Northern Ireland

NI paper review: A necessary haircut and bonfire preparation

A man driving a telehandler removes tyres from the bonfire on London Road in Belfast Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Materials being removed from the Lismore Street site in 2019

With Monday bringing some of the harshest weather of the winter so far, a mix of stories make the front of the local papers.

Amid the cold, the Irish News leads with a story looking forward to the summer - and more specifically the Twelfth of July.

It reports materials are being gathered at a site in south Belfast in anticipation of the Eleventh Night bonfire.

A picture on the front of the paper shows pallets being gathered in Lismore Street.

Last year, the site - which sits on the corner with London Road near the Ravenhill area - drew controversy after council contractors removed materials.

Belfast City Council told the paper it did not own the site, but it was aware materials were being gathered.

Back in the game

Inside, the paper reports the good news of a sporting victory by a Catholic policeman who lost a leg in a dissident car bomb attack.

Peadar Heffron was formerly the captain of the PSNI's GAA football team, and has now captained the winning team in the first Ulster GAA wheelchair tournament.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Peadar Heffron was captain of the PSNI's Gaelic football team

Meanwhile, more than 35,000 MoT tests have been cancelled in a month, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

The crisis has been caused by cracks in lifts at MoT centres.

Since last November, faults have been detected in 48 of the 55 lifts used to examine the underside of vehicles.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has ordered two reviews into the crisis.

The discovery of a man's body in a drain near the Donegal and Fermanagh border makes the front of the Daily Mirror.

It quotes a source as saying a "popular and pleasant" 37-year-old man was found by a member of the public.

The paper is reporting that his remains had been in the drain for some time.

'Absolutely devastated'

Inside, the Belfast Telegraph has an interview with Hayley Doak, who runs the Tyrone Husky Rescue Centre in Dungannon, which, she says, has been targeted by two suspected poisoning attacks in recent weeks.

The incident resulted in one of her dogs dying, and another one falling seriously ill.

"To harm and kill an animal is horrific but to poison them is a slow and painful death," she said. "I'm absolutely devastated."

The police have appealed for information.

A drastic haircut

While the exploits of heavyweight Tyson Fury may have dominated the back pages over the weekend, closer to home Belfast MMA fighter Leah McCourt was also in action.

The featherweight had to go to extreme measures to make the 10st 6lb (66 kg) limit for her fight in Dublin, going so far as to cut her hair to lose weight.

Image copyright Instagram
Image caption Leah McCourt is a black belt in judo

The News Letter follows up on a story from the Sunday Times, which carried reports at the weekend that Boris Johnson is working on ways to avoid border checks in Northern Ireland.

The paper reported that there were plans to try to find loopholes to get around protocol which will require checks on trade.

The DUP's Sir Jeffrey Donaldson tells the News Letter the prime minister should "never have conceded" to checks and he welcomed any measures to avoid this.