Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: Machete attack and pier tragedy

Trasna Way, Lisnaskea Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The attack on the baby boy happened in Trasna Way in Lisnaskea

One story dominates the front pages of the newspapers on Monday morning, as a 13-year-old girl is hailed a hero after she tried to protect her 11-month-old nephew from a gang of men armed with machetes.

The Irish News reports that the teenage girl is in a critical but stable condition in hospital with wounds sustained when three men forced their way into a house on Trasna Way in Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, on Saturday night.

The baby's grandmother, Elizabeth Joyce, who also needed stitches for wounds as a result of the attack, also praised the girl's action.

"She's 13 years old and she threw her whole self over that baby and she saved his life," she said.

The story also makes the front pages of the News Letter, the Daily Mirror and the Belfast Telegraph.

The Belfast Telegraph and the Irish News also lead with the story that a group representing more than 1,000 Catholic priests in Ireland has stood by a County Cavan cleric after former billionaire Sean Quinn complained to the Vatican about him.

Mr Quinn objected to a homily delivered in September by Fr Oliver O'Reilly after the abduction and torture of Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney.

In his letter to the Vatican, Mr Quinn said he and his family were now victims of "a campaign of public vilification in our own locality on entirely false allegations".

Mr Quinn has condemned the attack on Mr Lunney and called for the intimidation to stop.

The Association of Catholic Priests said its leadership supported Fr O'Reilly "and the position he has adopted in relation to the recent attack on Kevin Lunney".

Image caption Kevin Lunney was driving home from work in Kinawley when he was attacked on 17 September

The Daily Mirror, along with a number of the other newspapers report on the death of a County Donegal lifeboat volunteer who drowned when his car slipped off the pier at Arranmore Island on Sunday.

Leigh Early, 26, from Arranmore, worked on the Arranmore ferry and was a volunteer on the island's RNLI lifeboat.

A passenger in the car managed to swim to safety, but Mr Early died at the scene.

Mr Early's Arranmore lifeboat colleagues were called out and attempted to rescue him.

RNLI manager Owen Medland described Mr Early as "a super young man who would be a loss to any community never mind a small community".

A number of the newspapers, including the News Letter, report on how thieves rammed a number of businesses and tried to steal a hospital cash machine during an hour-long rampage from Belfast to Lisburn.

Police are investigating a link between a series of thefts and attempted thefts carried out by suspects in a black Audi estate car.

Chains were attached to the car in a failed bid to steal a cash machine at Belfast City Hospital on Saturday.

Within an hour, businesses at four other locations were damaged in ram-raids.