Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


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

There is only one story in town, as the phone-hacking scandal involving the News of the World grows.

Relatives of the "war-dead" are the latest victims, according to the Daily Telegraph.

It reports that personal details of the families of servicemen, killed on the front line, have been found in files belonging to the private detective Glenn Mulcaire.

The Daily Mail says that more high profile victims of the News of the World scandal may emerge and that Scotland Yard has also advised all survivors of the London July 7 bombing to change their voicemail security settings.

Alongside the morality of what has been ongoing, of course there is the money. "Sky falls in on Murdoch" is the banner headline in the Daily Mirror.

The Independent speculates that the latest hacking claims put the BSkyB takeover "in jeopardy".


It also assesses that their share price fall has wiped £600m off the Murdoch family fortune. The Guardian points out that Rupert Murdoch still owns almost 40% of the national press.

The father of one of the London bombing victims, Sean Cassidy, is also in the headlines.

The Irish Independent focuses on the ordeal that Mr Cassidy has gone through and also says that journalist Greg Harkin has been told that police are assessing whether his voice mail has been hacked.

The paper says that this may have occurred when an English journalist was editor of the Irish edition of the News of the World. The case was outlined by the BBC's Panorama programme last March.

In an analysis of the News of the World hacking - by a journalism lecturer - the Irish Times says that other press sources have used words like "contempt" and "shameful" over the whole scandal in " a rare example of dog eating dog."

In fact on Thursday, the condemnation was much more swingeing, using terms like "immoral" and sordid".

The local papers focus on other matters.

The Belfast Telegraph has a report from its political editor Liam Clarke, saying that perjury charges may be brought against soldiers, alleged to have lied to the Saville Inquiry about Bloody Sunday.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is said to have been informed of this by legal sources in London.

Meanwhile, "Walking away with £50m" is the headline in the Irish News, as it speculates that prison officers locally are working beyond pension age, in order to be entitled to apply for what the paper calls "Patten-style" redundancy packages. One third of officers may be entitled to payments.

City bees

The News Letter is leading on a dispute over hymns played at a church parade in May. An east Belfast minister has said it is " a waste of police time" for him to attend an interview over two hymns played rather than Abide with Me, the sole selection ruled to be suitable - for one Newtownards Road section of the Orange Widows' parade - by the Parades Commission.

And finally, there is a big buzz in the north-west, leading up to the Derry- Londonderry City of Culture status next year.

Former residents are being encouraged to return to the city centre. Derry City Council is looking into setting up publicly-owned beehives, according to the Belfast Telegraph. That includes on city-centre rooftops. There was a previous thriving colony of bees in the Maiden City and now they are hoping for more.

A small hive of 20-30,000 bees produces up to 30lbs of honey in ideal conditions. Sweet.

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