Friday 23 February 2018

What it says in the papers

Today's papers are dominated by the increasing pressure on Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

The Irish Independent leads with the latest twist in the Garda controversy as Minister for Justice Alan Shatter fights for political survival. It has emerged that thousands of calls were recorded in garda stations around the country, beginning in the 1980s, and Shatter is facing questions over his knowledge of the estimated 2,500 tapes.

Senior officials in the Justice department were told two weeks ago, however Shatter says he was only told on Monday. Analysis from Legal Editor Dearbhail McDonald, Security Editor Tom Brady, Public Affairs Editor Shane Phelan and columnists Terry Prone and Ivan Yates focus on the latest scandal.

The Herald also leads with the garda tapes, with Martin Callinan claiming to have learned of their existence in November, while Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he learned on them on Sunday night. The Justice Minister is under more pressure than ever to resign from his post.

The Irish Times covers fears in Government that the recordings may threaten convictions. Finance Minister Michael Noonan said to the paper last night that the cabinet will proceed with caution to avoid any potentially 'tainted' litigation. Another senior minister, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Irish Times that there is 'a lot of Government concern in relation to the impact that those tapes have in relation to people already convicted and cases pending.'

The Irish Examiner also leads with the bugging scandal, calling for an explanation behind the decision to record phone calls and Minister Noonan's message to RTE News last night, "I think he certainly has to address it."

The Irish Sun and Irish Daily Mail also feature front page stories on the recordings.

In showbiz news, the announcement of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and his wife of 11 years Gwyneth Paltrow's split is headline news, as are the Irish delegates chosen to meet with Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace last night - including One Direction's Niall Horan.

In sport, the Irish Independent, Simon Zebo tells David Kelly said the likes of Dave Kearney and Andrew Trimble have 'made it tough for me to keep the jersey' and explained his elaborate try celebrations are not the reason behind his absence on the Six Nations squad.

In football, Man City crushed United 3-0 as City fans chanted 'five more years' to David Moyes after their incredible victory - urging him to finish out his contract. The Herald also lead with Moyes' defeat, with insight from John Giles.





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