Northern Ireland

NI newspaper review: Vegas horror and GPs naming their price

A woman lights a candle in Las Vegas as a tribute to those killed in a gun attack in the city Image copyright Getty Images

One story dominates Tuesday's newspapers - horror in Vegas.

The attack by gunman Stephen Paddock that has left at least 59 dead and more than 500 injured is recounted by holidaymakers from Northern Ireland.

They tell of the panic and the fear they felt as they heard gunfire ring out at a country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

One County Antrim woman tells the Belfast Telegraph that she thought she "would never see my kids again".

The News Letter has an account from Belfast woman Frances McCullough, who is in the city with her friend Gary Muir, who turned 25 on Saturday - she says she believed the shots were fireworks at first.

"Gary had me by the hand so we didn't get separated - it was chaos," she adds.

Image copyright News Letter

Their hotel is next to the Mandalay Bay, which Paddock used as his base for the attack, and Frances says the famous Vegas strip has turned into a "ghost town".

The Irish News hears from Londonderry woman Aoife McAdams, another celebrating her birthday in Las Vegas, who could see the scene of the "crazy" attack from her hotel window.

The News Letter uses its editorial to call for gun laws to be tightened in the United States, pointing out that massacres in which a dozen or more people are killed have happened on a near-yearly basis over the past decade

"Controlling guns is a matter for Americans," the paper says.

"But if it does not happen, a by-product of the right to bear arms will be these appalling and tragic massacres."

Image copyright Daily Mirror

Back in Northern Ireland, the Daily Mirror notes that it's been 100 days since the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) struck its £1bn deal with the Conservatives to prop up Theresa May's minority government.

And the paper asks when the money will finally be made available to tackle problems facing the health and education services as well as fuelling major infrastructure projects.

The paper pressed Downing Street but says: "There was no answer."

So, it poses the same question to the DUP - when's the cash coming?

"There's not a timescale as such," the party says.

'Charge more, work less'

It's all about the money over at the Irish News, too, and again health is on the agenda.

The paper says a leading medic has revealed that locum GPs in Northern Ireland are naming their price, charging as much as £500 for a day's work.

That comes amid a "massive shortage" of staff that has forced some surgeries to shut, it adds.

West Belfast GP Dr Michael McKenna tells the paper's health correspondent Seanin Graham that he turned down one locum's demand for £500 within the past fortnight.

"The majority of locums are reasonable but some people are taking advantage where they can charge more and work less," he says.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Working as a part-time locum GP is a lucrative business, says Dr McKenna

Talking of big-money work, the Belfast Telegraph has the details of what the new director of the Public Prosecution Service will earn.

With Barra McGrory QC set to step down after six years in the post, Attorney General John Larkin has set about the search for a successor.

"The role demands an individual of the highest calibre and integrity," is what the job advertisement states.

The Telegraph reports that those applying must have at least 10 years of experience as a member of the Bar in Northern Ireland or have been a solicitor of the Court of Judicature for the same length of time.

And whoever is successful will collect just over £181,000 a year.

'Love this place'

A bit of celebrity news now, and the Belfast-born Sir Kenneth Branagh says he's "humbled and proud" after being granted the freedom of the city.

Belfast City Council unanimously voted on Monday night to bestow the honour on the actor and director, the Belfast Telegraph says.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Sir Kenneth Branagh says he tells the world about his love for Belfast

He'll be the 82nd recipient of the honour, with Van Morrison, Michael Longley and Dame Mary Peters among the others.

Sir Kenneth says: "Belfast has given me more than I could ever repay.

"If [my granny] and my parents from those humble beginnings had been told that the freedom of the city could ever come my way, they would have expired with pride.

"They loved this place and these people, as I do."

And go on then, just one last showbiz snippet...

This time it's another Belfast man, Eamonn Holmes, who reveals in the Daily Mirror how he fluffed an audition rendition of Nellie The Elephant for a new children's show... but still got the role!

The presenter will soon voice Cbeebies programme Biggleton, but he admits he may have come across as more of a Dumbo with his attempt to show off his singing skills.

Says Eamonn: "My audition was to sing Nellie The Elephant but I don't know the words - this is me all over!"