Northern Ireland

Paper Review: The DUP and Dublin's war of words

News Letter front page Image copyright News Letter

"Shots fired."

The stark words on the front of The Irish News reflect the DUP and Irish government's "deteriorating" relationship.

The paper reports that relations between the DUP leader and taoiseach (Irish prime minister) are less than sanguine.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that Arlene Foster hit out at Leo Varadkar for "taking a Sinn Féin line," during negotiations.

Mrs Foster claimed that the Irish government "prevented the DUP" from being shown a copy of the planned Brexit deal, an accusation Dublin has rejected.

The News Letter reports that the DUP's Westminster spokesperson Nigel Dodds says it is Dublin's "aggressive stance" that risks scuppering a post-Brexit border deal.

However, the MP for North Down bites back in the House of Commons.

Lady Sylvia Hermon said she was "profoundly embarrassed" on behalf of Theresa May.

"The DUP does not speak for all of the people of Northern Ireland and does not represent all the people of Northern Ireland," she added.

There's little room for anything else on the front pages but the Belfast Telegraph includes the case of the "compulsive liar" who swindled thousands from his victims.

Matthew Harvey, 23, from Bridge Street in Newry, was jailed for 20 months for his "despicable scams".

The paper reports that Harvey preyed on the vulnerable and scammed seven people, including a "gay man and single mother with dyslexia".

A police officer said the PSNI believed there were "more victims out there", and encouraged them to come forward.

'Profoundly estranged'

Getting into the paper, we move on to a story of family wounds being healed.

Image caption Brian and Bap Kennedy, both singers had been 'profoundly estranged' for decades

Belfast crooner Brian Kennedy speaks of his reconciliation with his "profoundly estranged," brother Bap before his death in 2016.

Singer Bap Kennedy died aged 54 after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Brian Kennedy tells the paper he is "glad" they made up before his brother's death.

"We hadn't really seen each other for 20 years," he says. But Brian says so much time was "wasted" and went to visit his brother.

He said it was a "wonderful way of saying goodbye".

"I wanted him to know that I was there absolutely for him in that moment," he added.

A row over an Easter Rising memorial on council land in County Antrim makes it into all the papers.

The memorial in Carnlough was removed in 2016 after a disagreement over planning permission.

The News Letter reports that unionist councillors have now voted down a proposal to reinstate the stone structure.

The paper understands that of 177 residents in the area who were consulted, 75% expressed support for a replacement memorial.

However it says a DUP recommendation not to proceed was backed by 26 votes in favour and four against, with four abstentions.

Sinn Féin's Patrice Hardy said the party would seek "legal advice" on the matter.

Image copyright PA
Image caption A selection of Seamus Heaney's original manuscripts is to go on show in the National Library of Ireland

Great news for fans of the poetry of the late Seamus Heaney.

The Irish News reports on a new exhibition in Dublin celebrating the "transformative power" of the words of Castledawson's famous son.

The unique archive, entitled "Seamus Heaney: Listen Now Again," includes the poet's original manuscripts and will go on show in the National Library of Ireland next year.

His daughter, Catherine, says the family is "honoured".

She says her father donated the manuscripts so they could be accessible to anyone and it would have meant a "great deal" to him.