Belfast Telegraph

Adam Gilmour funeral: Life that was full of family, fun and friendship

Tributes to young boy killed while walking to school near Cloughmills

By Victoria O'Hara

The life of Adam Gilmour, the little boy who was killed after being struck by a car on his way to school, was filled with "family, fun and friendship", mourners have heard.

Friends and family gathered yesterday for the funeral of the little boy in Killymurris Presbyterian Church in Glarryford, Co Antrim.

The eight-year-old was walking to catch a school bus with his mother and five siblings when the accident happened near Cloughmills last Tuesday.

Adam was killed instantly, while his mother and five-year-old brother Ryan needed emergency hospital treatment.

A private service was held at his grandmother's house in Cloughmills before the cortege - led by his mother Sarah - travelled to the church.

The service had been planned for Friday but was delayed to allow his seriously injured mother to attend. Ryan (5) remains in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital and is understood to have sustained a shattered pelvis and broken femur.

Addressing mourners, Rev Colin McDowell said it was a "time of sadness" for everyone.

"Adam was a boy whose short life was filled with family, with fun and with friendship," he said.

The minister said his principal at Clough Primary School, Craig Whyte, had summed Adam up in a tribute.

"Adam loved his time at school. He was a character in his class - he was the one that did keep them all going at times," he said.

"And like his headmaster, Adam was a big Chelsea supporter and - as many of you know and his little picture shows - Adam was really interested in farming and excited that that was really what he wanted to do."

Rev McDowell also spoke of Adam's love of sport and music.

"Craig said he enjoyed PE classes and teachers did comment that Adam just loved to be there to set out the equipment for PE. Adam also enjoyed playing the drum kit."

Adam's death had left the community in shock, he continued.

"Adam was taken from us all very suddenly and very tragically and today we thank God for his short but full life," he said.

During the service, the minister said the family wanted to publicly thank the staff at all the hospitals the family received helped from - Antrim Area, Causeway, the Royal Victoria and its children's hospital.

After the funeral service, burial took place at Ballee cemetery, Ballymena.

The collision happened close to a bend on the Loughill Road shortly after 8.30am. The Ambulance Service sent four ambulances, a rapid response paramedic and an officer to the scene.

An 18-year-old man was arrested over the crash and was later released on police bail.

Residents living nearby said it was a known danger spot.

Adam's grandmother, Marlene Hanna, has blamed the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB) for not providing a bus to take the children to school.

The bus leaves some of the children home but does not pick them up there.

Following the accident, it emerged that Adam's mother had raised concerns about the dangers of the road and appealed to the local library board, the North Eastern Education and Library Board, to provide a service in the mornings. Neighbours said the family were usually seen "all smiling and holding hands" on the walk.

Correspondence to MLA Jim Allister and the local education board proved tragically prophetic; the mother revealed she was terrified that her children would be "wiped out" on the stretch if transport was not laid on urgently.

NEELB has said since that it is reviewing transport provision.

Education Minister John O'Dowd has asked his officials to seek a report on the accident from the education board.

The chairman of Stormont's education committee last week urged Mr O'Dowd to publish a review on bus provision.

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