Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


Journalist Liz Kennedy takes a look at the morning papers.

The deaths of babies in the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital in Belfast dominate many newspapers.

All the local papers lead with the tragic report that what had been two premature babies (now three) have died of the pseudomonas infection.

Health minister Edwin Poots has sent his condolences to the families, according to the News Letter, and the Belfast Telegraph says that "a major investigation" has been launched into the outbreak.

It can cause severe breathing and other problems and the paper says that it is not commonly found in hospitals and may be the first instance of this having happened in a baby unit in Northern Ireland.

But in the Irish News, the associate medical director at the Belfast Trust says the infection is a "well-recognised risk in neonatal units".

The Sun says pseudomonas is resistant to antibiotics.

The bombs in Londonderry on Thursday night are also reported, with all papers noting that there was little time to evacuate people from the city centre before the explosions.

The Leveson Inquiry is still attracting much attention.


"Lies, evasions and cover-ups," is the Guardian's headline as Rupert Murdoch's media empire agrees on aggravated damages for 37 victims of the News of the World's phone hacking.

The judge has called the agreement, "an admission of sorts".

The Daily Telegraph reports on the interception of emails admitted on Thursday. They included those of the son of mass murderer Harold Shipman.

Meanwhile, the coverage of the sinking of the Costa Concordia has taken on a new twist.

The "blonde dancer" said to have perhaps wined, but almost certainly dined with the captain that night is pictured on the front of the Times and the Daily Express.

The Moldavian ballet dancer has denied the restaurant reports, but has said that she went on the bridge, after the ship ran aground.

She was the "beauty on the bridge," according to the Daily Mail.

The Independent asks if Domnica Cemortan was a "fatal distraction" for the captain.

Aroused ire

"Captain Coward's blonde," says the Mirror.

Ministerial comments about economic emigration have aroused some ire in the South.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan is facing what the Irish Independent calls "the wrath of thousands of families blighted by emigration".

That's after he said that young people were leaving Ireland for "lifestyle reasons" rather than economic ones.

And a court case with a difference in County Kerry.

The Irish Times has the story of the district court judge summoned to appear before himself on Thursday for non-display of a car testing disc.

When his case came up, in front of himself, he adjourned it, so that "an independent judge" could be appointed to hear the case.

And the paper's Miriam Lord satirises Thin Lizzy lyrics in a report about the return of the troika.

"Guess who just got back today, them bailout boys that had been away," she writes.

She says that "the troika's back in town, the troika's back in town" and they are pleased with Ireland's progress on economic matters.

The Daily Mirror reports on the generosity of an 11-year-old.

The schoolboy in Bolton sent off his savings to a great-grandmother when he heard she'd been burgled.

Seamus O'Grady from Bolton (could he have Irish roots?) sent off £16.12, from his piggy bank when he heard of the crime.

"If somebody took my things, I'd be sad," he said.

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