Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: Royal rescue request and some horsing about

News Letter Image copyright News Letter

The jailing of a man for a horrific hammer attack which left a young woman with "life-changing" injuries is reported in all of Thursday's papers.

The 25-year-old victim now wears a colostomy bag and may not be able to have children after she was attacked in her home in Londonderry in 2014.

Photographs of the aftermath of an overnight gun attack on a man in west Belfast also feature prominently.

The man was shot in both legs in the Falls Road on Wednesday evening.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Forensic investigators examined the scene of the shooting on the Falls Road

The Belfast Telegraph leads with condemnation of Sinn Féin's new northern leader, Michelle O'Neill, for attending a commemoration tonight to four IRA men shot dead by the SAS in 1992.

The paper carries a comment piece with the headline: "All O'Neill offers is the same poison with prettier wrapping."

'Most divisive'

A major speech on Brexit, by the embattled Taoiseach Enda Kenny, is widely covered in the dailies.

The News Letter quotes him as saying he is confident the European Union will not allow "one of the most divisive borders in the world" to be re-imposed on the island of Ireland.

However, the Irish News reports that the Irish government is "already scouting along the north-south border" for suitable locations for customs check-points, as part of its contingency planning.

The paper's lead story is the plight of a young mother whose family home was ransacked by intruders who broke in and held a "drug-fuelled party" in the house while she was visiting her mother.

Aisling Gallagher tells the Irish News the intruders smeared excrement on her carpets, smashed up her furniture and her children's toys and left drugs paraphernalia all over the house in Poleglass.

'A little hoarse'

An appeal for people to gather up stones and bring them to one of Northern Ireland's most notorious sectarian interfaces this weekend is published by the Belfast Telegraph.

However, no riot is predicted on the Lower Newtownards Road this time - the event has been organised by poet and spiritual healer Deirdre Cartmill, who aims to "send positive energy and healing into the area that suffered a lot during the Troubles".

An international rescue request for a tall ship that sank in Strangford Lough has caught the attention of all the papers.

Image copyright PA
Image caption William Mulhall, owner of the tall ship Regina Caelis, holds a photograph of the vessel before it was damaged

The owner of the boat, named Regina Caelis or Queen of Heaven, says he has emailed the Queen of Denmark asking for her help to raise the stricken vessel.

"From one queen to another," the hopeful owner tells the News Letter.

Finally, a bit of horsing about in a Craigavon doctors' surgery has delighted headline writers.

Depending on which daily you read, between one and three stray horses wandered in through the automatic doors of Brownlow Health Centre yesterday.

There is plenty of speculation that the unexpected visitors may have been "feeling a little hoarse" but the Belfast Telegraph reassures its readers that the patients were "found to be in a stable condition".