Newspaper review: Shock at footballer's sudden death

By Ciaran McCauley

Image source, Daily Mirror

The sudden death of Derry City footballer Ryan McBride is dominating Monday's front pages.

"Derry City captain found dead in bed", is the headline in the Daily Mirror while the Belfast Telegraph and Irish News both reflect on "shock" in the football world.

Tributes have poured in for the 27-year-old, the papers report, after he was found unresponsive on the same weekend in which he led his side to a 4-0 league victory.

Paul McGrath and Stan Collymore were among those to pay their respects on social media, the Belfast Telegraph adds.

Pier tragedy anniversary

His death comes a year after the Buncrana pier tragedy, in which family members of Josh Daniels, another Derry City player, died.

The Irish News reflects a year on from that tragic day by speaking to the man who first raised the alarm when the car carrying five people slipped off a pier in County Donegal.

"It is still very fresh in our minds and we'll never forget it," said Francis Crawford.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror reports on another tragedy - the search for Irish coastguard helicopter Rescue 116.

The helicopter went missing last week while on a rescue mission off the County Mayo coast.

Image source, RTÉ
Image caption,
Three of the four crew members from Rescue 116 are still missing

In a two-page report, the Daily Mirror says that confusion over the seriousness of an injury suffered by a fisherman led to two rescue helicopters being dispatched, including the ill-fated Rescue 116.

It reports that the helicopters were sent on the basis that a fisherman's hand had been badly injured in an accident, but that the man had severed the tip of a finger and the injury was not life-threatening.

On the front page of the News Letter, the main story is the ticking clock of Stormont negotiations and pessimism over a possible deal between the DUP and Sinn Féin.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson says Sinn Féin is setting the bar for agreement "at an almost impossible height" and there'll be no breakthrough unless the party "roll back" on some of their demands.

With only one more week to agree a deal, the outlook seems bleak - although, the News Letter adds, the SDLP and Alliance Party are much more hopeful. Watch this space.

Inside the paper, columnist Alex Kane reflects on the end of Mike Nesbitt's leadership of the UUP and writes that he found out what many party leaders previously discovered: "The UUP is enormously difficult to lead."

Image caption,
Plans to redevelop Glentoran's Oval stadium could be a "victim" of the impasse at Stormont

Kane writes that Mike Nesbitt's "heart and head were in the right place" but that he "allowed himself to be nudged towards intra-unionist deals that... were always going to be detrimental to the UUP in the long term."

While negotiations continue at Stormont, however, projects awaiting government approval have been left in limbo - including a proposed redevelopment of Glentoran Football Club's stadium in east Belfast.

Sport has become the "unwitting victim" of the collapse of power-sharing, the Belfast Telegraph says, reporting the words of Glentoran chairman Stephen Henderson.

He says the political impasse could have a major impact on proposed stadium redevelopment plans across NI, including at The Oval.

"If we have to wait another year until money is released, and I'm talking about all of football and, indeed Casement Park, the money that is being allocated will build you less of a stadium."