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DUBLIN, Feb 7 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in Ireland's newspapers on Thursday. Reuters has not verified these stories and cannot vouch for their accuracy:
THE IRISH TIMES
- Children's rights organisations have expressed strong opposition to plans being discussed by the government to hold a referendum on child protection on the same day as the European Union reform treaty.
- Fianna Fail senator and founder of Lir chocolates Mary White has announced that she intends seeking her party's nomination to contest the next presidential election in 2011.
- Payzone PAYZ.L has conceded before the High Court that the purported termination last month of the contracts of its chief executive and chief financial officer was invalid, null and void and of no effect.
- The businessman at the centre of the Bertie Ahern casino affair last night spoke out in support of the Taoiseach, branding the controversy over Mr Ahern's involvement in his bid to obtain an Irish passport as "a nonsense". - Cardinal Desmond Connell has told friends that he is prepared to go to jail rather than release confidential diocesan files.
- Airtricity, the Irish wind farm group being bought by Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE.L), will start construction of a 50 megawatt wind farm in northeastern China this year.
- The dramatic collapse last night of talks aimed at resolving the Cork GAA players strike could precipitate one of the biggest crises the association has faced in over a century.
- A survey of jobs created during 2007 in IDA-supported companies has highlighted significant discrepancies in investment levels between different parts of the country.
- Ryanair (RYA.I) (RYA.L) is on course to secure a significant court victory in Germany over rival Lufthansa.
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