Northern Ireland

What the papers say


Journalist Fionola Meredith takes a look at what is making the headlines in Tuesday's newspapers.

The local papers all lead with the shootings in Craigavon.

Both the Belfast Telegraph and the News Letter say that police investigating the double killing of the man and the woman are playing down fears of a dissident republican link.

While a motive for the shootings hasn't been confirmed, several papers speculate that police are investigating a possible drugs connection.

Several papers report on the 100th anniversary of international women's day.

The Telegraph reports on an unusual initiative to mark the centenary.

For one week only, five major roads in Belfast will be named after important female figures in the city's history.

So, for instance, Royal Avenue will become Mary Anne McCracken Avenue, named after the sister of United Irishman Henry Joy.

She was a social reformer, and set up a school and nursery to educate the city's orphans. The idea is to celebrate women whose contribution to Belfast's political and cultural life has been overlooked.

The Irish News devotes its editorial to the centenary.

While stressing that much progress has been made, it admits that full equality has yet to be achieved, with women under-represented in politics and at the senior levels of many organisations.

In her column, Fionnuala O'Connor laments the lack of decent and affordable childcare.

And the Irish Times, in its editorial, agrees that inequality and prejudice are still around.

It welcomes the commitment, in the Republic's new programme for government, to removing the antiquated constitutional reference to a woman's place being in the home.

But as the paper acknowledges, there was no change in women's representation in the election - just as before, only 23 women TDs have been returned.

Palm trees

Inside the Irish News, is a very different story. The paper reports on the plight of the palm trees of north Belfast.

The severe weather at the end of last year has left them looking all brown and shabby.

Apparently two bad winters in a row have really taken their toll on these exotic looking trees, which couldn't cope with the persistent sub-zero temperatures.

The English papers have questions over the Duke of York's role as a UK trade envoy continue.

The Times says Prince Andrew faced new controversy on Monday night as it emerged that a former Soviet republic believed that he would help it to recruit British investors.

Kazakhstan hoped the Duke would persuade city investors that the country was a good place to do business.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that the Duchess of York admitted she made a "gigantic error of judgement" in allowing a convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, to help pay her debts.

Although attempting to defend her former husband, she inadvertently dragged him further into the controversy by saying "the Duke sorted out my debts".


It's Shrove Tuesday, but the Daily Telegraph complains that pancakes aren't what they used to be.

It says that Shrove Tuesday should be the first time a child experiences the magic of breaking an egg, mixing it with milk and flour and creating food.

But the paper is saddened to report that more and more people are turning to ready-made mixtures or - even worse - factory-made pancakes.

As Ria Jackson, of the Slow Food Movement, points out, nothing could be simpler than rustling up a jug of home-made pancake batter - no need for packet mixes and microwaved versions. And then you have the fun of tossing them too.

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