Northern Ireland

What the papers say


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

The Irish News claims that a drug gang made up of LVF members was behind the killing of Hugh and Jacqueline McGeough in Craigavon.

It says the same gang was responsible for the murder of the Sunday World journalist Martin O'Hagan 10 years ago.

The paper comments that "gun law must not be tolerated" and points to Dublin and other cities in the Republic, where drug feuds "have given rise to shocking bloodshed". Its views are echoed in the Mirror.

The Belfast Telegraph claims that Hazel Stewart, who was convicted last week of two murders, is "a wreck of a woman" in prison.

The paper says she joined fellow inmates at Hydebank for the first time as she watched a play in the prison chapel.

William and Kate

But the most widely-covered local story is the visit of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

"Majestic" says the main headline in the News Letter, which comments that this is turning out to be "a good year for royal watchers".

Kate's efforts at tossing a pancake in the grounds of Belfast City Hall are pictured on the front page of the Mirror, the Sun, the Irish Independent, the Daily Express and the Guardian.

The Irish Times reports that Enda Kenny will be elected taoiseach by the biggest majority in the history of the Irish state when the Dail meets later.

The paper says the house will adjourn while Mr Kenny goes to collect the seal of office from President Mary McAleese, and as soon as he returns he will announce his cabinet line-up.

The Irish Independent matches names to cabinet positions, and says Fine Gael's "big hitters" who carried the party to election victory will be rewarded with their choice of ministries.

It says the veteran TD Michael Noonan will be appointed finance minister, while the Labour leader, Eamon Gilmore, will look after foreign affairs in addition to his duties as Enda Kenny's deputy.

The paper devotes seven pages to setting the scene for what it calls "a new era".

Police pay

Police pay is a major talking point in London.

The Daily Telegraph says tens of thousands of officers could take to the streets in protest during the run-up to the Royal wedding.

It quotes the Police Federation as saying that "nothing has been ruled out" after the government announced the findings of a review that could see pay reductions for four out of 10 officers.

The Sun says it has every sympathy for those affected, but comments that "Labour left Britain on the brink of ruin" and "cuts are being made everywhere".

The Daily Mirror argues that it proves once again that "David Cameron knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing" when it comes to public services.

But the Times says the government has little choice and "needs to be resilient" on this issue.

It's also the subject of Matt's cartoon in the Daily Telegraph.

His drawing shows a police officer trying to make up lost earnings. He's saying to a car owner: This concerns your motor vehicle, sir. Would you like it washed?

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