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Price: 72p (IR 1.

05 EURO) Friday, July 15, 2011

The pride of Northern Ireland

Since 1737

Anger over linen mill arson attack PAGE 3

Glory for Dunlop

Coastguard station saved from closure

Key witness at tribunal
A GARDA officer named in allegations of collusion between the Garda and IRA appeared in front of a tribunal probing the claims in Dublin yesterday. Retired sergeant Leo Colton served at Dundalk Garda Station for almost three decades from 1965 and was working from 2pm on the day when chief supt Harry Breen and supt Bob Buchanan were murdered in an IRA ambush on March 20, 1989. Mr Colton denies the allegations, the Smithwick Tribunal heard. See page 10

BELFAST Coastguard will be retained as a 24-hour centre after proposals threatening to have it closed or downgraded to daylight operations were scrapped, it was announced yesterday. A review of coastguard services across the UK led to serious fears that either option would seriously undermine the safety of coastguard operations in Northern Ireland due to the loss of local knowledge. The original government proposal was to slash the number of UK coastguard stations from 19 to nine, with five stations marked to operate during daylight hours only. However, a major backlash forced a rethink by government. As a result of the outcry from the public, press and politicians, two more stations will be preserved under the new proposals, giving a total of 11. All will operate 24 hours each day. Northern Ireland MPs Sylvia Hermon, Jim Shannon, Naomi Long, Margaret Ritchie and Ian Paisley all played their part in cross-party challenges to the radical proposals. Lady Hermon, whose North Down constituency includes the site of the threatened coastguard station, said: “We are very appreciative of the campaign that the News Letter ran on behalf of the coastguard and would like to say a big thank you to the journalists who kept putting this matter in the public sphere.” “This is excellent news for everyone in Northern Ireland,” she said. See pages 6 & 7

Assault victim fights for life
A MAN is in a “critical” condition following an attack in Lurgan during an incident in which a woman was also subjected to a serious sexual assault. The incident took place over a protracted period between the early hours and tea-time on Wednesday at a flat in Dingwell Park. A number of men were involved in the assaults on the 23-year-old man and 26year-old woman and anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0845 600 800.

Murdoch is still defiant
A DEFIANT Rupert Murdoch said last night that he would challenge the “total lies” issued about his News Corporation media empire in the phone hacking scandal when he appears before MPs next week. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said he wanted to address what has been said in Parliament about the crisis. He described News Corp as having handled the situation “extremely well”. See page 13

Belfast Coastguard rescue centre manager Richard Newell, watch officer Dawn Petrie, assistant director Paul Coley, watch assistant Johnny Newell and North Down MP Lady Sylvia Hermon welcome the news at the station PICTURE: Presseye in Bangor yesterday

TwelfTh ReADeRs’ picTuRes compeTiTion
VoTe foR YouR fAVouRiTe – SEE pagES 26 & 27