Northern Ireland

NI headlines: Nuns' car attack and Derry Girls premiere

front page Daily Mirror Tuesday 19 February 2019 Image copyright DAILY MIRROR
front page News Letter Tuesday 19 February 2019

Stars of Channel 4's hit series Derry Girls are pictured across the front pages of Tuesday's papers.

The girls, and the wee English fella, were back in town to launch the second series of the show at the Omniplex theatre.

Fans lined the streets to greet the cast and writer Lisa McGee.

"I love Derry," the show's creator told the Belfast Telegraph. "I have always thought we were really funny.

"I'm just glad now that people are agreeing".

Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption Derry Girls centres on 16-year-old Erin Quinn (centre) and her friends growing up in the city

Saoirse-Monica Jackson - who plays Erin - was tight lipped when it came to revealing spoilers.

"All I know is the girls definitely do not get any wiser or any smarter," she told the Daily Mirror.

"We are still a disaster."

Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption Creator Lisa McGee based the show on her experiences growing up in the city

"Fury at Sinn Féin Chief Constable claim" reads the main headline in the Belfast Telegraph.

The president of the party, Mary Lou McDonald, has been accused of a "grave miscalculation" after stating the next PSNI chief should come from outside the force.

She said she had no confidence in any senior officer being able to take over.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has sparked controversy with her chief constable remarks

In January, George Hamilton announced he would retire later this year after five years as chief constable.

The Democratic Unionist Party, Ulster Unionist Party and Alliance Party have all criticised Ms McDonald's remarks.

'Very distressing'

A nuns' car has been targeted in a sectarian attack near a Belfast interface, according to the Irish News.

The paper reports that the car was parked outside the convent on Workman Avenue when it was attacked at about 18:20 GMT on Sunday.

A rock was apparently thrown at the car by a youth who made off down the Springfield Road.

Police said the incident had been "very distressing for the owner".

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster identified five key priorities in a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May

A Brexit priorities letter sent in August 2016 to the prime minister by the then first and deputy first minister was written by civil servants, the News Letter reports.

Martin McGuinness' and Arlene Foster's letter identified five key areas, including the border, trading costs, the energy market, drawdown of EU funding and treatment of the agri-food sector.

A Freedom of Information request, issued by the paper, suggests there is no evidence that the letter was penned by the leaders or any of their political advisors.

The paper states the letter was requested at a meeting, which was not minuted, and the ministers then put their signatures to it.

In the January after the letter was sent, the power-sharing executive, headed by Mr McGuinness and Mrs Foster collapsed.

'Cancer on society'

The Daily Mirror reports that Facebook has faced criticism over illegal drug adverts which appear on its buy and sell sites.

According to the paper, the PSNI have urged the social media platform to help crack down on the posts.

PUP councillor Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston said: "These dealers are actively working online and most of it is prescription drugs.

"They are a cancer on our society," she added.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Stormont has been without a devolved government since January 2017

Civil servants are being offered bonuses to volunteer to sign up to no-deal Brexit contingency plans, reports the Irish News.

About £1,500 is up for grabs for those who take part in the "Command, Control and Coordination" structures, which are expected to be in force should the UK crash out of the EU on 29 March.

Some 800 staff have been trained but last week a further appeal went out for recruits to "provide additional capacity should the need arise".

A message to staff said the timings "should not be interpreted as meaning that a no-deal exit is not inevitable" but that the service needed to "make preparations for every eventuality".

An Executive Office spokeswoman said the structures were there "to deal with any potential disruption".