Northern Ireland

What the papers say


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

There are some contrasting images and headlines about events linked to the Twelfth.

"Orangemen hail unrivalled day", says the main headline in the News Letter below a picture of a man playing a Lambeg drum.

"Flames of hatred", says the Belfast Telegraph, over a photograph of a policeman moments after being hit on the head with a petrol bomb in Ardoyne.

It's a picture that also turns up in the Irish News and the Daily Mirror.

There's no shortage of comment on the violence that has dominated the headlines in recent days. The News Letter says the fact that most of the trouble emanated from nationalists was lost on many international observers, who "were equally dismissive of the reality that the vast majority of parades passed off without incident".

The Irish News says the violence has illustrated the difficulty facing those who are trying to transform the Twelfth into a genuinely inclusive expression of unionist culture. It's not just the use of flags to mark out territory that's the problem, it says, but also the wholesale shutdown of civic and commercial life.

The Mirror says the police are caught in the middle of the violence, and it condemns those responsible, describing them as "thugs who represent no-one".

Ireland's debt is the big talking point in Dublin. Both the Irish Times and the Irish Independent lead with the news that Irish debt has been reduced to "junk" status by the international ratings agency Moody's.

The Independent says Ireland has never had such a low rating, and has effectively been put in the same risk category as Greece or Portugal. But it concludes that it will heap pressure on Europe's leaders to come up with a new package of measures to help the affected countries and address the "crisis engulfing the Euro".

The paper also has a front page story about two members of the Dail who were caught describing a fellow TD as "Miss Piggy". Ming Flanagan and Mick Wallace were unaware that a nearby microphone was switched on when they made what the paper calls their ungallant remarks about the Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O'Connor.

The Times and the Independent both lead with the fact that all the party leaders in London are now opposing News Corporation's bid to take over the broadcaster BSkyB. "Parliament versus Murdoch" is how the Guardian sees it.

The Daily Telegraph says senior executives of the newspaper group are facing a police inquiry after detectives accused the company of deliberately attempting to thwart the original investigation into phone hacking allegations.

The Sun attempts to undo the damage caused by Gordon Brown's claim that the paper hacked into his child's medical records.

It denies the allegation, says its source was the father of another child with cystic fibrosis, and claims that Mr Brown gave the paper his consent to run the story. Its editorial writer accuses him of "seeking revenge" because the paper deserted Labour before the last election.

Finally, a town that's missing its traffic wardens. As the Daily Telegraph reports, Aberystwyth got rid of its three wardens to save money, but just two months on, people are ignoring yellow lines, able-bodied drivers are parking in disabled bays, and delivery drivers can't find anywhere to stop.

The head of the local chamber of commerce tells the paper that at the beginning it seemed like bliss, but it hasn't worked out like that.