Northern Ireland

NI paper review: 'Terror' in Belfast city centre office

Scottish Provident building
Image caption A man was stabbed at an office in the Scottish Provident Building

"Terror" in a Belfast city centre office and a payout over a portrait of the Queen are among the stories on the front pages of Wednesday's papers.

The Belfast Telegraph leads with a knife attack in Belfast's Scottish Provident Building on Tuesday afternoon.

The paper says that a man in an office in the building suffered stab wounds to the arms and chest.

He staggered outside and collapsed on cafe chairs, the paper reports.

He was taken to hospital for treatment, it reports. A 24-year-old man has been arrested.

A woman who works in the building tells the Telegraph "it was unnerving, but the police were there very quickly", while another describes it as a "freak occurrence".

The News Letter returns to the story of a senior civil servant who was awarded £10,000 after he said he was offended by having to walk past portraits of the Queen.

The paper says that NIO minister Lord Duncan has suggested that the civil servant should consider giving the money to charity.

Image copyright John Walton/PA
Image caption A civil servant received a payout of £10,000 after he said he was offended by portraits of the Queen

The issue came up in the House of Lords on Monday night where Ulster Unionist peer Lord Maginnis said the civil servant had also worked at the NIO's London office - where there is also a portrait of the Queen - without having been offended.

While he did not comment on that, Lord Duncan said "I might have thought that that money - even at this late stage - could be given to charity, That would be no bad thing."

The Irish News returns to the issue of Brexit and the Irish border for its lead story.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Sir Jeffery Donaldson issued a warning over a Northern Ireland-only backstop

It says the DUP has threatened to withdraw "consent and participation" from the Good Friday and St Andrews agreements in the event of a Northern Ireland-only backstop.

Speaking on BBC's Politics Live, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said: "If you want to protect the Good Friday Agreement remember it's cross-community in nature.

"It doesn't rely solely on the whim of the Irish government and the nationalist community. It requires the buy-in of unionists and there isn't a single unionist politician or party that supports a Northern Ireland-only backstop or the current backstop."

The Daily Mirror, News Letter and Belfast Telegraph feature the story of a 10-year-old Draperstown boy who has never tasted food.

Jack McCrystal, 10, has a neuro-muscular disorder which means he is fed through a tube and uses a wheelchair.

His parents have accused the government of prioritising seriously ill children in England over those in Northern Ireland.

They depend upon the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice to provide regular specialist respite care.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Ten-year-old Jack McCrystal in his Draperstown home

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced millions of pounds of extra funding for hospice services in England, but nothing for such care in Northern Ireland.

The Telegraph also returns to the discovery of a dissident republican bomb in Londonderry.

The paper's Ciaran Barnes says the police operation dispelled any doubts that the New IRA is as "heavily infiltrated by the security services as its Provisional IRA parent".

Listing a series of failed attacks by the dissidents, he says they show that the New IRA, "like all paramilitary gangs past and present" is "filled to the brim" with informers.

However, he warns that the group is still capable of killing.

The Daily Mirror says the PSNI believes dissidents are trying to drive policing out of Creggan.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption A bomb designed to kill police officers was discovered in Londonderry on Monday

Meanwhile, The Irish News says that one of two teenagers injured during rioting in the Creggan area may have been burned after throwing petrol onto an already burning petrol bomb.

"Traffic chaos" in south Belfast on Tuesday after a three-car crash on the Ormeau Road, also features in the paper.

It says one car ended up on the roof of another.

Finally, the News Letter reports that the mother of a seven-year-old Banbridge girl is desperately seeking the man who saved her daughter's life last week.

Heidi McAdam was choking on a sweet in a shop in the town and had started to go "purple and blue" when a stranger ran over and performed the Heimlich manoeuvre and got her breathing again.

Despite her efforts, Heidi's mum Lorna has not been able to track the man down.

"He is certainly my hero as he save my little girl's life," she tells the paper.