Northern Ireland

Newspaper headlines: An annus horribilis and a road racer

News Letter front page Image copyright News Letter
DM front page Image copyright Daily MIrror

An "annus horribilis" - says The Irish News's dramatic front page. But whose horrible year has it been?

The paper reports that Arlene Foster is "fighting for her future". Along with a full page picture of Mrs Foster, it says "last summer the DUP leader was the dominant force in Northern Ireland."

"Today we examine how the past year's events have shattered that position of strength," it adds.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Irish News dedicates four pages to Arlene Foster's year

The Daily Mirror, the News Letter and the Belfast Telegraph all lead with a story that dominated Tuesday's news - the sentencing of a couple who kept a disabled woman imprisoned in their home and sexually assaulted her for eight years.

Described as a "house of horrors," Keith Baker and his wife, Catherine, kept the woman in a squalid room until she was rescued in 2012.

DUP chairman Lord Morrow has said there is a "raft of unanswered questions" still to be answered about the case and Noelle Collins of Women's Aid expressed fears that it "may be happening in other parts of Northern Ireland".

There's a reasonable amount of similarity between the front pages of the News Letter and the Belfast Telegraph - both also include the sexism row that is raging at Belfast City Council.

Friends of a DUP councillor have defended his remarks about Belfast City Council's chief executive.

Graham Craig, who said he "had the pleasure" of Suzanne Wylie "whizzing past me on her bicycle," later apologised for the comments after an angry reaction on social media.

However, the Belfast Telegraph reports that Mr Craig's friends have said he is registered blind. "Graham's words were chosen a little clumsily, but the reaction has been over the top," a friend said.

The tragic spate of five deaths in Belfast also features on both front pages.

"Girl aged 16 among the fatalities" says the Belfast Telegraph. The paper reports that officers believe that prescription and illegal drugs taken with alcohol are connected with at least two of the deaths.

The Irish News reports that the conservative Catholic organisation the Ancient Order of Hibernians is to mark the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions with a parade to a Mass rock in County Tyrone.

The paper says "last year the Canadian company Dalriadan Gold refused to allow a Catholic service to be held" at the Mass rock in Greencastle. The paper reports that "prominent republican" Gerry McGeough will lead the group.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Michael Dunlop wins the Superbike race at the Isle of Man TT in 2013

Good news for petrol heads - the Belfast Telegraph has excerpts of Michael Dunlop's new autobiography. In the two-page spread, Michael speaks about the effects of seeing his father Robert's crash on film.

He said when he first saw the film "Road," in 2014 he had no idea he would see the crash in full. "I was furious," he said.

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