Northern Ireland

NI Newspaper headlines: McCartney murder and Cantona's city tour

News Letter front page Image copyright News Letter
Image caption Front page of the News Letter on Wednesday
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Front page of the Daily Mirror Image copyright Daily Mirror
Image caption Front page of the Daily Mirror on Wednesday
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A police ombudsman's report into the PSNI's handling of the investigation into the IRA murder of Belfast man Robert McCartney makes the front pages of both the Belfast Telegraph and the Irish News on Wednesday.

Mr McCartney, 33, died after being beaten and stabbed outside a pub in Belfast city centre in January 2005.

Three men were charged in connection with his murder but were acquitted.

One of the murder victim's sisters, Catherine McCartney, made an official complaint to the police ombudsman on behalf of her family, but in his report Dr Michael Maguire found that police did not attempt to protect anyone as part of their investigation.

He said he believes the police did their best in difficult circumstances, which included potential eyewitnesses being intimidated by the IRA.

Ms McCartney is quoted in the Irish News saying the family does not accept the findings of the report and that it "doesn't clarify anything for us".

"The bottom line is Robert hasn't got justice," are her comments in the Belfast Telegraph, which has the headline 'PSNI exonerated over McCartney probe'.

'Called the DUP's bluff'

The News Letter leads with a claim by Ulster Unionist peer, Lord Empey, that the government "called the DUP's bluff" over its threat to vote down the Budget.

It reports that the DUP had previously said it was "prepared to block the Budget and potentially topple Prime Minister Theresa May unless they received sufficient reassurances that there will be no Irish Sea border post-Brexit".

DUP MP Sammy Wilson told the News Letter the party now intends to back the Budget in the House of Commons, but will withdraw its support for Mrs May if she breaches the party's red lines on Brexit.

Images of the vigil to remember those murdered in the Greysteel massacre feature in several newspapers, with wreaths and flowers being laid by the victims' families at the memorial plaque near the Rising Sun bar in the County Londonderry village where the attack happened.

Monsignor Andrew Dolan paid tribute to the "positive and dignified response" of the Greysteel families "to such an evil deed" and said they had asked him to urge public representatives to "do all you can to ensure this never happens again".

Image caption Workers at Glen Dimplex in Portadown staged a strike on Monday

Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror reports on its front page that employees at Glen Dimplex in Portadown, County Armagh, have been striking in a bid to earn an extra 27 pence an hour.

It says about 80 production operators at the electrical heating firm are demanding the hourly living wage rate of £8.75.

The newspaper says the firm is owned by Dundalk man, Martin Naughton, who has won awards for his philanthropy.

The 24-hour-strike at the Portadown factory started at 07:00 GMT on Monday, and the trade union Unite says the non-payment of the rate is "completely unacceptable". The Daily Mirror says Glen Dimplex has refused to comment.

The Mirror also reports that a teenager is recovering after a firework thrown by youths in west Belfast exploded at the back of his head.

The boy was in the Bell Steel Road area on Saturday night when he was struck by the device which "burnt his skull".

Ahead of Halloween, Sinn Féin councillor Stephen Magennis said the boy's parents wanted to make sure no other child was seriously injured.

A number of the newspapers including the Belfast Telegraph and News Letter report that the Department of Health has announced a further 1,044 people will be recalled following a review of 2,500 neurology patients.

This further group are those who were seen by Dr Michael Watt and discharged to the care of their GP.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, has said the final number of affected patients could grow further, the Telegraph reports.

Both newspapers report that the review is believed to have cost about £1m to date.

Image caption Eric Cantona has been on a tour of Belfast

Elsewhere, fans of football and particularly Manchester United are well catered for in the newspapers.

The Mirror reports that the FA Cup medals that former Northern Ireland midfielder Sammy McIlroy gained with the Old Trafford club have fetched £34,000 after being snapped up by a private collector in Hong Kong.

Closer to home, the Irish News also features some of the memorabilia that will feature in the George Best Hotel in Belfast, including a football jersey signed by Sir Alex Ferguson.

It also has photographs of a whistle-stop tour of Belfast by United's former French forward Eric Cantona.

The man known as 'The King' witnessed some of the murals at International Wall on the Falls Road and one of George Best in Sandy Row.

The player who famously talked about the seagulls following the trawler, "because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea", also dropped in on Love Fish in the city centre.