Northern Ireland

Wednesday's headlines: O'Flaherty case tip off and UUP loathing

News Letter Image copyright News Letter
grey line
Daily Mirror Image copyright Daily Mirror

Surveys, polls and funding gaps all make for figure heavy headlines on Wednesday morning.

The News Letter leads with the headline: "Backstop boost for united Ireland, says poll".

The poll of attitudes from the Republic of Ireland found that 67% of under 35s believed that the backstop would make Irish unity more likely.

Conducted in mid-December, the poll was commissioned by campaigning group the People's Vote which wants a fresh vote.

Most of the newspapers carry stories on the delays to Belfast flights because of drone sightings at Heathrow Airport.

The News Letter's front page story says that the 17:20 BST Aer Lingus flight to Belfast City Airport was was delayed by almost an hour, while later flights had knock-on-delays of about 30 minutes.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The military is helping police after sightings of a drone temporarily halted flights at Heathrow airport on Tuesday

It comes after last month's disruption at Gatwick Airport which saw thousands of people stranded when drones were sighted.

Scotland Yard said a "full criminal investigation" had been launched into the incident - and that officers were among those to see the drone.

Politics and loathing

The Belfast Telegraph's lead story reveals that UUP members loath the DUP as much as they do Sinn Féin.

Results from a survey of 1,000 UUP members found the vast majority of those surveyed were opposed to amalgamating with the DUP.

A new book on the party, The Ulster Unionist Party: Country Before Party, with more of the survey's findings is to be launched later this month.

The newspaper also splashes with a photograph of Kegworth crash survivor Dessie Clarke with his daughter Ashley at Tuesday's memorial.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe day of the “harrowing” disaster is remembered and wreaths are laid for those who died

Survivors and relatives of some of the 47 people killed in one of the worst British air disasters gathered for a service to remember the dead.

A Boeing 737, carrying 126 people, crashed on to the M1 in Leicestershire on 8 January 1989.

The Reverend Lauretta Wilson told about 300 people who gathered for Tuesday's service in the Leicestershire village: "Kegworth has never forgotten that fateful night on 8 January 1989."

Parents digging deep

The Daily Mirror's front page leads with a warning of an education system "in crisis" as parents are chipping in £60 every month to plug a funding gap in schools following the collapse of Stormont, according to the report.

Gari Cameron, president of the National Association of Head Teachers in Northern Ireland, said that the situation is "at a crisis point".

Meanwhile, the Irish News leads with news on major search in County Donegal for a doctor who went missing almost 10 years ago.

Image caption Deirdre O'Flaherty was also known by her maiden name of Deirdre Donnelly

The Irish News reports that the fresh search was prompted by a letter from the public claiming to know the location of her body.

Deirdre O'Flaherty, a GP based in Strabane in County Tyrone, has not been seen since 11 January 2009 when her car was found at Kinnego beach.

She had been staying with her husband and children at a holiday home nearby.

Despite an extensive air and sea search, the mother-of-three's body was never found.

Related Topics