Northern Ireland

Newspaper headlines: Ryanair woes and a Celtic proposal

News Letter front page Tuesday 19 September Image copyright News Letter

Everyone is talking about Ryanair and so are the papers.

The Belfast Telegraph says further woes may await passengers with pilots threatening strike action.

The budget airline is cancelling 40-50 flights every day for the next six weeks, after admitting it had "messed up" the planning of pilot holidays.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ryanair's reputation has taken a bit of a nosedive

More than 120 pilots attended three "militant" meetings in Dublin on Monday, where a ballot for industrial action was discussed, says the Telegraph.

About 400,000 passengers will be directly affected by the cancellations and the paper has found a few disgruntled locals.

'Inconvenience'

Bangor man Desmond McDowell and his wife, Phyllis, are on holiday in France and their daughters were due to join them.

But Ryanair cancelled their plane out of Dublin on Friday and as alternative flights were too expensive, the girls ended up taking a ferry from Rosslare and driving through France to reach their parents.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has held up his hands and has taken responsibility for the "mess"

Mr McDowell accused the airline of "treating customers like an inconvenience".

The Daily Mirror leads on the story, with the headline "The Shaming of Ryanair".

The paper says the airline's reputation has "nosedived" and its value has fallen by nearly £320m.

A source told the paper the airline was having recruitment issues: "Ryanair is massively short staffed over the summer so pilots used up their flying time and now need to take the leave. They legally can't do more hours."

Trade ruling

There are several other stories doing the rounds, and the News Letter leads with the Bombardier-Boeing trade dispute.

It features a picture of UK Prime Minister Theresa May alongside her Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, with the headline: "May: I will tell Trump how vital NI jobs are".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption UK PM Theresa May is visiting Canada and raising the trade dispute that could threaten aerospace jobs in NI

While on a visit to Canada, she told a press conference she would stress how vital the Canadian aerospace firm was to Northern Ireland workers when she meets US President Donald Trump face-to-face later this week.

The Irish News says a ruling is expected next week from US trade authorities on a complaint from Bombardier's rival Boeing, which alleges the company has been involved in "dumping its C-series jets on the American market".

It adds that Bombardier is NI's largest manufacturing employer and "Mrs May is understood to have been pressed to take action by DUP leader Arlene Foster, whose 10 MPs are propping up the minority Conservative government".

Stroke sufferers

The News Letter also goes big on another popular story - that the public inquiry into the controversial Renewable Heat Incentive scheme has amassed 880,000 pages of evidence.

Sir Patrick Coghlin, who is investigating the so-called "cash for ash" scandal that brought down the Stormont executive, said the public hearings would be delayed as a result.

The paper understands the team of lawyers and administrators working to support the retired judge has "swollen from 10 to about 35".

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Sir Patrick Coghlin, the inquiry chairman, held another preliminary hearing on Monday

The first public evidence session will now take place a month later than billed on 7 November, with the first witnesses not appearing in public until 28 November.

The Irish News carries a warning from a leading charity that the number of stroke sufferers is set to double in Northern Ireland over the next 20 years due to lack of investment.

Research from the Stroke Association comes amid a major consultation on a shake-up of stroke services, which are currently spread across 11 hospital sites. The paper says there are concerns that medical expertise is spread too thinly and that they should be at least halved.

Celtic proposal

An exclusive story takes front page of the Belfast Telegraph. It reports nearly 1,000 Housing Executive properties in NI are lying vacant despite more than 16,000 people being homeless and a waiting list of 37,611 households.

However, the Housing Executive said less than 1% of its total stock was vacant - better than most other UK social housing landlords.

Image copyright PA
Image caption There was plenty to celebrate at Celtic Park on Saturday

The Daily Mirror has a heartwarming story about a couple who got engaged on the pitch at Celtic Park.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers gave Nicki Lynch permission to get down on bended knee on the hallowed turf after the team's win over Ross County at the weekend.

Luckily, Belfast girl Caity Ryan did not produce a red card.

"Caity was in pieces, she was so emotional," said Mr Lynch. "I'm sure she was more excited at meeting Brendan than about getting married."