Northern Ireland

What the papers say


Journalist Keith Baker takes a look at what is making the headlines in Thursday's newspapers.

The big Eurozone deal obviously came too late for the papers so we will have to wait until Friday to get the full reaction.

So you find headlines this morning like - "EU leaders dither over rescue plan" in the the Daily Telegraph. While the Irish Independent has the line - "New Irish deal hopes as Greeks eye 100 billion euro debt cut".

And in the midst of the discussions, there were fisticuffs in the Italian parliament, pictured on several front pages.

The Guardian headline - "Leaders hold their nerve (mostly)".

Enda Kenny is pictured on the front page of the Irish Times, looking thoughtful as he arrived in Brussels on Wednesday evening.

Both the Irish Times and the Irish Independent described the presidential campaign as a turbulent one.

The Independent keeps the turbulence going this morning with an editorial telling people which way they shouldn't vote.

Meanwhile, the Irish Times is more concerned about how many people will bother to do so.

It reckons barely half the electorate will make an appearance at the polls, since two of the last three presidential elections saw a turnout of less than 48 per cent.

In the Irish News more on the story it broke yesterday, about alleged abuse at the former Lissure psychiatric hospital outside Lisburn in the 1980s and 1990s.

The story focuses on who knew what and when and what was done with the information. The paper's editorial says officialdom has failed the victims.

It points out that part of the horrific story was revealed by two independent reports in 2009 but it notes that the health minister didn't know about this until he read the Irish News yesterday. The paper says the levels of secrecy are alarming.

"Bullyboy tactics"

Elsewhere, the main headline in the Belfast Telegraph - "Steady, Sammy". This is a row over the Finance Minister's proposed tax on retail giants. Tesco in particular are in the spotlight.

It has warned that such a tax would put future investment in jeopardy but Mr Wilson says Tesco is bluffing and using bullyboy tactics..

According to the Belfast Telegraph, business chiefs are not happy with this war of words. And economist John Simpson says Tesco's argument that a levy would affect profitability is neither bluffing nor bullying.

The paper tells Mr Wilson he needs to be sure before getting embroiled in any more arguments with the company.

The man story in the News Letter - the views of the chairman of the Police Federation on how to deal with rioters. Terry Spence says that the families of teenagers involved in riots should have their benefits cut. It would be a wake-up call, he says.

In the Irish Times, more reaction to this week's flooding. It says Dublin City Council is partly blaming the way people over the years have built extensions in their back gardens and paved over their front lawns.

The council says that with the elimination of green space the water had nowhere to go.

Finally, back to the Presidential election and Mary McAleese is packing up her things.

She's gathered quite a collection of mementos during her two terms and the Irish Independent says she's giving them to the State.

Two items will remain at the residence - a sculpture of a dove from Barack Obama and a silver jug from the Queen. Other items will go into storage until the Taoiseach decides where they should go.

They include a candelabra from the President of Israel, a perfume globe from the King of Bahrain and, for some reason, a facsimile of the Book of Kells.

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