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'Significant milestone' as PSNI submit file to PPS on Greenvale Hotel tragedy

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Friends leave floral tributes outside Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown

Friends leave floral tributes outside Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown

Friends leave floral tributes outside Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown

Police have said they have reached a "significant milestone" in their investigation into the tragic deaths of three teenagers at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown last year, after they submitted a file on the case to the Public Prosecution Service.

Morgane Barnard (17), Lauren Bullock (17) and 16-year-old Connor Currie died in a crush outside the hotel on St Patrick's night last year.

In the wake of the deaths the hotel's owner, Michael McElhatton, and another man were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, however they were later released on bail.

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Morgan Barnard

Morgan Barnard

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Morgan Barnard

Mr McElhatton was questioned a second time by detectives before being released pending a report to the PPS, while seven other men were also interviewed and files were being prepared for the PPS.

The Police Ombudsman is also probing the actions of seven officers at the scene on the night of the tragedy.

In a statement released on Wednesday evening, Detective Superintendent Richard Campbell said police have submitted at intertim file to the PPS, which contains a "substantial" amount of information.

"This is a significant milestone and over the coming months we will be submitting further material for inclusion," he said.

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Connor Currie

Connor Currie

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Connor Currie

“Our focus remains firmly on trying to find answers for the grieving families of the three teenagers and we remain in close, regular contact with them to provide updates on the progress of the investigation, including the submission of the interim file.

“Our dedicated team of detectives are continuing to work to advance this major investigation, which is one of the largest undertaken by the PSNI. It is complex and there are a significant number of witnesses and substantial amounts of evidence to be assessed and progressed. However we remain absolutely committed to building up an accurate picture of what happened on St Patrick’s night in 2019.

“Our thoughts remain very much with the families of the three teenagers and also with their friends, anyone who witnessed the tragedy unfold and the wider community.”

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Lauren Bullock

Lauren Bullock

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Lauren Bullock

Following the tragedy, it emerged that four officers withdrew from the scene and did not intervene for 16 minutes.

Of the seven police officers being investigated by the Police Ombudsman, five are being probed for misconduct in office, while the remaining two are being investigated for potential disciplinary matters.

In the run up to the anniversary of the teenagers' deaths, Morgan Barnard's father James Bradley spoke out about his family being "re-traumatised" by delays in the case.

Belfast Telegraph