Greenvale Hotel disco horror: Second St Patrick's day tragedy for family
Tributes have been paid to Morgan Barnard who was killed in the Greenvale Hotel incident as his family come to terms with another tragedy on St Patrick's Day.
Morgan's great uncle Patrick was killed in a UVF car bombing of the Hillcrest Bar in Dungannon in 1976. The 13-year-old was standing outside at the time with his best friend James McCaughey. They had been on their way to a disco.
Speaking to the BBC, independent Councillor Barry Monteith said it was "just horrific for that family".
"And indeed for all three families."
Mr Monteith said the three families would all be well-known in the area and well respected.
"It's extremely traumatic, there would have been a lot of young people there that witnessed what happened. There is a lot of work going on in the community to provide support... you know just to be together and to work their way through this horror."
He added: "People have just been numb.. There are no answers, this does not make any sense.
"For young folk to go for a night out and not come home is every parents' worst nightmare."
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Morgan's family took to social media in an appeal to help trace his final movements and who he was with so they could get answers to their questions.
The 17-year-old was a pupil at St Patrick's Academy in Dungannon. It held a prayer service on Monday in memory of the teen and also Connor Currie who also died in the incident at the hotel.
Tributes flooded social media as news of his tragic death spread. He was described as a "lovely, young, bright lad".
"He was such a great lad, great manners and always had a smile for everyone," was one tribute.
"School will never be the same without you."
One friend wrote: "Doesn’t seem real that your gone, always brightened up our classroom with your humour and smile."
Another tribute said: "Heartbreaking, thoughts and prayers to their families."
Morgan was killed in the incident along with Lauren Bullock and Connor Currie.
Several hundred people had been trying to get into the Co Tyrone venue after being dropped off by buses shortly before 9.30pm on Sunday.
Police said preliminary investigations showed there was a crush towards the front door of the hotel, and in that crush people seem to have fallen. They have appealed for anyone with video footage from the night to contact a special investigation team.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: "It is a truly awful incident, heart-wrenching for everybody, particularly the families.
"Everybody did their best for them last night but it is a truly appalling incident."
Owner Michael McElhatton gave CPR to the victims.
He was clearly emotional as he said: "We are all deeply shocked and saddened by the traumatic events of last night.
"We offer our heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of the three young people who have lost their lives."
A 16-year-old girl is in a stable condition in hospital, while another two teenagers were treated for injuries.
Detectives can be contacted at the dedicated incident room at Dungannon police station by calling 101, extension 53055. Anyone with any images or footage can pass it to police via the following link: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/PSNI19O08-PO1.
Belfast Telegraph Digital