Belfast Telegraph

Education board 'has no answers' for Gilmour family over tragic Cloughmills crash

By Nevin Farrell

Education chiefs still haven't decided whether the family of a little boy killed by a car while walking to catch a bus to school should get safe transport, his grandmother has said.

Marlene Hanna confronted the North Eastern Education & Library Board (NEELB) over why it had not provided a school bus service to pick up eight-year-old Adam Gilmour and his siblings outside their Cloughmills home.

Instead they were forced to walk to a bus stop along a dark and narrow country road.

The schoolboy died just weeks after his mother expressed fears her family could be "wiped out".

But after meeting education bosses, Ms Hanna said she received no answers.

"I just wanted them to accept responsibility for not providing safe transport and to assure me that the children would be lifted at their own home, but they can't do that," she said.

"They seem to say how sorry they all are, but that's as far as it goes - apparently they're not the only kids who have to walk to school on dangerous roads."

NEELB has said that it is not appropriate to comment until a report has been prepared for Education Minister John O'Dowd and the police investigation is complete.

TUV leader Jim Allister, who also attended the meeting, said he had been disappointed by NEELB's response.

"When I pressed the very obvious question that if this family found the courage to return to their home, would they be provided with the transport they had hitherto been denied, the Board claimed to not yet have an answer," he said.

A fund has been set up to help Adam's family. Donations to the 'Gilmour Family Appeal Fund' can be lodged at Bank of Ireland, The Diamond, Coleraine. Account: 90-48-00 - 75285899. Cheques can be sent to the Mayor's Office, Riada House, Ballymoney

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