Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories

Newspapers

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

The homecoming of murder victims Marion Graham and Kathy Dinsmore is widely covered.

It is the lead story for the News Letter, which has a photograph of the two hearses carrying the women's coffins arriving in Newry, where people lined the streets.

The Mirror says the two friends were together for the last time. The Sun reports how Marion's daughter Shannon - whose Turkish boyfriend is the main suspect in the killings - helped escort her mother home.

The Belfast Telegraph front page is taken up with the figure 18.6% in a huge typeface. That is the amount by which our electricity bills will increase in October. The paper talks of "fury" as Power NI, which makes £11m profits, hikes prices by four times the rate of inflation.

The Irish News has the story of a newly-appointed advisor at Stormont, who is being paid £500 a day to save money at the office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

Times a-changin'

Eminem turns up on quite a few of the news pages, after his performance at Ward Park in Bangor. As if to illustrate how times have changed for Northern Ireland's music fans, the Irish News and the Telegraph both point out that another huge band, Elbow, were playing at the same time in Belfast.

Money-saving measures are the subject of one lead story in Dublin.

The Irish Independent says government ministers have been ordered to find 10bn euros in savings. The paper says it amounts to one fifth of all spending by the state. But it feels the minister responsible for overseeing the cuts, Brendan Howlin, is "failing in his task" of ensuring that his colleagues understand the necessity for savage spending reductions.

The Irish Times leads with a dispatch from its correspondent in Tripoli, Mary Fitzgerald. She describes how pick-up trucks carrying dusty bands of rebels careered around the streets of the capital urging people to hold their heads up high because they were now free Libyans.

The big question in the rest of the papers is: Where is Colonel Gaddafi?

Every paper has its own theory. The Daily Express says he used the network of tunnels under his compound to escape to an airport or military base. One of his former aides tells the Times that he may have dressed as a woman to disappear over the border into Algeria or Chad.

The Mirror says the sound of chickens squawking in the background of an audio broadcast on Wednesday led the rebel fighters to believe that he was staying in a farmhouse on the outskirts of the capital. The Independent thinks he might have made it to his home city of Sirte.

According to the Daily Telegraph, British special forces are among those involved in the hunt for Gaddafi. The paper says SAS soldiers are dressed as Arab civilians and are carrying the same weapons as the rebels.

Ha ha

Finally, the best joke at the Edinburgh Festival was: "I needed a password eight characters long, so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves".

But the Independent is one of several papers to carry a full list of the runners-up. Two picks of the bunch: "I was in a band called The Prevention, because we hoped people would say we were better than The Cure" and "Drive-through McDonalds is more expensive than I thought - once I'd hired the car".

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