Donnelly says urgent answers needed after autistic child left on bus

Alliance Omagh Councillor Stephen Donnelly has said urgent answers are needed after an autistic pupil was left on a bus by himself for four hours in Co Tyrone.

The eight-year-old is believed to have been left in the vehicle outside the Education Authority depot in Killyclogher. He was due to attend a summer scheme at the nearby Arvalee School and Resource Centre. He was discovered after four hours by a passer-by.

Councillor Donnelly has written to the Education Authority asking for urgent answers. He said it raised serious child protection issues.

“How was it possible for an eight-year-old child to be left abandoned for such a long period of time and who was in the position of responsibility that allowed this to happen?” he said.

“The parents of the child affected have every right to be angry. This amounts to careless neglect.

“I have asked the Education Authority for answers. I know they have said they’re investigating but I urge them to do so swiftly and robustly so we can ascertain the full details of how this occurred.

“It is essential lessons are learned from this and that we do not see further such mistakes in future.”