The nine stories you need to know this morning:
1. Boost plan for small businesses
‘Dole plan for small business owners’ reads the front page of the Irish Independent. The front page leads with Fine Gael’s plans to boost small businesses and details the party’s plan of how USC rates for the self-employed will be cut and how there would be a return of tax rebates toward costs of redundancy and welfare benefits for family firms.
2. Shefflin steps down
Henry Shefflin and his wife Deirdre smile for the front page of the Irish Independent under the caption “Henry’s decision took us all by surprise”. The most-decorated Irish hurler in history stepped down from his inter-county career yesterday.
3. FG support rises in poll
The Irish Times leads with their latest poll and the headline ‘Support for FG rebounds after 12-year low’. According to the poll, Sinn Fein are also up and backing for Gerry Adams remains unchanged despite sex abuse scandals. However, it is Joan Burton that is the most popular party leader as her approval rating increases by six points.
4. Forensic science 'in crisis mode'
‘Forensic science agency ‘in crisis mode’’ reads the front page of the Irish Examiner. The newspaper reports that a lack of staffing and facilities means there is ‘no systemic planning’ in place.
5. Girl (13) attacked in broad daylight
The Herald leads with the story of a 13-year-old girl who was left terrified after a plastic bag pulled over her head in a daylight attack in Dublin. ‘Bag over head of ‘kidnap’ girl (13)’ reads the front page. The girl was training for her school athletics team in Clonsilla, Dublin when she was targeted. It is reported a bag was pulled down over her head by a man. It is the third ‘suspicious approach’ of a child in the area in two weeks.
6. Zayn leaves One Direction
Boy-band member Zayn also hits headlines after he announced he is leaving the world’s biggest boyband, One Direction. ‘Zayn quits 1D’ reads the front of the Irish Sun. ‘Strain takes toll’, the front page reads. The Irish Daily Mirror opts for ‘1D Zayn quit shocker’. The Irish Examiner opts for ‘Zayn heads in a different direction’, while the Irish Independent goes for ‘One Rejection’.
7. Clarkson axed from BBC
Jeremy Clarkson also features on the front pages of the national newspapers after the BBC announced yesterday that he would not be returning to the popular ‘Top Gear’ show. ‘Clarkson faces cop grilling’ the Irish Daily Mirror reads. The story details how Jeremy Clarkson will now face a police probe into the presenter’s alleged attack.
8. Leave house-buying for now
‘Don’t buy a house now’ reads the front page of the Irish Daily Mail. The newspaper advises readers to ‘Bide your time as prices are coming down, says top economist’. Economist Stephen Kinsella has advised house-hunters to hold off as he reports house prices to be dropping following Central Bank rules.
9. Irishman's wife found dead in apartment
‘Husband quizzed after wife knifed 60 times’ reads the front page of the Irish Daily Star. The report comes after an Irishman was found unconscious in his Swiss home. The female victim had 60 wounds to her head, chest and back, while the male was found passed out in the apartment.