Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: Titanic Hotel and graduation poses

News Letter Image copyright News Letter

A warning to cyber bullies, the Titanic Hotel and unconvincing graduation poses feature in Northern Ireland's papers on Wednesday.

The Irish News follows up on its front page story from Tuesday on 16-year-old Elle Towbridge, who took her own life after online bullying.

The paper says that a social networking site used by some of those who bullied her has said users can be traced.

The news has been welcomed by Elle's mother Mandy.

The County Tyrone woman said she hoped it would make others think twice about abusing people on social networking sites.

'End this farce'

"It's time to turn off the tap" - that's the view of Alan McQuillan, a member of the panel that sets assembly members' pay.

Mr McQuilllan tells the Belfast Telegraph it's time for the government to "end this farce".

The paper's Suzanne Breen says that the only thing the Stormont parties could agree on was that MLAs' salaries should continue, despite the failure in the negotiations to restore power-sharing.

"We've pampered our political class and papered over the Stormont cracks for far too long," she writes.

Image caption Alan McQuillan says it is time to cut assembly members' pay

The News Letter leads with comments by the DUP's Ian Paisley in the Commons on Tuesday, in which he said that his party's deal with the Conservative Party would not change its stance on abortion.

"I'm going to make it absolutely clear that the rights of the unborn child, in my view and in the view of people in my party and on this bench, trump any political agreement that has been put in place," he said.

Mr Paisley's views are echoed by SDLP former MLA Alban Maginness, who, writing in the Belfast Telegraph, says that the "the greatest human rights struggle today is the battle for the unborn".

On its front page, the Daily Mirror says that an average of £80,000 was paid out in redundancy money to workers let go last year when Northern Ireland councils merged.

It says the total cost of last year's payouts was £16.8m.

The Mirror, News Letter and Belfast Telegraph all feature the first photographs from the Titanic Hotel, due to open in Belfast in September.

The hotel is set in the old Harland and Wolff offices. The papers compare the run-down state of the offices before work began, with their opulence following the £28m transformation.

The papers also feature the graduation of the O'Neills at the Ulster University in Coleraine.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Martin and Michael O'Neill received honorary degrees on Tuesday

Michael and Martin - Ireland's two international football managers - received honorary degrees from the university on Tuesday.

Pictures include a rather unconvincing 'natural look' with the university's chancellor, Jimmy Nesbitt, pointing to a piece of paper in a pose reminiscent of 1980s clothing catalogues.

Adams-Trump handshake

In an opinion piece in the Belfast Telegraph, Henry McDonald says that a truly transparent system of party funding can only exist when there is a total ban on foreign donations.

The piece features a picture of Gerry Adams shaking hands with Donald Trump at a Sinn Féin fundraising dinner in New York in 1995.

Meanwhile, in the News Letter author and former Special Branch officer William Matchett says that the Patten report on policing paved the way for "current criminal justice attacks on the RUC".

"Chris was Tony's man. The cynic in me says disposing with the RUC was pre-ordained," he says.

The Northern Irish summer

"Rain, floods... it must be summer," says the Belfast Telegraph, alongside pictures of flooded roads and struggling motorists.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Northern Ireland in summertime... flooding in Belfast on Tuesday

The paper says Tuesday was hardly the day for a massive cruise ship to dock in Belfast.

But in a display of optimism, the Telegraph says that the rest of the week's weather is set to be less bad.

"Whisper it quietly - Saturday could even be quite nice," it says.