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Tax dodgers, IDA staff shortages, and Christy crowned a poet

Paperround: Our pick of the Saturday papers.

AS MANY AS 3,800 PEOPLE who earned more than €100,000 last year paid no income tax, The Irish Times reveals.

The Revenue Commissioners have outlined how some wealthy individuals were able to avoid paying tax through  property investment, business expansion schemes and tax relief on trading losses. The Department of Finance has responded by saying that recently introduced measures to target such individuals, who employ what Labour’s Joan Burton called “aggressive tax planning, will stop tax-dodging.

The Times continues with details of how hundreds of Irish patients will have to undergo corrective surgery after an international recall of a widely used hip implant. The ASR implant has found to cause metal sensitivity and pain in patients, and can also lead to infections developing.

Also on the front page is proof that the demand for private education continues despite the downturn in the economy, as 10 private schools in Dublin announce plans to increase their fees by as much as 5%.

Chronic staff shortages at IDA, the job creation agency, has caused exasperated chairman Liam O’Mahony to write to the state’s Education Minister. The Irish Independent reports that O’Mahony expressed serious concerns about the ability of the agency to meet its target to create 100,000 jobs when its own staffing levels are so low: “The current impasse will almost certainly lose FCI (foreign direct investment)  for Ireland”, O’Mahony warned.

The paper also tells of the outpouring of grief at the funeral of Kerry teenager Áine Riordan, one of four young people who died in a car crash last Wednesday.

The Irish Daily Star announces that the cause of death of Olympic-winning Irish boxer Darren Sutherland may be revised. Northern Ireland pathologist Jack Crane has expressed criticism of the original post-mortem, saying that he believed there could have been a third party involved in Sutherland’s death as the young man’s hands had been tied. The paper reports that the Sutherland family’s solicitor has advised them to consider exhumation in light of Crane’s assessment.

Meanwhile, several papers note that singer-songwriter Christy Moore has been recognised a true poet, rubbing shoulders with the likes of WB Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh and Seamus Heaney within the pages of the “Penguin book of Irish Verse”. Moore is included in the 1,000 page book, one of the most prestigious anthologies of Irish poetry, for well-known ballades such as “Lisdoonvarna”.

Abroad, fears that media magnate Rupert Murdoch has grown too powerful have been expressed by BBC director general Mark Thompson, reports The Guardian. Thompson said that Sky was  “well on its way to becoming the most dominant force in broadcast media” in the UK.

The Guardian also reveals that David Cameron has identified his greatest competitor; the Prime Minister has marked David Miliband, the UK’s shadow foreign secretary, as the figure most able to reach out to middle Britain.

The Independent outlines the financial woes of the British National Party (BNP), discussing how crippling debts and internal sparring might mark the end to the controversial far-right party as a significant electoral force.