Northern Ireland

NI weekly paper review: Las Vegas survival and angry council meeting

Front page of the Tyrone Constitution Image copyright Tyrone Constitution
Image caption Front page of the Tyrone Constitution
Front page of the Portadown Times Image copyright Portadown Times
Image caption Front page of the Portadown Times
Front page of the Derry Journal Image copyright Derry Journal
Image caption Front page of the Derry Journal
Front page of the Impartial Reporter Image copyright Impartial Reporter
Image caption Front page of the Impartial Reporter
Front page of the Ulster Star Image copyright Ulster Star
Image caption Front page of the Ulster Star

Las Vegas is more than 4,000 miles away, but people from Northern Ireland were caught up in the horrific shooting on Sunday night.

The story of four young women from Omagh surviving the attack makes the front page of the Tyrone Constitution.

They were at the concert and managed to get to their hotel safely amid the panic.

The mother of one of the girls tells the newspaper that they were shaken by the attack and that she did not think "they'll be heading back to Vegas in a hurry".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The attack in Las Vegas was the worst shooting in modern US history

The paper also devotes three pages to a memorial service in Fivemiletown.

Organised by South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF), the service saw the dedication of a quilt remembering some of the youngest victims of the Troubles.

It was attended by Donna-Maria Barker, whose son, James, was killed in the Omagh bomb.

Meanwhile, the Derry Journal reports on a bid to rename Derry City FC's Brandywell stadium after their late captain Ryan McBride.

The 27-year-old footballer died suddenly in March.

His aunt, Sinn Féin councillor Patricia Logue, is putting forward a motion to rename the venue at Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Foyle MP Elisha McCallion told the newspaper that Mr McBride's life had "left a great legacy in our city".

The impact of flooding at Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn is the lead in the Ulster Star.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The patchwork quilt was dedicated at service in Fivemiletown

A burst pipe meant that the basement of the hospital, which houses plant machinery, flooded.

Surgeries and other procedures were cancelled last week and will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

A war of words has broken out between Sinn Féin and political parties that brought a notice of motion for a 15-acre city centre park in Newry.

The Newry Reporter says a meeting on the Albert Basin project was attended by more than 20 members of the public in support of the park.

The paper says it ended "acrimoniously" after the motion was referred to a sub-group of the Strategy, Policy and Resources committee by council chair Roisin Mulgrew of Sinn Féin. It was at her discretion whether the debate proceeded or not.

The paper reports that as the meeting ended, members of the public booed and shouted "disgraceful" as councillors left the chamber.

Health cuts

The front page of the Portadown Times runs with 'Street to reopen as work starts on station barrier'.

The former police station on Edward Street is to be renovated and the aim is to remove the barrier which blocked local access to Edward Street. The work is expected to be completed just before Christmas.

The Impartial Reporter's front page features two County Fermanagh men accused of being involved in an organised crime gang allegedly responsible for extorting £1.2m from an English man over a two-year period.

Paul Maye, 54, of Sally's Wood, Irvinestown, and Christopher Francis McGovern, 39, of Trasna Way, Lisnaskea, are both charged with blackmailing the individual between 1 September 2015 and 2 October 2017. Mr McGovern faces a further charge relating to alleged money laundering.

Both men were released on bail when they appeared before Fermanagh Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

Mr Maye's solicitor told the court that her client had been interviewed over several days and was granted bail each evening due to his medical condition.

Mr McGovern's solicitor said his client had maintained his innocence during extensive questioning and denied meeting the victim.

The newspaper also focuses on proposed health cuts in the region.

Image caption More than 600 people attended the meeting in the Lakeland Forum

A public meeting was held at the Lakeland Forum in Enniskillen on Monday night.

The meeting, scheduled for last week had to be postponed as there was not enough space for all those who turned up.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust has to make £12.5m in savings as part of £70m in cutbacks across the health service.

The proposals, out for consultation, include changes to the neonatal unit at the South West Acute Hospital.

Speaking at the meeting, nurse Karen Hamilton warned if you remove the neo natal unit "you are taking away the only team within a two-hour radius that is available to resuscitate and care for a sick baby".

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