Northern Ireland

NI paper review: Rugby rape trial cost and PSNI data breach

Front page of Daily Mirror, Monday 17 September 2018 Image copyright Daily Mirror

The cost of a high profile rugby rape trial, poppy wreath damage and a PSNI data breach all feature in Monday's papers.

"Anti-paramilitary police lose notebook during loyalist probe," reads the headline in the Irish News.

The paper reports that the PSNI confirmed the book went missing in north Down.

They said: "Inquiries have been conducted to identify any potential risk."

The book included a female officer's name, notes from criminal probes and information on private citizens, names and car registrations of republicans from west Belfast stopped and searched by the taskforce, and crime-force operation codenames.

Image caption The notebook is understood to have gone missing in Ards

Meanwhile, a police search is underway for a missing illegally-held firearm believed to have been used during a shooting in north Belfast, the paper reports.

A man suffered facial injuries and gunshot wound to the abdomen in the New Lodge area at about 01:30 on Saturday.

He is in a "stable" condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Sinn Féin councillor, JJ Magee told the paper: "The people of New Lodge are concerned that trouble has spilled over into the streets and caused disturbance to local businesses and homes.

"There can be no place for guns on our streets."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Both Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson were found not guilty in unanimous verdicts

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the rugby rape trial has so far cost over £500,000.

Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were both cleared of raping the same woman in the early hours of 28 June 2016.

Blane McIlroy, who was accused of exposure, and Rory Harrison, who was charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information, were also found not guilty.

The verdicts came in during the ninth week of the trial.

The costs were revealed through an Freedom of Information request issued by the paper to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) and Department of Justice.

The paper reports £336,000 was spent on legal aid; £160,000 was spent by the PPS on prosecution costs and £53,000 on court costs.

It is expected the bill will further increase due to legal bids by Mr Jackson and Mr Olding to recover their defence costs.

'Legacy for Sherry'

Also featuring in the Belfast Telegraph is a mother's bid to fund lifesaving equipment for every school in Northern Ireland.

Fionuala Campbell started the campaign following the death of her daughter, Sherry Campbell, in September 2017.

Sherry, 29, died after choking to death on a piece of meat at her home in County Down.

The family hope that installing portable suctions devices, designed to resuscitate a choking victim following standard procedure, will be a legacy for Sherry.

Image copyright Memorial to the Narrow Water Massacre Facebook
Image caption The wreaths mark the site where 18 soldiers were killed in 1979

Damage to poppy wreaths at Narrow Water in County Down leads the front page of the News Letter.

Eighteen soldiers were killed in two IRA bomb attacks at the site near Warrenpoint in 1979.

Independent councillor, Jarlath Tinnelly told the paper he saw the incident take place.

"The most shocking thing of the whole lot was the brazenness of it," he said.

"On a Saturday afternoon and the amount of traffic going past and the perpetrators absolutely unconcerned about who was watching them and who was seeing this going on."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Columba McVeigh was kidnapped, murdered and buried in secret by the IRA

Renewed search

A renewed search for the body of one of the Disappeared also makes from the front page of the paper.

Columba McVeigh was one 16 people murdered and secretly buried by the IRA.

The 19-year-old was kidnapped on 1 November 1975. His body has never been found.

The search will take place in a section of Bragan Bog near Emyvale, County Monaghan. This is the fifth search in the area since 1999.

Image caption Unison said they expect the issue to get worse over time

The Daily Mirror headlines reads: "Handout for NHS heroes".

According to the paper, staff are being offered food bank vouchers.

Conor McCarthy from Unison told the paper: "This is what we've come to. Having to give people working their guts out food bank vouchers."

He added: "It's usually women who are the lowest paid and need the most help and we expect that we will see an uptake with this."

A mother whose son died from stab wounds in east Belfast also appears in the paper.

Deana Kitson told the paper about the trauma she and her family had undergone since losing her 29-year-old son, Brian Burke.

"Every day I wake there's a nano-second of normality before the horror comes flooding back to my mind," she said.