Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


Journalist Liz Kennedy takes a look at what is making the headlines in Friday's newspapers.

Ann Travers, the sister of a teacher killed by the IRA, features in many of today's papers.

The Belfast Telegraph calls Ms Travers "the woman who haunts Sinn Fein". Ann Travers says she's speaking up for her sister Mary and late father Tom, "who cannot speak up for themselves".

The interview follows the appointment of Mary McArdle, as special adviser to the Culture Minister.

Ms McArdle was previously convicted and sentenced to life for the murder of magistrate's daughter Mary Travers.

The News Letter asks why the special adviser is "still behind her desk?"

The paper says Ms McArdle provoked "outrage" yesterday, after she gave an interview saying that the fatal shooting had been "a tragic mistake".

And the Daily Mirror quotes Ann Travers saying "Mistake? They tried to kill my family".

In the Belfast Telegraph, Ms Travers says that she "will not be silenced" until her sister's killer resigns.

And the Irish News reports that special advisers can "look forward to walking away with lucrative pensions," despite being political appointments, because they are regarded as civil servants.

Elsewhere, it's euro money matters that are of concern.

The Irish Times looks forward to a deal between what it dubs "Greece and the EU-IMF troika" to be unveiled today.

Greek Premier George Papandreou is thought to have agreed to implement dozens of contentious reforms, in return for a 12bn euro loan for the country.

Elsewhere, it's the continuing saga of Wikileaks.

In the Belfast Telegraph, they say that the Northern Bank raid "shattered Dublin's belief in Sinn Fein", whilst in the Irish Independent, there's a focus on Shannon airport.

The paper claims that successive Fianna Fail-led governments failed to properly investigate allegations that the airport was being used by the CIA "to illegally transport terror suspects".

It says the Irish government repeatedly took "on faith" US assertions that the airport was not being used for extraordinary rendition flights.

Leaked cables quote US senator John McCain saying that it was "very important" that the US "would not ever be caught in a lie to a close friend and ally".

The disclosures come a week after US President Barack Obama was assured by Enda Kenny that the Irish government would continue to favour the use of Shannon by the American government.

It's the links between Britain and the United States that are examined elsewhere.

The Guardian says that the US and the UK are pushing for UN sanctions against 18 former Taliban leaders to be lifted. And it's the strongest sign yet, says the paper, that "Western powers are looking for a negotiated peace with the Taliban".

The paper also reports on a "cyber-warfare operation" by British intelligence, that involved hacking into an al-Qaeda online magazine. It replaced bomb-making instructions with a "recipe for cupcakes".

And this story is taken up by the Daily Telegraph too. The cyber-attack was thought to have been launched in Britain and included the "Mojito cupcake, a rum cake, draped in vanilla buttercream" to destroy the bomb-making instructions.

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