Northern Ireland

Paper review: Eddie Girvan killer's 'lenient sentence'

News Letter front page Image copyright News Letter
daily mirror front page Image copyright Daily Mirror

Two faces stare out from all the front pages: Those of Margaret Henderson-McCarroll and her victim, Eddie Girvan.

Henderson-McCarroll pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Girvan, 67, in his Greenisland home, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The 31-year-old, who has 100 previous convictions, was told on Monday she must serve three years in prison.

The papers report on criticism that the sentence is simply not enough.

"Too lenient," reports the Belfast Telegraph, "does not fit crime", says The Irish News and "shock," says the News Letter.

The News Letter quotes UUP MLA Roy Beggs who said he did not feel a "sufficient sentence" had been handed down, considering Henderson-McCarroll's history.

Finola Meredith in the Belfast Telegraph calls it a "shockingly short sentence for a nasty and murky crime", while Allison Morris's analysis in The Irish New is more nuanced, describing the case as a "sorry tale of death, drugs and prostitution".

But as the papers also point out, "judges are bound by sentencing guidelines and must take into account mitigating circumstances in the case".

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Image caption Hibs manager Neil Lennon has been subjected to 'sinister online messages'

The Daily Mirror is the only paper where the front page story differs. It reports on a "police probe into a death threat to Neil Lennon".

It says the Hibs manager has been subjected to "sinister messages" posted online after the former Northern Ireland player's side beat Rangers at the weekend.

Police Scotland said it was "aware of offensive and threatening comments concerning a named individual".

Also on the front pages, there's a row brewing between sporting bodies in Northern Ireland and Sport NI over grants.

The Irish News says it's about an accusation that the organisation has been "excluding" some sporting bodies from a multi million pound grant scheme.

The paper reports that the Irish Football Association, Ulster Rugby and Cricket Ireland have issued a joint letter to the public body, raising concerns about how funds were allocated.

In their letter, they accuse Sport NI of excluding "95% of sport in Northern Ireland".

Their complaint relates to the new Sporting Winners and Clubs programme - a lottery-funding scheme worth more than £21m over four years from 2017 to 2021.

However, Sport NI said its board completed a review of the investment process, and concluded that the process for awarding investment was "robust".

A 40-year-old bird has been sighted spreading its wings in County Down. But this is no ordinary feathered friend, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

It's a Manx Shearwater that was caught on Copeland Island in the same spot it was first ringed in 1977.

The seabird has now been seen casually flying around Northern Ireland's only colony of Manx Shearwaters.

According to Shane Wolsey of the British Trust for Ornithology, the birds will soon be heading to sunny shores in South America for the winter.

Lucky for some.

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Image caption Drinking on planes?

Lastly, there's potentially some bad news for those who like to start their holidays with more than a few at the airport bar.

Should you be limited to two drinks before boarding a flight? That's what Ryanair wants.

The News Letter reports that the Irish airline is calling on a UK airports to enforce a two-drink limit, after it was suggested that arrests of passengers suspected of being drunk at UK airports and on flights have risen by 50% in a year.

The airport has already taken measures on its own flights, banning customers from drinking duty-free alcohol on flights.

It says airports must address the issue to improve delays.