Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: Knife sales 'shame' and joys of show

News Letter Image copyright News Letter

The Telegraph focuses on the high number of shops in Northern Ireland selling knives to minors without an age check.

Four out of ten shops are guilty, the paper says, quoting a survey that suggests retailers are the worst in the UK for checking the age of buyers.

The Telegraph quotes Aine Magee, whose brother Eamonn, 22, was stabbed to death in 2015.

She says the fact that knives are so available to young people is "scary".

Eamonn, the son of boxing champion Eamonn Snr, was an engineering student. He was stabbed to death in Twinbrook, west Belfast, by the estranged husband of his girlfriend who has since been sent to prison.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Eamonn Magee died from stab wounds in an attack in west Belfast

"Knife crime devastates families and communities," Aine Magee tells the paper.

"It's heartbreaking to watch my mum. Her heart has broken every day since. My daddy has gone downhill and my brother had to move to Australia."

The Balmoral Show is 150 years old and the Telegraph features plenty of colour and the promise of a free goody bag if you buy your paper at the event.

Farming women talk about the joys and the trials of life lived on the land and how the show is a shop window for the farming industry.

"You could be a farmer 25 years, but you will still find things there that are useful to you," says Joy Rollston. She's a talented and passionate cook and you'll find her cooking at the show.

The show also takes pride of place on the front page of the News Letter.

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Image caption The annual Balmoral Show is held on the site of the old Maze prison in Lisburn

"Balmoral Show under starter's orders" reads the headline beside a photograph of Emily Magowan and her horse, Patrick.

Inside there is a photograph of John Henning who will be showing cattle at his 25th Balmoral Show.

He went to his first show with his father as a treat because he was recovering from mumps and he fell in love with it.

He was given the present of an Aberdeen Angus heifer as a wedding present and, says the News Letter, that was the beginning of "a proud tradition of showing the famous Scottish breed at Balmoral."

The paper also reports on the funeral of Niall O'Hanlon, 25, who died when he was struck by a car in Magheralin on Friday.

The young footballer was the "heart and soul of his team", mourners were told. A photograph shows his friends from the team, decked out in the Magheralin Village FC strip, forming a guard of honour at his funeral.

Paying tribute to Niall, Billy Fyffe, the club secretary said he was the "wing wizard". He told how, on a recent trip to see his team, Liverpool, play in the Champions League in Rome, Niall ended up in the Roma end of the ground. He made friends instantly.

"It says a lot about Niall's personality that even the Roma fans loved him and took him under their wing an d made him one of their own," he said.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ms McCollum and Melissa Reid were arrested at Lima airport in 2013

The Mirror features a front-page photograph of Michaella McCollum, 24, from County Tyrone, who has given birth to twins.

"Drug mule has twins," reads the headline.

In 2013, she was arrested in Peru and spent two years in jail for trying to smuggle £1.5m cocaine into Spain.

Later, after her release, she described what she did as her "moment of madness".

Inside the paper, a separate headline over the picture of the young mother reads: "Look Peru's Given Birth."

Image caption Naomi Long warns about the dangers of skin cancer

The Mirror also carries a warning from Alliance Party leader Naomi Long about taking care in the sunshine.

Ms Long was diagnosed with malignant melanoma five years ago.

She noticed that a mole on her wrist was bleeding and had it removed. Since then, she has undergone regular checks to ensure she remains cancer free.

"I was fortunate in that the doctors got my cancer early," she tells the Mirror. "If you have the slightest worry about a mole or a mark on your skin, get it checked out immediately."

The Irish News leads with the news that the Public Prosecution Service is reviewing decisions not to prosecute eight people - including two retired police officers - in connection with the murder of Sean McParland, 55, a Catholic, almost 25 years ago.

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Image caption Gary Haggarty is the former leader of the UVF in north Belfast

He was shot by the UVF as he babysat his grandchild in north Belfast in February 1994.

Police informer Gary Haggarty who was controversially released from prison last week, pleaded guilty to the murder.

The paper features a photograph of Mr McParland's daughter Sinead with her husband, Michael Monaghan, who was the gunman's intended target.

Mr Monaghan said his family was "deeply disappointed" about Haggarty's release. The family's ongoing campaign for justice had "worn them out", he tells the paper.

He also described how his father-in-law beckoned him to his bedside as he lay dying.

"He said: 'Better me than you, look after Sinead and the kids'... It does stick in the head," he said.

Mr Monaghan said Haggarty was "just a serial killer".

"He is going to have a decent life, a decent pension and a good life. It has taken its toll on our family with stress that this is our justice system."

Image caption The House of Lords is investigating Lord Kilclooney's tweets

The Irish News also reports that the House of Lords is investigating possible action against Lord Kilclooney over his controversial tweet about Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Earlier this month, he deleted a tweet in which he called Mr Varadkar a "typical Indian" and admitted it was a mistake.

The former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) deputy leader said he realised it may have caused offence to some people.

However, he did not apologise for his remark and said he would keep tweeting.

A spokeswoman for the UK parliament confirmed that several complaints had been received and that its Commissioner for Standards, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, was conducting a preliminary assessment.

'Flushed with pride'

Finally, the Belfast Telegraph reports on how a student on work placement is saving Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council up to £10,000 a month.

Jordan Lurring is "flushed with pride" says the paper.

Jordan is studying for a BEng in Mechanical Engineering at Ulster University and is working as a technical energy officer to help with energy management,

He discovered that the cisterns in Randalstown's public toilets were faulty. When these were replaced, there was a potential saving of up to £10,000 a month, said the council.

He also saved them nearly £50,000 more when he found out that Mossley Pavillion was using two water supplies, when one was enough.

The message is very clear... Give that man a job.