Richie Boucher

The Irish Independent leads with a story based on the appearance of Bank of Ireland's Chief executive, Richie Boucher, before an Oireachtas committee yesterday.

He admitted that his bank is deliberately keeping variable mortgage rates high, in order to encourage customers to switch to fixed rate products. He also said it was inevitable that more homes would be repossessed in the coming years.

The main story for the Examiner arises from  the  findings of a joint Oireachtas Finance Committee report on the rising costs of motor insurance due to be published next week and seen by the paper. The report concludes that in many cases insurance companies are refusing to quote, or seeking such large amounts that the net effect is preventing people becoming insured at all - and proposes that the powers of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board be modernised and strengthened.

The Irish Times lead concerns the TD, Mick Wallace, speaking under privilege in the Dail yesterday, making  a number of fresh allegations about the Project Eagle controversy around the sale of a Nama Northern Ireland loans portfolio. He  said, he travelled to Asia to collect more than 100 emails and other documents from an English businessman who had contacted him via the website Nama Leaks and claims that these show a [named] member of Nama's northern Ireland advisory body had been "peddling Nama assets in foreign parts" as early as 2010 in return for fees.

Four  papers, the Herald, Irish Daily Star, Irish Daily Mirror and Irish Sun all lead with the very sad story of the death of 30-year old Majella Donoghue, from Belmullet in Co Mayo, who became ill and died following a holiday in South Africa, during which her very new fiance, Barry Doherty had proposed to her - and had been accepted.

So what else?

The Examiner gives pause for thought about climate change and the planet's ecosystems, particularly those involving bogs and other wetlands. Take bogs, for instance, of great, sometimes controversial interest here. Bogland stores carbon. And although peatlands cover only 3 percent of the world's surface, they store twice as much carbon, scientists say, as do all the forests of the planet combined.... Draining them would release twice the amount of carbon released by all of the world's aviation industry.

In publishing its first strategic plan since it had been embroiled in controversy in 2013, the Central Remedial Clinic's CEO, Stephanie Manahan said she is now confident that governance and accounting structures are now among the most robust and transparent anywhere. That's in the Times.

Analytic and speculative Post-US-election analysis continues everywhere. The Independent tells us that the former British prime minister Tony Blair, last night dismissed as "beyond speculation", claims he is being lined up as an adviser to Donald Trump. This emerged when he was seen having lunch with Jared Kushner, who is Mr Trump's son-in-law and and deemed to be highly influential as the "king-maker" of the incoming White House team.

On the eve of Ireland's next rugby tussle with New Zealand, the Examiner runs a feature on one of the All Black's most famous players, Jonah Lomu, the first anniversary of whose death, at the age of 40, is today. The paper's former editor, Tim Vaughan, links his decease with the more recent death of Munster and Ireland's Anthony Foley at the age of 42, and says that both teams will come to the field with "the spirit of giants at their backs."

A graduate from Pratt Institute of Design in New York has won the Dyson International award for her invention of a bicycle safety helmet made of recyclable materials and rain resistant for 3 hours. It folds flat when not in use. It will probably cost about five euro and is shown widely.

And just to cheer us all up, the new Guinness Book of Records recognises the following: the highest dunk of a biscuit by a bungee jumper, the most traffic cones balanced on a person's chin, and ... the most rings placed on a target by a parrot... seeing is believing in the Irish Examiner.