Northern Ireland

Paper Review: Tragic farm death, question marks over collusion

Air ambulance helicopter Image copyright Pacemaker

A tragic accident leads the Belfast Telegraph - the death of a 14-year-old girl on a farm, in Bernish, County Down.

The paper reports that emergency services and the Air Ambulance attended, but Abbie Nummy's life could not be saved.

Independent councillor Gavin Malone describes her family as "lovely, wonderful people" and "hugely respected".

The paper says the Health and Safety Executive has launched an investigation.

'A few bad apples' to the 'whole orchard'

In the News Letter we hear that an investigation into allegations of state collusion has been called into question.

Former Special Branch inspector William Matchett tells the paper that the recent film about the Glenanne gang has "fed into the collusion narrative", prompting the investigation led by Jon Boutcher.

In July, the Court of Appeal said a full, independent investigation must be held.

"Collusion is an accusation that doesn't depend on evidence," says Mr Matchett.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Former Bedfordshire Police chief Jon Boutcher will head an inquiry into the activities of the Glenanne Gang

Collusion could be "omission, poor record keeping".

"It's so vague. You can twist it whatever way you want it," says Mr Matchett.

"The narrative is changing from a few bad apples in the barrel, to a few bad barrels and quite soon it will be the whole orchard."


Image copyright News Letter

'Natural talent on the lanes'

In The Irish News tributes are paid to a talented bowler who was found dead in an east Belfast house.

The man was found in a house in Grand Parade on Saturday.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out.

The Northern Ireland Tenpin Bowling Federation described him as a "natural talent on the lanes" with an "infectious love for life".

The PSNI tells the paper they are "investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man in a property in Grand Parade".

A 35 year old who was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug was released on bail, the paper reports.

Image copyright PA
Image caption John and Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day in 2011

In the Belfast Telegraph there is a call for a new inquiry into the death of Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius.

Mrs McAreavey, daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte, was found strangled in a bath at a hotel 12 days after her wedding in January 2011.

Now the solicitor who defended one of the men acquitted in the murder trial has joined calls for police there to reinvestigate the case.

Sanjeev Teeluckdharry who represented one of the men cleared, said the police in Mauritius had made "catastrophic failures".

He says he asked authorities during the trial to restart a new inquiry.

The demand for a new inquiry comes as Michaela's widow, John McAreavey, launches a new podcast about the murder.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Health workers across Northern Ireland are staging industrial action

The Irish News also reports that hospitals are "bracing themselves" for serious disruption this week.

Two trade unions are due to take part in industrial action over pay and staffing.

The Health and Social Care Board has said it anticipates "significant disruption to services".

Unison and the Royal College of Nursing are taking part in industrial action on various days this week.

The Belfast Trust has cancelled all outpatient surgery, affecting 10,000 patients.

'Scrooges'

In the News Letter there is a Christmas row, with one council being labelled a "Scrooge".

Causeway Coast and Glens is facing criticism after, the paper claims, it asked a charity to pay for marquees for a Christmas remembrance event at the Angel of Hope Memorial Garden.

Andrea McAleese, whose daughter three-year-old Roma was knocked down and killed in 2009, set up the garden.

She tells the paper she is "disgusted" by the request.

"The council wastes hundreds of thousands of pounds on other things including The Open but can't support something that's close to the community's heart.

"Where is the Christmas spirit of these Scrooges? What are we paying for?" she asks.

The council did not respond to a request for comment, the paper says.

An events company has now stepped in to help with the tents free of charge.