Northern Ireland news

Father struck by lightning remains in critical condition in hospital

George Allen (37) was hit by lightning outside Killowen Primary School in Lisburn.
John Monaghan

A FATHER remains in a critical condition in hospital after being struck by lightning as he and his two children left a school in Co Antrim.

The father, named locally as George Allen (37), was collecting his son Geordie (5) and daughter Georgha (7) from Killowen Primary School in Lisburn on Tuesday when lightning struck just before 2pm on Tuesday.

His son and daughter were both said to be in a stable condition in hospital last night.

The incident happened as parents were arriving to pick up children from the school.

The school was closed yesterday as staff met with counsellors to discuss how to prepare themselves for questions from children about the incident.

Mr Allen, who is married and is understood to be self-employed as a recycling processor in Ballymacash in Lisburn, was moved on Tuesday night from Lagan Valley Hospital to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

Education Minister Peter Weir yesterday praised the "swift response" of staff at the school.

Mr Allen was resuscitated by a defibrillator used on him by the school's vice-principal.

The children are being treated at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

A fundraising initiative set up to support Mr Allen's wife Sharon and family had last night raised more than £1,500 within several hours.

Jonny Corry, who set up the page, said: "George has lived in Ballymacash all his life and is well known in our local community. We would like to raise some funds for the family to help with bills and every day costs during this difficult time."

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Northern Ireland news