Northern Ireland

Gun found in Parkhall Primary School playground in Antrim

The principal of Parkhall Primary School in Antrim has spoken of her shock that a gun was found in their playground.

A 13-year-old boy lifted the firearm and took it home on Saturday thinking it was a toy.

His parents called the police who confirmed it was a real gun.

Parkhall PS principal Sandra Boyd said the weapon was found in a wooded corner at the "far end" of the playground.

"It was nowhere any of our children were likely to have been," she added.

"I am not happy obviously with what has happened, but the children are safe and sound and that is my main concern."

South Antrim Ulster Unionist assembly member Danny Kinahan said it was "extremely worrying" that the boy had been able to find the gun in the playground.

"I am angry that someone has just dumped such a dangerous weapon in a school playground where a child could easily have been killed had the weapon been dispensed," he said.

"I am sure this has been a traumatic experience for the child and his family."

Antrim councillor Neil Kelly said he was horrified at the incident.

"The community is shocked and appalled at this," the Alliance representative said.

SDLP councillor Grainne Teggart said those responsible for leaving the weapon in the playground "had no respect for human life or the safety of innocent children".