Belfast Telegraph

Owner of hotel where teenagers died submits plans to demolish property

Lauren Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and 16-year-old Connor Currie died after they were crushed near the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown.

Floral tributes outside the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone (Liam McBurney/PA)
Floral tributes outside the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone (Liam McBurney/PA)

A planning application has been submitted to demolish a hotel where three teenagers died on St Patrick’s Day.

Lauren Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and 16-year-old Connor Currie died after they were crushed near the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, in an incident which witnesses described as chaotic.

A planning application from the hotel’s owner, Michael McElhatton, 52, was received on Tuesday by Mid Ulster Council for the proposed demolition of the hotel and its replacement with properties and garages, located at 57 Drum Road.

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Michael McElhatton, owner of the Greenvale Hotel (Liam McBurney/PA)

There are a number of key stages in processing a planning application before it reaches a final decision, therefore the process could take a considerable amount of time.

The tragedy happened as a disco took place inside the venue.

More than 600 people had gathered outside the hotel before the crush, police said.

Mr McElhatton was questioned and later quickly cleared of drug suspicions in the initial investigation of the incident, and accused police of blackening his name.

Mid Ulster MP Francie Molloy (Sinn Fein) said the local community should be kept informed on any plans for the future of the Greenvale Hotel.

“The news of the planning application will have come as a surprise to many people and of course it is only natural that their thoughts will be drawn to recent events at the Cookstown venue,” he said.

“This application is at a very early stage and is a decision that the owners will not have taken lightly given the events of St Patrick’s night. However, this process will not happen overnight and any development, if it happens at all, will not take place quickly, it would be a number of months before planners will have made a full decision.

“It is important that people who have bookings with the Greenvale for weddings or events are kept fully informed of what the plans are.”

PA

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