Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: Brexit warning and child snatch bid

Front page of the News Letter on Monday Image copyright News Letter
Image caption Front page of the News Letter on Monday
Front page of the Daily Mirror on Monday Image copyright Daily Mirror
Image caption Front page of the Daily Mirror on Monday

The latest twists in the Brexit saga and a mother's alarm at a stranger's bid to take her daughter are among the stories making the front pages of the daily newspapers in Northern Ireland on Monday.

The Irish News leads with a warning from Justice Secretary David Gauke to the DUP that a no-deal Brexit puts the future of Northern Ireland's place in the UK in doubt.

Mr Gauke said that without a deal, direct rule was likely to be imposed leading to a hard border and threatening the stability of its position.

The DUP's Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said its position was fixed and accused Mr Gauke and former prime minister Sir John Major of "scare tactics".

The News Letter carries the comments of a Queen's University law professor, Professor Colin Harvey, at an anti-Brexit protest over the weekend.

He said there would be "no hard border on the island of Ireland".

"We as a society are used to people putting up mountains for us to climb and we will continue to climb them," he added.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Justice Secretary David Gauke's comments on Brexit make a number of the newspapers

The Daily Mirror and Belfast Telegraph both lead with the story of a Craigavon mother who says she chased an intruder from her home after he tried to snatch her daughter.

Catherine McCracken said the incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning.

She said her daughter told her the man was armed with a knife and said "come with me".

Ms McCracken said she saw the man stand over her child and gave chase to the intruder who made off down the stairs and went out through the front door.

The PSNI confirmed it was investigating the incident in the Drumbeg area at about 02:30 GMT on Saturday and appealed for information.

Safety appeal

Elsewhere, the Irish News and Daily Mirror feature an appeal from the sister of mother-of-three Ruth Maguire who drowned on a hen weekend last month, after she went missing in Carlingford, County Louth.

Rachel Wilkinson told Irish national broadcaster RTÉ she wanted safety barriers to be placed around the lough where her sister's body was found.

"A child could run out chasing a ball, there's no barrier whatsoever," she said.

"There's a wall leading to the pier and even that's quite open."

Image caption A pipe bomb exploded in the garden of a property in the Montgomery Close area of Derry

The Belfast Telegraph reports on a pipe bomb that exploded in the garden of a property in Londonderry.

The incident happened in the Montgomery Close area of the city at 02:00 BST on Sunday.

No-one was injured and no damage was caused to the property.

Detective Sergeant Richard Donnell said "the occupants were very lucky to escape injury".

Image caption Is Mark Devenport thinking of changing jobs?

Finally, there are shockwaves around Broadcasting House in Belfast following the News Letter's report that BBC Northern Ireland's political editor, Mark Devenport, is set to leave journalism for a new career in acting.

It claims Mr Devenport has decided to switch professions after being worn out by almost three years of coverage of Brexit.

It appears Mr Devenport might be waiting a little longer before he bids for film roles such as Jason Bourne or James Bond.

The News Letter reports his contract contains an "unusually long notice period and he will not be able to leave his post until 1 April 2020".