Northern Ireland

Paper Review: Supergrass, RHI and Frank Carson

Frank Carson
Image caption It's the way he told 'em - Frank Carson is being immortalised in a new play, A Rebel Without a Pause

The news that a loyalist supergrass's evidence cannot be used makes the front page of The Irish News and Belfast Telegraph.

Former Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) commander Gary Haggarty named 11 paramilitaries and two former police officers, who he alleged were involved in his crimes.

But the Public Prosecution Service said his evidence was insufficient to prove the claims beyond reasonable doubt.

The Irish News reports that one reason was because his handler was "on the sick" when the UVF boss said the pair "discussed targets".

It says the families of Mount Vernon UVF victims have "expressed anger" at the decision and criticised the expected reduced sentence for Haggarty, who is serving five life sentences for five murders.

The Belfast Telegraph focuses on the money in its headline, "Millions spent, no convictions and a killer may go free".

It says anger has erupted over the investigation, which has "cost the taxpayer millions of pounds and hasn't resulted in a single conviction".

It's a cracker

There's a "cracker" on the front of The Irish News, where the late Frank Carson is immortalised in the shape of actor and playwright Dan Gordon.

Mr Gordon is staging a one-man show about the beloved Belfast comedian at the Lyric in November.

Frank Carson passed away at his home in Blackpool, Lancashire in 2012.

Mr Gordon tells the paper that he is "nervous" about the performance and says he's become "indoctrinated with Frank's comedy DNA" from spending so much time working on the role.

RHI overspend

Image caption Department for the conomy's lawyer told the High Court the potential RHI scheme overspend had soared

The News Letter warns that the overspend from a botched green energy scheme could be more grim than previously imagined.

The paper reports that the Department for the Economy's lawyer told the High Court the potential RHI scheme overspend had "soared from £500m to about £700m".

However it was emphasised that this was a "worst-case projection" and because of the length of time involved and other variables such as "life expectancy of boilers," it was an estimate.

The Irish News shares a father's grief on its front page today.

Tyler McLean, 25, from County Down, was shot dead outside a Canada nightclub in Toronto in October.

He was due to leave for Northern Ireland to start work at his father's company, the paper says.

Tyler's devastated father Hugh tells the paper his son was a "wonderful fella, so kind and caring".

He says the family are "shocked" by what had happened in what they thought was a "safe city".

Quelle horreur

A holiday in the south of France may conjure up a number of images. Baguettes, Camembert and good wine would spring to mind.

However, one couple from Newtownards experienced a "terrifying ordeal" on a recent trip in their camper van, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

Anne and Ivan Hill, both in their 50s, tell the paper how they were "drugged and robbed" at a French campsite.

Ivan Hill said he woke in the middle of the night to see a "burglar leaning over his wife" but said he was "powerless to move".

When the pair woke up in the morning, much later than usual, they found that all their cash had been taken.

The next day they say they found "puncture wounds in their arms".

And finally, the beautiful face of County Tyrone model Kate Grant beams out of the Belfast Telegraph.

Miss Grant, from Cookstown has Down's Syndrome and is challenging perceptions in the fashion industry.

The 19-year-old is one of 50 entrants chosen from around the world to compete in the 2018 Ultimate Beauty of the World pageant next summer.

Kate tells the paper that she has always wanted to be a model and she has some good advice for others.

"I hope other people with Down's Syndrome will be encouraged just like me to follow their dream," she says.

Good luck Kate!