Northern Ireland

What the papers say

Newspapers

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

The vigil in west Belfast in memory of Sammy Crawford is widely covered in the Belfast papers.

It appears on the front of the local edition of the Mirror and makes the lead in the Irish News. His son Gerard tells the paper that his 75 year-old father, who confronted a man trying to steal a till in a local shop - "would have faced Goliath".

He describes how he went to the shop after hearing a commotion and tried to calm his father down before he collapsed.

The News Letter leads with the story of the eight-year-old girl who has died after suffering from swine flu. The paper says the health authorities have advised all those who are eligible for the vaccination against the virus to get it as soon as possible.

A room full of people applauding is the main picture for the Belfast Telegraph. At the centre of it is Penny Holloway, who's just been named Northern Ireland's Woman of the Year.

The paper says a wave of emotion swept through the room as she won the title, which is sponsored by the paper. The story quotes her as saying that she would rather not have won it, but she dedicates it to her son Thomas, who was stabbed to death, and to all the other mothers who have been parted from their children in a similar way.

Months of stories in the Dublin papers about the economic crisis culminate in accounts of a violent clash between students and gardai outside the Department of Finance.

The Irish Times shows a line of police officers in riot gear facing those who took to the streets to protest against an increase in university fees.

The Irish Independent has a shot of a young man bleeding from a head injury being led away by friends. Its headline talks of a 6 billion euro bloodbath as the government prepares to reveal the extent of budget cuts.

The paper says the cuts will be the biggest reduction in spending in a single budget since the foundation of the Irish state.

A dispirited Barack Obama appears on several of the front pages after he took what he described as a "shellacking" at the polls. Most commentators feel the need to explain the phrase.

The Times points out that shellac is a substance produced by a beetle and used in certain types of varnish. To be shellacked, it says, means to be coated metaphorically in opprobrium. Whatever he meant, the Guardian thinks it was an "odd turn of phrase" for a President trying to reach out to an angry electorate.

The Daily Telegraph describes him as "the fallen idol". It says the elections have left the US "at a crossroads". Republicans and democrats, it says, must work together or "fight each other to a standstill".

It also thinks the outcome may affect America's role in the world, because the President could be forced to concentrate on domestic politics.

The Independent is one of several papers to report that the villagers of Edenbridge in Kent have just completed an effigy to be burned on Guy Fawkes night.

It stands 49 feet high, and it commemorates not the attempt to blow up Parliament, but a more recent national embarrassment in the World Cup. The effigy is of Wayne Rooney. It gives the headline writers a chance to indulge in word play.

The Daily Telegraph says a match is on the way for the striker. The Daily Star says it's a pity Rooney didn't display a bit of fire during England's Cup campaign.

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