Northern Ireland

What the papers say


Journalist Keith Baker takes a look at what is making the headlines in Monday's newspapers.

The police had a couple of journalists out with them at the weekend to see at first hand their fight against car crime in Belfast and we can read their reports this morning.

The main story in the Belfast Telegraph is by reporter Jonathan McCambridge with the headline - 'We've got car hijack yobs on the run'.

This is the view of Inspector Norman Haslett who is in charge of tackling the problem.

According to the paper, the main focus of their interest is a gang calling itself the Divis Hoods and the police are targeting them in numbers with up to 60 officers on patrol every night of the week.

News Letter reporter Rebecca Black travels with one patrol from the auto crime unit. They drive past a wall where there is the message from the gang saying what they think of them. Her police companions tell her - "It's when you're appearing in graffiti that you know you're making an impact".

On the front page of the Irish News is a picture of the inside of a shed in County Louth. According to the paper, the shed, on the outskirts of Dundalk, was the scene of a major act of Provisional IRA decommissioning. That's what the Dublin Appeal Court will be told anyway.

A man was convicted on Friday of possessing bomb-making items found at the outbuilding. But one of the points of his appeal is that the shed was used in the decommissioning process and therefore items may have been there since 2005.

Reporter Alison Morris says that process of taking the IRA's vast arsenal out of circulation is one of the great secrets of the peace negotiations. She says this appeal will be the first time either government has been challenged to reveal details. How they respond remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, more echoes of our recent past in the News Letter. The main story there centres on Peter Robinson. In a speech at the weekend he outlined his opposition to the creation of a truth commission or any amnesty for those involved in paramilitary crime. He is also leading a delegation from the DUP to meet the Secretary of State to discuss this.

The main story in the Mirror - and with an intriguing headline - is 'Bestie boots battle'. This is a story about George Best's first pair of football boots.

The Mirror says his ex-wife Alex is facing a court battle with his sister. The boots were bought for him in 1960 when he was 14 and the Mirror claims they are among the contents of a box in the vault of a London bank.

The paper says Alex Best has been ordered to reveal what is in the box and it says that in the six years since George died she and Barbara McNarry have been locked in a battle over ownership of various items.

In the Dublin papers, the Irish Times says thousands of people in the Republic are facing higher electricity bills because they are not using enough.

Apparently something called a 'low user standing charge' has been introduced by the supplier.

Some customers express alarm but a spokesman for the ESB says the increase is really aimed at vacant dwellings, such as holiday homes.

Now imagine you go all the way to Peru to visit Macch Picchu, the lost city of the Incas, and who do you find there but Bono.

That's where he has been on a short holiday. He is pictured in the Irish Independent, striding among the ruins, being followed by tourists, being treated like a Sun God, the paper says.

Finally, several front pages show a disappointed Rory McIlroy - best supporting actor again, you might say.

But the Irish Times says all good things come to those who wait and he will be world number one sooner rather than later - maybe even next Sunday.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites