Northern Ireland

Monday's headlines: Topless carol singers and Carl Frampton

Flu jab Image copyright Science Photo Library

It's the last newspaper review before Christmas and topless carol singers, Carl Frampton, Muckamore Abbey and the flu jab are making the headlines.

The Belfast Telegraph leads with a story on how almost half of over-65s in Northern Ireland did not get a flu jab this year.

The newspaper reports that there has been a fall in uptake of free jabs across all ages, including pregnant mothers and toddlers.

Carl Frampton also makes the front page following his defeat to Josh Warrington. In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, his wife Christine said it was "the worst experience I've ever had watching Carl fight".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Carl Frampton now has a 26-2 professional record

The "hardy souls of Bangor Rugby Club" make the front page of the Christmas Eve edition of the News Letter.

The sportsmen were snapped topless, wearing Santa hats, at Cornmarket in Belfast where they were singing carols for charity.

The newspaper also reports that Sinn Féin has suffered its "largest ever setback" in the Irish Behaviour and Attitudes poll with a six-point popularity slump to 17%.

Carried out for The Sunday Times, the political survey also found that leader Mary Lou McDonald's personal satisfaction rating fell by four points to 44%.

Image caption A report about Muckamore Abbey Hospital lists a series of catastrophic failings

The Irish News's lead story is about a Muckamore Abbey patient who tried to escape after the hospital ward was shut.

The unit was temporarily shut on Friday due to a shortage of staff.

'Them and us'

The newspaper also carries an interview with Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin. He says people in Northern Ireland have been left without an effective voice in the Brexit debate.

He also believes Brexit has led to increasing polarisation.

"It's unfortunate that we've managed to translate even the Brexit debate into our normal orange and green, nationalist and republican versus unionist and loyalist terms," he said.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Thousands of passengers had their travel plans disrupted

The Daily Mirror's front page story is about a couple who were arrested and released without charge following the Gatwick Airport chaos.

They report that drones may not have caused the disruption.

Image caption Sir Van Morrison is one of east Belfast's most famous sons, along with footballer George Best

The newspaper carries singer Sir Van Morrison's interview with Miriam O'Callaghan on RTÉ on Sunday.

In a rare interview, he discussed the ups and downs of his lengthy career. This year marked 50 years since the release of his most critically acclaimed album, Astral Weeks.

He also revealed that he believes he is a musical genius but "that doesn't make it easier because there's higher expectations".