Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: The horrific effects of flesh-eating bug

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

The horrific effects of a flesh-eating bug, calls for an Irish language act and the death of a prominent NI chef all appear in Wednesday's papers.

"Mum: I've been left to die" is the stark headline on the front of the Daily Mirror.

It features the disturbing story of County Tyrone mother of five Lena Holdsworth.

The 34-year-old developed necrotising fasciitis after giving birth to her son Harry by C Section in 2016.

She says doctors at Craigavon Area Hospital didn't operate until six days later when her skin turned black and purple.

Following surgery, Lena has been left with no stomach muscles and says her organs are just being held in by her skin.

Having been told in March she would be getting complicated surgery to treat it, Ms Holdsworth said she was left devastated last week when she was told there nothing could be done.

A spokesperson for the Southern Trust said: "Whilst we are unable to publicly discuss any individual case, we take all concerns about the quality of our care very seriously and have been in correspondence with Ms Holdsworth in relation to her circumstances."

The Irish News leads with news that more than 200 people from the worlds of sport, education, trade unions and academia have signed an open letter to the British and Irish governments calling for an Irish language act.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Michael Conlon and Paddy Barnes are among those who signed an open letter calling for an Irish language act

They include singer and songwriter Damien Dempsey, boxers Michael Conlon and Paddy Barnes and Unison regional secretary Patricia McKeown.

Mr Dempsey describes Irish as "an ancient bejewelled language that's far more poetic than any of the European languages".

The paper says the letter shares many signatories with a similar "civic nationalism" letter last year, urging the Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) to "defend the rights of Irish citizens in the north" during the Brexit process.

The Irish News also features a picture of restaurant owner and chef Derek Patterson, who was found dead close to his home in Hillsborough on Tuesday.

Mr Patterson's death is the lead story in the Belfast Telegraph.

The paper says he was the part-owner of the Plough Inn in Hillsborough, established the village's oyster festival in 1992 and "helped build Northern Ireland's reputation for fine food".

It adds that Mr Patterson, who had worked in restaurants in Bermuda and Switzerland, catered for royalty visiting Northern Ireland as well as various secretaries of state.

Colin Neill, of Hospitality Ulster, described Mr Patterson as the "ultimate entrepreneur and someone who was always very much ahead of his time".

He added: "He was always a man on a mission and seemed to thrive on carving out a really good business through hard work."

Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann is on the front page of the News Letter.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Mr Swann has said he is willing to stand aside as Ulster Unionist Party leader if that is what the party wants.

The paper says Mr Swann is willing to stand aside as Ulster Unionist Party leader if that is what the party wants.

It follows the UUP's poor showing in the European election, in which its candidate Danny Kennedy polled just 53,052 first preference votes - 9.2% of the total vote - losing a seat the UUP had held for decades in Northern Ireland.

The News Letter's Sam McBride says one former senior Ulster Unionist told him he had voted for Alliance's Naomi Long because of her pro-EU stance.

"Alluding to unionist warnings that to do so would endanger the union, he added dismissively: 'I didn't feel that I needed to take a bath after it.'"

Wild horses

Meanwhile, wild horses on the loose in Londonderry's Creggan estate are pictured inside the paper.

The horses are believed to have escaped from a nearby field on Monday night.

One Creggan resident said his wife heard a noise outside and asked him to look and see what it was.

"It was some surprise to be fair - couldn't believe it," he said.

"They ran into the street and back out again and straight back up the back roads where I think they came from."

The story is also covered in the Daily Mirror and Belfast Telegraph.

Image copyright ISPCA
Image caption A Burmese python was found in the Wicklow Mountains

Another strange animal discovery features in The Irish News.

It says a farmer discovered a "distressed" Burmese python in the Wicklow Mountains.

The five feet long snake, named Sammi by rescuers, is described as "hanging in there" but it is not known if it will survive.

Finally, the Belfast Telegraph says a 10-year-old County Fermanagh girl who raised £20,000 for charity after her little brother's death in a farm accident was left overjoyed after meeting the stars of a new Disney film at a London premiere.

Image copyright Kevin Winter
Image caption A Fermanagh family praised Will Smith after meeting him at the premiere of Aladdin

Emily Magee, from Maguiresbridge, lost her four-year-old brother Thomas in April 2017.

After the tragedy Emily threw herself into fundraising for the Make-A-Wish foundation as a way of coping with her loss.

Earlier this month she travelled to London for the premiere of Disney's Aladdin, meeting stars Will Smith and Naomi Scott.

Emily's mum Jackie said: "Will Smith came over and chatted to us like we were friends, he was so down to earth and such a kind lovely man."