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Grim discovery of young girl, more economic woes, and serious garda blunder

Paperround: Your digested guide to the Sunday papers.

THE DISCOVERY OF the body of a 12-year-old girl at the Royal Canal in Dublin is covered by many of the Sunday papers this morning.

The girl, who has been named locally as Michaela Davis from the Village, Porterstown, was discovered by a passerby on Saturday morning, reports the Sunday Independent in its leading story. A 19-year-old is being questioned by gardaí after handing himself in. Gardaí are investigating the cause of death, but suspect the girl may have been strangled.

The paper continues by blasting the government for seemingly ignoring the need to address Ireland’s economic situation, drawing attention to the fact Taoiseach Brian Cowen was spotted playing golf on the same day Ireland’s sovereign debt was downgraded.

The paper also quotes former minister Willie O’Dea, who has declared it takes too long to bring bankers “who brought the country to its knees” to justice.

The dismissal of the former lord mayor of Dublin, Royston Brady, from his post as a hotel manager is the lead story in The Sunday Times. Brady claims that he was fired after he threatened to blow the whistle on the Roganstwon Golf & County Club for not applying for a bar exemption license for a wedding reception – despite the bride and groom having paid €500 for it.

The paper also details how social protection minister Eamon Ó Cuív plans to roll out a “social employment” scheme, which would see dole receipts engage in social work in their communities – or risk having their payments cut off.

Breakthroughs in medicine and technology also feature of the front of The Sunday Times, with the story a possible anti-lung cancer drug being introduced. The launch of poetry app being developed by Poetry Ireland is also reported.

The EU Commission will veto the proposal to reinvent Anglo Irish Bank as a significant financial entity, according to the front page of the Sunday Business Post.  The Commission reportedly believes that such a move would have serious consequences for competition in Ireland.

Meanwhile, an investigation is underway by the Revenue into the possibility that certain professionals are attempting to avoid tax by registering themselves as self-employed. In particular, university staff, airline pilots, doctors, translators, interpreters, nurses and pharmacists are being investigated.

The paper also notes how the concept of “pre-paid” funerals is becoming more popular.

The death of 12-year-old Michaela Davis is also the lead story in the Sunday Tribune, which quotes local Fianna Fáil councillor David McGuinness saying, “This is almost a rural community in the Clonsilla area… Nobody in the area has ever seen or heard of anything like this”.

The paper also outlines how a highly sensitive secret intelligence file that related to one of the country’s most dangerous criminal gangs was compromised when gardaí sent the document to a Dublin photocopy shop, Reads of Nassau Street . Somebody who was in the shop saw the dossier, intended for the DPP, and immediately contacted a gang member who featured prominently in it.

Reads have released a statement through their solicitor to make clear they “do not support or condone in any way any criminal activity”.

RTÉ presenter Miriam O’Callaghan has been tipped as a contender for the presidency: speaking to the Sunday Tribune, O’Callaghan said the role would be “such an extraordinary and unimaginable honour that I wouldn’t dare talk about it”.

And abroad, The Observer‘s lead photo is of British Prime Minister David Cameron and his newborn daughter. The Prime Minister and his wife, Samantha Cameron, have named their “unbelievably beautiful girl” Florence.

In less happy news, the UK Treasury has warned that there will be no cut in the overall burden of taxation for at least five years.

Meanwhile, news that the right have “claimed the spirit” of Martin Luther King also features on The Observer’s front page. Controversial Fox News host Glen Beck, and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, addressed throngs of ring-wing supporters at the Lincon Memorial yesterday- on the anniversary of King’s famous “I have a dream” speech.