Northern Ireland

What the papers say

newspaper title

Journalist Mike Philpott takes a look at what is making the headlines in Wednesday's newspapers.

Ryanair's decision to pull out of Belfast is the lead story in the Belfast Telegraph and in the local edition of The Mirror.

The Telegraph doesn't fault the airline.

It points to delays in both the runway decision that caused the pullout, and to the John Lewis development at Sprucefield and says there's a danger that Northern Ireland could "give the impression... that it's closed for business."

The Mirror says a decision should have been made by now. But both The News Letter and The Irish News argue that all viewpoints must be taken into account - including those of people living nearby.

Two other stories appear on the local front pages.

The News Letter focuses on the fact that there was no paramedic on board the ambulance that went to the aid of a young boy struck by a boat at Cranfield.

It quotes a doctor who treated six year-old Stuart Wilson at the scene as saying that she felt "let down" by the lack of medical assistance.

Medical millions

The Irish News reports under its main headline that medical negligence claims cost Northern Ireland's health service £20m last year - £5m of which went on legal fees.

Tony Blair's memoirs provide the lead for most of the papers and particulalry his relationship with Gordon Brown.

The Times says he blames Mr Brown for ditching New Labour and condemning the party to defeat at the last election.

The Guardian highlights his view that a Brown premiership would be " a disaster".

But the Iraq war is another major talking point.

"Crocodile tears - and still no apology", says the main headline in The Mail. The paper says his claim to have shed many tears for the dead "will outrage the families of the victims".

It calls the book "a journey into Mr Blair's fantasy world". For the The Express, it's an exercise in "self-justification, excuse-making and vanity".

The Mirror, one of the staunchest supporters of the Labour government, believes the former prime minster is on "a journey of denial" and he was "utterly wrong" on Iraq.

The Daily Telegraph highlights a few other snippets, such as the pressure of the job causing him to drink more heavily. It also says he found Princess Diana to be "manipulative" and the Queen "haughty".

In Dublin, the most prominent pictures are of Bob Geldof and his family at the funeral of his father.

But once again the banking industry is the biggest talking point.

The Irish Times reports on claims by the Anglo Irish Bank that its cost to the taxpayer won't rise above the 25bn euros already estimated.

But the Irish Independent puts it another way. That means, it says, that the bank will continue to cost the taxpayer 210m euros every week for the rest of this year.

Medical misunderstandings

Finally, the Daily Mail reports that overseas medical staff at a hospital in Norfolk have been sent on a course after a series of misunderstandings.

They're being taught that in the local slang, dudders translates as shivers and tizzick is a cough.

But as the paper points out, one of the most common expressions in English has also caused a few problems. Patients who tell the staff that they need to spend a penny have found themselves being taken to the hospital shop.

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