NI paper review: Abduction horror, A&E misery and victims' victory


The harrowing ordeal of an abduction victim, more problems at our hospitals and a victory for child abuse survivors feature in Wednesday's papers.

The haunted face of Kevin Lunney appears on the front of both The Irish News and Daily Mirror.

Mr Lunney, a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings in County Fermanagh, appeared on BBC NI's Spotlight programme on Tuesday night.

The Mirror says he believes the gang tortured him from a pre-prepared list.

image captionKevin Lunney said he believed he was tortured from a pre-prepared list

Mr Lunney said the men spoke to a "boss" by phone and told their victim: "We have to mark you and we have to make you remember."

He added that after trying to escape, he heard one of the kidnappers call someone on the phone and say: "Boss this man's resisted and we've hit him."

After being slashed with a knife, having bleach scrubbed into his body and had his leg broken, Mr Lunney was left 22 miles from his home in County Cavan.

"I felt that I was going to die on the road... I almost gave up," The Irish News quotes Mr Lunney.

The paper says that Mr Lunney's voice broke with emotion as he spoke publicly for the first time about what the gang did to him.

Misery for patients at some of Northern Ireland's A&E departments is the front page story in the Belfast Telegraph.

image captionProblems at Antrim Area Hospital are reported on in the Belfast Telegraph

It says a doctor in charge of the A&E department in Antrim Area Hospital told patients at lunchtime on Tuesday that some of them would be waiting for seven hours and that 10 patients had been waiting on trolleys for more than 12 hours.

"I don't have 100 doctors and I don't have 50 doctors - I have eight," the paper says the doctor told the 100 waiting patients.

"You will not be seen in the order in which you arrived, but in order of priority."

The Telegraph says that according to the NI Direct website, the average waiting time at the Causeway Hospital's emergency department at the same time was nine hours.

In a statement, the Northern Trust said: "No matter how busy it may be, if people attend an ED they will be assessed and triaged as quickly as possible."

Meanwhile, a 66-year-old woman who arrived at the Mater Hospital in north Belfast on Sunday morning with a respiratory infection spent more than two days on an A&E trolley waiting for a bed.

The News Letter reports on a long-awaited victory for the survivors of historical child abuse in Northern Ireland.

image copyrightPacemaker
image captionVictims of historical institutional child abuse celebrate their compensation victory

"We wouldn't take no for an answer," is the paper's front page headline.

The paper says that with just hours remaining before the dissolution of Parliament, MPs approved a bill offering redress for victims of abuse at NI residential institutions.

Survivor Margaret McGuckin tells the paper: "We've united together under the same pain, the same hurt.

"There's no division. We've done it together."

image captionChief Constable Simon Byrne has said that a medium-term objective for the PSNI is to have more single officer patrols

The News Letter also reports that police are to begin trialling single officers on the beat in Northern Ireland.

It says officers in NI have traditionally patrolled in pairs for security reasons.

However, Chief Constable Simon Byrne has said that a medium-term objective for the PSNI is to have more single officer patrols.

The Irish News says that tributes continue to be paid to former Late Late Show presenter Gay Byrne who died on Monday.

Former RTE broadcaster Mike Murphy described him as a "one-off" who once told him he could have continued on The Late Late Show "for another few years".

TV presenter Graham Norton said: "How lucky we are that Gay found us.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionTributes continue to pour in for former RTE broadcaster Gay Byrne

"He could have been doing something else. He could have been doing lots of things."

Meanwhile, the Belfast Telegraph carries tributes have been paid to west Belfast priest Fr Des Wilson.

It described the 94-year-old as a "peacemaker and champion of the people".

Finally the Daily Mirror says that Lisburn and Castlereagh Council has released a first glimpse of its proposals to revamp Dundonald Ice Bowl.

The planes include a new Olympic-sized ice rink in a glass-clad building.

There are also plans for a healthcare centre, gym and a direct link for cyclists from Comber Greenway.