‘A Very Complex Investigation’


From top: Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, PSNI Detective Chief Supt Raymond Murray speaking to journalists at a press conference in Dungannon today

This morning.

In Dungannon, Co Tyrone.

PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray, at a press conference, called on people who were at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday night, to come forward and to speak to the police.

They’re also appealing for any pictures or footage taken on the night to be given to the PSNI.

It follows the deaths of Lauren Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and 16-year-old Connor Currie during a “crush” in the car park of the hotel on Sunday night.

Mr Murray told the journalists present that between 350 and 400 people may have been in the carpark during the “crush” and that the PSNI wants to speak to as many of those people as possible.

He said about 160 of those 400 have so far come forward.

He also said that anyone who was underage at the licensed premises should not be concerned about any legal repercussions in relation to that.

He said:

“That is not an issue in this investigation. It should be an inhibition to any young person coming forward and telling us what they know.”

“The absolute focus in this investigation is about finding out how three teenagers came to die at what should have been a celebratory event, and what happened before that and what happened during that.”

Mr Murray also encouraged parents of young people who were present to speak to their children and encourage them to tell them to go to the police.

He said:

“That is absolutely critical to us getting an accurate picture of what happened that night. And I think we owe it to Connor and to Lauren and to Morgan to do everything we can to establish what exactly happened.”

Asked by a journalist if the PSNI, who have examined CCTV footage of the hotel, are close to understanding what happened at the hotel on Sunday night, Mr Murray said:

“I think we have some initial indications of what has happened. I don’t want to go into too many of them, as you understand. I’m in the middle of a very, very complex investigation.

“However, what we can say, without a shadow of a doubt, it’s been widely reported, is that it was a crush situation and one of the doors, which would have taken you through eventually into the function room, where the event was to be held, this crush appeared to go on for quite a period of time.

“And that is the focus of our investigation.

“However, we will be looking more generally about how the event was run, how it was planned for, all of that was part of what is going to be a long and complex investigation.”

Mr Murray also said many more than three people could have died on Sunday night.

PSNI Cookstown (Facebook)


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18 thoughts on “‘A Very Complex Investigation’

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      “it was a crush situation and one of the doors, which would have taken you through eventually into the function room”
      Not terribly well said, but not a gate.

      God love them. What a way to die. And their poor parents. Shocking.

      1. dav

        “One boy who went to the disco told the Ulster Herald that the teenagers were waiting for THE GATE to open so they could get in.
        “Then everyone just started swaying back and forth and pushing from side to side. Suddenly there was a rush forward and the whole queue collapsed and everyone fell to the ground.”
        He said he was pinned down on the ground with other people on top of him for around 20 minutes before he was pulled out. “

        1. Junkface

          Jesus! It reminds me of the Smashing Pumpkins concert in the point in 95. I was up at the front with my girlfriend at the time, we were swept up off the ground and landed on other people under our feet, it was a horrible feeling, I’ll never forget it. No matter what way you move you are hurting someone underneath. We were lucky to escape out at the side.

          Sounds like the Hotel should be mostly responsible for badly managing the situation and not breaking the crowd up into smaller groups

          1. MaryLou's ArmaLite

            I was at that gig, remember being under a pile of people, got an arm our a luckily someone grabbed it a pulled me out.

  1. Martco

    desperately sad
    those kids involved better get proper assistance & support!
    my da used to bring me to Ireland & LOI games..we got caught up in the crush incident outside Dalyer when Italy came over to play us in ’85. the panic, wow I was sure we were going to die
    to this day I can remember & feel that like it happened yesterday

      1. kellMA

        I would imagine apportioning blame to over-excited selfish teenagers is going to be hard.
        If its anything like the underage discos I frequented in my youth,they are well aware of the age group of kids they allow in and they should have managed the crowd control accordingly.

          1. dhaughton99

            According to a girl on SoR this morning and who was in the pile, those at the back started to do a rush and push for fun and giggles. Manslaughter charges if the CCTV shows it.

          2. millie st murderlark

            Really? How horrible, if somewhat unsurprising. There’s always one gob

            Surely the hotel should have had some form of crowd control in place to prevent incidents like this. It’s such a waste!

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          Who said they were being selfish? Teenagers tend to look after each other when in danger. And even if over-excited about the event, that doesn’t mean they deserved to be crushed. I imagine there is crowd control legislation for venues up North as there is here – something obviously went wrong in terms of how that was enforced, the staffing levels it required, etc. I hope the investigation is thorough and finds those responsible. Awful tragedy. RIP poor kids.

          1. Lilly

            Also it sounds as if there were a few ejits in the queue who thought it would be a laugh to start pushing.

    1. Bertie Blenkinsop

      Likewise, I was there that day with my pals…. I was also on the Hill in ’83 which was chaos…. there but for the grace of God, a terrible tragedy for everyone concerned.

  2. Murtles

    From the various accounts there didn’t appear to be any sort of a queuing system and it just ended up as a free for all at the gate/door. A tragedy of epic proportions unfortunately.

  3. Martco

    so..if I’m getting this straight the latest here is:

    – the busses dump off hundreds of kids (many who are not supposed to be there) outside the front door of this tiny hotel – a gated veranda/porch entrance to the function hall at the side you can see it on Google Maps

    – a few little sh!ts out the back of the mill waiting to get in decide it’s be a bit of craic to start a push

    – kids trapped into that entrance as a result

    – the hotel owner & the bouncer arrested for proper manslaughter?

  4. SOQ

    Maybe this will be a wake up call to those who run underage events. They need more security, not less.

  5. scundered

    Harrowing to even think of it, and a nightmare to sort out legally, no intention to do any harm by anyone yet there will be massive anger at the consequences of the events, just tragic, may they rest in peace.

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