1. ITV Report

Tributes paid to victims of Cookstown hotel tragedy

Connor Currie, Morgan Barnard and Lauren Bullock died in an tragic incident at a Cookstown hotel. Credit: Family photos

Tributes are being paid to the three teenagers who died in an apparent crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone on St Patrick’s Day.

The young victims, who were all students in Dungannon, have been named as 16-year-old Connor Currie, 17-year-old Morgan Barnard and Lauren Bullock, also aged 17.

Young people were attending a party at the venue on the Drum Road when the tragedy struck and many have been left devastated by what they saw.

When the lives of three young people are taken away so abruptly, and in the fullness of their youth and potential, we are left speechless and the grief is overwhelming. Words are inadequate at times like this: only compassion, love and faith can offer consolation.

– Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin, Catholic Primate of All Ireland

Flowers have been laid outside the hotel, as communities across Mid Ulster try to come to terms with what has happened.

Books of condolence are also being opened.

Meanwhile, police are urging anyone who was at the hotel to talk to them - or to pass on any photos or videos that could help with the investigation, rather than posting them on social media.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said heartfelt sympathies were with the victims’ families and friends and all those who were there.

“A major investigation is underway and I can confirm that a specialist team of detectives has now been assigned to the enquiry,” he said.

“They will seek to establish the full circumstances of this dreadful incident. This will be an extensive investigation with potentially hundreds of witnesses, many of whom are teenagers.

“The community will understand that this investigation will rightly be painstaking and detailed.

“We will proceed in a sensitive manner and our enquiries are likely to take some time to complete. I thank the Cookstown and wider community in advance for their patience and support.”

  • VIDEO: Greenvale Hotel owner speaks out over tragedy

The owner of the Greenvale Hotel, who performed CPR on the victims at the scene, has spoken out to offer sympathies to the families and to all those affected by the traumatic events.

Clearly shaken, Michael McElhatton added: “The management and staff are assisting the police with their investigations.

“And I would like to place on record our appreciation for the speedy response of the emergency services to last night’s terrible events.”

Flowers outside the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone. Credit: Pacemaker