Northern Ireland

NI newspapers: Pain, pay and who's wearing the trousers?

News Letter Image copyright News Letter
Daily Mirror Image copyright Daily Mirror

Politicians' pay, a power struggle at Stormont and a school uniform dispute are making headlines on a day when no one story dominates the front pages.

A "horrific" attack in which four people were stabbed at a house in County Down leads the News Letter.

A woman, who was one of the victims injured in the attack in Saintfield on Sunday morning, was in a "serious condition" as the paper went to press.

It said three men sustained wounds that are not thought to be life-threatening.

Image caption A 46-year-old man was arrested after the stabbings in Saintfield

The Irish News leads with a warning on the dangers of prescription painkillers from a former state pathologist.

Prof Jack Crane says he is very concerned over the number of drug deaths among patients who have been prescribed medication for chronic pain.

The paper tells the story of one County Armagh patient who is struggling with addiction after a five-year wait for a shoulder operation.

Thomas Mullholland, a former landscape gardener, tells the paper he became dependent on Tramadol - a powerful prescription painkiller - as he waited for surgery.

"Doctors recently told me I was top of the waiting list but I still haven't got a date," he says.

The Belfast Telegraph reports on the tragic death of a young father from Londonderry who was struck by a car in County Donegal on Sunday.

It names the victim as Emmett McClelland, who had been out celebrating his baby son's christening earlier that day.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption The road in Bridgend, County Donegal, was closed following the incident

A row over politicians' pay makes headlines in the Daily Mirror, but this time it is not just the usual anger over paying for a dormant Stormont.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson is calling for a cut in the Westminster allowances given to Sinn Féin MPs, who abstain from taking their seats in the House of Commons.

His call comes ahead of an expected statement on MLAs' pay from Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley.

Elsewhere, Mr Wilson is accused of "boasting" about the budget Ms Bradley delivered last week, in the absence of Stormont ministers.

The accusation is made by SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, who has written an opinion piece for the Irish News entitled "DUP are in control".

"Beneath the surface and the silence of that budget, the DUP was busy controlling operations," Mr Eastwood writes.

He claims the party is exercising influence behind the scenes due to its deal support the Conservative government at Westminster.

"In the absence of devolution, the DUP is making all the decisions and doling out all of the money," the SDLP leader complains.

Image caption DUP MP Sammy Wilson called for Sinn Féin MPs allowances to be cut

He also questions how much public money will be invested in areas where the DUP has less electoral support.

However, the paper quotes DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds hailing the benefits of his party's £1bn deal with the Tories.

"There were those who claimed it would never come and those who claimed it was dependent on an executive being formed. They are very silent now," Mr Dodds says.

The issue of who is wearing the trousers also makes headlines in a sartorial standoff in the Daily Mirror.

A 14-year-old schoolgirl from Northern Ireland is challenging a rule which insists girls must wear skirts as part of their school uniform.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Equality Commission has been asked to intervene in a school uniform dispute

The teenager and her family have made contact with the Equality Commission in a bid to get the trouser ban overturned.

Finally, after a weekend which saw the Irish rugby team win the Six Nations with a match to spare, Northern Ireland has a new star.

A smiling Jacob Stockdale, who played a significant role in the team's path to glory, beams out of all of Monday's papers.

The Belfast Telegraph is already hailing the 21-year-old Armagh man as a "legend of the game".

"There are 20 men in history who have scored more Test tries for Ireland than Jacob Stockdale," it says. "But he has just eight caps".