Northern Ireland

NI paper review: Breast cancer patient 'pays for surgery'

Mirror Image copyright Mirror

A breast cancer sufferer paying for surgery and a nine-year-old boy without a school place are among Friday's newspaper stories.

County Down mother-of-four Karen McMurray tells the Belfast Telegraph she has had to borrow £16,000 for reconstructive surgery.

She has written to political leaders to outline the plight facing patients suffering on lengthy waiting lists.

Mrs McMurray had already spent £4,500 on a private hysterectomy.

She lays the blame for her £20,000 health bill at Stormont's door.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Karen McMurray said she had to pay for reconstructive surgery after breast cancer

"It was all meant to be done long ago," she said.

"I've had a couple of appointments, but I wasn't given any dates from the Belfast Trust and then Stormont collapsed and they weren't doing any of my type of surgery any more."

Another mother appears on the front page of the Daily Mirror.

Bronagh Carlile says she will have to school her nine-year-old autistic son Rhys at home as he has not been allocated a school place.

She said Rhys was recommended for Glenveagh Special School in west Belfast, but due to a mix-up over files, that seems to have fallen through.

He has repeated P4 at Oakwood Primary, but the school doesn't keep pupils after that, so they have been left in limbo.

An Education Authority spokesperson told the Mirror it does not comment on the circumstances of individual children.

"We are committed to working with parents and schools to ensure children's assessed needs are met," they added.

"Murder accused winks at gun victim's relatives" is the headline on the front of the News Letter.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption James McVeigh is one of two men accused of the murder of Paul Smyth

Two men accused of the murder of Lisburn man Paul Smyth appeared in court on Thursday.

James McVeigh, 29, and James Holmes, 32, of Lawnmount Crescent, both Lisburn, were also accused of the attempted murder of a man and a woman and possessing a shotgun with intent to endanger life.

The News Letter says that one of the accused, Mr McVeigh, was removed to cells during the hearing after he winked at the victim's relatives and spoke to his co-accused.

The Irish News leads with research highlighting the "harm" done to children's mental health by academic selection.

The report was compiled by the Right to Education group.

It says that a system that raised some pupils up at the expense of others was cruel.

It surveyed 200 pupils, including those who had passed and some who had "failed" as well as 50 teachers.

Teacher Rachel Ashe from Belfast Model School for Girls said some pupils had some "very negative experiences" of transfer.