Monday 14 October 2019

Families of disco crush teenagers urge witnesses to come forward

Lauren Bullock (17), Morgan Barnard (17) and Connor Currie (16) were killed in the tragedy
Lauren Bullock (17), Morgan Barnard (17) and Connor Currie (16) were killed in the tragedy

Cate McCurry and Gillian Halliday

The families of three teenagers who died outside a Co Tyrone hotel disco on St Patrick's Day have paid tribute to the students.

Lauren Bullock (17), Connor Currie (16) and Morgan Barnard (17) died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on Sunday.

The families said they were grateful to witnesses who have spoken to the PSNI and urged anyone else who saw what happened to give their account to investigators.

In a police statement issued on behalf of the families from Co Tyrone, they said: "The families want to find out exactly what happened to their children and have asked people to co-operate fully with the police investigation.

"The three families would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the local community for their support since the tragic events of Sunday night.

"The families would also like to thank the emergency services who responded and the staff at Antrim Area Hospital."

Large attendances are expected at each of the three funerals today.

Meanwhile, the chief superintendent of the PSNI investigation into the tragedy said he wouldn't be apologising for the "de-arrest" of Greenvale Hotel owner Michael McElhatton.

Mr McElhatton was arrested for Class A drug dealing. However, fast-track forensic tests revealed a substance found at his home during a search was an "innocent substance" leading to his "de-arrest".

"No, I'm not going to apologise. Everything that happened in relation to that arrest and seizure is what we would normally do," said Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray.

Mr McElhatton was also arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. He has since been bailed and will return for further questioning in the future.

A second man, who was also arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, failed in his High Court bid yesterday to secure an early release from custody.

Irish Independent

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