Belfast Telegraph

Police Greenvale disco fresh appeal - family still feeling 'raw pain'

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)

The family of one of the teens killed in the Greenvale Hotel St Patrick's Day disco tragedy has said the pain is as raw as it was on the day of the deaths.

Police have launched a fresh appeal for witnesses to the incident to come forward.

Morgan Barnard (17), Lauren Bullock (17) and Connor Currie (16) died outside the Greenvale Hotel while queuing to get into a disco at the popular Cookstown venue on March 17.

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

On Tuesday night the local council agreed with the hotel to a restriction on the venue's entertainment licence limiting it to private functions and weddings. It means its nightclub can not reopen. The council is to review the matter again in six months and said it could review the matter again at any stage before that. A phased reopening of a limited number of facilities has been ongoing over recent weeks.

Morgan’s mother Maria was 17 weeks pregnant at the time of the tragedy.

Speaking to the Irish News, James Bradley, father to Morgan said they family were devastated and there was a space in their hearts.

He said they had taken comfort from the support of the community and hoped talking with other parents who had suffered a loss could help them.

“The raw pain that me and Maria feel is still the raw pain that we are suffering from the first Sunday night four weeks ago when we went to Craigavon hospital,” he said.

As well as the PSNI investigation, the Police Ombudsman is examining the actions of the first officers to arrive at the scene.

Hotel owner Michael McElhatton was arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs after a white substance was found in a plastic bag in a laundry room of his Moneymore home. Mr McElhatton was later de-arrested when the substance was examined and found to be harmless.

Police however, are continuing to refuse to disclose what the powder was - citing legal issues.

On Thursday they appealed for information on the tragedy saying another facility will be set up at the Burnavon Centre on Wednesday until 8pm and again on Thursday for people who were at the hotel on the night to get in touch.

"We've spoken to a huge amount of people and witnesses following the Greenvale tragedy," an officer said.

"If you were at Greenvale and you haven’t already spoken to us we’re going to be at the Burnavon this week and Ranfurly House next week and we’d like to hear your account of the night.

"For those that have already spoken to us and wish to have evidence recorded in a written statement or video statement, come along too.

"If you’re under 18 and coming along can we ask that you do so with your parents knowledge and you’ll need to be accompanied by an adult."

Police will be in the Ranfurly House in Market Square in Dungannon on Wednesday, 24 from 1-8pm and the same on Thursday 25 from 1-8pm.

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