Belfast Telegraph

Parents of Greenvale Hotel crush victim demand answers over son's death

Morgan Barnard (17) died outside the hotel on St Patrick's Day
Morgan Barnard (17) died outside the hotel on St Patrick's Day
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

The parents of one of the victims of the Greenvale Hotel disco tragedy has said they will do whatever it takes to get answers over their son's death.

Morgan Barnard (17) was crushed to death alongside Lauren Bullock (17) and Connor Currie (16) while queuing to enter the venue on St Patrick's Day.

His parents, Jimmy Bradley and Maria Barnard have said they want to get answers around exactly what happened on the night of their deaths.

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

The incident has been referred to the Police Ombudsman who will carry out an investigation into the police response.

Outgoing PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton apologised last week for describing the police's actions that night as "brave".

"We want to get to the absolute truth, from start to finish, the absolute truth and accountability from whoever that may be," Mr Bradley told the BBC.

"And of course prevention in the future, so this doesn't happen another young person.

"There are questions to be answered after the police arrived, those questions are with the ombudsman who are going to come to a conclusion and not an opinion.

"If those questions don't get to the truth for myself, Maria and Morgan, well then it may well be the case that we need an independent inquiry to get to the truth of why our son died at the Greenvale Hotel that night."

Morgan Barnard’s parents Jimmy and Maria and brother Calvin at his funeral in Dungannon
Morgan Barnard’s parents Jimmy and Maria and brother Calvin at his funeral in Dungannon

Mr Bradley said that a young person who was in attendance at the Greenvale Hotel got in touch with them to tell them he was with Morgan on the night he died.

"We spoke to a young guy who wasn't a friend of Morgan's but who stayed with him until paramedics reached him while he was lying in the ground," he said.

"He called to our house to let us know, he didn't even know Morgan, he just called to let us know he wasn't alone."

Ms Barnard said that she feared the worst after receiving a call to inform her of the crush at the hotel.

"I hung up the phone and I was panicking and I rang Craigavon Hospital," she said.

"The nurse asked if he had any distinguishing marks and I said no he's just a normal teenage lad, tall, fair hair.

The Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone (Liam McBurney/PA)
The Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone (Liam McBurney/PA)

"She asked if he wore braces and once she said that, I just knew."

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