Newspaper review: Boxer attack and marathon success

By Ross McKee

Image caption,
Front page of the News Letter on 2 May

Two contrasting images of sporting protagonists are on the front pages of the daily newspapers on Tuesday.

A large picture of promising young boxer, Caoimhín Hynes, who was stabbed in the face and neck in Belfast city centre dominates the front page of The Irish News.

The 20-year-old was attacked by a group of men wearing tracksuits at Donegall Place in the early hours of Monday morning, following a night out with his girlfriend.

He has undergone surgery at the Ulster Hospital and his coach Michael Hawkins says the wound was near a main artery in his neck and over four inches long.

The Belfast Telegraph also reports on the attack, with Mr Hynes' brother, Eoaghan Junior, saying the family is thankful he is alive.

"We are heartbroken because we aren't used to seeing our brother or anyone around us in this condition, but I hope justice is served and the police find out who this was," he added.

The brighter side of sporting life also features in the newspaper as a photograph of Belfast Marathon women's race winner Laura Graham looms large on its front page.

"I can't believe I have done it," she tells the paper. "I ran the London Marathon last week and I didn't expect to be number one in Belfast this week! It feels good, but weird."

Image source, Hynes Family
Image caption,
Caoimhín Hynes was attacked in Belfast city centre

The mother-of-four from Kilkeel, County Down, also appears on the front pages of The Irish News and the News Letter.

The Belfast Telegraph and the News Letter highlight a Northern Ireland Affairs Committee report which says victims of Libyan-sponsored terrorism have been let down by successive UK governments in their campaign for compensation.

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi supplied arms and Semtex to the IRA during the Troubles.

Susanne Dodd, whose father died trying to save shoppers in the 1983 Harrods bombing in London, is quoted in the Belfast Telegraph saying:"The US government held Gaddafi to account, our government disgraced themselves."

In the News Letter, committee chair Laurence Robertson says there needs to be "direct dialogue with the Libyan government, and if the situation there makes this impossible, the government must begin the process of establishing a fund themselves".

The newspaper reports that one prominent solicitor is to represent ten senior DUP figures at the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) inquiry.

It says he will be the legal representative for four former ministers including Arlene Foster, as well as five former special advisers and the party chairman Lord Morrow. The solicitor is not representing ex-minister Jonathan Bell or his former special adviser Timothy Cairns.

Ambassador's passport

The Daily Mirror reports on the fresh search that is due to get under way in France for the remains of one of Northern Ireland's Disappeared.

Seamus Ruddy, 32, was abducted in Paris by republican paramilitaries, the INLA, in 1985.

His brother, Terry, tells the Mirror he faces "a long wait by the phone": "I am living in hope without expectation. Obviously it gets more difficult the older we all get."

The newspaper also reports that police are warning young people to steer clear of railway tracks after crowds started gathering near Dunmurry Halt on the outskirts of Belfast.

It is believed the issue has been ongoing since 22 April, when as many as 200 youths were in the area with some seen running along the track. Police have said the actions are "disruptive and reckless", with Translink saying safety is "its top priority".

Image source, Pacemaker
Image caption,
Seamus Ruddy was murdered and secretly buried in France

Meanwhile, a former British Ambassador to Ireland's application for an Irish passport in the wake of the Brexit vote is among the headlines in the Irish News.

It says that Sir Ivor Roberts, who is not giving up his British Citizenship, told The Irish Times that he had applied for an Irish passport as his family owned a house in Italy "and I don't want to find myself queuing to get through Rome airport every time I go there".

Sir Ivor's father was born in Belfast and that guarantees his right to carry an Irish passport under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

"I've always had a soft spot for Ireland, though not everyone in Iveagh House (The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin) may agree with that," he added.