Northern Ireland

What the papers say

newspaper title

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

The Irish News devotes much of its front page to a picture of the crater left by a bomb blast in south Armagh at the weekend.

The paper points out that it was at a spot where the IRA killed three soldiers in 1976.

There is much reaction from politicians.

In the News Letter, Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kennedy says the people responsible should "get off the backs" of the people in the area.

In the Belfast Telegraph, there are appeals for calm from many community figures, amid fears that the attack was designed to "ramp up" tensions ahead of the Twelfth.

The Irish News says the explosion was "cynically calculated to send a message of hatred to the Protestant tradition at the most sensitive of periods".

There is also plenty of reflection on the Twelfth itself.

The News Letter says the entire economy benefits as a result of this unique event and more tourists are coming here during July.

But it says there are those in the community who go out of their way to be offended.

The Irish News says it's unfortunate that Monday's parades are taking place in an atmosphere in which the Orange Order's hardline stance on attempts to regulate its activities has alarmed even the DUP.

The Telegraph says efforts to turn the Twelfth into a major tourist attraction could see every major store in Belfast opening next year in a business-as-usual approach.

It says that's the hope of Tourism Minister Arlene Foster.


Among the English papers there are many features on the life and times of Raoul Moat.

He dominates the front pages of the Mirror and the Sun and there are plenty of pictures and interviews with those who knew him best.

Some concerns too about how the hunt was reported on television.

The Independent thinks the minute-by-minute reporting from Rothbury was voyeuristic and it wonders how this served the public interest in any way.

The Guardian says it all became a bit of a circus.

Meanwhile in the Express, an ITN reporter describes a disconcerting encounter. She says she'd just finished a live broadcast from Rothbury when Moat walked past her in the High Street.

World Cup

The World Cup is gone for another four years, and the general consensus in the papers is that the real winners were South Africa.

The Times says the country soared beyond its problems to deliver one of the slickest tournaments on record.

More than can be said for the actual final.

Richard Williams in the Guardian says a little entertainment wouldn't have gone amiss. He says it was a display of "anti-football".

And he thinks the players of England, France and Italy must have been watching on their holiday islands and having a good giggle.

Irivine's island

And talking of holiday islands, the Belfast Telegraph reports that former Formula 1 driver Eddie Irvine has bought one for about £1m.

It's in the Bahamas and he's planning to turn it into an eco-friendly retreat where he'll fish and grow his own food.

He says he intends to be frugal but he'll hold onto his private jet so that he can travel between the Bahamas, the US and Bangor.

Finally, in the Mail researchers appear to have at last come up with the recipe for a happy life.

Apparently all it takes is to be earning about £100,000 a year from a part-time job, having a home worth £1.5m, owning an Aston Martin, being married with two children and taking two foreign holidays a year.

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