Children Claim They Were Abandoned In NI

An investigation has been launched into claims that a group of seven English schoolchildren on a youth club trip to Northern Ireland was abandoned last week in the Co Down countryside.

It is claimed the group was left at the roadside by carers last Wednesday night outside Downpatrick.

The young people aged between 12 and 14 were staying at a hostel in Downpatrick. They said they were told to get ready to go out last Wednesday night at about 9.30pm.

They boarded a minibus but at some stage they were dropped off in heavy rain. They claim they were told to find their own way back to the hostel by the bus driver after some of them had been accused of misbehaving.

The children claim they were walking for an hour in the dark when they called at a house and the owner alerted the police.

Durham County Council, which runs the youth group, has begun an investigation.