Belfast Telegraph

Parents of Greenvale Hotel tragedy victim to ask for Chief Constable apology

Morgan Barnard (17) died outside the hotel on St Patrick's Day
Morgan Barnard (17) died outside the hotel on St Patrick's Day
Floral tributes outside the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown

The parents of one of the Greenvale Hotel tragedy victims will meet Chief Constable George Hamilton to ask him to apologise for comments he made in the wake of the incident.

Morgan Barnard (17), died alongside 17-year-old Lauren Bullock and Conor Currie (16) in a crush outside the Cookstown hotel on St Patrick's Day.

In the days following the tragedy, it emerged that police arrived on the scene as it was unfolding, but withdrew to await further support.

George Hamilton said the initial officers were “brave” but “there are some questions to answer”.

The officer's actions on the night are being investigated by the Police Ombudsman.

Morgan Barnard's parents, James Bradley and Maria Barnard, will meet Mr Hamilton on Thursday, reports the Irish News. They are also calling for an independent investigation into the tragedy.

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Lauren Bullock

Mr Bradley said the family were "deeply upset" by the Chief Constable's comments.

Friends and family of teenager Morgan Barnard attend his funeral in Dungannon. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Friends and family of teenager Morgan Barnard attend his funeral in Dungannon. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2019 Friends and family of teenager Morgan Barnard attend his funeral in Dungannon this morning. Morgan and two others were killed in a tragic accident at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patricks night. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Mother Maria Barnard is held by her partner James Bradley as they follow the funeral cortege at St Patrick's Church, Dungannon after the funeral of their child, Morgan Barnard. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
22nd March 2019 Family and friends pictured as the coffin leaves St Patricks Church in Dungannon after paying respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day . Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends pictured as the coffin leaves St Patricks Church in Dungannon after paying respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day . Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends pictured as the coffin leaves St Patricks Church in Dungannon after paying respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day . Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends pictured as the coffin leaves St Patricks Church in Dungannon after paying respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day . Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends pictured as the coffin leaves St Patricks Church in Dungannon after paying respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day . Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends pictured as the coffin leaves St Patricks Church in Dungannon after paying respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day . Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
The coffin of Morgan Barnard is taken from St Patrick's Church, Dungannon after his funeral. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The coffin of Morgan Barnard is taken into St Patrick's Church, Dungannon for his funeral. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Mourners at the funeral of Morgan Barnard at St Patrick's Church, Dungannon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The coffin of Morgan Barnard is taken into St Patrick's Church, Dungannon for his funeral. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Catherine McHugh (right), principal of St Patrick's College, Dungannon at the funeral of Morgan Barnard at St Patrick's Church, Dungannon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Catherine McHugh (holding red and whit umbrella), principal of St Patrick's College, Dungannon at the funeral of Morgan Barnard at St Patrick's Church, Dungannon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2019 Principal Catherine McHugh at St Patrick's College with Friends and family of teenager Morgan Barnard attend his funeral in Dungannon this morning. Morgan and two others were killed in a tragic accident at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patricks night. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Archbishop Eamon Martin arriving for the the funeral of Morgan Barnard at St Patrick's Church, Dungannon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Archbishop Eamon Martin arriving for the the funeral of Morgan Barnard at St Patrick's Church, Dungannon. Pic: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
22nd March 2019 Family and friends gather at St Patricks Church in Dungannon to pay respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends gather at St Patricks Church in Dungannon to pay respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends gather at St Patricks Church in Dungannon to pay respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends gather at St Patricks Church in Dungannon to pay respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
The funeral cortege arriving at St Patrick's Church, Dungannon for the funeral of Morgan Barnard. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 22, 2019. Teenagers Lauren Bullock, Connor Currie and Morgan Barnard died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday. See PA story ULSTER Cookstown. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
22nd March 2019 Family and friends gather at St Patricks Church in Dungannon to pay respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends gather at St Patricks Church in Dungannon to pay respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
Mourners gather for funeral of Morgan Barnard.
22nd March 2019 Family and friends gather at St Patricks Church in Dungannon to pay respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends gather at St Patricks Church in Dungannon to pay respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends gather at St Patricks Church in Dungannon to pay respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends gather at St Patricks Church in Dungannon to pay respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
22nd March 2019 Family and friends gather at St Patricks Church in Dungannon to pay respects to teenager Morgan Barnard who sadly passed away in a tragic accident on St Patricks day Mandatory Credit :Stephen Hamilton
Morgan Barnard, 17, was one of three teenagers killed in a crush outside a St Patrick’s Day party (St. Patrick’s Academy Dungannon/PA)

“On the back of these comments we immediately engaged with our Policing Board representative in a request to meet with the Chief Constable directly to address the comments he made,” he said.

“Not only do we seek a retraction of the comments, but it is also imperative that an independent investigation is conducted so as to ensure that the truth about the events at Cookstown is known to the public.

“Lessons must be learned. We will be asking for an apology when we meet later today.”

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Connor Currie

The family's solicitor, Darragh Mackin, said: “Such comments are not only deeply regrettable, but also questionable in the circumstances in which there remains an ongoing police ombudsman’s investigation into their conduct on the night in question.”

"Our clients feel very strongly that such comments should be immediately retracted, and any judgment on such issues reserved until the full facts and truth about what happened at the Greenvale are known."

An investigation into the Greenvale Hotel tragedy is ongoing, with police identifying hundreds of witnesses to the teenagers' deaths.

In April, the Cookstown venue limited itself weddings and private functions ahead of a full entertainment licence renewal later this year.

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