Northern Ireland

Newspaper headlines: Remembering the fallen

Simon Coveney Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney lays a wreath at Belfast City Hall

Commemorations to mark the centenary of the Armistice dominate the front pages of Monday's newspapers.

The News Letter and the Belfast Telegraph both carry images of events held across Northern Ireland to remember the end of the World War One..

The first 11 pages of The News Letter are dedicated to the commemorations.

The paper notes the "significant number of nationalist representatives" present at the service in Belfast City Hall.

It quotes the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, who addressed a special commemoration service at St Anne's Cathedral in the city.

"Although standing at war memorials, wearing poppies, laying wreaths and the Last Post may not have been part of my tradition or upbringing, to remember the dead, to honour and pray for them - especially during the month of November - is important to the practice of my faith," he told the congregation.

The paper also covers an event held to remember Orangemen involved in the war.

Image caption The sacrifice of the Orange Order during World War One was recalled at an event in Belfast

Harold Henning, deputy grand master of the Orange Order, noted the "truly immense" contribution of the institution, with an "estimated 200,000 Orangemen and women" serving during the course of the Great War.

"Our province makes up only 3% of the entire UK population, yet currently represents 7% of Army personnel," he said.

"A fascinating statistic which, yet again, underlines our undisputed track record in terms of active service."

The main photograph on the front of the Belfast Telegraph is taken from Murlough Beach in Newcastle, County Down, where an image of soldier John McCance was etched into the sand.

Mr McCance, from Dundrum, enlisted as a rifleman in Downpatrick and died in the war but has no known grave.

He was one of several servicemen and women to have their face featured on beaches as part of the Pages of the Sea project, headed by filmmaker Danny Boyle.

Rates bill

Away from the Armistice commemorations, the Belfast Telegraph leads with news that a private hospital worth £35m has an annual rates bill of just £839.

The Ulster Independent Clinic in south Belfast is eligible for rates relief and charitable tax status because it is a registered charity.

Image caption The Ulster Independent Clinic has an annual rates bill of £839

Without the charitable status, its estimated rates bill for this year would be more than £66,000.

A spokesman for the clinic said the hospital was a non-profit charitable company, adding that "any surplus from its activities is reinvested into the services it provides to patients".

Two stories share the front page of the Irish News, along with an image of Cushendall's senior hurlers breaking records after winning their 11th Ulster title.

The paper reveals that a cross-border EU health scheme could be under threat from Brexit.

The scheme allows patients facing long waits for operations to travel to other EU countries and pay upfront for private operations before seeking reimbursement from the NHS.

Just 14 people used the scheme when it was first introduced in 2014 but that rose to 700 last year, according to the paper

The Health and Social Care Board has said it is "not yet known" how Brexit will affect the project.

'No medicine'

The Irish News also reports on a family in County Tyrone who have suffered a second tragedy on the roads.

Darryl Thompson, 22, from Beragh, died after being struck by a car on the M1 motorway near Tamnamore on Saturday night.

In 2006, Mr Thompson's father Tony was killed at the age of 38 when his motorbike collided with a lorry close to Newtownstewart.

Ulster Unionist Party councillor Bert Wilson tells the paper: "Four young people from the Beragh area have now lost their lives in recent months. It is a disaster for the whole area."

In the Daily Mirror, Northern Ireland pharmacists warn they are in danger of running out of medicines.

Pharmacies have claimed they are being refused an extension to credit.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Pharmacists have warned they are in danger of running out of medicines

Community Pharmacy NI has hit out at the Department of Health for "ignoring repeated calls by the network, and now wholesalers, to save community pharmacy from imminent collapse".

A spokesperson for the department says there are "many deserving demands being made on the health and social care budget".

"The department cannot spend money it does not have," they said.

Elsewhere in the paper, the race is on for a County Down man trying to find a stem cell donor.

Thomas Cafolla, 22, from Newtownards, was due to travel to London for a stem cell transplant after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma last year but has been told that the cancer has spread.

His dad Michael has issued a plea for help in finding the person who could save his son's life.

"Thomas is resilient and is now back on track. It is another hurdle to overcome," he tells the paper.

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