Mayoral reception for family after beach horror

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The family of a four-year-old girl hit by a drunk driver doing handbrake turns on Benone beach has been honoured with a reception from the Mayor of Limavady, SDLP Councillor Gerry Mullan.

Abbie Wilkinson was left with a broken shoulder and her mum Diane suffered severe bruising when they were struck by the male driver last July who sped off.

The family were left badly traumatised by the incident, which prompted calls for cars to be banned from the beach.

However, the Wilkinson’s - from Newtownstewart, County Tyrone - returned to Limavady during the Easter holidays and, on Monday, Diane and her husband Richard, daughter Abbie and son Joshua were welcomed to Limavady Borough Council offices for a reception by Councillor Mullan.

The Mayor said: “What happened to Abbie and Diane was horrific, and is something that will take a long time for them to get over. They are extremely brave, and I was delighted to hear they had returned to Benone over the Easter break. I know that was hard for them, but they told me they were happy to have come back and, of course, we are more than happy to welcome them here.”

Mayor Mullan added: “I spoke with Diane and Richard about safety measures on the beach and I have given my word that it is an issue I will be raising at Council level. The ideal situation would be not to have any vehicles our award-winning Blue Flag beach and I have pledged to make sure the issue is vigorously discussed at Council level.”