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Mum reported fears about crowds at Cookstown tragedy hotel 'five months before deaths'

 

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A Twitter post in October 2013 showing a large crowd waiting to get into the Greenvale Hotel

A Twitter post in October 2013 showing a large crowd waiting to get into the Greenvale Hotel

People gather on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown for a candlelit vigil for the Cookstown victims

People gather on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown for a candlelit vigil for the Cookstown victims

People gather on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown for a candlelit vigil for the Cookstown victims

People gather on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown for a candlelit vigil for the Cookstown victims

People gather on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown for a candlelit vigil for the Cookstown victims

People gather on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown for a candlelit vigil for the Cookstown victims

Morgan Barnard

Morgan Barnard

Photopress

Lauren Bullock

Lauren Bullock

Photopress

Connor Currie

Connor Currie

Photopress

/

A Twitter post in October 2013 showing a large crowd waiting to get into the Greenvale Hotel

A concerned mother contacted the police five months ago over fears of overcrowding outside the Greenvale Hotel where three teenagers lost their lives, it has been claimed.

The Co Tyrone woman said she also reported her concerns to the Mid Ulster Council after she dropped her daughter off outside the popular Cookstown venue and was shocked by the crowds outside.

She was told the council would investigate, but last night it was unclear whether this had ever happened.

A spokeswoman from the council said it is working with the PSNI following last week's horrific tragedy, but said the council would not comment further or confirm whether it had launched its own inquiry into the woman's complaints as investigations are ongoing.

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Morgan Barnard

Morgan Barnard

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Morgan Barnard

 

The claims appeared in the Sunday World, which quoted an unnamed source who explained that the woman was so concerned at what she saw that she contacted the police the following day, but was told it was outside their remit. She was advised to speak to the local council.

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The source continued: "Emotions are running high in the community.

"If this could have been prevented people need to know.

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Lauren Bullock

Lauren Bullock

Photopress

Lauren Bullock

 

They added: "If anything can be learned, the families especially need answers."

Three families have been left devastated after Lauren Bullock (17), Morgan Barnard (17) and Connor Currie (16) were crushed to death while they stood in a crowd of young people waiting to get into the Greenvale Hotel to celebrate St Patrick's Day.

The newspaper also revealed a photograph showing a massive crowd of people outside the venue in October 2013.

It said the person uploaded the picture to social media at the time and also expressed concerns about crowd numbers.

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Connor Currie

Connor Currie

Photopress

Connor Currie

 

The owner of the Greenvale Hotel, Michael McElhatton, is one of two people who have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and questioned by police over the deaths.

It is understood Mr McElhatton was seen performing CPR on some of those injured during the crush.

He subsequently appeared in front of the media and expressed his devastation at the tragedy.

Mr McElhatton (52) was bailed to return for future questioning.

A 40-year-old man who was also arrested on suspicion of manslaughter has been released on police bail pending further inquiries. The Press is banned from identifying the second man after High Court judges granted him anonymity.

Meanwhile, control of the hotel has been handed back to Mr McElhatton, with signs fixed to its gate stating: "Closed until further notice."


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