Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


Journalist Fionola Meredith takes a look at the morning papers.

The News Letter has been talking to Father Eugene O'Neill.

He tells the paper that no Roman Catholic priests under 45 - his own age - are interested in removing the border, and many Catholics are "re-thinking their nationalism".

This is the expanded version of ideas he expressed in a Thought for the Day contribution on BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme on Monday.

Father O'Neill also believes that the United Kingdom is now more respectful towards Christian churches than the Republic.

The News Letter approves. In its morning view column, the paper says that tolerance of religion is terrain on which nationalists and unionist can bond.

The Belfast Telegraph reports on the latest "carjacking" incident.

A young male driver was smashed in the face with a hammer, the 22nd carjacking of 2012 in Greater Belfast, and it happened just hours after police promised they would "eradicate this scourge".

'Car criminals'

In its editorial, the Irish News says that police efforts to reassure the public are ringing hollow, as criminals continue to target defenceless drivers.

It questions the effectiveness of the police response, and the constraints of a system which can see suspected car criminals released from custody within hours.

The Irish Times considers the shaky future of the Irish pub.

In an editorial, the paper says that Ireland has an alcohol misuse problem that "is getting worse, not better".

However, it says that pubs may well be part of the solution - they do at least provide a controlled environment for the consumption of alcohol.

The Sun reports on a five-year-old boy who is living as a girl after telling his parents that he "is trapped in the wrong body".

Zach Avery's mother tells the paper that he's been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, where the brain tells a person they are a different sex to their body.

Zach's story also appears in the Mirror which says teachers and pupils at his school have accepted him as a girl.


Pictures of an angry pensioner scolding Health Secretary Andrew Lansley appear on many front pages.

This is veteran campaigner June Hautot, who confronted Mr Lansley over his plans for changes to the NHS.

The Mirror loves her, describing the pensioner as "the mum who spoke for the country," and urging readers to copy June and stand up and fight for the NHS.

The Independent takes a different view.

It says that "by screaming and ranting," she made the health secretary look like an amiable old bumbler who at least knew how to be polite.

By comparison, Ms Hautot "sounded as if she had rabies".

The Daily Telegraph reports that losing weight has just become twice as difficult.

Twice as difficult as the official guidelines claim, anyway.

A rule of thumb, which appears on the NHS website and on a variety of diet plans, states that cutting 500 calories per day will mean a weight loss of a pound a week.

However, scientists in the United States now say that losing weight becomes harder the thinner the person gets, because your metabolism slows down and weight loss tails off.

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