Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories

Newspapers

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

The Belfast Telegraph reports that a bomb is thought to have remained undetected at Belfast International Airport for more than two and a half years.

Dissident republicans left the device in a car at the long stay car park for 906 days, a source has told the paper. It remained there from 7 May 2008 until 30 October 2010, the paper claims.

Whilst it was there, President George W Bush, then Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Queen had all visited the airport.

The Irish News says "prolific criminals" are to be tracked round the clock by a new police unit. The paper's editorial says the west Belfast scheme deserves backing. Plans include "disruption visits" to homes, 24/7 surveillance and stop-and-search checks.

'Dumbfounded'

The bereaved parents of a two year-old boy from Comber, who died from meningitis last week, are pictured on the front of the News Letter.

Jaxon Walker's dad, Chris, a former Glentoran footballer, said he and partner Joanne remain "dumbfounded" by how quickly the illness had taken hold. Over the course of seven hours, Jaxon had gone from being "a slightly sick child" to "a critically ill one," said his mother.

The Irish Independent reports on stress tests and the overhaul of the Irish banking system.

The paper calls the situation "dramatic", with shares suspended in both AIB and Bank of Ireland on Wednesday night, after it was feared they would be too "prone to rumours" on Thursday. The paper calls it "the final reckoning" and the paper's business section says that "markets were in turmoil" on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, the Irish Times calls the publication of the Moriarty report the "first test" for new taoiseach Enda Kenny. It says he has promised to restore "a moral code" to public life.

The silver lining in the dark cloud of Irish finance is the chance to buy three houses for the price of one, the Irish Times reports.

The Dublin 6 houses were selling for 1m euros each in 2008. Now they are on offer for 380,000 euros and the paper reckons - with a little negotiation, you might bag the trio for 1m euros.

There is also good news for some grandparents. They will get the legal right to see their grandchildren. That is what a report is expected to recommend for those whose own children have divorced or separated.

The Mail and Daily Telegraph both carry that story, which will reduce what the former calls "the heartbreak" for some grandparents, when families split. The review of the family justice system will also advocate mediation for couples.

Sound of silence

Meanwhile, the Times reports that wedding bells are falling silent, as fewer couples marry, but Labour leader Ed Miliband is "bucking the trend". The paper says that until now, Mr Miliband's equivocal attitude to marriage had made Prince William look like "an impetuous romantic fool".

And finally, what happens when snoring in the theatre gets too loud?

According to the Daily Telegraph there was "a right rumpus" at an opening night at the Old Vic, when one man dozed off before the play had even begun.

One theatre-goer was particularly incensed.

Scots actor James McAvoy was mad as mad can be - partly because his wife, Anne-Marie Duff, was on stage, but perhaps mainly because the person snoring was a newspaper critic.

The other daily newspaper involved says their critic was on medication and a review will not be appearing under his name.

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