Newspaper review: DUP deals, Irish passports and gentry
The front pages are dominated by the two big deals that the world is watching.
Not the £175m Cristiano Ronaldo and De Gea Manchester United deal, but the “will they are won’t they” between the DUP and the Tory party on the one hand; and the DUP and the political parties in Northern Ireland on the other.
So, Arlene Foster has said she’s ready to tango but will her party be dancing and, if so, with whom?
The Irish News looks at the situation with a sceptical eye.
It reports that hope of a Stormont deal is fading as Sinn Féin says the DUP is living in a “fools paradise” if it wants to re-establish the institutions “without adherence to equality and rights”.
The paper says there were encouraging sounds from northern leader Michelle O’Neill last week, who said a deal between her party and the DUP was “doable”.
However the party’s chairman has now said that the political process in Northern Ireland remains “overshadowed by financial scandals”.
Declan Kearney’s comments came after a confidential briefing document laying out plans for devolution was leaked.
It’s all about the money in the News Letter, which focuses on the DUP-Tory deal.
It reports that the chancellor, Philip Hammond, has been urged to publish the costs of any deal.
Labour has raised concerns over “reports the DUP want to end airport tax on visitors to Northern Ireland”, which generated about £90m in 2015/16.
The duty has been abolished in the Republic of Ireland.
Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, wants to know “any financial measures that have been discussed with the DUP”.
Keeping its front page slightly more parochial, the Belfast Telegraph leads with an SDLP in-party “bust-up”.
It reports that three councillors have resigned from the party feeling they have been “treated with disrespect”.
Former Lord Mayor Pat Convery and councillors Declan Boyle and Kate Mullan were suspended by the SDLP in April after abstaining from a vote condemning the harassment of people outside reproductive healthcare facilities.
The trio have now quit the party, citing leader Colum Eastwood’s “lack of leadership”.
You rang, m’lady?
Calling all those descended from the landed gentry of Donegal (don’t all rush at once). Donegal County Museum plans to hold an exhibition focusing on the big houses of the county.
The exhibition will focus on the time after the famine until partition. The museum already has artefacts but is keen to obtain more.
It is looking for items as a well as pictures of interiors and stories from ancestors of those who lived or worked there.
So if your ancestry is more Downton Abbey than Stig of the dump, get in touch.
Spare a thought for staff in the Irish Passport office. The Belfast Telegraph reports that the rush for Irish citizenship from people in Northern Ireland is not slowing down.
The figure reached 833 Irish passport applications on 23 March.
Some 8,292 passports applications were received during the month. However, considering there are 6.7m people eligible to apple for one, it doesn’t look like it will get any better for the passport office any time soon.
Finally, it was a lovely weekend, but in typical Norn Iron fashion, the papers are eager to burst our bubble, reporting that normal service is to return soon because rain is coming.
It was good while it lasted.
Source: BBC News – Northern Ireland