Newspaper review: Murder hunt opens, election heats up

By Nuala McCann

image source, News Letter

The arrests of two teenagers on suspicion of the murder of Richard Miskelly, 24, feature on the front pages of the Daily Mirror, Belfast Telegraph and News Letter.

The papers report that two 19-year-olds are being questioned by police.

Mr Miskelly, who had been on a night-out on Saturday, was found dying on Bangor Road, Newtownards, early on Sunday morning following a suspected assault.

Paramedics were unable to save him

The Mirror quotes a childhood friend who said he was "a nice big fella" who "loved a good time".

The Telegraph cites a floral tribute left by Mr Miskelly's family, calling him their "one and only".

'Project Fear'

Time is ticking by and we are down to the last few days before the polls open. Election fever is hotting up.

The Belfast Telegraph's front-page headline reads: "Fear of SF majority 'is hitting UUP vote.'"

In what it bills an exclusive, the paper says voters are abandoning the Ulster Unionists to back the DUP over fears that Sinn Féin could become the biggest party at Stormont.

Veteran councillor Jim Rodgers claims "project fear" over Sinn Féin topping the poll is costing the UUP votes.

However, Councillor Alex Baird says there is no evidence in his constituency of people switching parties.

The Irish News leads with the story that a unionist-dominated council could be risking £2.5m European funding because it has refused to include nationalist politicians on a committee.

The paper reports that Lisburn & Castlereagh's committee is made up of eight unionist and two Alliance councillors but none of the council's four SDLP representatives feature.

The Irish News says a letter sent by the Special EU Programmes Body to the council reveals that the council turned down a request to expand its political representation to "fully reflect the spirit of the objectives of the Peace Programme".

The paper quotes Sinn Féin finance minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir who says that the council's "refusal to include both political traditions in its partnership is completely unacceptable".

SDLP councillor Pat Catney calls the council's position "an absolute disgrace".

It means funding of £2.5m for children and children's services is being stalled, he said, putting the blame firmly with the DUP.

The council said it was considering matters and working to find a solution.

Marching onward

The News Letter is also well and truly in election mode.

It leads with a call from Mervyn Gibson, grand secretary of the Orange Order, for fresh legislation surrounding parading.

The issue of parades needs to be part of any talks following the election, Rev Gibson tells the paper.

He claims the law, as it stands, is "fundamentally flawed and biased against parades".

The Telegraph also features the story of a Sinn Féin Strictly show featuring the dance moves of north Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly and his wife to the strains of Roxanne by the Police.

Crocodile Rock

The paper says that at one point, Mr Kelly and Paul Maskey took to the stage in fancy dress to perform to Elton John's Crocodile Rock - a joke inspired by DUP leader Arlene Foster's dismissal of Sinn Féin's demand for an Irish language Act.

"If you feed the crocodile it will keep coming back for more," she said.

And finally, the Irish News reports on new "Dead Interesting" tours at Dublin's Glasnevin ceremony.

You can hear the story of the woman who died once, but was buried twice and you can stand at the grave of the last Irish winner at Wimbledon.

There is also the chance to pay your respects to one Frank de Groot.

He dramatically cut the ribbon and opened Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932... the only problem was that he was not meant to do so.