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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 March 2006, 07:41 GMT 08:41 UK
What the papers say
Journalist Mike Philpott takes a look at what is making the headlines in Thursday's morning papers.

The dominant image on many of the front pages is a green and white aircraft captured on film at the moment when it landed at the wrong airport.

"Oh barracks! I've missed the airport," says the headline in the Sun - a reference to the fact that the plane touched down at Ballykelly military airfield instead of Derry City Airport.

Other papers have fun with the names of the airlines involved.

It was a Ryanair service operated by Eirjet, resulting in the Daily Mirror headline "Ryanwhere?" And the News Letter's version, "Errorjet".

Many of the stories are based on the accounts of the passengers.

One of them, Brian Mather, tells the Irish Times that soldiers came on board and welcomed them to their international airport.

Runway shock

Another notes, in the Irish Independent, that the Ballykelly base was originally named after Ernest Shackleton, the Irish-born explorer who built up a reputation for never getting lost.

But it's not all fun and games. Another passenger tells Daily Ireland that the experience was "unbelievably shocking".

The Irish Independent reports that the aircraft involved will be grounded at Ballykelly until an investigation is carried out.

The Belfast Telegraph devotes its main headline to the story of a former hunger striker who has become one of the richest men in Ireland.

It says Tom McFeely drives a top of the range Bentley and lives on Dublin's most expensive road.

It claims he is worth tens of millions of pounds, and notes that he has come a long way since he spent 53 days refusing food in the Maze prison.

The Irish News reports that threatened cuts at Newry's Daisy Hill Hospital could result in it losing its acute status.

Reading and writing

The paper says some services at the hospital have already been moved to Craigavon, and consultants at Daisy Hill are concerned about what the future holds.

Two of the editorial writers examine the Audit Office report which found children were leaving primary school without reaching acceptable standards of reading and writing.

The Irish News describes it as "troubling" and says it raises serious questions about how an education system can enable "the brightest to achieve so much while failing those who are less able".

The Belfast Telegraph talks of "pitifully low standards" in many schools, and looks to the government for answers.

Daily Ireland detects a resurgence of the Irish language and says this island has been playing catch-up with the Welsh, the Basques and many others who carry their bilingualism with "ease and style".

Many papers across the water agree that Tony Blair will return from his tour of Australia and New Zealand to a deepening crisis over his leadership.

The Times says detectives are waiting to interview him over claims - strongly denied - that honours were offered in exchange for loans.

'Visa palaver'

The Daily Telegraph says that issue, together with growing demands to hand over power to Gordon Brown, overshadowed the prime minister's trip down under.

Finally, the Guardian reports that one of Britain's leading symphony orchestras, the Halle, has scrapped a tour of America because of the time and expense involved in obtaining visas.

A hundred musicians and staff would have had to travel from Manchester to London for interviews and fingerprinting at the US Embassy.

The Halle's chief executive tells the paper, in suitably arty language, that this would have been "a mind-blowing palaver".


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