What Wednesday's papers say

Garda crisis escalates; Irish women's soccer team row; rural dwellers face more broadband delays

The main headlines from today's newspapers


- Fianna Fáil is considering tabling a motion of no confidence in the management of An Garda Síochána next week. The paper reports that the crisis in the force continues to escalate after a meeting of the party's front bench in which FF TDs were highly critical of Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan. Justice spokesman, Jim O'Callaghan, has told colleagues he would have removed O'Sullivan from her post if he was in power.

- The Irish women's soccer team has threatened to boycott next Monday's friendly international against Slovakia in a row over payments for playing and the right to choose their own union representatives. The dispute with the FAI has heard how players representing Ireland abroad had to change out of Irish tracksuits in airport toilets so their kit could be used by underage players.

- Fine Gael and Labour are threatening to withhold support from the final report of the Oireachtas committee on water charges. claiming that the current draft is in breach of European law. The paper reports how the committee "descended into chaos" yesterday as members held a series of votes on the first chapter of the draft.

- In its business section, the paper reports how the government's tax take for the year was €282 million behind target in March following weaker than expected income tax returns. The Department of Finance said the shortfall related in part to the under performance of the Universal Social Charge (USC).


- The paper leads with details of how a 74-year-old farmer was killed by a heavy agricultural vehicle in Ballyduff, north Kerry, shortly before 9am yesterday. Anthony O'Mahony died when his car was struck side-on by a teleporter. A man in his 60s, who was known to Mr O'Mahony, was arrested and taken to Listowel garda station for questioning.

- The paper has an interview with Ireland footballer Julie-Ann Russell who joined her teammates yesterday in protesting at their treatment by FAI. The players claim that the international players are far worse off than their male counterparts. Russell tells the paper how she can't even rely on wifi in hotels when she is on duty and trying to fit in some work.

- Hundreds of thousands of rural dwellers face more broadband delays after the government signed a contract with Eir to slash the number of homes included in the state-subsidised National Broadband Plan.

- In it business section, the paper reports that a slowdown in the growth of UK construction activity has added to fears that the country's economy may be starting to cool. Any fall-off in activity in the sector is bad news for Ireland which is heavily reliant on the market.


- The majority of junior staff working in financial services are women but only one-in-four senior executives is female, the paper reports. The headline is based on data gathered by the Financial Times from 50 of the world's biggest banks, insurers, asset managers and professional services firms. The study would indicate that women are still missing out on top jobs in the finance industry.

- Geologists have identified what they regard as the first Brexit no one voted for some 450,000 years ago. Britain first broke away from Europe towards the end of an ice age when a flood was unleashed into the English Channel. "This is Brexit 1.0 - the one nobody voted for," says Sanjeev Gupta, a geology professor at Imperial College London.

- Facebook-owned WhatsApp is preparing to enter India's booming digital-payments sector, setting up a clash with PayTM, the Alibaba-backed payments start-up.

- An alleged poison-gas attack on a rebel-held area of Idlib province in Syria that human rights monitors said claimed 58 lives has been condemned by international leaders. A UK based monitoring group said the number killed was likely to rise.


- The new policing commission must be "wholly independent" of the government and should examine the Garda's relationship with the Department of Justice, leading policing expert Dermot Walsh has told the paper. Walsh said he was "surprised and disappointed" that the statement by the Tánaiste announcing the commission revealed nothing about its composition.

- The Central Bank has met with gardai over the tracker mortgage scandal. The paper reports that Central Bank governor Philip Lane also said he could not rule out the "hypothesis of collusion" between some lenders. Lane said the scandal could cost up to €500m in compensation and fines.

- The paper reports that a murder investigation has been launched in Co Kerry after a man in his 70s died following a road collision. Paramedics were unable to revive 74-yea-old Anthony O'Mahony who was pronounced dead at the scene.

- Gardai believe they have saved the lives of multiple associates of the Hutch crime group after arresting an Estonian ex-special forces hitman hired by the Kinahan cartel. The 58-year-old was apprehended in the house of a Kinahan associates in west Dublin.