What Friday's papers say

Fennelly Commission report; Unilever investor positivity; Obama expert calls for North taskforce

7th April, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers


- The Irish Times leads with details of the Fennelly Commission report, which was released last night. It found that the recording of phone calls in Garda stations around the country was both set up by mistake and operated in ignorance, but was not abused by gardaí.

- The paper also reports on figures it has seen, which suggest that 871 cases of alleged historical child sex abuse have yet to be allocated to a social worker. The largest figure is seen in Cork, where 200 open files exist, the paper says.

- In business, the Irish Times reports on statements made by the Central Bank's chief economist yesterday. Gabriel Fagan said that the Irish economic recovery is a "Phoenix miracle", one where strong growth is driven by growing income and business investment without increasing debt levels.

- The paper also reports on publican Frank Gleeson, who secured a temporary High Court injunction preventing his dismissal as chief executive of the Mercantile Group.


- The Financial Times leads with investor positivity about reforms announced by consumer giant Unilever yesterday. The company, which last month rejected a Kraft Heinz bid, announced a share buyback and more cost-cutting measures.

- It also reports on news that the world's largest sovereign wealth fund is pushing for a radical overhaul of chief executive pay. Norway’s $910 billion oil fund is arguing that the long-term incentive schemes favoured by many companies should be scrapped.

- The paper also indicates that Trump's infrastructure modernisation plans may start with US air traffic control. The first priority of the head of his National Economic Council could be to take the air traffic control system away from the Federal Aviation Administration and place it in a non-profit entity.


- The Irish Independent reports that a top counterterrorism expert and a former Obama administration official, Michael Ortiz, has called for the establishment of a powerful taskforce to prevent the prospect of "violent extremism" unfolding in Northern Ireland post-Brexit.

- The paper reports that the Football Association of Ireland is set for new pay claims after it struck a deal with the international women's team. It comes after a week of disputes over pay and conditions. The team threatened to boycott Monday's match against Slovakia.

- The paper also reports on interventions by housing minister Simon Coveney, who it said made a last-ditch attempt to resolve the row over water charges by warning that decisions made by the future of water committee could put Ireland "at odds" with the European Union. He called "deeply worrying" the decision of the committee to vote against the provision of meters for all new homes.


- The Irish Examiner also leads with the Fennelly Report, but focuses on the finding that Gardaí investigating the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder were prepared to “contemplate altering, modifying or suppressing evidence” that hindered their belief that journalist Ian Bailey killed her.

- The paper also reports that the clinical biochemistry department at one of the country’s largest hospitals, Cork University Hospital, says it is unable to provide clinical advice or interpretation of test results due to a lack of consultant doctor cover.

- It also reports on yesterday's Census figures, which revealed an ageing, less religious country.

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