC/PSNI murder bid

Police tape: Image copyrightPA MEDIA

All four of Northern Ireland’s daily papers are leading with the same story – the attempted murder of an off-duty police office near the Irish border.

The officer was confronted by a masked man aiming a shotgun at him as he opened the door of his home in Kesh, County Fermanagh, on Thursday morning.

Despite the ongoing threat from dissident republicans, this time the police said they suspected “organised criminal elements” were to blame.

The Irish News focuses on an dramatic quote from the Police Federation which described it as a “Mafia-style” attack.

“This is gangsterism at its worst,” according to the federation’s North of Ireland chairman, Mark Lindsay.

The paper says it understands the officer is a “young” man and has spoken to a local councillor who says the victim is from a “well-respected family in the area”.

“It is terrible that this has come to his door in such a personal way and it will take some time for him to come to terms with it,” Ulster Unionist councillor John McClaughry tells the Irish News.

Daily Mirror Presentational white space Image copyrightDAILY MIRROR
News Letter Presentational white space Image copyrightNEWS LETTER

The Belfast Telegraph says the officer has been “traumatised” by the incident which happened at about 02:00 GMT on Thursday.

It also quotes Mr Lindsay, who said: “I spoke with him earlier today and, understandably, he has been left badly shaken by the shocking experience.”

The Daily Mirror reports the Police Service of NI (RUC/PSNI) is taking steps to ensure the officer’s personal security.

The paper says it understands the officer “has been advised to move to alternative family accommodation” as the investigation continues.

The News Letter leads with condemnation from DUP leader Arlene Foster, who described it as an “outrageous attack on a public servant”.

“It is a reminder of the threat and danger that police officers face on a daily basis as they try to protect our community,” she added.

The DUP leader is also featured on the front of the Belfast Telegraph, having issued a warning about the ongoing talks to restore the North of Ireland Assembly.

‘Sticking plaster’

Time is running out for parties to strike a deal before the 13 January deadline, at which point the secretary of state is obliged to call an assembly election.

The Telegraph reports Sinn Féin are insisting an agreement can be reached “very, very quickly”, but Mrs Foster has warned any deal to save Stormont “can’t be a sticking plaster”.

The Irish News also covers the talks on its front page and appears to suggest Mrs Foster’s party is holding up progress.

“The DUP was last night continuing to resist a speedy resolution to the Stormont talks while other parties insisted agreement was in reach,” according to its political correspondent John Manley.

But it is not just Mrs Foster who is urging caution on behalf of the DUP.

The party’s new leader at Westminster, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, is pictured facing a crowd of journalists in Stormont’s Great Hall where he suggested his party would not be pressured into a deal.

“We are not in the business of snatching at something because there is a deadline,” Sir Jeffrey said, adding the DUP was seeking a “fair and balanced” agreement.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson told reporters the DUP would not be rushed into a deal Image copyrightPACEMAKER

Mr Manley says the talks are focused on resolving disagreements over the petition of concern, the Irish language and a financial package from Westminster.

The petition is a controversial Stormont veto designed to protect the interests of minorities in the assembly, but critics believe it is has been abused and have called for reform.

The News Letter reports a “key proposal” in the talks is to seek approval from the Human Rights Commission on each occasion the petition is used.

The information came from an unnamed source, who also told the News Letter there was proposal the petition must require at least 30 signatures, “one of which must be from a second party”.

The paper also follows up on controversial displays in a republican museum which has curated a large collection of artefacts related to the Troubles.

One of the items is a damaged Army rifle which was reportedly found by a member of the public near the IRA bombing of Narrow Water in 1979, in which 18 soldiers were killed.

The damaged rifle was found near Omeath about a year after the 1979 attack Image copyrightLIAM MCBURNEY/PAT

Ulster Unionist justice spokesman and former soldier Doug Beattie has called on the PSNI to confiscate the weapon “in order to ensure all evidence has been gathered and a valid decommission certificate has been issued”.

Writing on social media, Mr Beattie pointed out comparisons with a 2015 case when a gun that had been used in several unsolved murders by loyalist paramilitaries was found on public display at the Imperial War Museum.

“In the same way the Seán Graham bookies murder weapon should never be in a museum, neither should this weapon.,” the UUP MLA tweeted.

He said the rifle belonged to the Ministry of Defence and should be returned to it for “disposal”.

With many thanks to: BBC NewsNI for the original story 


Author: seachranaidhe1

About Me I studied for six months training and became certified in Exam 070-271 in May 2010 and shortly after that became certifed in Exam 070-272. I scored highly in both Exams and hope to upgrade my path to M.C.S.A. ( Server Administrator ) in the near future.I also hold Level 2 Qualifications in three subjects Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Spreedsheets. I have also expereance with Web Design using Microsoft Front-Page.

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