Northern Ireland

What the papers say


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

Silvio Berlusconi's departure is reflected widely in the papers, as is the arrival of his successor, Mario Monti - better known as Super Mario - a nickname we'll get fed up with fairly quickly.

Bye-lusconi, the Sun says, but the Guardian wonders if he's gone for good.

The Financial Times notes that his party remains the largest and it quotes him as saying that he's ready to pull the plug on the new administration.

The Mirror says the fact that he still believes he can make a comeback is evidence of his appalling vanity.

The trouble at a GAA match in Tyrone features on the front page of the Irish News.

There is a picture of the fighting in the stand.

"Ugly scenes," the paper says, and it notes how some adults tried to shield their children from what was happening.

The Irish News says the violence was disgraceful.

There's a quote from one eye-witness: "I've never seen the like of it. There was blood running out of men left, right and centre."

The main headline in the Belfast Telegraph is: "Private jet for child killer Black."

It reports that Robert Black, who was convicted last month of the murder of Jennifer Cardy, travelled in style to his murder trial here. He had been in jail in England.

The News Letter remembers the late Rev Robert Bradford, the Unionist MP, who was shot dead by the IRA 30 years ago.

It talks this morning to his widow Norah. She says her strong Christian faith has been the key to coping with her husband's murder.

She said: "There's been such a moving-on in Ulster.

"If you live in the past," she says, "you get stuck there."

There is lots of coverage of the announcement by Rev Ian Paisley that he is going to step down as a senior minister in the Free Presbyterian Church.

"Paisley surrenders," is the headline in the Mirror.

The paper's comment column says: "Who would have thought that this old war horse would ever give in to retirement, especially from his beloved role in church ministry."

The Irish Times reports on the Fine Gael-Labour Coalition.

It says that since coming to office, they have installed large numbers of people with party links onto State boards, despite promises to end the system of political patronage.

The paper says those appointed include at least 20 past or present party members, strategists or donors and in no case was the link identified at the time.

It says five out of six judges nominated by the government have links to one party or the other.

The Irish Independent looks at how much RTE's top presenters are paid.

Figures for 2009 were revealed at the weekend.

Ten presenters earned a collective four million euros.

The Independent talks to Pat Kenny, the top earner on 729,000 euros

He points out that this is not as much as he used to get.

"I've done my bit," he says. "I'm working a lot harder for a lot less."

Somebody not doing his bit is Larry, the Downing Street cat.

As the Daily Telegraph explains, Larry was brought to Number 10 where they're having a problem with mice.

But he's not having much effect, in spite of being recommended for his strong predatory drive.

The paper says that at a Cabinet dinner last week, a mouse was seen scurrying across the floor and the prime minister threw a fork at it.

"Where's Larry when you need him?" said Iain Duncan Smith.

The answer to that apparently, is that he spends most of his time sleeping or conducting a relationship with a new female companion.

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