Northern Ireland

Newspaper review: NI and Republic of Ireland stories


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

The results of a poll into political attitudes feature on the front of the Irish News.

"Most Catholics want to stay in the UK", says the Life and Times survey of 1,200 people in Northern Ireland.

The survey has been conducted over the past 13 years to monitor attitudes since the Good Friday Agreement.

According to the report, more than half of Catholic respondents want to stay within the UK, with about one third wanting a united Ireland.

'Straight talker'

The Belfast Telegraph reports on "a change of tone" for local schools.

Like his predecessor from the same party, a move away from academic selection is the cornerstone of Education Minister John O'Dowd's policy, according to the paper's education correspondent in an interview with him.

But "in contrast with his predecessor" Caitriona Ruane, Lindsay Fergus says that John O'Dowd is "a straight-talker, unafraid to grasp and debate the thorny issues," in his vision for a comprehensive system.

The victims of the Kingsmills' attack in 1976 are pictured in the News Letter.

It was "sectarian savagery" by the Provisional IRA, says the headline, reporting on the Historical Enquiries Team's 112 page report, released on Thursday.

It lists details of suspects and its editorial says that the murder of 10 innocent workmen was "an act of genocide", "one of the most heinous crimes of the Troubles" and that the "pain and anguish" it caused is still being felt in the County Armagh area.

"They were butchered by the IRA" says the headline in the Daily Mirror also saying that Bessbrook, where nine of the men lived, was devastated by the murderous attack on a workmen's van.

European money matters are in the news again, particularly the latest crisis gripping Greece.

'Lehman moment'

"Billions" more Euro to be pumped into the bail-out there, reports the Daily Telegraph. The paper says that the International Monetary Fund is preparing to do that, to try to calm market turmoil.

And inside the paper, alongside a picture of demonstrators and riot police, it asks "Greece, what's going on?" saying the the impact on the UK "could be enormous." And that the collapse of the Greek economy could "well trigger similar implosions in Spain and Ireland."

It calls it "Europe's Lehman moment".

The Guardian reports that the hardline stance taken by the IMF has forced Berlin to guarantee the Greek bailout. And the The Times also calls what it dubs the "Greek chaos" a "threat to the future of Europe".

And not only is there bad news for European economies, the weather is looking dire as well.

Continuing the good news, Arctic winter conditions across Europe are predicted for the next 50 years, according to the Irish Times. Solar scientists says that the sun is going to stay in and that data from a number of groups show that solar activity has flat-lined and the last major example of this occurred during the Maunder Minimum - a 70-year period when no sunspots appeared from 1674-1715.

But there is celebration in the Irish Independent, with Thursday's Bloomsday celebration of James Joyce's work occurring in brilliant sunshine and making it "a blooming great day out" says the paper.

And finally, money does not buy you happiness. It seems that is true according to the Daily Express. Freedom of choice is actually of more importance.

Cash makes you smile up to a certain point, but after that, a psychological study has shown that autonomy is more important than extra money.

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