Northern Ireland

NI Paper Review: Drugs dominate the front pages

News Letter Image copyright News Lettter

For the second day in a row, the word "drugs" appears in the main headlines of all three of Northern Ireland's morning papers.

"Drugs are creating a tidal wave of deaths: coroner" is the striking front page headline in the Belfast Telegraph.

The coroner Patrick McGurgan made his remarks at the inquest into the death of Belfast student Jamie Burns who lost his life after taking a single ecstasy tablet in November 2016.

The 23-year-old died in hospital after taking the drug on a night out with friends at the Shine night club based in the Queen's University Students' Union building.

'Chilling example'

The paper also details comments made by a judge at the initial hearing for a man charged with drugs offences following the death of a young woman in Omagh at the weekend.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said 19-year-old Emma Doogan's death was a "chilling example" of the dangers of drugs.

Image caption Emma Doogan was found dead in a flat in Omagh at the weekend

Meanwhile, the paper interviews SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan who has spoken of the death of his 23-year-old cousin in 2013 after he took an unregulated drug.

The Belfast Telegraph also publishes the "shocking image" of two teenage boys in Belfast lying "unconscious" with needles hanging from their arms. It is suspected that they had taken heroin.

The News Letter leads with the news that a serving prison officer has been charged with drugs offences, including supplying cocaine and cannabis inside Maghaberry Prison.


"Titanic Quarter could be like San Francisco port", that is the opinion of an American rugby official and investment tycoon on a 24-hour visit to Belfast.

Will Chang spoke to the News Letter while in Ireland for the Women's Rugby World Cup.

Image caption If you're going to the Titanic Quarter, should you wear flowers in your hair?

He compared Belfast's docklands to how San Francisco was 25 years ago before a decision was made to transform it "from a working port to a tourist attraction".

The Irish News also leads with the inquest into the death of Jamie Burns and like its counterparts, it gives extensive coverage to recent drugs-related deaths.

The paper devotes most of its page three to the closure of a care home in Enniskillen after inspectors found failings in the care provided there.

Bonfire licenses

The paper also details the possibility that Mid-Ulster District council many introduce a permit system to deal with what has been described as "rogue bonfires".

The chair of the council's environment committee, Sinn Féin's Ronan McGinley, has denied the possible move was an "attack on culture".

SDLP councillor Martin Kearney said that the number of fires burning tyres and illegal waste on council land must be reduced.

UUP councillor Trevor Wilson disagreed, however, saying the proposals would not promote good community relations.