Northern Ireland

NI Paper Review: Farewell to the world's oldest mule

Daily Mirror Image copyright Daily Mirror
News Letter Image copyright News Letter

News that Theresa May has promised to step down as prime minister makes most of the front pages on Thursday.

The News Letter writes that the "beleaguered" prime minister has "played possibly one of her last cards", having vowed to step down if MPs back her Brexit deal.

Her pledge brought some on-side, such as ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

But challenges remain since the DUP, who she relies on for support, said it will not back the deal.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that Mrs May's agreement has been dealt a "fatal blow" after the DUP said it could not back "something that threatens the union".

None of eight alternative Brexit proposals brought by MPs secured backing in a series of Commons votes.

The options - which included a customs union with the EU and a referendum on any Brexit deal - were supposed to help find a consensus over how best to leave the EU.

Meanwhile, the News Letter also reports that Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar has pledged that there will be no different time zones in Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Theresa May has promised Tory MPs she will step down if they back her deal

Mr Varadkar was answering a question about the decision of the European Parliament to end daylight savings time from April 2021.

The Irish News leads with a story about the death of Nuala Lunney (27), a niece of murdered west Belfast greengrocer Harry Holland.

She was found dead at her home in the Glen Road area.

'Pension blunder'

The Daily Mirror has the story about ambulance workers who were given a backdated salary increase and now face paying much of it back due to a "pensions blunder".

Staff were awarded earlier this year following months of wrangling between unions and health chiefs.

Image caption Crews have been told they have unpaid pension contributions

The newspaper reports that in a letter sent to some Northern Ireland ambulance staff, an employee was told that they have unpaid pension contributions because their rate was calculated incorrectly.

Crews have been told they owe sums ranging from £200 to £900, the Daily Mirror reports.

The Mirror also reports that, according to a survey, more than a quarter of students have experienced "unwanted sexual behaviour", with 5% claiming they have been raped.

NUS-USI president Olivia Potter told the newspaper that the findings were "absolutely appalling".

RIP Tootsie

Tootsie, the world's oldest mule, has died in County Cork, reports the Belfast Telegraph.

The 56-year-old donkey passed away at the Donkey Sanctuary at Hannigan's Farm in Mallow after liver failure.

But in happier animal news, The Irish News runs a full page spread on the Belfast Zoo's 85th birthday.

The zoo will celebrate the milestone this weekend and will host a treasure hunt to celebrate.