Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: Death of baby boy dominates papers

Keady death
Image caption Forensic experts at the scene of the child's death in Keady
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News Letter
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Daily Mirror
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The death of a baby boy in County Armagh is on the front page of all of Northern Ireland's daily papers on Wednesday.

The Belfast Telegraph pictures forensic experts going into the house in Keady where the child was found on Tuesday night.

Poignantly, a child's pram can be seen in one of the pictures.

The paper says it is believed the child's mother was visiting an ill relative at the time of the death.

"Man held over baby death" is the headline on the front of the Daily Mirror.

The paper says that a 31-year-old man is being questioned over the child's death.

Police say a post mortem examination is to be carried out to establish the cause of death.

The story is also on the front of both the Irish News and the News Letter, although they both lead with other stories.

The News Letter says that critics of gay marriage will not have the same freedom of speech protections in Northern Ireland as in Great Britain.

It says that Christian activists want safeguards that were carefully crafted into GB legislation to be carried across to Northern Ireland.

These ensure that teachers, civil servants, charities, clerics and anyone else who might feel compelled to support same sex marriage, or who may wish respectfully to disagree with it, will not be penalised for doing so.

But the government has offered no reassurance that protections will apply here when the law changes in January.

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Image caption The News Letter says that critics of gay marriage will not have the same freedom of speech protections in Northern Ireland as in Great Britain

The Irish News says that prayers are being said for a man left critically ill after a suspected assault in County Tyrone.

Joe Hurl, who is in his mid-20s and from Ballinderry, was found with a head injury on Chapel Street in Cookstown on Sunday.

The paper says that Mr Hurl is a former youth player for Ballinderry Shamrocks Gaelic football team.

In 2009, Ballinderry player Conor McCusker died from a head injury after being pushed to the ground outside a nightclub in Cookstown.

Stabbing sentence increased

The Irish News also reports that a County Armagh man convicted of killing a taxi driver in County Louth has had his prison sentence increased by two years.

Joseph Hillen, 25, of Glendasha Road, Forkhill, stabbed 53-year-old Martin Mulligan in a rural area near Dundalk in September 2015.

He was originally jailed for six years for manslaughter at a Dublin court, but will now serve eight after that sentence was deemed too lenient.

In the News Letter, former RUC special branch officer William Matchett says that healthy scepticism is "spectacularly missing" in regards to the legacy of Northern Ireland's Troubles.

The headline in his opinion piece is: "Collusion - probably the best fake news story in the world."

He says the "collusion narrative" is "based on selective partial accounts and opinion, rather than evidence of a prosecutorial standard".

'Sad-looking Christmas tree'

Finally, the Belfast Telegraph asks: "Is this the most pathetic Christmas tree in NI?"

The "sad-looking specimen" in question is in a street in Fintona, County Tyrone.

The Telegraph says that when pictures of the tree, provided by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, appeared on social media they were met with derision.

One woman called it an "embarrassing, pathetic attempt at a community Christmas tree", while a another said it "looks like something pulled out of the edge of Fivemiletown mountain".

The council said that while it is responsible for erecting Christmas trees in a number of towns and villages "the local community is responsible for its decoration".