Northern Ireland

Boy held over North Eastern Board vandalism in Antrim

School bus with smashed window
Image caption Seven schools buses are off the road because of the attack

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested over an attack on an education board centre in Antrim.

Seven school buses and more than 60 windows were smashed at the North Eastern Education and Library Board premises on the Lough Road.

The damage was reported shortly before midnight on Sunday.

The youth was questioned by police on suspicion of burglary and criminal damage. He has since been released on police bail.

The board has said it would have to put alternative transport in place as a result of the attack.

Its head of property services, George Wylie, said several of the buses were used for transporting pupils with special needs.

"It's important that these children's routine is not mucked about with and therefore it has been important to try and get alternative transport for them for Tuesday," Mr Wylie said.

"In total, we reckon that the cost will be in excess of £10,000.

"The board has much better use for very scarce resources, and this year they are extremely scarce, than having to deal with mindless vandalism that we have witnessed today."

Image caption More than 60 windows were broken at the centre

Antrim mayor, Councillor Paul Michael, said his first reaction to the attack was "one of horror".

"The level of destruction that has taken place here is mind-blowing, seven school buses, every window smashed, 60 windows in the main building," he said.

He said the damage caused to the buses would curtail summer schemes being planned by local schools.

"There are schools here with plans, with diaries, looking ahead to the summer months and there are seven buses which are going to be out of circulation," Councillor Michael said.

"That in itself tells it own story."

Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.