Northern Ireland

What the papers say

Newspapers

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

Darren Clarke's victory in the Open dominates the front pages of the Belfast Telegraph, The Irish News, the News Letter, The Sun and the Daily Mirror.

Several note that he dedicated his win to his children, and most of the pictures show him kissing the trophy after becoming the first local winner since Fred Daly in 1947.

The editorial writers can barely contain their delight. The Belfast Telegraph says Darren's victory, combined with those of Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy in the last 13 months, is a fairytale for Northern Ireland.

The News Letter describes him as a worthy champion, and says Northern Ireland is now the golfing capital of the world.

The Irish News uses the word "fairytale" again and pays tribute to Darren for what it calls "an exhilarating performance". The Daily Mirror sees it as welcome news in the current "age of austerity".

In Dublin, Darren is pictured with the trophy again on the front of The Irish Times. The Irish Independent goes for a different shot of him kissing his fiancee, Alison Campbell.

But the biggest headlines in the Republic focus on familiar subjects. The Irish Times says some religious congregations are planning to boycott a meeting with Education Minister Ruari Quinn, to discuss compensation for people affected by institutional abuse. They are apparently unhappy that the state is asking them to fund 50% of the payments.

The Irish Independent reports on what it calls "the scramble to save the Eurozone". The newspaper says a plan to rescue Greece could also include an agreement to reduce Ireland's huge interest payments on its bailout loans.

'Parting shot'

Sir Paul Stephenson, who has resigned as head of the Metropolitan Police, is widely regarded as the highest profile casualty of the scandal surrounding the News of the World. The Times says his departure has "left the force rudderless" and without an obvious successor with just a year to go until the London Olympics. It says it will also increase speculation about the future of other senior officers with ties to News International.

The Irish Independent says it has documents which show that Sir Paul was aware of potential problems over his links to the former News of the World executive Neil Wallis at least three months ago.

Several papers are struck by what they call "a parting shot" at David Cameron in Sir Paul's resignation speech. The Daily Mail says he suggested that employing Mr Wallis as an adviser was less controversial than the Prime Minister's decision to hire the former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson. The Daily Telegraph says it was "a barbed reference" which "heaped further pressure on Mr Cameron".

Finally, The Sun reports that the begging letters are beginning to pile up at the local post office of Colin and Christine Weir after the couple scooped £161m on the Euromillions lottery.

One letter that got through raised a smile. It was from the local non-league football team, Largs Thistle. Its vice president asked Mr Weir if he would mind stumping up the transfer fees for two of the world's greatest players, Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez.

If he bought both, he would still have change of £31m.

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