Northern Ireland

Newspaper headlines: Overtime and one last blast

Daily Mirror front page Monday 5 March Image copyright Daily Mirror
News Letter front page Monday 5 March Image copyright News Letter

A fatal stabbing in Londonderry at the weekend is widely covered in Monday's papers.

It is the front page story in the Daily Mirror, which names the victim as 35-year-old Karol Kelly.

He died after an alleged fight in the Grafton Street area of the city in the early hours of Sunday morning.

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan told the paper that he knew the victim and his family.

"It is a real tragedy," he said. "His family are well known and well liked. His family are obviously devastated."

At the time of writing, two men remain in police custody.

Game of Thrones

The Belfast Telegraph's front page has a different picture of Mr Kelly, who they say was a "gentle giant" and father of five.

The paper leads with an exclusive on police overtime - it says the current bill is running at £125,000 a day "as the force struggles to plug gaps in its workforce".

Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris said budget cuts and political uncertainty meant it was difficult to recruit more officers.

The Irish News' front page talks Brexit (and Games of Thrones - it has a picture of some of the cast members enjoying a drink in Kelly's Cellars in Belfast).

But back to the border issue.

The paper says Dublin and London have clashed again over plans for avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland once the UK leaves the European Union.

On Sunday, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the EU was unlikely to accept the UK's latest proposal, which focuses on technological solutions and places no new restrictions on the 80% of cross-border trade by smaller firms.

In its editorial, the paper advises UK Prime Minister Theresa May to listen to former US Senator George Mitchell, one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement.

Over the weekend, he warned the reinstatement of a hard border would "go back to the days when stereotyping resumes... and people turn inward as opposed to outward and they lose the benefits that come from open borders".


Staying on politics but this time Stormont - the Belfast Telegraph says Secretary of State Karen Bradley is expected to bring a budget for NI before the House of Commons on Thursday.

She is also likely to announce whether the government will move to cut MLAs' pay.

The Irish News has devoted two pages to the resignation of the Bishop of Dromore, Dr John McAreavey.

Image caption John McAreavey spoke out in defence of his uncle, the Bishop of Dromore

He stood down last week amid controversy surrounding the late Fr Malachy Finnegan, a paedophile priest who worked in the diocese.

The paper quotes the bishop's nephew, John McAreavey, who said that to see him "vilified in recent times... causes great pain and anger".

Mr McAreavey, the widower of murdered schoolteacher Michaela McAreavey, said his uncle "always acted with people's best intentions at heart".

Santa's back

The Newsletter talks of "one last blast" after weathering the "Beast from the East" and Storm Emma.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Making the most of the last bit of snow

The weather systems will have "one last crack at Northern Ireland", with a warning for ice still in place until lunchtime on Monday.

And perhaps appropriately, considering the freezing conditions of late, Santa makes an appearance in the paper.

And he was dressed in black at St Anne's Cathedral, where more than £126,000 was handed out to charities after the annual Black Santa appeal at Christmas.

Comedian Tim McGarry handed out the cheques to more than 200 charities, saying the appeal was "one of those things that makes Belfast great".

And the Belfast Giants got a late Christmas present at the weekend - they beat reigning champions Cardiff Devils to win the Challenge Cup.

The Newsletter says the ice hockey team came from behind on two occasions to lift the cup for only the second time in the club's 18-year history.