Northern Ireland

What the papers say


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

The report on the police investigation into the Castlerock murders is the big story on Tuesday.

"Error upon error upon error" - that's the Belfast Telegraph's headline. As the paper notes, the ombudsman's report into the original RUC probe branded it one of the worst murder investigations in history, a Keystone Kops operation where vital evidence was ignored.

In fact, it was a case study into how not to conduct an investigation. There could not be a more damning verdict, says the Telegraph's editorial, and it hopes that such a catalogue of errors could not happen today.

The Mirror says the verdict may have righted a wrong, but it must bring little comfort to the families left behind.

The News Letter leads with the same story, but there's a different focus in the Irish News. It reports that a sister of murder victim Robert McCartney claims she lost her job because the women of the Short Strand would not speak to her after the 2005 attack.

Catherine McCartney, who had to leave the area with her family after their high-profile campaign to bring the killers to justice, claims she was discriminated against by her employers. She has launched an unfair dismissal case against Women into Politics, a Belfast-based women's training organisation.

The Dublin papers digest the first leg of the Republic's two part budget. Both the Irish Times and the Irish Independent have special supplements, describing in extensive detail what the spending review means.

Health, social welfare and education will face the bulk of the 1.4bn euro cuts, reports the Irish Times. After weeks of government scaremongering, says the paper's editorial, the first phase of the budget had the consistency of a lukewarm bath. The public had been so deeply conditioned that relief was the general response.

But the Irish Independent says that a swathe of hidden cuts and stealth charges were concealed in the budget, which are bound to affect struggling families. In its editorial, the paper describes it as a mishmash of half-measures to which the two government parties could be persuaded to agree, rather than the coherent strategy needed to get out of the mess.

The Irish Times appears to agree, summing it up as "pain without economic vision".

Opinion is divided on the Turner Prize. The Guardian likes Martin Boyce's winning entry, describing it as extremely beautiful and "lyrically autumnal", while the Independent thinks it "rather gorgeous". Boyce created an installation for the Turner that evokes a municipal park, with trees, a wonky bin and fallen leaves made from paper and aluminium.

Other papers are not so keen. The Daily Telegraph considers the win a slap in the face of popular taste, while the Mail is even blunter, remarking that "a load of rubbish wins the Turner Prize (again)".

And finally, the Guardian reports on a cinema that thinks it is a restaurant. It's a far cry from popcorn and hot dogs. An Odeon cinema in west London is introducing special seated meals from Michelin-starred chef Rowley Leigh.

Cinema-goers will be able to tuck into fillet steak burger and red mullet risotto while they watch. Although, as the paper notes, it might be tricky, and rather messy, to eat in the dark.

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