Northern Ireland

Monday's headlines: Health woes and a First Holy Communion

Daily Mirror front page Image copyright Daily Mirror
News Letter front page Image copyright News Letter

Infected blood, a little girl's First Holy Communion and a father's campaign for better mental health in prisons make the front pages on Monday.

The News Letter has an interview with a former Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) mayor who contracted hepatitis C after being given infected blood.

On Tuesday, a UK-wide public inquiry into a contaminated blood scandal will start to hear evidence from people in Northern Ireland.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The public inquiry into contaminated blood arrives in Northern Ireland on Tuesday

Thousands are believed to have been infected with HIV and hepatitis viruses through contaminated blood products.

Nigel Hamilton told the News Letter: "The contaminated blood destroyed my life and ruined my opportunities to work and have what any self-respecting person would aim for."

Father's prison protests

The father of a man who died in Maghaberry Prison is campaigning to have a mental health unit established at the jail, according to the front page of the Belfast Telegraph.

Daniel McConville, 22, a father-of-two from Lurgan, County Armagh, took his own life in the prison in August 2018, the day before he had been due in court on a charge of having cannabis resin.

His father Paul has been staging weekly protests outside the jail since the death.

"My life ended the day he died," told the newspaper.

The Belfast Telegraph also features couples who "married on a shoestring".

With the average wedding now costing £30,000, two brides have told the newspaper how they kept costs down, with tips including using buy-and-sell websites, inviting people to the wedding over Facebook and forgoing expensive cars in favour for walking home after the wedding.

'Always smiling'

There's a big smile on the front page of the Irish News as Annie McFadden makes her First Holy Communion.

The eight-year-old needed 80 stitches to her head and body after being attacked by a dog at a park in north Belfast on 12 May - the newspaper broke the story last week.

The family was reportedly told that a wound on the girl's chest was just 2cm (0.8in) from piercing her heart.

Her mother Patricia McFadden said: "She is always smiling, no matter what."

On a sadder note, there's also heartbreak for a family in west Belfast after a grandmother from Twinbrook died on holiday in Turkey.

Maria McLaughlin, 45, became ill and died suddenly on 12 May, the Irish News reports.

'Same old terrorism'

The Daily Mirror's front page carries a picture of an Irish tricolour flag with an IRA sign underneath - the headline is: "Revealed: The true extent of New IRA threat."

The dissident republican group said it was responsible for killing the journalist Lyra McKee, 29, who was shot while observing rioting in Creggan last month.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The New IRA said its members shot dead Lyra McKee in Londonderry's Creggan estate

Inside the Daily Mirror, the newspaper writes: "New IRA, same old terrorism..."

According to Ken Pennington, a retired Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) superintendent, "Brexit is just a golden opportunity" for further New IRA attacks due to the added media attention.

He also said that police would continue to be targets for the organisation.

The newspaper also reports that "Ireland is shrinking" due to global warming.

Coastwatch chief Karin Dubsky said eastern parts of Ireland were at higher risk of erosion.