Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


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

Many papers look ahead to the Olympics exactly a year from now, but the Belfast Telegraph does not share their enthusiasm. It reports that Northern Ireland "will get nothing from the greatest sports show on earth".

In fact, it argues that we will be nearly £100m out of pocket, after contributing £55m in tax towards the cost of the games and losing out on more than £40m of lottery funding, which has been redirected towards the construction of the huge Olympic Park in east London. The paper comments that our politicians must take note and ensure that we are "not so easily beguiled in future".

The News Letter leads with the fact that the young footballer who collapsed at the Milk Cup game on Monday will undergo a heart operation later today. Chris McNeill's father tells the paper that he's overwhelmed by the support his family has received.

The Irish News devotes almost its entire front page to the story behind the five arrests by officers investigating the murder of Ronan Kerr. It says members of a well-known republican family are among those who've been detained.

The Irish Independent reports under its main headline that members of the judiciary in the Republic have been warned that they face financial ruin when the government's public sector pay and pension cuts take effect. The paper says 10 judges who borrowed heavily to fund property investments have been told by financial experts that they won't be able to pay back their loans.

The Irish Times leads with a defence by the Environment Minister, Phil Hogan, of another government plan - this time to levy a property tax and water charges. The paper says the plans have been criticised by opposition politicians as "an attack on the poor".

The news that UK economic growth has slowed causes some concern among the leader writers and commentators.

The Independent says the Chancellor, George Osborne, is under pressure from Cabinet colleagues to come up with a convincing plan to breathe new life into the faltering economic recovery. It notes, with a touch of sarcasm, that the Royal wedding, the Japanese earthquake and warm spring weather have all been blamed for the slowdown, but "apparently not the Chancellor himself".

The Sun says the UK is "going nowhere slowly", while the Daily Telegraph says the economy is failing to develop the kind of momentum Britain's competitors have managed. For the Financial Times, Mr Osborne's gamble that reducing public spending would bring the confidence needed for business to expand has not yet paid off.

Finally, Dennis the Menace runs amok in a stately home - but it's all in a good cause.

This is a one-off edition of the Beano comic, designed to persuade children of the attraction of National Trust properties around the UK. As the Guardian reports, Dennis and his faithful dog Gnasher take over Powis Castle in Wales, Billy Whizz is so fast he's able to visit several national treasures, and Minnie the Minx gets the local angle, breaking out of Beanotown to cause mayhem at the Giant's Causeway.

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