Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories

Newspapers

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

The Belfast Telegraph leads with Health Minister Edwin Poots' warning of thousands of potential job cuts, to fill the £80m "black hole" in the budget.

There is also speculation as to the future of free prescriptions, as well as the types of drugs being prescribed, when cheaper alternatives may be available. The minister stressed that laying off front-line staff would be "a last resort".

The News Letter reports that Mr Poots has been "forthright" about the need for reform of the health service since he took office, but it leads with a court case into a fatal accident on 13 July 2009.

The driver of a car, which went out of control, says he has no recollection of the collision, which killed a bandswoman at Killyleagh and injured a nine-year-old boy.

The Irish News leads with another court case. A man, who previously escaped a prison sentence, after knocking down and killing a 14-year-old girl, has now been sentenced to jail, on a charge of aggravated vehicle-taking, causing injury. His suspended sentence for the earlier fatality may now be reviewed.

Triumphant return

Meanwhile, Bono is in the headlines - in advance of U2's appearance at Glastonbury. The Irish News says it will be " a triumphant return", after his back injury. But it also reports, as do many papers, on the proposed protest at the Somerset festival over the band's tax arrangements.

Many of the papers are covering the conviction of Levi Bellfield for the murder of 13 year-old Milly Dowler.

Pictures of either Bellfield or Milly Dowler appear on many of the front pages. In an editorial, the Daily Express says that the killer's history is "a walking advertisement for the restoration of capital punishment".

The Daily Telegraph and the Sun both highlight the police errors, that the families of women murdered by Bellfield feel were made, during the investigation. The Daily Mail links him with two other murders.

The Guardian says that the Dowler family "paid a high emotional price amid the harsh scrutiny of the courtroom." Both Milly's parents broke down in the dock.

Elsewhere, advice is given on saving the Irish economy.

One that may be popular with some sections of the populace: "Let's go shopping," says Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan. Let those who have, spend, says the Irish Independent. People need to start buying again to help the recovery, he advises.

But inside the paper, there is a report from a 300-year-old horse fair in County Clare.

Bath

The "young, the brave and the bold were there," says the paper, but there was no money for buying horses. And a businessman is set to stimulate sales in his hometown of Boyle, County Roscommon. He is offering a year's free rent on the former Rockingham Arms pub.

There is another magnanimous offer in the Irish Times. A young man has avoided a prison sentence, after his father said his son would deliver a lorry-load of turf to charity, as an act of community service. The judge said the young man had been "one sod of turf away from prison".

And finally, feeling lonely? Well, take a bath....

That is the advice in the Daily Telegraph. The journal Emotion suggests that a long soak in a hot bath could make you feel less lonely. Researchers at Yale asked respondents to keep a note of how they felt, before and after taking a bath. They found that physical warmth can alleviate social chills.

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