Northern Ireland

Paper review: For cod's sake, hitting a backstop brick wall

Daily Mirror front page Image copyright Daily Mirror

"For Cod's sake," headlines the Daily Mirror.

The paper's referring to DUP MP Sammy Wilson's "Go to the chippy," quip in the Commons.

The MP for East Antrim shouted out the phrase during a speech from the SNP's Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, about potential post-Brexit food shortages.

The remark caused a stir, with Green Party MP Caroline Lucas saying the party should be "ashamed".

The DUP's Gavin Robinson said he wouldn't "give it any credence" and in any case it should not be taken "too seriously".

However, someone who was taking it seriously was Alliance leader Naomi Long who took to Twitter to urge voters to "think hard before trusting them (the DUP) with your vote again".

Image copyright John-Kelly/Getty

The ubiquitous backstop again features on the front pages.

On Tuesday, MPs voted 317 to 301 in favour of replacing the backstop - the insurance policy designed to avoid a hard border in Ireland in the event of no deal.

The Belfast Telegraph alliterates: "Back to Brussels on the backstop," while the News Letter keeps it to the point: "Ditch the backstop".

The Irish News focuses on the European Commission president who seems to have put the kibosh on any alternative.

Donald Tusk said: "The backstop is part of the Withdrawal Agreement and it is not open for negotiation".

Image copyright Getty/CharlieAJA

The Belfast Telegraph has an interview with the mother of murder victim Colin Horner whose killers were sentenced on Tuesday.

Mr Horner, 35, was shot dead by a lone gunman in front of his three-year-old son outside a supermarket in Bangor, County Down, in May 2017.

"They killed Colin because he wanted out of paramilitaries" - says his grieving mother.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Lesley Horner, speaking outside court, after her son's killers were sentenced

Leslie Horner, 55, tells the paper that her son was first recruited by paramilitaries as a teenager, a "decision which dogged him the rest of his life".

"The 'big boys' who picked up the phone and ordered my son's murder, who are they?

"Who do they think they are?" she asks.

'Change lives for the better'

Some potential life-changing news in The News Letter.

A new cancer drug which, according to an MLA, could "change lives for the better" has been introduced to Northern Ireland.

Jim Allister, who had campaigned for the extension of the cancer drugs fund to Northern Ireland, said Niraparib could change lives for the better.

Used to treat ovarian cancer, one of the most common types of cancer in women, Niraparib is being made available through the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund.

While the fund exists only in England, changes to the way individual funding requests for new medicines are handled by the Department of Health here mean drugs such as Niraparib can now be made available to patients in Northern Ireland.

Call to save a castle

The Irish News reports on calls for a 17th Century Irish manor which has fallen into disrepair to be saved.

Castle Saunderson on the County Fermanagh/Cavan border has been included in the An Taisce (The National Trust for Ireland) top ten list of at-risk buildings.

The Saunderson Castle estate has entrances in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

According to the paper, the estate was the home of leading anti-Home ruler Col Edward Saunderson but has since been through many hands and is now in trouble.

Ian Lumley, from An Taisce, emphasised how important such houses were in terms of history and said important heritage could be lost if the building was not restored.