Paper Review: Playing with fire, loneliness and an IRA row


There is little similarity between this morning's papers, with all the front pages going for wildly different leads.

"Playing with fire" - A graphic image leads The Irish News.

The paper shows a picture of Padraig Hagans, 18, from Ballymurphy after he had lighter fluid poured on his head and set alight as part of a prank.

His mother, Mary Hagans, tells the paper her son, who suffered "horrendous burns," could have been coming home to her "in a coffin".

She begs other parents to talk to their children about the dangers of such pranks.

On the front of the Belfast Telegraph, Sinn Féin has been accused of "glorifying" an IRA gunman linked to the Kingsmills massacre.

Ten Protestants were murdered by the IRA in the massacre on 5 January 1976.

image captionTen workmen were killed in the 1976 atrocity

Raymond McCreesh was honoured in the Newry play park named after him on Monday.

The commemoration was attended by Newry and South Armagh MP Mickey Brady.

However Kingsmills families have described the party's attendance as a "slap in the face," the paper says.

Colin Worton, whose brother was one of the 10 victims, is reported as saying it "compounds the grief experienced by the families".

The News Letter warns of a public health epidemic. It's not drugs or alcohol, but loneliness.

It reports that a leading doctor says the problem of loneliness in Northern Ireland is getting worse.

Dr Grainne Doran says 10 minute long slots which patients have with GPs are not adequate for "getting to know what really matters" to them.


East Belfast traders are tearing their hair out over "never ending roadworks" reports the Belfast Telegraph.

The paper says a stretch of the Upper Newtownards Road has been the scene of works by Northern Ireland Water since June 2017.

Shop owner Dave Kane, says he is struggling with footfall. "It's just killing the whole area," he says.

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rogers describes the situation as "horrendous" saying he shares the frustration and anger of the businesses.

However NI Water says the work is due to end in July and was essential to reduce the risk of flooding from sewers in the area.

image captionStormont - closed for politics but open for walks

There may not have been a functioning executive for the past 492 days, but it doesn't mean you can't visit the empty seat of power in Northern Ireland for a dander in its grounds.

The Irish News reports that new "sensory trails" have been launched around Stormont estate.

It says the adventure trails have been designed to encourage visitors to learn more about the environment, wildlife and history of the estate.

The Department of Finance says it particularly wants to use the interactive maps, quiz and trail to connect with young people.

image captionClare Smyth has made numerous appearances on BBC's Masterchef programme

Lastly, royal wedding fever shows no sign of letting up.

On page three of the Belfast Telegraph we hear about a chef from Northern Ireland who's been given the royal stamp of approval.

Last month Clare Smyth, from Bushmills was named the best female chef in the world.

The County Antrim woman is also the only woman in UK to have run a restaurant with three Michelin stars.

Now it's emerged that she prepared dinner for the 200 guests at the wedding of the new Duke and Duchess on Saturday.

According to the paper guests at Frogmore House in Windsor munched on posh burgers, pork belly and candy floss.

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