Northern Ireland

Political deals, church pleas and a shark

Belfast News Letter Image copyright Belfast News Letter

The front pages of Northern Ireland's newspapers have a variety of stories today, from political deals, church pleas, forced adoption to a shark attack.

The Belfast Telegraph is hailing its front-page splash as an exclusive.

The former first minister and DUP leader, Arlene Foster, has written that she believe a political deal with the Tories, which would facilitate DUP support for a minority Conservative government, is imminent.

Mrs Foster has also said she is determined to restore power-sharing executive at Stormont as Thursday's deadline looms large.

The Telegraph also features an opinion piece from celebrity economist David McWilliams.

United Ireland

He argues that demographic changes in Northern Ireland are making a united Ireland more likely and that the Dublin government must have a plan to deal with a pro-united Ireland majority, even if many south of the border do not wish to consider the possibility.

The News Letter's lead, "Son's justice plea after reunion with mother", is the story of a Portadown man the paper says was "forcibly removed from his mother as a baby by the Catholic Church".

He is now appealing for "justice for the victims of abuse at former mother and baby homes".

Eunan Duffy was separated from his birth mother in a mother-and-baby home in Newry in 1968 but has now been reunited with her after discovering he had been adopted in February 2016.

Mr Duffy, 49, is calling on the PSNI to treat "forced adoptions" as a form of human trafficking.

'DUP toxic'

Also in the News Letter is the claim from Conservative peer Lord Patten that the DUP is "toxic" and that any Tory-DUP deal will result in the Conservatives looking like the "nasty party".

Inside the paper, a two-page feature focuses on the Ulster Volunteer Force.

The articles are based on the work of Sandhurst historian Aaron Edwards, who was brought up in north Belfast, and has now published a new history of the organisation.

He writes that the "spectre of paramilitarism" is likely to continue in Northern Ireland until the political environment changes.

Deal plea

"Time to do a deal call from church leaders" is the Irish News front page headline.

The paper describes a letter sent by the churchmen, appealing to Northern Ireland politicians to strike a deal on restoring power-sharing at Stormont, as a "dramatic intervention".

The letter, signed by five prominent church leaders, was sent to the leaders of the five main parties and warned that if the impasse continues then the most vulnerable people in society were being put at risk.

The Irish News front page shows a jubilant Down Gaelic football manager, Eamonn Burns, hugging the county's full-back after the Mourne men won their Ulster championship semi-final clash against Monaghan on Saturday night in Armagh.

Bonfire builders

On the inside pages, the paper reveals that bonfire material has been dumped on Bloomfield Walkway in east Belfast.

The Irish News says the incident comes just days after they revealed that Belfast City Council has been storing thousands of pallets on behalf of Twelfth night bonfire builders.

The site off the Upper Newtownards Road features graffiti critical of both the Irish News and the BBC, possibly due to media coverage of the bonfire issue and how materials are gathered for them.

And finally, in a scene reminiscent of the shark attack horror film Jaws, the Daily Mirror's front page picture features tourists fleeing "shark terror" in Majorca.

The distinctive fin of the species breaks the water as an 8ft Blue Shark, described as a "killer" by the paper, closes in on swimmers.

When it was captured later, however, it was found to have been suffering from a head injury - possibly caused by human hand - and had to be put down.