Northern Ireland

Abortion result and sinking paddle steamer

Scenes in Ireland around abortion referendum Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Many of the front pages focus on the result of Ireland's abortion referendum

The outcome of Ireland's abortion referendum and whether there will be a ripple effect in Northern Ireland looms large on the front pages on Monday morning.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the prime minister is facing growing pressure "to liberalise Northern Ireland's strict laws on abortion".

However, it adds that the DUP leader, Arlene Foster, has said the result in the Republic of Ireland will have no effect on the law in NI.

The front page of the Irish News features quotes from Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald who insists women in Northern Ireland must have access to planned new abortion services in the Republic.

Ms McDonald told the newspaper it would be "unthinkable" that a woman in a border town such as Dundalk with a diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality could have an abortion, but a woman "up the road" in Newry could not.

An Irish government spokesman said the issue of abortion services in Northern Ireland "is a matter to be addressed within that jurisdiction and ideally by a restored Northern Ireland Executive and assembly".

The news that a woman has been intimidated from her home in north Belfast by a large group of youths makes the headlines in the Daily Mirror.

It says the woman, who is believed to be a refugee of Sudanese heritage, was left shaken after a "rampaging gang" attacked the house in the Brookvale Avenue area on Saturday night.

Police called in social services to get the woman rehomed.

The attack followed earlier reports of about 100 people "banging on doors, drinking and running up and down the street" in the Oldpark area.

The News Letter reports that a Mississippi-style paddle steamer has sank off the coast of north Wales while it was being towed to Coleraine, County Londonderry.

The vessel, called the MV Oliver Cromwell, started sinking on Friday about 12 miles (19km) west of South Stack near Holyhead, Anglesey.

Holyhead Coastguard was called to the scene, but it could not stop the vessel, which was previously moored in Gloucester Docks for 25 years, sinking into the Irish Sea.

The newspaper reports that the Crannagh Marina Complex in Coleraine had purchased the boat in January for £245,000 and had planned a £100,000 refit to turn it into a 15-bedroom hotel and restaurant on the River Bann.

Image copyright RNLI/Jay Garden
Image caption The MV Oliver Cromwell, started sinking on Friday

The Daily Mirror has quotes from Seamus Carey, the owner of the Crannagh Complex, who described the incident as a "major blow for tourism on the north coast".

He said that despite this "unfortunate setback" they were "more determined than ever" and "in the process of reviewing alternative options for a replacement boat".

The News Letter also features a female footballer from Belfast who credits Street Soccer with helping to transform her prospects.

Catrina Sheehan, 26, who has the spinal condition, scoliosis, played for Northern Ireland in the Homeless World Cup in Oslo last August.

The newspaper says that after leaving her foster home in search of independence, Catrina had "several bad experiences and found herself in the Flax Foyer in Belfast - accommodation for young people who have found themselves homeless".

"They really helped me in there," she said.

"They got me into courses and pointed me in the direction of Street Soccer. Street Soccer means everything to me, it's a lifeline."

Catrina, who has had spinal surgery twice, is now living in her own home in north Belfast and says she "wouldn't let my disability define me".

The visit of Irish President, Michael D Higgins, to a centre in Bellaghy dedicated to the memory of his friend, the renowned poet Seamus Heaney, is featured in the Irish News.

Members of Mr Heaney's family met Mr Higgins at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace.

Mr Higgins said Mr Heaney was "one of the greatest poets of the 20th century" and "a man to whom we are indebted for his words".

Image caption Michael D Higgins has visited the Seamus Heaney HomePlace centre

We sign off with a story in the Belfast Telegraph that fits the adage that dogs are "man's best friend".

Harry McLarnon, 91, says his pet dog, Jack, is a hero after he raised the alarm when the pensioner took a tumble from steps while potting plants at his Ballymena home.

Harry was lying helpless on the ground for half an hour, but Jack's persistence paid off when he ran around on the busy Broughshane Road and "barked his head off" attracting the attention of the people attending a meeting in All Saints Church.

Three people found the former contractor lying at the back of his home out of public view and soon made him comfortable on a chair.

Harry said the incident happened when his daughter was "out on a message" and between the visits of carers.

"I gave him (Jack) a big hug afterwards," he added.