Belfast Telegraph

Greenvale Hotel owner released pending PPS report over teenager deaths

Greenvale Hotel owner Michael McElhatton
Greenvale Hotel owner Michael McElhatton

Greenvale Hotel owner Michael McElhatton has been released by police pending a report to the PPS, after being questioned over the deaths of three teenagers at his premises on St Patrick's Day.

Morgan Barnard (17), Lauren Bullock (17) and 16-year-old Connor Currie were crushed to death while queuing to enter the Cookstown venue for a disco.

More than 600 people had reportedly gathered outside the hotel before the incident.

Earlier this week, it emerged that Mr McElhatton was being interviewed in Dungannon Police Station. On Wednesday, police were granted a 36-hour extension to question him in connection with the deaths.

In a statement released on Friday night, a PSNI spokesperson said: "A 52-year-old man arrested by detectives investigating the deaths of three teenagers at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on Saint Patrick’s Day has been released pending a report to the PPS."

Following the tragedy, Mr McElhatton and another man were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and later released pending further investigation.

Police and Mid Ulster District Council are carrying out separate investigations into the incident at the hotel. The Police Ombudsman is also investigating the initial response by the PSNI.

Morgan Barnard, Lauren Bullock and Connor Currie.
Morgan Barnard, Lauren Bullock and Connor Currie.

Police have said that the first responders to the scene at the Co Tyrone hotel withdrew to wait for support from colleagues.

Last week a planning application was submitted to demolish the hotel and replace it with properties and garages.

The building is a key piece of evidence in the police investigation into the deaths.

Mr McElhatton confirmed that there would be no changes to the hotel for at least the next four years.

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