Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


Journalist Keith Baker takes a look at the morning papers.

The Irish News features a medical story - it says dozens of people in Northern Ireland who had hips replaced now faced gruelling operations to have them removed and replaced again.

This follows the world-wide recall of a hip implant and concerns about blood poisoning.

According to the Irish News, 54 patients with the Belfast Trust have been involved. It is also understood that the trust stopped using this particular hip implant three years ago.

Meanwhile, the Irish News and the News Letter both feature the same sporting celebrity on their front pages - AP McCoy signing copies of his autobiography in Belfast at the weekend.

In fact, in both pictures he is signing a copy for two-year-old Oliver Robinson from Armagh.


Obviously a busy day in one shop but maybe not in some others, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

The main headline there - "Retailers fearing worst Christmas".

The paper writes of a drastic drop in consumer spending power with a survey showing that independent shops in Northern Ireland may be some of the hardest hit.

The Telegraph says our ministers at Stormont should examine policies to see if further assistance or stimulus can be given to this important business sector.

The News Letter meanwhile is fascinated by a new book about the Orange Order.

It says the hearts and minds of the Order have been laid bare and there are views on subjects ranging from contentious parades to abortion.

The News Letter highlights the fact that 58% surveyed feel they have the right to march anywhere in Northern Ireland, a figure which the book's authors describe as not overwhelming.

The Republic's looming budget features in the Dublin papers.

The Irish Independent says everything is up for grabs. Even a dole cut of eight euros a week is being considered.

The Irish Times says the Dublin cabinet will discuss a range of possible measures over the next fortnight, including ways to achieve a greater financial return from so-called tax exiles and a cut of at least 10 euros in child benefit.

In the Mirror a big feature on the Chief Constable, Matt Baggott. "He is a man with a mission", it says.

It says he would like to introduce trained armed civilians into the PSNI.


These would be civilian guards and close protection specialists. Under this plan he would save £5m a year and free up hundreds of officers to tackle the dissidents.

The Mirror points out that he has already put the plan to the Policing Board and it has been turned down.

The paper says he is determined to see it through by convincing not only the board but the public that this is the way forward.

Finally, the Irish Independent tells us that the heroes of the 1916 Rising have been turfed out of one of the Republic's most prestigious golf clubs.

The club in question is the Druids Glen golf resort in Wicklow where pencil drawings of historic nationalist figures by the renowned artist Robert Ballagh have graced the stairs of the clubhouse since it opened in 1995.

But not any more. According to the Independent, they no longer suit the ambience and will be sold at auction.

All this has happened because the club's original owner died last year and the new management reckon the pictures do not quite gel with the modern image.

Ironically, the new chief executive is a Mr Collins.

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