Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


Journalist Keith Baker takes a look at the morning papers.

First, the death of a teenager found lying in the street outside a pub in Derry. The Irish News says police were not told about him for six hours. The paper says it is not clear how he sustained his injuries.

The News Letter leads with the drama at a swimming pool in Castlereagh where a toddler was rescued after being found floating face down in the water.

The paper says staff at the Robinson Centre have been praised for their swift action. One interviewee says they are "a credit to Castlereagh Council".

The main headline in the Belfast Telegraph reads: "The lust and lies that led to murder".

Reporter Deric Henderson has written a book about Colin Howell and Hazel Stewart and the Telegraph is running extracts from it. The paper says he knows the real story of the crimes that shocked a country.

In the Dublin papers, it is another day and another round of campaigning in the presidential race.

Dana features in the The Independent. Last week, there were various allegations involving a member of her family.

She canvassed in Sligo, Mayo, Galway and Donegal at the weekend.

The Irish Times says she was reluctant to engage with reporters, but it says she is determined to see her campaign through to the end.

'Dragon' lead

According to weekend polls, the two front runners would appear to be Michael D Higgins and the independent Sean Gallagher, known to viewers as one of the "Dragons" in the Irish version of Dragons' Den. Mr Higgins tells the paper he would be willing to go one-to-one in a debate.

As for Martin McGuinness, the Mirror has the headline: "Bookies dump Martin after poll blow".

They have now given him odds of 25-1, but a member of his team tells the paper: "The only poll that counts is on election day."

In the London papers, the Liam Fox story is not going away.

The The Independent turns the spotlight on his successor as defence secretary, Philip Hammond.

It says a millionaire hedge fund baron who was a key backer of Mr Fox hosted Mr Hammond at a series of lavish fundraising dinners for the Conservative Party.

It says Mr Hammond, who has been appointed by the prime minister as a safe pair of hands, lists Michael Hintze, a former Goldman Sachs banker, several times in the register of MPs' interests - including £1,700 hospitality at a Carlton Club dinner.

Meanwhile, according to the Times, millions more women than men think the economy is headed in the wrong direction. They have become deeply pessimistic about the future for their children and are suspicious of the coalition.

These views are apparently to be found in Conservative Party internal research which the paper's been told about.

It says this shows the scale of the task facing David Cameron if he wants to win back disaffected female voters.

We know the story about how Vincent Van Gogh committed suicide by shooting himself... or did he?

This story appears in a couple of papers, the Daily Mail and the Times among them. History tells us he shot himself in the chest. But now two American writers are claiming something different.

"Artist's suicide a myth," reads the Mail headline.

The paper asks whether he was, in fact, shot by a French teenager who enjoyed teasing and provoking him?

The Times describes the teenager as someone "with a Wild West obsession and a faulty gun".

The paper's chief arts correspondent says the story may be true but she prefers not to believe it, as it swaps the grand finale of Van Gogh's career for mundane bathos... or as we say in the trade - never let the facts interfere with a good story.

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