Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: United in sympathy for Manchester

More often than not the papers in this review have different stories on their front pages.

They cater to different audiences and sometimes take conflicting editorial and political stances when reporting the same events.

But today is one of those rare days in which they stand, like the rest of the UK, united in sympathy for the families of the children and young people killed in the Manchester attack.

The angelic face of Saffie Rose Roussos shines out from the front pages of each of the papers.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Saffi Roussos is the youngest known victim of the Manchester attack

The heartbreaking news of the eight-year-old's death emerged yesterday.

She is the youngest known victim of the suicide bombing.

"Children weren't just victims - they were the targets," reads the headline in the Irish News.

"I have two daughters of my own and remember well the drama of taking them to their first concerts," writes Allison Morris, who was in Manchester yesterday.

"The chatter in the car - the highlight of their wee lives to that point.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Security is being stepped up at venues across the UK

"For those who attended Monday's concert there was no cheerful journey home, only a night of terror that will stay with them forever."

Inside, there's the news that venues in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are tightening security, including the 3Arena in Dublin, where Ariana Grande performed two nights before her Manchester gig was bombed.

The paper quotes a tweet from someone who was at that gig: "I was at Ariana's Dublin show and it was so full of children too. It's hard to think about the terror endured. So sad."

Both the Belfast Telegraph and the News Letter carry pictures of both Saffie Rose and Georgina Callander, who was another victim of the attack.

The Belfast Telegraph's front page story begins with the news that troops are to be deployed onto UK streets and that the terror threat has been raised to its highest level - critical.

This means that another attack could be imminent.

It reports that security was stepped up last night at a Brian Cox show at Belfast's SSE Arena and also shows pictures from a vigil in Belfast.

Inside, there are the stories of arena workers from Northern Ireland who were caught up in the terror attack.

Andy Breslin, 26, was working in a bar and said he was convinced a gun attack was imminent when he heard the blast.

"I got my staff around the back of the bar, locked the door and turned off the lights," he said.

"Britain on red alert for another terror attack," reads the front page of the News Letter.

It also reports on how the atrocity has curtailed what was already a shorter-than-normal start to election campaigning in Northern Ireland.

Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption Northern Ireland politicians were among those to sign a book of condolence for the victims of the Manchester attack

Politicians here followed the main British parties in suspending campaigning yesterday as a mark of respect to the victims - and tonight's leaders' debate has been called off.

"Electoral weariness among many politicians, the media and the public has contributed... unlike Labour the Tories and the Liberal Democrats, whose manifestos were all launched last week, only one manifesto has been launched in Northern Ireland - Sinn Féin's on Monday."

A spokesperson for UTV told the News Letter: "Following consultation with the larger parties... we have decided to postpone recording of the UTV General Election debate."

Politicians here were among those to sign a book of condolence for the victims of the Manchester attack - but Sinn Féin's northern leader, Michelle O'Neill, is criticised in one of the News Letter's letters to the editor today.

"If Michelle O'Neill is genuinely concerned for the people of Manchester then... there is something that may bring a level of healing that she could do - apologise unreservedly to the people of Manchester for the IRA's attacks on the city in 1993 and 1996," it reads.

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