Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


Journalist Mike Philpott takes a look at the morning papers.

There are a couple of very sad stories on the local front pages.

The Belfast Telegraph leads with the news that a father and son from west Belfast have taken their own lives within a week of each other. The paper says Brendan Smyth, who was 44, was buried on Monday - exactly a week after the funeral of his 21-year-old son, also called Brendan. The story adds that there were two other suicides in west Belfast during the same space of time.

The Irish News reports under its main headline that a five-year-old boy who was regularly beaten by his mother asked the police if he could stay with them to avoid being locked in a room at home.

It says social workers have warned that the case is not unique and the boy's teachers have been praised for alerting the authorities. For legal reasons, the story does not name the family.

The News Letter leads with the fact that farmers have lost £11m to organised crime in the last three years. It says the figure includes the theft of machinery and livestock.

The subject of child abuse returns to one of the front pages in Dublin. The Irish Times reports that the Garda has been criticised for failing to record offences against children, resulting in intelligence gaps and leaving young people exposed to continuing risks. According to the story, up to 65% of child sex abuse cases were left out of the official figures because record-keeping was so poor.

For the Irish Independent, the big story is an investigation into offshore bank accounts held by the disgraced former head of the Irish Nationwide building society, Michael Fingleton. It reports that the state prosecutor in Montenegro - who ordered the investigation - will be seeking the assistance of foreign banks and police forces.

Sibling showdown?

The Miliband brothers look set for a showdown, judging by the Daily Telegraph front page.

David Miliband warns that the Labour Party risks moving too far to the left under his brother's leadership and is in danger of alienating business. It says his intervention comes in a week when Ed Miliband has boasted of leading the political debate by successfully calling for Stephen Hester, the head of RBS, to forfeit his bonus and for his predecessor, Fred Goodwin, to be stripped of his knighthood.

The paper says it is David Miliband's first major statement since his brother beat him to the leadership in 2010.

The Mirror and the Guardian both have front-page stories on the horrific events that claimed more than 70 lives at a football match in Egypt.

The The Independent focuses on what it calls an "outcry" after it emerged that the head of the Student Loans Company has been paid his salary without deduction of tax. The paper says the arrangement was sanctioned at ministerial level and has prompted a review of the tax affairs of other public officials.

Finally, the councillor who was heartened to see Theresa May catch her heel in the pavement in Downing Street.

He writes to the Times to say that he sometimes feels inadequate that footpath repairs take so long to complete in his home town of Bury St Edmonds. But Theresa May's mishap came as something of a relief. If local resident David Cameron cannot get anything done, he says, what hope is there for a local councillor?

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