Northern Ireland

Cloughmills crash: Tribute to crash victim as 'fun-loving' boy

The family were walking to school when the collision occurred Image copyright PACEMAKER
Image caption The family were walking to school along a country road when the collision occurred

An eight-year-old boy who was killed after being struck by a car in County Antrim has been described as a "fun-loving" child.

Adam Gilmour died in hospital after his mother and her six children were knocked down at Cloughmills, near Ballymena, on Tuesday.

His mother and a sibling are in a stable condition at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

The principal of Clough Primary School described him as a "character".

Craig Whyte said: "Adam was a pleasant pupil. He enjoyed his playtimes, break-time and lunch-time and loved PE.

"He loved his life and his time at school. He was such a character to his classmates. They just knew him as being that fun-loving guy who kept them going at times."

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Media captionCraig Whyte, principal of Clough Primary School, said Adam "loved his life"

Mr Whyte said the children had been making cards for the family.

"It really hit the school hard. This morning we had a special assembly to remember Adam, but we were also remembering the rest of his family," he said.

Three of Adam's siblings were treated at Antrim Area Hospital and have been discharged. A sixth child did not need hospital treatment.

An 18-year-old man who was arrested has been released on police bail.

Education Minister John O'Dowd said he has asked his officials to seek a report from the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB).

"I was very saddened to learn of the tragic fatal accident involving the family of pupils on their way to Clough Primary School yesterday," he said.

"My thoughts lie entirely with the children and their mother and wider family circle.

"It would inappropriate for me to comment specifically on the details of the accident as I understand that a police investigation is under way."

The statement follows a claim by North Antrim MLA Jim Allister that the woman had contacted him last month to raise safety concerns about the road.

'No footpath'

He said the woman had warned him that her family would be "wiped out" some morning on their way to school.

"She described how every morning she was having to walk six young children down a country road with no footpath, into Cloughmills, because the school bus wouldn't come up the road to pick them up," he said.

Mr Allister said he wrote to NEELB on her behalf, after she complained that the education authority "refused" to provide school transport to collect her children closer to their home.

In a statement, the NEELB confirmed that it had received correspondence from Mr Allister and had "been reviewing transport provision in the Cloughmills area".

The board added that it had agreed to meet the MLA to discuss the concerns he raised.

However, Mr Allister said he had only heard about that meeting on Tuesday, after the fatal crash.

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