Northern Ireland

What the papers say

newspaper title

Journalist Mike Philpott takes a look at what is making the headlines in Thursday's newspapers.

The fallout from the report on the Claudy bombings continues to make headlines.

The News Letter leads with the words of Gordon Miller, who lost his father in the attacks.

He tells the paper that blame has unfairly fallen on the RUC, when in fact its own officers wanted to investigate Father James Chesney, the priest suspected of being behind the bombings.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, the Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson, again urges politicians to find a better way of dealing with the past.

He says the current system means that relatives of the victims in other atrocities may have to wait up to 50 years to discover the truth about their loss.

A more recent attack makes the lead in The Irish News .

It reports that the family of a taxi driver forced to drive a car bomb to Strand Road police station in Londonderry have criticised the dissident republicans responsible, after they said he was accompanied by two of their members on the journey.

The family say he had to drive alone, and could hear the bomb ticking.

Two of the papers - the Belfast Telegraph and the News Letter - have front page pictures of Patricia Bardon, who was found murdered in south Belfast on the day she was due to marry.

The Irish Times leads with the downgrading of Ireland's international credit rating, but its front page is dominated by pictures of four teenagers who died when their car left the road near Killarney. Two of the victims were brothers.

The mother of Kevin and David Breen tells the Irish Independent that she felt she was in the middle of a "total nightmare" when police officers arrived at her door to break the news.

David's girlfriend also died, and Sheila Breen is quoted as saying that she can't believe they are all gone.

The paper says the road where the crash happened has been identified as one of the most dangerous in the country.

A photograph of a man taking part in a bike race illustrates one of the biggest stories in the papers in London.

The man in question is Gareth Williams, a keen cyclist but also an MI6 agent. His body was found in his London apartment on Monday, not far from the headquarters of the intelligence service. Not surprisingly, conspiracy theories abound.

The Daily Mirror describes him as a "perfect spy" who never broke the rules by talking about his job.

The Daily Mail, which also leads with the story, suggests that he might have been murdered by those who wanted to get their hands on state secrets.

It reports that Mr Williams was an expert on codes and ciphers, and often took his work home.

It describes him as a loner. But the Daily Telegraph says detectives are looking at his private life for other possible leads in the investigation.

Finally, the Mail says that few things are more exasperating than wrestling a duvet into its cover.

But, as several papers report, a single mother called Joyce Burt has come up with the answer - a duvet cover that opens on three sides, meaning that the quilt can be slipped in and secured in seconds.

The Daily Express says it's brilliant, simple and blindingly obvious - and people all over the country will be asking: why didn't I think of that?

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