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Tánaiste plays down FÁS row, a dismissal of the kidney op case, and a goal for Fahey’s daddy

Paperround: Our guide to the pick of the Saturday press.

THEY SAY IT’S USUALLY A SIGN that there’s no major story gripping the public consciousness when the main papers cover different things on their front pages.

Today is as good an example of that as you might find. The Irish Independent leads with the news that the doctors in front of the Medical Council enquiry over the removal of the incorrect kidney from an eight-year-old child were yesterday cleared by the enquiry.

Inside it discusses the ‘smashing’ of an immigration scam that saw human traffickers smuggle illegal immigrants into the state, while there is also coverage of the increase in the number of homeowners being awarded mortgage aid.

It also carries accusations that Dermot Ahern has backtracked on his proposal to charge users to withdraw cash from ATMs, with the justice minister explaining yesterday that he really wanted to incentivise the use of plastic cards for transactions.

The Irish Times leads with Tánaiste Mary Coughlan’s moves to downplay the controversy over the government’s decision not to apply to the European Social Fund for monies for FÁS, as the European Commission investigates the awarding of certificates by private bodies.

It also carries an interview with Tony Blair, carried out yesterday in advance of his Late Late Show appearance, in which the former British prime minister asserts that politicians are sometimes serving the greater good by stretching the truth.

It notes, by the by, that the 20-or-so protesters who showed up to demonstrate against Blair’s RTÉ appearance were outnumbered two-to-one by the forty fans who showed up to see Jedward.

The Irish Examiner leads with the revelation that the government has not spent €800m from its capital budget for this year, meaning that it has foregone the chance to create 8,000 construction jobs that would have been created by the capital spending.

It also carries an assertion from Brian Cowen that the immediate wind-down of Anglo Irish Bank, as is proposed by the Green Party, would cost €70bn.

The Irish Daily Star, meanwhile, gives sport its front page, with a quote by Ireland’s goalscorer Keith Fahey. He dedicated his strike in yesterday’s Euro 2012 qualifier to his father Declan, who died of cancer aged 53 just a few months ago.

Inside it details that a serving Garda, Danny Flynn (27), was remanded on continuing bail yesterday on charges of stealing more than €500 from two colleagues.

It also casually mentions a fact that appears absent from the other papers – that two private operators are now vying to run a new rail service between Waterford and Rosslare after Iarnród Éireann chose to close the line this week.

The biggest common theme between the papers, as one might expect on the first weekend in September, is the build-up to the All-Ireland hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary tomorrow.

The Irish Times carries a profile of The K Team – the Facebook-organised group of vigilantes painting the Cats’ black and amber colours anywhere they can, while also decking out the county with as much bunting and flags as they can find.

“Kilkenny won the darts and the sing-off element of the competition” they were holding with Tipperary fans, it says, “but an interview with journalist Nell McCafferty on Thursday night meant they had to miss the table quiz. Last night’s blitz meant they would also miss the soccer competition so [group leader] K1 declared a draw.

“‘Let Sunday’s result be the deciding factor,’ he said magnanimously.