Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


Journalist Fionola Meredith takes a look at the morning papers.

There are renewed concerns about pseudomonas in the Belfast Telegraph.

It reports that another vulnerable baby is feared to have become infected, and that is top story in the Mirror too.

Inside the Telegraph, Health Minister Edwin Poots tries to reassure concerned parents, insisting that every precaution has been taken to to minimise the spread of infection.

Mr Poots also appears on the front page of the Irish News, which claims an exclusive for its report that only 50 of the 2,000 children's files at the former Lissue and Forster Green hospitals have been reviewed in a major probe into abuse.

As the paper notes, this comes a week after Mr Poots said prosecutions of two male nurses linked to sex abuse allegations were unlikely, due to lack of evidence.

In an editorial, the paper asks - how can the minister state with any confidence that abuse was not extensive at Lissue, when hundreds of files are sitting unchecked?

There is reaction to the Fleadh pull-out from Londonderry in many of the papers.

As the Telegraph notes, just why the All-Ireland Fleadh, which the city had hoped to host next year, is not coming to Derry after all is not entirely clear.

Although security concerns are the official reason, the paper says that some suspect a darker motive - the fact that Derry is the UK City of Culture, the British link being enough to get the city black-balled.

Fionnuala O'Connor, in the Irish News, says that dissidents who still bomb and shoot will mark up the decision to move the Fleadh as a score.

In doing so, she says, they lose sight of the fact that a festival of Irish music, north of the border, would blur still further the old, fixed, public face of the British unionist north.

Northern Lights

Football manager Harry Redknapp's trial for tax evasion generates plenty of interest.

The Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the Sun - in fact almost every paper - all carry this story on the front pages.

They focus on the allegation that Redknapp deposited unauthorised payments into a secret bank account in Monaco which he named after his pet dog, a bulldog named Rosie.

Several papers are looking up at the Northern Lights.

There is a wonderful image of the Aurora Borealis in the Irish Times, as seen from Ballyliffin beach on the Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal at 01:00 GMT on Monday. We have the best chance in more than a decade to see the Northern Lights because of a peak in the sun's activity.

There s a similar story in the London Times, which has been talking to amateur photographer Peter Richardson. He said: "Part of me was thinking it's very spiritual and existential, but part of me was thinking it's absolutely freezing."

And finally, the Belfast Telegraph reports on the latest novelty coffins.

These are for people who are determined to go out in style, although what kind of style remains a matter for debate. At the new exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall in London, there is a coffin in the shape of a giant carved lion, with a mosaic interior, which would certainly make a splash.

There is a more understated one from Ghana that opens up like a flower pod.

And those with a certain sense of humour might choose to depart in a coffin shaped like a bright yellow skip.

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