Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: 'Irish jihadi' wedding and super-grandad

Daily Mirror Image copyright Daily Mirror

The daily papers are continuing to dig into the Irish links of London killer Rachid Redouane, one of the three men involved in Saturday's fatal attacks.

The Daily Mirror has obtained a photo of his wedding day in Dublin in 2012, when he married Charisse O'Leary.

It claims his marriage certificate was a "back door" to his entry to the UK.

The paper has also been to visit a flat the couple shared in Dublin before they split up, and leads with the headline: "Secret lair of Irish Jihadi".

'Spreading hatred'

Their former landlady tells the paper the couple had been good tenants who paid their rent and left her flat in "perfect condition".

She says she was "shocked" to learn of Redouane's role in the London attacks.

The Irish News leads with a complaint from a senior Irish Muslim leader that the authorities in the Republic of Ireland are not doing enough to tackle extremism.

Shaykh Al-Qadri says he warned authorities up to two years ago about individuals "spreading hatred" but he claims little was done other than monitoring.

The paper also understands that the arrests of two men in Limerick and Wexford on Monday were linked to documentation used by Redouane.

Paramilitary influence

In a front-page exclusive, the Belfast Telegraph reports that the Shankill bomber has been canvassing for Sinn Féin in Belfast in the run up to Thursday's election.

Sean Kelly was one of two IRA men who planted a bomb in a fish shop on the Shankill Road in 1993, killing nine people, including 13-year-old Leanne Murray.

Image caption Sean Kelly was injured while planting the Shankill bomb and his IRA accomplice was killed

Leanne's mother, Gina Murray, tells the paper it was "disgusting" that a former paramilitary killer is knocking on doors in the city asking for votes.

The continuing influence of past and present paramiltarism also dominated the final TV election debate on Tuesday night.

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson was challenged over his party's endorsement by a Loyalist Communities Council - an umbrella group supported by three loyalist paramilitary organisations.

He replied that his party does "not accept support from anyone engaged in paramilitary activity".

Sinn Féin's John O'Dowd defended Sean Kelly's role in his party's election campaign, saying the convicted bomber was now supporting the peace process.

The Belfast Telegraph pointed out that Mr O'Dowd was standing in for Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill, who pulled out of the leaders' debate after losing her voice.

Angry voter

DUP leader Arlene Foster also missed the leaders' debate as she travelled to Belgium to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Messines.

Messines was the first battle in which soldiers from northern and southern regiments of pre-partition Ireland fought together for Britain in World War One.

The News Letter has a photograph of a new memorial depicting a northern soldier rescuing a southern soldier at Messines, which is due to be unveiled later.

That southern soldier was the Irish Nationalist MP Major Willie Redmond - brother of the Home Rule leader John Redmond - and members of their family will attend.

The News Letter leads with further concerns over a "massive surge" in proxy voting, reporting that applications have "more than doubled" to 11,707 since the last general election in 2015.

It carries an interview with an "angry" voter who claims that after she applied for a postal vote, a proxy was appointed to vote on her behalf - without her knowledge or permission.

Celebrity bus pass

Hollywood superstars may be more used to jetting off in private plans and pulling up to red carpet receptions in stretch limos, but action man Liam Neeson can now save on his travel costs.

Image copyright Niall Carson
Image caption Liam Neeson is fighting fit at 65

The Ballymena man turns 65 today, officially becoming a pensioner and entitled to a free bus pass, the Irish News happily declares.

The paper has gathered up warm birthday wishes from his home town, which is very well known for producing and exporting buses, as well as the occasional Oscar-nominated superstar.

The theme of gracefully aging heroes continues in the Daily Mirror with news that superman's grandad is setting up home in Belfast.

The paper reports that a £20m film studio in Belfast's Harbour Estate is being "transformed into superman's home planet" for a new TV series.

Krypton is a prequel of the Superman story, featuring the caped crusader's grandfather battling to save his planet from chaos.

The paper reports the deal as a "coup" for the city, which is cementing its reputation as one of the best venues for film and TV production.

Ballymena may have star quality but Belfast definitely has the Krypton factor