Northern Ireland

Newspaper headlines: McGuinness, Trump and Italian super yachts

Daily Mirror Image copyright Daily Mirror
News Letter Image copyright News Letter

Martin McGuinness' announcement that he is quitting frontline politics is the front page splash in the Belfast Telegraph, The Irish News and the Daily Mirror.

The Belfast Telegraph says Sinn Féin is split over who should succeed Mr McGuinness as deputy first minister, with one wing of the party favouring Health Minister Michelle O'Neill and another faction preferring veteran MLA Conor Murphy. The paper's Suzanne Breen says Mrs O'Neill has emerged as the favourite.

John Manly of the Irish News says Mr McGuinness' departure will leave a significant vacuum. He says Mr McGuinness is "an illustration of how people can change and society too can be transformed".

The paper's Seamus McKinney says that Mr McGuinness has always been something of an enigma in his native Londonderry, but has earned respect among many unionists, as well as nationalists and republicans.

The Daily Mirror says Mr McGuinness appealed for society to move forward in peace as he "bowed out of public life". It lists Mrs O'Neill, Mr Murphy and Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir as the favourites to succeed him.

The only local paper not to lead with Mr McGuinness is the News Letter, which instead focuses on more revelations from the RHI scandal.

It says emails leaked to it show that some renewable energy firms were aware that changes to the scheme were looming, four months before cost controls were implemented. Emails show clients considering buying wood pellet boilers were advised to "move asap" to "avoid missing out on the best rates from RHI".

Drugs and cash missing

Inside, the News Letter reports that the Police Ombudsman is investigating the disappearance of a small amount of cannabis and £195 in cash from a County Antrim PSNI station. The drugs and cash had been in a secure locker after being seized in a house raid. The story is also covered by the Belfast Telegraph.

Looking ahead to Donald Trump's inauguration, the News Letter says Larne Irish dancer Morgan Comner will be performing at the event after a personal request from Michael Flatley.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The papers all look ahead to Donald Trump's inauguration

In a column in the Belfast Telegraph, Fionola Merideth says while Mr Trump may be odious, "tarring his voters with the same brush is totally dumb". Bimpe Archer of the Irish News says Barack Obama is leaving office with only minor achievements, but at least what he represented was positive.

Both of those papers feature a warning from a west Belfast pensioner dragged from his car and attacked by a stranger yards from his front door.

Black's Road man Charlie Hill says he fears the man could attack again and could end up killing someone.

Finally, if you have always wanted to own an Italian "super yacht" or a couple of racehorses, you may be in luck.

The Belfast Telegraph says that next week Belfast-based Wilson Auctioneers will be selling "a veritable treasure trove" of items seized by UK police forces, with all the proceeds going back into the public purse.

Time to start looking down the back of the sofa.