Belfast Telegraph

Police vow to arrest vile Greenvale Hotel St Patrick's disco tragedy internet trolls

Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

Police have pledged to track down and arrest those behind fake Facebook profiles trolling those killed in the Greenvale Hotel St Patrick's Day tragedy.

The PSNI said it was inundated with complaints after fake social media profiles were set up on Facebook and Instagram in the names of the teenagers killed. It is understood they have since been set to private and renamed.

Users on Facebook said the profiles broadcast videos accompanied with a "disgusting" narration about the tragedy. There was widespread revulsion as word of the profiles spread. Many feared those closed to the teenagers would see the content.

"I’m beyond words," said one Facebook user.

"Who in the right mind could do such a thing, please get the accounts taken off. They keep making new ones. It’s a disgrace. The families don’t need this, it’s so sad and so disrespectful."

Just hours after the three teenagers, 17-year-old Morgan Barnard, Lauren Bullock (17) and 16-year-old Connor Currie were laid to rest police posted on Facebook to say they were aware of the accounts and were working to identify those individuals behind them.

Thousands lined the streets of Tyrone and the community came to a standstill to pay its respects to the families and their families and friends.

Officers urged the public not to share the posts but instead report them to both the police and the social media company.

"The individuals behind such disgusting behaviour feed on publicity," they said.

However, many criticised police for themselves highlighting the posts and "adding fuel to the fire".

Funeral of 16-year-old Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church in Edendork, Co. Tyrone. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Funeral of 16-year-old Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church in Edendork, Co. Tyrone. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 22nd March 2019 Funeral of 16-year-old Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church in Edendork, Co. Tyrone. Connor died along with Morgan Barnard(17) and 17-year-old Lauren Bullock after an incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on St Patrick's night. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
The hearse arrives at the funeral of Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church, Edendork. 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 arrives for the funeral of Connor Currie at St Malachy's Church, Edendork. 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 funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Friends and family of teenager Conor Currie attend his funeral in Edendork this morning. Conor and two others were killed in a tragic accident at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patricks night. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Mourners attend the funeral of Connor Currie. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2019 Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald attend the funeral of Conor Currie in Edendork this morning. Conor and two others were killed in a tragic accident at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patricks night. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 22/03/2019 Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill and Mary Lou McDonald attend the funeral of Conor Currie in Edendork this morning. Conor and two others were killed in a tragic accident at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patricks night. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The funeral of Connor Currie takes place St Malachy's Church, Edendork on March 22nd 2019 following a crushing incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Connor Currie

Police responded: "We received a huge number of reports about this. The post was put out to reassure those who were understandably upset about it that we were aware and we were also dealing with it. Any comments naming the account were removed.

"Its always going to be a fine balancing act. Keep people updated/offer advice and the complaint is we 'shouldn’t be saying anything'. Don’t keep people updated/offer advice and the complaint is 'we aren’t doing anything'."

Superintendent Mike Baird added: "Police are aware of a number of social media posts in relation to the tragedy in Cookstown on St Patrick's night.

"It is disgusting to think that anyone would make light of such a tragedy in which three young people so sadly lost their lives.

"Enquiries are continuing and I would appeal to anyone who has information about these posts to call us on the non emergency number 101.

"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."

Police are investigating the incident at the door of the Greenvale Hotel on Sunday evening. Two people were arrested in connection with the incident and later released.

Facebook has been contacted for comment.

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