Northern Ireland

NI paper review: Challenge to Belfast mayor and typo spat

News Letter Image copyright News letter

A challenge to the new mayor of Belfast over what she witnessed in the lead-up to a murder features in Northern Ireland's papers on Tuesday.

Sinn Féin's Deirdre Hargey was sworn in as the city's first citizen on Monday.

In 2005, she was in Magennis's bar on the night Belfast man Robert McCartney was stabbed outside it.

At the time Ms Hargey gave statements to a solicitor saying she did not see a fracas inside the pub.

Both the News Letter and Belfast Telegraph lead with Robert McCartney's sister Catherine calling on Ms Hargey to talk to both the police and the family about that night.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption New Belfast lord mayor Deidre Hargey was in Magennis's bar on the night Robert McCartney was murdered

"She said that for 13 years she has supported the [McCartney] family - Deirdre Hargey has never reached out to my family," Ms McCartney is quoted in the News Letter.

In the Belfast Telegraph, she says: "Robert's image will be hanging over Deirdre Hargey for the entire time [as mayor].

"Robert's two young sons are growing up in this city. How are they to view the elevation of Deirdre Hargey?"

The Irish News covers the story on page two, with Ms Hargey saying the controversy would not overshadow her term in office.

She said she had "fully complied" with the investigation into Mr McCartney's murder. The story is also covered in the Daily Mirror.

For its lead story, The Irish News returns to Northern Ireland's "biggest NHS recall".

The paper says confidential notes show that a senior doctor was "reviewing" the work of neurologist Dr Michael Watt six months before health chiefs said they became aware of problems.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption More than 2,500 neurology patients in Northern Ireland, including children, have been recalled

It says leaked correspondence also show that epidural blood patch treatment, where blood is taken from the arm and injected into the back to treat headaches, is what sparked the investigation into Dr Watt's work.

Staying on health matters, the Belfast Telegraph says that health authorities have written to more than 70 Northern Ireland women in the wake of a breast screening scandal.

The women are believed to have been among 195,565 women registered with GPs in England who missed screenings. The women then later moved to Northern Ireland.

'Cold house for Catholics'

Both the Telegraph and the Irish News return to the letter Ian Paisley said he received from a priest in his North Antrim constituency following the Republic's referendum paving the way for a change to abortion laws.

In an extract from the letter, the priest says the Republic has now become "a cold house" for traditional Catholics.

However, The Irish News says the letter contains no call from the priest to his parishioners to vote DUP over the party's anti-abortion stance.

In the News Letter, the incoming moderator of the Presbyterian Church calls for Stormont politicians to end their "brinksmanship".

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Dr Charles McMullen has called on politicians to end the impasse at Stormont

Dr Charles McMullen says it is "simply appalling" that attitudes have become so entrenched due to the impasse at Stormont.

"We need to imagine a better future for our children's children, confronting our prejudices through tireless efforts of the imagination," he says.

The Irish News follows up on an invite to Arlene Foster to attend the Ulster GAA final, after she tweeted her congratulations to her home county Fermanagh on getting through to the big game.

Mrs Foster said while she was aware of an invite on social media, she had not received a formal one, but would consider saying yes if one arrived.

Image copyright Inpho
Image caption Arlene Foster has said she would consider accepting an invite to watch Fermanagh in the Ulster GAA final

Finally, an embarrassing Sinn Féin typo has been seized upon by the DUP.

The party's MEP Martina Anderson and chairman Declan Kearney were pictured beside activists in Londonderry on Saturday holding placards calling for "Marriage equalty now!"

In response, one unionist tweeted: "What is the equalty you speak of?", while the DUP's Paul Girvan said: "I know SF think they own the word, but it doesn't entitle them to change how to spell it."

The paper says that Sinn Féin declined to comment.