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'Garden of Hope' is opened by pupils in Co Tyrone in honour of Greenvale Hotel crush victim Lauren Bullock


Lauren Bullock’s parents, Martin and Mary, planting a cherry blossom tree at St Patrick’s College for the victims

Lauren Bullock’s parents, Martin and Mary, planting a cherry blossom tree at St Patrick’s College for the victims

Lauren Bullock

Lauren Bullock

Lauren Bullock’s parents, Martin and Mary, planting a cherry blossom tree at St Patrick’s College for the victims

Pupils at the Co Tyrone school attended by one of the victims of last year's St Patrick's night tragedy at the Greenvale Hotel have opened a Garden of Hope in her memory.

The garden, built by pupils at the school, many of whom were friends of Lauren Bullock, one of three teenagers killed in a crush as they waited to gain entry to the disco at the Cookstown venue, was opened at a special ceremony at St Patrick's College.

Lauren (17) died along with Morgan Barnard (17) and 16-year-old Connor Currie outside the venue, which was being attended by hundreds of young people.

Lauren's parents, Martin and Mary Bullock, from Donaghmore, helped to plant the final tree to complete the garden which will be enjoyed by pupils for years to come.

In a statement, St Patrick's College said: "Today we celebrated Mass with Lauren's family, friends and Post 16 community in St Patrick's College.

"The theme of our Mass was Faith, Hope and Love.

"We opened our Garden of Hope.

"And the Post 16 students should be so proud of their work and dedication to this project in memory of Lauren."

The school said it hoped the garden would provide a vivid memory of Lauren's life for years to come.

Memorial stones were placed remembering Lauren, and the two other victims of the tragedy.

"This place of sanctuary is full of colour and a daily reminder of Lauren's presence with us," the school said.


Lauren Bullock

Lauren Bullock

Lauren Bullock

"Special thanks to Oz from the Menshed, Larry from Willowbank, Mrs Naughton, Mrs Shields and Mr Curry.

"Lauren's parents, Martin and Mary, planted a cherry blossom tree.

"It will grow and bloom year after year and we will treasure it.

"How amazing that the sun would shine and the birds would sing at this exact moment."

A group of Lauren's friends had been planning to complete a trek to help raise funds for her favourite charities this weekend.

Around 80 people, including Lauren's parents, were due to climb Cuilcagh Mountain on the border between Fermanagh and Cavan, in support of Angel Wings and Children in Crossfire.

But the event has been postponed due to the threat of the coronavirus.

Almost £4,000 has already been raised for the children's charities and the organisers said they will look to reschedule for a later date.

"Unfortunately, we have taken the decision to postpone the walk up Cuilcagh Mountain in memory of Lauren because of the recommendations for all gatherings in keeping people safe from the virus," Lauren's mother, Mary, announced.

"We will update everyone on a new date as soon as possible.

"We thank everyone for the love and support we have received to date."

The GoFundMe appeal has been organised by Mary Bullock, Catherine McHugh and Hannah Campbell.

In a heartfelt message that was posted on the fundraising page, they wrote: "It is almost a year since Lauren walked with us in our family. We miss her dearly - every moment of every day.

"Our hearts were broken when she was taken from this world.

"Lauren loved helping others and she was particularly passionate about helping children.

"So, to honour her legacy of thinking and doing for others, we have decided to raise some money for charity in Lauren's memory."

Lauren had been due to take part in a similar walk in the week after the Greenvale tragedy.

Belfast Telegraph