Northern Ireland

What the papers say


Journalist Liz Kennedy takes a look at what is making the headlines in Friday's newspapers.

Two different court cases are making the lead in the Belfast Telegraph and the Irish News.

The Telegraph recounts what it calls the "nightmare existence" of a nine-year old child and the circumstances leading up to the stabbing of his father by his mother in 2009.

The paper reports that more than 1,000 children in Northern Ireland are at risk of neglect.

And the Irish News shows what it calls "the perfect picture of a happy family" taken at their daughter's 18th birthday party.

But within hours Siobhan Hughes' father had been stabbed and her brother shot by a crossbow near their home.

The trial of four men at Belfast Crown Court could continue until Christmas.

Meanwhile DUP MPs may continue to double-job, according to the News Letter.

First Minister Peter Robinson has told the paper that some of the high profile DUP Westminster MPs could stand again for election to Stormont next year.

In advance of the party's conference this weekend, the paper's editorial said that the first minister "came out fighting" on Thursday after "18 difficult months".

And speaking of difficult times, there's not much light in the Republic.

The Irish Times examines how senior bondholders could be compelled to pay some of the cost of rescuing Irish banks, as officials examine ways to spread the cost of the 85bn euro bank bailout.

The paper also reports a silent protest by satirists outside the gates of Leinster House on Thursday. The idea was to have a "non-tribal" protest.

Letter to Cowen

The Irish Independent leads on the proposal that the jobless must train or carry out community work to keep their welfare payments, but it has what it calls a "damning indictment" of Brian Cowen inside the paper.

An eight year-old boy in County Kilkenny has written to the taoiseach, instead of Santa Claus.

"I like school. I like my mammy and daddy. They work very hard. We have a nice house. I am very sad that you have hurt Ireland. You have hurt my mammy, daddy and me," he wrote.

Last week it was Lord Young and his comment about the "so-called recession"; now another top Tory is apologising.

Conservative peer-to-be, Howard Flight has said he's sorry, after suggesting that government welfare cuts would encourage the less well-off to have more children.

The Daily Telegraph charts his "Flight and fall."

The Guardian says that David Cameron was under pressure on Thursday night to evict Mr Flight after his remarks about "breeding."

It quotes the TUC's Brendan Barber. He said Howard Flight has shown himself to be "an insensitive throwback to the worst of 1980s politics."

The Sun editorial says Mr Cameron may blame himself, as he made Flight a peer and Young a government adviser, but that the "couple of clowns" don't represent the modern Tory party.

The Mirror says that the "breeding" slur could be dismissed as the "deranged rantings of another right-wing fossil" but that David Cameron's decision in making Mr Flight a peer is "another monumental misjudgement."

And finally, beware of home DIY, it spells trouble.

A wall was crucial for one DIY enthusiast in Germany, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The 64-year-old in Leipzig sealed off the cellar of his home, to save on heating bills, but he ended up trapped there for two days.

Too proud to knock down his wall, he used a jackhammer to tunnel out into his neighbour's house. Police awaited him, however, because of an ongoing feud.

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