Northern Ireland

NI Paper Review: Bonfire vote and supermodel ambitions

News Letter Image copyright News Letter
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Daily Mirror Image copyright Daily Mirror

A bonfire funding boost, more Muckamore revelations and drug related deaths all make the front pages of Tuesday's newspapers.

The Belfast Telegraph leads with Belfast City Council's decision to add another £500,000 for a bonfire diversion scheme.

The programme, which started last year, gives money to groups for area -based festivals.

The decision has been criticised by Alliance, the UUP and the SDLP.

The Irish News splashes with an interview with the mother of a Muckamore Abbey hospital patient who tried to 'escape' 10 times from an open ward.

The unnamed woman revealed to the newspaper that she was "waiting to hear he was dead the whole time".

Her son had previously been a patient in the hospital's secure Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit.

Image caption The mother of a Muckamore patient said she feared the worst for her son

Patients' relatives were recently told that staffing levels at Muckamore are at a critical level.

About 80 men and women are patients at Muckamore Abbey Hospital in Antrim.

While some require hospitalisation under the Mental Health Act, it has emerged that as many as 38 people remain there unnecessarily as care cannot be found for them in the community.

They are described as who are "complex discharges".

Also on the front page of the Irish News is a story about Kevin Skelton, who lost his wife Philomena in the Omagh bomb.

Mr Skelton has glued a plaque stating the bombing was carried out by "dissident republican terrorists" on the memorial at the site of the attack.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The bombing was carried out by the Real IRA just months after the Good Friday Agreement was signed

The Omagh bomb exploded on 15 August 1998.

Twenty-nine people were killed, including a woman pregnant with twins.

No-one has ever been convicted of the atrocity, which was carried out by the Real IRA.

Mr Skelton will attend a meeting on Tuesday of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council to hear if political representatives will order the removal of the plaque.

Drug deaths

News on the 10 suspected drugs-related deaths in the greater Belfast area since December is the lead story on the Daily Mirror's front page.

The newspaper reports that the deaths have sparked fears Northern Ireland is facing an epidemic.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Det Supt Bobby Singleton said 10 deaths had been linked to suspected drugs abuse

On Monday, PSNI Det Supt Bobby Singleton said while the cause of death is not definitively known , the use of illicit or prescription drugs may have been a factor.

The majority of drug-related deaths in NI occur when someone has taken more than one substance, including alcohol.

Police made 6,771 drug seizures in the year ending 30 September 2018.

Exactly 30 years since the Kegworth air tragedy, the News Letter runs its interview with survivor Dominica McGowan on its front page.

Image caption Dominica McGowan said she did not realise the scale of the tragedy at the time

She spoke to the newspaper about getting back on an aeroplane two weeks after the crash that claimed 47 lives.

She adds that she was very lucky to be alive.

In 1989, a British Midlands flight from Heathrow to Belfast crashed as it tried to divert to East Midlands Airport.

The diversion attempt was made after a fire started in one of the engines.

A total of 47 passengers died - 29 of them were from Northern Ireland.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday at St Andrew's Church in Kegworth.

Model ambitions

The Belfast Telegraph teases an interview with Kate Grant, a Northern Ireland woman who wants to be the first super model with Down's syndrome, on its front page.

Image copyright Deirdre Grant
Image caption In 2017, Kate Grant was the first model with Down's syndrome to walk Belfast's Fashion Week

The 20-year-old from Cookstown, Co Tyrone, has recently become an ambassador for cosmetics giant Benefit.

Ms Grant has her sights set on London, Paris and Milan.

"You should always follow your dream," she told the Belfast Telegraph.