Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid to Cookstown crush teenagers at Irish League game

Linfield's players stand in respect of three local teenagers who died at an incident in Cookstown on St Patrick's night. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Linfield's players stand in respect of three local teenagers who died at an incident in Cookstown on St Patrick's night. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

A number of tributes were paid to the victims of the Cookstown disco crush tragedy at an Irish League game between Dungannon Swifts and Linfield on Friday night.

Lauren Bullock (17) from Donaghmore, Morgan Barnard (17) and Connor Currie (16), both from Dungannon, died following the crush at the Greenvale Hotel as crowds of young people waited to gain entry to the venue on St Patrick's Day.

Fan's observed a minute's silence ahead of local club Dungannon's home game against Linfield at Stangmore Park. Both team's players wore black armbands.

It is the latest in a series of sporting tributes to those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

Northern Ireland's players also wore black armbands for their game against Estonia at Windsor Park on Thursday evening.

Goalscorer Niall McGinn dedicated his opening goal the local community, who had been devastated by the teenager's deaths.

McGinn is from Donaghmore and started his football career at Dungannon Swifts.

 "I was devastated when I heard the news. It was in the back of my mind to do well in the game against Estonia and score a goal and thankfully I did that," he said.

"The little girl only lives two doors down from my sister and it is so, so sad what happened. My sister was down at the house the other day and my mum has been along as well. I saw the remains coming home and it has been a desperate time for all the families involved.

"I have spoken to a lot of people and everyone in Donaghmore is devastated, and if me doing well and scoring a goal on the international stage can bring any sort of shed of light to the local community that is good. It was an important goal for Northern Ireland, but it was for my local community as well."

Dungannon's players stand in respect of three local teenagers who died at an incident in Cookstown on St Patrick's night. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Dungannon's players stand in respect of three local teenagers who died at an incident in Cookstown on St Patrick's night. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

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