Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: Doctor's £500k and cancelled Royal tea

Adam Strain, four, died following a kidney transplant operation in 1995
Image caption Adam Strain, four, died following a kidney transplant operation in 1995

News that a doctor criticised in the hyponatraemia inquiry has been paid £500k "merit money" makes the lead in the Belfast Telegraph.

The paper reports that Dr Robert Taylor has received a £31,959 distinction award for clinical excellence every year since 2001, on top of his National Health Service salary.

Only ten hospital doctors in Northern Ireland receive such an award, says the paper.

Dr Taylor was the anaesthetist in charge during a kidney transplant on Adam Strain, 4, who died from hyponatraemia following the surgery in 1995.

Adam was one of five children whose deaths were investigated in the hyponatraemia inquiry in Northern Ireland.

The Belfast Telegraph quotes inquiry chairman John O'Hara who said in his findings that Dr Taylor's management of Adam's fluids had "defied understanding" and that he had made "fatal errors in his treatment of Adam".

In his report, Mr O'Hara accepted that this was "most probably uncharacteristic" and did not query the doctor's usual competence.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - but there will be no Royal Wedding tea in Donegal

Inside, the Telegraph carries the story of a Donegal hotel set to celebrate next Saturday's royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with a themed afternoon tea.

But before the bunting could be hung out and the fairy cakes iced, there was a change of plan.

Leona O'Neill reports that staff were "inundated with phone calls from republicans angry at the event" and the hotel decided to put away the best china and cancel.

The paper quotes Londonderry DUP councillor David Ramsey who called those who complained "thugs" and their behaviour "disgusting".

Image copyright O'Hanlon Family
Image caption Magheralin Village FC said Niall O'Hanlon was "the heart and soul of our wee football club and village"

The News Letter carries a photograph of Niall O'Hanlon, 25, on its front page. He died after he was knocked down in Magheralin at the weekend.

"Tragic footballer was 'heartbeat' of his team'" reads the headline. The paper quotes his friends in Magheralin Village Football Club who said he had an "infectious and bubbly personality" and was considered "a friend by all who knew him".

"He always had a joke to crack, a laugh to roar out and a smile to give," they said.

The News Letter also reports that the stage invader who seized the microphone as SuRie sang for the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest had done it before.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The stage invader took the microphone off SuRie, before being dragged off stage

BBC NI's Stephen Nolan said that a 2017 edition of his Nolan Live show had been interrupted by a man dashing forward and shouting about "freedom of ideas".

"I'm pretty sure this is him again at Eurovision," he said.

The Irish News headlines with the DUP's "brit-bashing" remark over Brexit.

The paper reports that DUP MP Sammy Wilson called Tánaiste Simon Coveney "belligerent" for dismissing technology as a border solution and accused him of pursuing "an aggressive republican agenda".

The paper quotes SDLP Brexit spokesperson Claire Hanna who issues a challenge to Mr Wilson.

First, she tells the paper: "Another day, another episode of Sammy Wilson hurling crass, infantile insults to cover up for the fact that he is completely out of his depth and unable to articulate a way out of the Brexit disaster he helped create."

Image caption SDLP MLA Claire Hanna has challenged DUP MP Sammy Wilson to a public debate

She challenges Mr Wilson to a public debate about these "magical technical solutions" to the Irish border.

Inside the paper, Sinn Fein MP Francie Molloy condemns claims that the RUC staged parties in the van used in the Loughgall killings. He called it "callous, calculated and sickening".

Eight IRA members and a passing civilian were shot dead by the SAS as the unit tried to launch a bomb and gun attack on the village police station in May 1987.

The paper says that the claim was made by a former RUC member on a Facebook page under a picture of the bullet-ridden van.

"During continuity training in 1988 we'd have parties in the back of it," the RUC member posted.

"The orange lights of HG (Gough Barracks) made for an interesting spectacle as they shone through the very many bullet holes."

Image caption In a Facebook post, a former RUC member claimed police had parties in the bullet-ridden van

The paper reports that the post was later removed from a thread on the Hereford Veterans Association page.

'Savage injuries'

The Mirror features close-up photographs of a teenager's injuries after he was struck by a car in north Belfast at the weekend.

"Lad's savage injuries after hit and run chaos" reads the headline.

The paper quotes the 17 year old's mother who says he's "lucky to be alive".

Under the caption "bloody mess", the paper features the wounds on the young man's legs.

Police said a 30-year-old woman had been arrested in connection with the hit and run.

'Bike to the future'

Finally, the Mirror features a photograph of Sarah Devlin who can be spotted on Belfast's Ormeau Road doing her shopping on a rather peculiar bike.

"Shopping's a tall order for Sarah," reads the caption. She has gone "bike to the future" with a bicycle with a set of handlebars that are shoulder-high.

"Getting up and down can be tricky," she tells the Mirror, "but once you are used to it, it's ok."