Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


Journalist Fionola Meredith takes a look at what is making the headlines in Tuesday's newspapers.

The Belfast Telegraph leads with the bomb left near the courthouse in Londonderry.

Under the headline "Massacre bid," the paper tries to bring home what could have happened.

It carries one picture of young singers whose rehearsals in St Columb's Cathedral were disrupted by the bomb, and another of the situation outside on the street, after police had carried out a controlled explosion.

As the young people, who come from both sides of the community, raised their voices in song, says the paper, faceless terrorists wanted to bomb them into oblivion.

In fact, one of the choristers had unknowingly walked past the car containing the bomb.

In an editorial, the Irish News says there is nothing heroic or noble about driving elderly people from their homes or causing choir-boys to flee.

After Omagh, it says, it almost defies belief that dissidents are still prepared to expose people to this sort of jeopardy.

The paper leads with the Ministry of Defence apology to the family of Majella O'Hare.


Majella's mother Mary tells the Irish News that the apology was "something at the end of all these years but nothing brings her back".

The Belfast Telegraph's editorial says that the O'Hare family have had to wait an "unpardonable" length of time for this apology.

It defies logic, or even decency, that it should have taken the military establishment so long, says the paper.

The Irish News calls for a legacy commission to consider all the killings which were carried out by republicans, loyalists and the forces of the state.

It adds that it would be a major step forward if politicians could manage some form of agreement on what it calls "this most basic of issues".

Elsewhere, the News Letter is concerned with the end of 50-50 policing recruitment and the further outworkings of the Presbyterian Mutual Society saga.

The paper notes that Protestants previously rejected by the PSNI on the grounds of religion will see their hopes tempered by news of a recruitment freeze.

Libya continues to dominate the cross-channel papers.

Much of the focus is on Sirte, Colonel Gaddafi's home town, where loyalist troops have been heading to repel the rebel advance to the west.

Prolonged conflict

The Guardian says the battle for Sirte could be the decisive encounter of six weeks of conflict and its loss would be a fatal political as well as military blow to the regime.

Meanwhile, a poll in the Independent has found that seven out of ten people fear that Britain could be pulled into a prolonged conflict in Libya, as in Iraq.

It says the fears chime with the private views of many MPs who want an "early exit strategy".

The Daily Telegraph claims to have a recipe for happiness.

Stories about the secret to happiness appear in the papers on an almost daily basis.

This one is slightly different in that the findings come not from academics or researchers, but from ordinary people.

The Office for National Statistics has been asking people what makes them feel good.

Number one on the list is living near a park.

Other things that make people happy include having access to cultural services, like libraries, and having time to enjoy yourself and relax.

But sometimes it's the small things that make the difference - many people said that the smell of fresh coffee perked them right up.

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