Northern Ireland

NI Paper Review: Suspended MP and a second EU referendum

front page of the News Letter Friday 12 January 2018 Image copyright News Letter
front page of the Daily Mirror Friday 12 January 2018 Image copyright Daily Mirror

The Kingsmills video controversy, politicians seeking alternative work and calls for a second Brexit referendum all make the headlines.

The Irish News reports that a Sinn Féin MP is continuing constituency work even though he has been suspended for three months.

The paper reports that Barry McElduff is still working from his Omagh office.

His suspension comes after he posted a video online on the 42nd anniversary of the Kingsmills massacre.

In the video, which sparked widespread condemnation, Mr McElduff was seen with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Barry McElduff is the Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone

Ten Protestants were killed in the atrocity by the IRA.

The MP for West Tyrone has since removed the tweet and apologised for any offence cause.

The paper reports that while Mr McElduff has accepted his suspension, he intends to continue his work as an MP.

DUP MP Nigel Dodds told the paper that Mr McElduff's actions were part of a "wider attitude of disrespect towards the victims of terrorism".

Image caption Ten Protestant workmen were murdered in the 1976 Kingsmills massacre

'Wrong message'

DUP MLA, Edwin Poots, has faced criticism after claiming he and other MLAs are considering leaving politics unless the executive is restored.

According to the News Letter, politicians from other parties have called his comments, "unhelpful" and "send out the wrong message".

On Thursday, Mr Poots told the BBC: "I think it's something most wise politicians would be looking at now that the future is uncertain."

Image caption Edwin Poots told BBC News NI he is seriously looking at the prospect of a new career

His comments come a year after devolved government collapsed in Northern Ireland in January 2017.

Ulster Unionist Robbie Butler told the News Letter Mr Poots' comments sounded "like an admission of defeat".

"What people need is hope that the crisis at Stormont can be overcome," he added.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A series of political talks in the last year have failed to restore government at Stormont

EU Referendum II?

The Daily Mirror reports that the SDLP has welcomed calls by Nigel Farage for a second EU referendum.

The former UKIP leader told Channel 5's The Wright Stuff a fresh vote could "kill off" the Remain campaign for a generation.

He was one of the leading figures in the Leave campaign, which won the Brexit referendum with 51.9% of votes in June 2016.

SDLP MLA Claire Hanna said: "The will of the people should not have been limited to one vote on June 23, 2016.

"The SDLP were the only local party to register to campaign to Remain in Europe, and will keep leading that debate in the event of any future referendum," she added.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nigel Farage made the call on Channel 5's 'The Wright Stuff'

Broken window

A former Sinn Féin member has claimed he is "under siege" due to his criticism of the party's activities, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

John McCabe has written critical comments about the party on social media.

He told the paper that he left the party after relations with Sinn Féin soured.

Sinn Féin has denied Mr McCabe's claims, adding that "no one should be subjected to hate and harassment".

Image caption The girl was born at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald in 2008

Limited life expectancy

The front page of the News Letter reads: "Cerebral palsy girl gets £5m negligence payout".

The nine-year-old girl from County Down was starved of oxygen to the brain during delivery at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald in 2008 and developed severe cerebral palsy.

Her family sued the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust for alleged medical negligence.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The hospital is run by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust

After a long legal battle, a court was told it will not contest liability.

Lawyers acting for the girl confirmed that she now has a limited life-expectancy due to her condition.

'Dog's abuse'

A GAA and soccer star who was the first black footballer to play at Croke Park has spoken about racist abuse he faced during his sports career, reports the Irish News.

In a two-part interview, Joey Cunningham opens up about "dog's abuse" he suffered during matches.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Joey Cunningham playing for Portadown in 1990

He recalls one incident where he took a thrown-in and had abuse shouted at from the sidelines by a man and his young son.

"Here was a kid who was abusing me and he didn't even know what was coming out of his mouth," he told the paper.

"It was just insane, but it didn't make me bitter at all, it made me sad...sad to think this man didn't know me from Adam but he jumped on the bandwagon anyway."