Northern Ireland

What the papers say


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

Lady Gaga provides the main image for the Irish News.

But that is as close as most of us will get to her, according to the paper.

'Kiss your hopes of a ticket goodbye', its headline says above a logo for the MTV awards.

"But don't worry," says the paper, "all 51 Belfast City Council members have been invited to represent you at the gig you'll pay £900,000 for".

The dramatic headline on the front of the Belfast Telegraph says, in inverted commas, "Someone's trying to murder Dana".

It reports that the husband of the presidential candidate Dana Rosemary Scallon claimed that a tyre on their campaign car was deliberately damaged, causing it to blow-out on a motorway in Kildare.

Photographic evidence

That story also turns up in the Irish Independent. The paper says gardai are investigating.

But it reports that a number of experts who studied a photograph of the tyre said the blow-out could have been caused by driving after a puncture.

The News Letter leads with the invitation to a former Presbyterian moderator to address a GAA conference.

The Rev Norman Hamilton tells the paper that he will challenge the organisation, but will be prepared to be challenged himself.

As is often the case, the papers in London cannot agree on a lead story.

Just two of them devote their biggest headlines to the same topic. The Sun and the Mirror both lead with the break-up of Westlife.

The Times leads with the words of the Lord Chief Justice, who has told judges that they do not have to be bound by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

The Mail opts for a related story - what it calls a backbench revolt in the Conservative Party over demands to hold a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.

The paper says there is anxiety in Downing Street over mounting Eurosceptic sentiment in the Commons.

The Daily Telegraph focuses on what it calls the hidden fees that are eating up people's savings and pensions.

While the Daily Express warns of a winter death toll as fuel prices rocket.

There is quite a debate involving women of a certain age over a charity's suggestion that older people should move to smaller houses.


The idea is that people with unused bedrooms should move to a smaller house to free up accommodation for families.

Dame Joan Bakewell writes in the Independent that she has lived in the same house for 48 years and she strongly objects to the notion that she has no right to be there.

But in a piece written for the Daily Telegraph, Esther Rantzen takes the opposite view.

She downsized in May, and says a family home needs a family to fill it.

There is another debate in the Daily Telegraph - this time about the naming of cats.

They had a story on Wednesday about most people naming their cats after food.

One woman who writes to the Telegraph today takes it to the extreme.

Forty years ago, she says, we were eating in an Indian restaurant while trying to think of a name for our kitten.

So she was named Bhuna.

Over the next four decades, she says, we've had Korma, Tikka, Jhinga, Kulfi and Kheema. And our Irish wolfhound is called Bhaji.

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