Northern Ireland

Newspaper headlines: Tragedy, triumph and the price of milk

Newsletter front page - Monday 20 February Image copyright News Letter

The smiling face of Conan Anderson beams out from most of the front pages.

The 22-year-old died at the weekend, two weeks after sustaining a head injury during a night out in Belfast.

Image copyright Anderson family
Image caption Conan Anderson was a student and football coach - his brother said he was an "innocent thing, big and tall, but like a teddy bear"

The Irish News carries an interview with his brother Brendan, who says the past fortnight has been "pure and utter hell".

He said Conan had made it home that fateful night but the family became concerned by his strange behaviour. He was then taken to hospital and placed in an induced coma.

"We didn't know we would never speak to him again," his brother said. "We were just talking into his ears and just hoping he would wake up."

A 27-year-old was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm, but has been released on police bail.

'Keep their grip'

While the papers are mostly united on the picture front, it's a real Monday mishmash of stories.

The Belfast Telegraph's front page is dominated by what the paper calls a paramilitary-style attack on a mother and son in Coleraine.

A masked man entered a house in James Street on Sunday evening and shot a man in his 20s in the leg. His mother, who is in her 50s, was shot in the foot.

In its editorial, the paper says there is a "depressing familiarity " about this story, amid concerns about an upsurge in attacks by both loyalist and republican paramilitaries.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Sky Blues fan Trevor Burns (centre) saw his team lift the NI League Cup for the first time

It says the attacks show how "paramilitaries are trying to keep their grip on some communities more than 20 years after their ceasefires".

The News Letter's front page says there is pressure on Sinn Féin leader in the north Michelle O'Neill to speak out about fuel laundering after her cousin was convicted of offences last week.

Gareth Malachy Doris, 39, of Coalisland, had denied fraudulent evasion of duty but was found guilty at Dungannon Magistrates' Court last week.

A Sinn Féin spokesman said fuel laundering is wrong and undermines the economy.

It's not often sport makes it on to the front page but Ballymena United's first League Cup historic triumph warrants top picture spot on the News Letter's front page.

It has a picture of manager David Jeffrey dedicating the win to long-serving supporter Trevor Burns, who has missed only a few games in almost six decades as a Sky Blues fan.

Talking of top billing, a Belfast road has been named as the most congested in the UK outside of London. The dubious honour goes to A1 southbound from College Gardens in Belfast to Wallace Park in Lisburn, the Daily Mirror reports.

'A Gentle Prod'

There's a lot of Assembly election coverage but we'll not be mean on a Monday and keep it to a minimum.

The Belfast Telegraph carries a light-hearted poll aimed at humanising our politicians. Seven high-profile candidates were asked a series of quick-fire questions on subjects ranging from Donald Trump to favourite foods.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Posh cheese - Máirtín Ó Muilleoir is a fan

The paper concludes: "Most do not have a good word about Donald Trump. Their culinary tastes range from seafood to steak.... and most, though not all, know the price of milk."

Not wanting to name and shame but it was the TUV's Jim Allister who had no idea about the price of milk. "Two litres of milk is... oh... my wife does occasionally say 'bring some milk'."

And who knew that Naomi Long made Irish stew for Princess Anne, or the DUP's Paul Givan was into body boarding, or that Steven Agnew from the Green Party would call his autobiography: Steven Agnew - A Gentle Prod?