NI Paper review: Cookstown horror dominates papers

News LetterImage source, News Letter
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Image source, Daily Mirror

The deaths of three teenagers outside a hotel in Cookstown, County Tyrone, on Sunday continues to dominate the Northern Ireland daily newspapers.

"Hotel owner held over teen deaths," is the headline in both the Irish News and the Belfast Telegraph and the story is the lead in all of the Belfast-based dailies.

The arrest of two people on suspicion of manslaughter is the focus of all of the stories.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Greenvale owner Michael McElhatton

Lauren Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and 16-year-old Connor Currie, died after a crush outside the hotel.

The News Letter is also reporting on its front page the view of the PSNI that it was fortunate that more young people did not lose their lives in the St Patrick's Day tragedy.

The Irish News has continued to give detailed reaction and has more details about the young people who died.

The Daily Mirror is also carrying tributes to Ruth Maguire, the mother of three whose body was found in Carlingford Lough on Monday after she went missing from a hen night.

The News Letter tells us that Ms Maguire was due to get married in August.

Conlon controversy

The Belfast Telegraph has a number of pieces covering the controversy surrounding a republican song being played as Belfast boxer Michael Conlon entered New York's Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

In the opinion pages columnist Eilis O'Hanlon warns the boxer that he will lose the "goodwill of many people" if "he decides to be a poster boy for the IRA".

The paper's editorial states that Mr Conlon "can regain his standing by making it clear that he in no way supports terrorism...."

Journalist Jim McDowell, also writing in the Belfast Telegraph, says the playing of the song and subsequent chanting would have been a hate crime had it happened in Belfast.

RTÉ competitions

In its editorial the Irish News echoes the view of nationalist politicians who have criticised Irish national broadcaster RTÉ over access to its online content in Northern Ireland and restricting competitions to audiences in the Republic of Ireland.

The paper states that there is little evidence that RTÉ is working to overcome the technical difficulties it says is responsible for restricting access to some of its online content in Northern Ireland.

It says that RTÉ's decision to prevent northerners from taking part in competitions has "only added to the concern which exists".