Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: 'Mystery illness' kills fifth child

The News Letter Image copyright The News Letter

Most parents would struggle to imagine what it feels like to lose one child, but in Dundonald, County Down, a family are coming to terms with the death of their fifth.

The News Letter reports that Lacey Pollock, aged 4, died from the same "mystery illness" that cut the lives of her four siblings short.

A close friend of the family told the paper that mum, Jamie, and dad, Mark, were "heartbroken".

The couple's first-born child, Jordan, died in 2001, aged 11 months, she said.

Jamie-Lee died aged 13, Ellie, aged six and Lexi, aged nine weeks also died.

Each child suffered from the same physical and mental development issues.

Image caption Mark Pollock caring for his daughter Lacey

The News Letter reports that "the best medical minds in the UK," including those from Great Ormond Street Hospital, have grappled with the condition for more than a decade, but have been unable to provide the answers the family so desperately need.

The family have four other boys who do not suffer from the condition, according to the paper.

'Frampton's £1m fight'

Also on the front page of the News Letter is a warning to famers as "arctic" conditions move in.

The advice is to move livestock to lower ground, keep an eye on pipes and taps and make sure animals are kept near to food in case paths become impassable.

Carl Frampton appears across the papers this morning as his case against his former manager continues.

The boxer claims Cyclone Promotions failed to look after his interests and withheld money he says he was entitled to.

The Daily Mirror leads with the story on its front page under the headline "Frampton's £1m fight".

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Carl Frampton's case against his former manager features in Tuesday's papers

The Belfast Telegraph, News Letter and the Irish News all also carry the story.

Elsewhere the Irish News reports that former Sinn Féin MLA Francie Brolly has left the party over its stance on abortion.

His wife, Anne, a former Limavady mayor, previously resigned over the issue.

Both Mr Brolly and Limavady branch chairman Lee Devine took the decision after Sinn Féin voted to extend access to abortions last year.

'Totally opposed to abortion'

The party previously supported abortion in limited cases of fatal foetal abnormality, but amended its stance to support abortions when a woman's health was at risk.

Mr Brolly told the Irish News: "I am totally opposed to abortion in any circumstances.

"It is wrong, you cannot justify the killing of an innocent human being whether it is born or unborn."

Later in the paper is the news that the Stones will be rolling into Croke Park in May.

The Irish News reports that Pat Gates, chairman of the Clonliffe and Croke Park Residents' Association, said there would be "opposition" to the gig, which will be the fourth at Croke Park in 2018.

The venue had been trying to limit concerts to three per year, but with the Stones joining Michael Bublé and Taylor Swift, who is playing two dates in Dublin, that number rises to four.

The Belfast Telegraph has a double-page spread devoted to former motorbike racer William Cowden, who "died three times during surgery and was left paralysed after a horror crash," but who says he wouldn't hesitate to get back on a bike if he could.

'Thinks he is a dog'

The 34-year-old is pictured in his wheelchair sharing fond memories with his nephew, Jasper.

"I always knew the risks so I can't be completely annoyed at what happened to me," he told the paper.

Finally, there's the story of Marley the sheep, who thinks he is a dog.

The six-month-old Valais black nose was brought indoors by his owner, Ali Vaughan, after developing a life-threatening joint condition, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

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Media captionThe sheep who likes going for walks, eating dog biscuits and doing tricks.

He quickly became firm friends with Ms Vaughan's Labrador.

"We did spoil him a bit," said Ms Vaughan, who is from Portrush, but lives in Cumbria.

"Marley started adopting dog-like characteristics, eating out of the same bowl and chasing balls."