Northern Ireland

What the papers say


Journalist Mike Philpott takes a look at what is making the headlines in Wednesday's newspapers.

Several different issues dominate the headlines locally.

The Irish News reports on what it calls "horrific allegations of abuse" against six nurses who worked at the former Lissue Hospital in Lisburn and Forster Green in Belfast.

The story - written by the paper's health correspondent Seanin Graham - runs across seven pages, and highlights claims of violence, bullying and sex attacks dating back to the 1980s.

"Flood of tears", says the main headline in the Belfast Telegraph as it reports how the Environment Minister Alex Attwood, was confronted by angry residents in Tyrone after the village of Beragh was flooded for the fourth time in recent years.

The News Letter's biggest headline goes to the angry exchanges at the assembly over the future of the Maze Prison site.

The Guardian reports that it has received a statement from the Real IRA, in which it threatens further attacks on economic targets.

The paper says the wording seems designed to tap into public anger against financial institutions.

European financial matters loom large on the front pages in London.

Most papers lead with the European summit, with the Independent calling it the last throw of the dice for the eurozone and the wider global economy.

The Mail is horrified that the UK will be asked to provide billions of pounds in another bailout to prop up the single currency.

The Daily Telegraph leads instead with a leaked Downing Street report that recommends allowing employers to sack unproductive staff without fear of action over unfair dismissal.

There is also a great deal of discussion over the anti-capitalist protest camp at St Paul's Cathedral.

Several papers, the Times among them, carry thermal imaging pictures showing only one tent occupied at night.

The Times also reports that staff and clergy at the cathedral are split over the protest, with one senior cleric threatening to resign if the protesters are evicted.

The Mirror has a remarkable story about one of the passengers on the Titanic.

Jeremiah Burke, 19, was one of those lost with the ship.

The paper reports, he scribbled a final note reading: "From Titanic, goodbye all, Burke of Glanmire, Cork", and tossed it overboard in a bottle.

Amazingly the bottle crossed the Atlantic and was washed up just a mile from the family home a year later. It has now been donated to the Cobh Heritage Centre in Cork by one of his descendants, who is a town councillor, in time for the centenary of the tragedy.

Finally, the waitress of the year award goes to... a woman mentioned in the letters page of the Times.

A man writes that his parents and two friends went out for dinner one night.

Two of them were not so hungry, so insisted on children's portions.

When the meals were served, the waitress said to the couple who had ordered the standard portions: "Be careful, the plates are very hot". To the pair who had asked for children's helpings, she said: "Watch out, your plates are burny burny".

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