Northern Ireland

What the papers say


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

The News Letter reports the Orange Order's claim that the "the Twelfth is now bigger than ever".

In its morning view column, the paper says that Orange men and women should - as it puts it - "be conscious at all times of the high ideals of their organisation".

It adds that those who do find themselves confronted by protest on Tuesday, or placed under restriction, must not react in a counter-productive way.

The Belfast Telegraph puts it more strongly. It says that if the Twelfth is to be regarded as a cultural festival, then it must continue to distance itself from the latent sense of violence which is never far below the surface.

Elsewhere, the Irish News takes issue with the police apology for the way loyalist flags were removed in Ballyclare, including some outside a Catholic church.

It says that it isn't clear why Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay apologised, given the completely inexcusable violence that followed the removal of the flags.

The paper points out that while his words may have taken the heat out of the situation in the short term, there is a danger of sending out the wrong message.

'Data assault'

Phone hacking continues to dominate the London papers' front pages. Big question in the Daily Mirror, and almost everywhere else this morning - how did the Sun know that Gordon Brown's son was sick?

The Guardian, which has taken a lead on this story throughout, claims that journalists from across News International repeatedly targeted the former prime minister, whose little boy has cystic fibrosis.

The paper highlights what it calls "the sheer scale of the data assault" on Mr Brown over a period of more than ten years. It says there's evidence of repeated attempts to obtain his legal, financial, tax and medical records - and according to the paper, many of the cases can be linked to News International.

The Daily Telegraph says it's alleged that someone working for the Sunday Times posed as Mr Brown on six occasions to gain details from his bank account.

Taking stock of the situation, Steve Richards in the Independent says that the BSkyB deal will not go ahead. He says that until recently David Cameron was not going to lead a government in which Rupert Murdoch's will was foiled. Now he cannot lead one in which Murdoch triumphs.

The Sun leads with the Beckhams newly extended family. Victoria Beckham, who recently gave birth to a girl, to be called Harper Seven, has reportedly said that four children is her limit.

Inevitably, there's plenty of discussion about the little girl's name. The Sun says that, given she was born at 7.55 in the morning, Fiveta Eight might have been more suitable.

And finally, the Guardian reports on the pub that serves up dogs' dinners.

There can be more dogs than people in Paula Leason's pub in the Yorkshire Dales. It's prime dog-walking country, and Paula felt a bit sorry for the bored and hungry pooches, waiting while their owners ate and drank.

She used to slip them bits of Yorkshire pudding and carvery offcuts. But now she's decided to go a step further and offer the dogs a special additional menu, including a non-alcoholic beer with added meat extract and some cowhide rolls.

Then there's choc drops for dessert.