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 produces a special edition this morning. The first 15 pages are given over to an examination of the dissident threat and there's the message running throughout: "We say stop".

There's a lengthy interview with someone described as a member of Oglaigh na hEireann, one of the most active dissident groups, who says it doesn't care that it has no support for its campaign of violence.

But the Irish News says it's time for them to listen to the people, the victims and the churches.

The interviewee says there's no dialogue going on with either the British or Irish governments but there have been indirect attempts at trying to instigate channels of communication.

The Irish News sums up its coverage. It says if it dissuades even a single young person from wasting their life in pursuit of dissident causes or encourages information that may prevent an atrocity, then it will have been more than worthwhile.

Leadership contest

Elsewhere, there are stories about the Ulster Unionist leadership, past and present.

Basil McCrea's on the front page of The News Letter, confirming that he's standing for the top job. He talks of building a new vision.

But columnist Maurice Hayes in the Irish Independent says the party shows all the signs of irreversible decline.

Meanwhile, the Belfast Telegraph has a feature on the former leader, Lord Molyneaux, who'll be 90 this week.

The paper pictures him singing in the choir of the parish church at Aldergrove and notes that he's the only man among a chorus of women.

The Telegraph says he may have stepped out of the political arena but he still makes a pleasant tenor sound on a Sunday morning.

'Violent hoodlums'

By contrast, very different pictures on the Telegraph's front page. They're CCTV pictures taken in Glenavy showing what it calls a fast food trader's nightmare at the hands of violent hoodlums.

The paper says the regular late night attacks on the premises have forced the business owner Sara Anderson to close her takeaway in the once quiet village.

It says she's been caught up in a violent four-year vendetta which has left her terrified and £12,000 out of pocket.

Looking at the English papers, there are big mortgage rises on the way, according to The Express.

This is the sort of thing to frighten us all on a Monday morning. The Express has been talking to an economist who says interest rates could rocket to 8% within the next two years. It says this would mean financial oblivion for millions of home owners.

Card sharks

The Mail carries the headline - "Return of the card sharks".

It says banks are being accused of luring consumers back into the red with credit card offers even more generous than before the recession.

And interest is building up over the Pope's visit next month.

The Guardian has details of dos and don'ts for the tens of thousands expected to turn up.

The Catholic church has published a list of items which can be brought to the various events at parks in Birmingham, Glasgow and London.

Picnics are fine, as long as they're small.

Flags, banners and cushions are also welcome but candles, alcohol and barbecues are out. Musical instruments are a no-no as well. The Guardian says: "Don't even think of taking your vuvuzela".

Finally, The Times has a feature on the joke voted the best at this year's Edinburgh fringe. Last year, you may remember, it was "Hedgehogs... why can't they just share?"

This year's winner, out of more than 7,000 jokes, came from the comedian Tim Vine "I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what... never again."

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