Sunday 21 April 2019

'I'm not sure how we'll get through' - father of Cookstown tragedy victim speaks out as funeral details released

  • Dad of boy killed in tragedy tells of their devastation
  • Hotel owner and doorman held over teen deaths
  • All three funerals to take place on Friday
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

Mark Bain

The father of one of the teenagers who died at a St Patrick's night party in Co Tyrone said the loss of his son has left his family devastated and broken.

James Bradley's boy Morgan Barnard (17) was one of three to die tragically last Sunday night while queuing for a disco at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown.

"I'm not sure how we'll get through, hour by hour, day by day," said Mr Bradley.

"(My partner) Maria, me, the family, we're devastated, broken."

The funerals of the three young people will all take place this Friday.

Lauren will be laid to rest after a funeral at her late residence in Donaghmore at 10.30am followed by Mass in St Patrick's Church in Donaghmore at 11am. Interment afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

A funeral for Morgan will take place at his home in Dungannon followed by Requiem Mass at St Patrick's Church in Dungannon for 10am. He will be buried in Carland Road cemetery.

A funeral for Connor will take place at his home in Dungannon followed by Requiem Mass at 2pm st St Malachy's Church in Edendork. He will be buried in the adjoining cemetery.

Undated handout issued by St. Patrick's Academy Dungannon of Morgan Barnard,17, who died in the crush outside the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, in Northern Ireland during a St Patrick's Day party. St Patrick's Academy Dungannon/PA Wire
Undated handout issued by St. Patrick's Academy Dungannon of Morgan Barnard,17, who died in the crush outside the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, in Northern Ireland during a St Patrick's Day party. St Patrick's Academy Dungannon/PA Wire

Speaking outside the family home at Springdale in Dungannon yesterday, Mr Bradley also revealed Morgan's mother Maria Barnard, who is 17 weeks' pregnant, is struggling to come to terms with her loss.

"She has chosen not to believe it at the moment," he said.

"The first we knew something was wrong was when we got a phone call from his cousin saying there had been a terrible accident at the Greenvale Hotel.

"We made our way to the hospital and we knew by the reaction of the police there was someone dead in there. We knew there was something terribly wrong.

Connor Currie
Connor Currie

"I can't really say anything more right now. Everyone knows we've lost a son and there are no more words we can find."

Morgan's immediate family, including siblings Calvin, Robyn, Regan and Elyssa, are being supported by relatives who also live in the estate.

Morgan and another victim, Connor Currie (16), attended St Patrick's Academy in the town. The school said it was a time of "profound sadness".

Morgan was an "ambitious, charismatic" young person with an abundance of potential, studying mathematics, digital technology, business studies and his "absolute passion" of Irish.

Lauren Bullock
Lauren Bullock

"He lifted the mood everywhere he went; everyone benefited from Morgan's energetic, positive zest for life. It was contagious," the school said.

"His smile was bright and when Morgan was around, fun and laughter always followed."

Connor, from Edendork, was a "kind-hearted, loyal friend" who was always willing to help others and was "courteous, mannerly and compassionate", teachers said.

"He had a great sense of team spirit and his warm, caring nature endeared him to all and earned him much deserved respect."

The third victim, Lauren Bullock (17), was described as a "ray of sunshine, a bright and bubbly cheerleader who lit up the lives of her friends" by close friend Alice Lambert, also 17 and from nearby Coalisland.

"I feel gutted for her about it," Alice said.

"She was such a nice person; she was like a ray of sunshine.

"She made you happy - you saw her on a night out and she would have made you happy."

Alice wrote a personal message in the memorial book at the Burnavon Arts and Cultural Centre in Cookstown.

"The moment I found out I was completely broken down," she said.

"Greenvale was a complete shock to everybody and came out of nowhere and it really hurt me and for one of my friends to be affected by it, it just kills you."

She added: "She was really fun, really bright. She was a lovely person, a really nice person, it is really bad that she is gone," she said.

Lauren was a pupil at St Patrick's College in Dungannon. Principal Catherine McHugh described her as a "shining light".

Belfast Telegraph

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