Northern Ireland

Newspaper headlines: A dethroned tree and a gold mine

two flags Image copyright Getty Images

There's a stark warning from two former police chiefs about a potential Brexit-related threat.

"Dissident republicans are ready to exploit a new wave of terror," Sir Hugh Orde told the Belfast Telegraph.

The former chief constable of the PSNI said a hard border could be used to mount further attacks.

His former deputy Alan McQuillan agrees, telling the paper that some are "hitching themselves to the Brexit bandwagon" to cause trouble.

Image copyright Dalradian
Image caption Dalradian say they are designing a safe project

The Irish News headlines with a row over plans for a gold mine in the Sperrin Mountains.

According to the paper, an "unprecedented" 10,000 objections have been lodged against the County Tyrone mine.

Mining company Dalradian wants to open it in Camcosy Road, Gortin.

However, some protestors object to it on health and environmental grounds.

The company says the project is safe and will create jobs.

'Apology'

The News Letter's front page reports that a former soldier will not be prosecuted over social media messages, which satisfied the test for contempt in the Ballymurphy inquest hearings.

In November, preliminary evidence about the deaths of some of the victims was heard.

As the coroner's hearing opened in Belfast, a military veterans' campaigner "urged those veterans subpoenaed" to give evidence to "suffer from a total memory loss", the paper reports.

The Northern Ireland attorney general has now written to the campaigner's solicitor.

"Although the test for contempt proceedings was satisfied it would not be in the public interest to do so in light of your client's apology and the apparent absence of any adverse effect that can be attributed to your client's tweets," the attorney general said.

'Be gentle, people'

The Irish News reports on a County Down man who is missing in the Netherlands.

Connor James Murphy, 39, from Newcastle has been living in Amsterdam for three years.

However, his family say he has not been seen since 13 January.

His brother and sister, who have been handing out photos of him in Amsterdam, told the paper they were "worried sick".

They appealed to him to "get in touch and let us know if you're ok".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sound advice from a headteacher after transfer test results day: "Be gentle, people."

There are some inspirational words for pupils who didn't quite get the transfer test result they wanted on Saturday.

Thousands of children in Northern Ireland received the results of their post-primary school entrance exams.

One headteacher decided to share his story and it was picked up by the Belfast Telegraph.

In a Facebook post, Dundonald High School principal Ken Perry said he felt "horrible and worthless" when he failed his 11-plus exam - the 11-plus was replaced with new selection tests in 2008.

"The good news is that it didn't define me as the years went by but it still haunts me," he said.

"This is my request; as you post your children's grades today on Facebook to celebrate how marvellously they've done, always remember that there will be other children, just like me, who haven't done quite so well.

"Be gentle, people."

Image caption The Dark Hedges are estimated to date back to about 1775

Sad news for Game of Thrones fans and tree lovers alike.

All the papers report on news that yet another Dark Hedges tree has fallen in strong winds.

The News Letter front page says the iconic hedges, near Armoy, have taken yet another "battering".

"Dethroned" says the Irish News, with a picture of the fallen tree.

The trees, originally planted by the Stuart family, date back to about 1775.

There's been increased footfall in the area, with vast numbers of tourists coming to see and photograph them, and in 2017 a ban was imposed on cars using the road.

But was it too little, too late for centuries-old trees?