Northern Ireland

What the papers say


Journalist Liz Kennedy takes a look at what is making the headlines in Friday's newspapers.

The DUP is accused of a "climbdown" on the conflict resolution centre plans for the Maze prison site in the Belfast Telegraph lead story.

However, the DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson says it's "the basis of a shared future."

For Sinn Fein's Barry McElduff, the site will give an opportunity for "the many stories of the jail" to be told.

Conditions for officers working in Maghaberry Prison are said by The News Letter to be "atrocious" and "unbearable" as a result of a protest by dissident republicans.

The so-called "dirty protest" is said to be "an echo of a troubled past."

Charlie Armstrong is pictured on the front of The Mirror and the The Irish News, as the remains discovered in County Monaghan are thought to be those of the "disappeared" 57-year-old who went missing in 1981.

His widow has spoken of her "deep relief," if he can finally get a Christian burial.

The Irish News News examines the chances of getting a ticket for the Scottish leg of the Pope's autumn visit.

As there are only 2,500 tickets available for Irish parishes for the Glasgow Mass, it is calculated to be enough for fewer than 0.06 per cent of Roman Catholics in Ireland.

In the Republic 300,000 houses are lying empty, but developers there have started work on another 11,000 in the last 15 months.

The Irish Independent leads with the statistics on the so-called ghost estates.

There are 90 of them in County Cork alone.

The news that house prices in the south are now at 2002 levels make for gloomy reading, with a further drop of 10% predicted, before prices "bottom out" next year.

The Irish Times says that it could take 60 years to correct the "chronic over-development and re-zoning" of land in some counties in the south.

Rob Kitchin, the author of the report on ghost estates, says that any inquiry must avoid being either "a witch-hunt or blame game".

A happy Irish cricketer beams out from the front of the Times - Eoin Morgan jauntily waving his bat, after scoring his first Test 100 for England.

And there is another cricket hero on the front of The Daily Telegraph. Prime Minister David Cameron hit the celebrated Indian bowler Kapil Dev for six, fulfilling a "lifetime ambition" in New Delhi, even if it was with a tennis ball.

That's alongside a story suggesting that the UK will have the largest population in Europe by 2050.

Figures could swell by almost a quarter, to 77 million.

The Daily Mail leads with the case of the Church of England vicar found guilty of conducting fake weddings to allow illegal immigrants to stay in Britain.

He carried out 360 illegal marriages at his parish in East Sussex, with one groom calling himself "Felix Spaceman".

The Daily Telegraph says a young speedster thought he would escape his penalty points by blaming his grandfather.

The newspaper says 25-year-old Adam Blake even wrote to his 94-year-old relative asking him to back up the story, even though Thomas Blake doesn't drive.

However, the speed camera picture told a different tale, clearing showing Adam at the wheel.

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