NI paper review: Election tactics and tributes to Gay Byrne

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Emma Little Pengelly, Nigel Dodds and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson will all be facing pro-remain parties in next month's election

The upcoming Belfast election race is the focus of two of Northern Ireland's daily newspapers' front pages.

The Irish News has the headline 'DUP's Belfast Brexit battle on 3 fronts' after Sinn Féin decided to step aside in key Belfast constituencies.

The polls in North Down and south and East Belfast are now firmly billed as a fight between leave and remain.

Sinn Féin's withdrawal gives a boost to the SDLP's Claire Hanna in South Belfast, Lady Sylvia Hermon in North Down and Naomi Long in East Belfast

The Belfast Telegraph leads with 'Now UUP is urged to step aside in more key seats', with the party's former chairman David Campbell saying they should step aside in more seats to boost the DUP's chances.

Both papers also say the Green Party is to state their intentions, with the Telegraph saying the party will step aside in South Belfast.

Paramilitary report

The News Letter leads with 'IRA and INLA left out of paramilitary report', as they say an independent panel's latest report on paramilitaries has come under fire.

The article says the report failed to give any update on the role of the IRA Army Council in overseeing Sinn Féin strategy.

It adds that the the report also fails to mention the INLA despite a series of high-profile PSNI operations against the group this year.

Tributes to Irish broadcasting legend

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Gay Byrne at the IFTAs in 2013

All three papers pay tribute to Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne who died yesterday aged 85 after a long illness.

The Irish News say a special 90-minute edition of The Late Late Show will be broadcast on RTÉ on Tuesday night as a tribute.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wrote that Gay was " the most influential broadcaster in the history of the state, a much- loved figure who changed Ireland for the better in so many ways".

Ambulance apology

The Belfast Telegraph has a story on its front page about an east Belfast family who say they drove their ill three-month-old son to hospital after an ambulance failed to turn up.

The paper says that the ambulance was re-tasked to another 999 call and that the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service later apologised.