Northern Ireland news

Cookstown: Psychiatrists urge people affected to seek support

Students from Holy Trinity College leave flowers outside The Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone. Picture by Liam McBurney, Press Association

Two leading mental health bodies have said it is "normal" for people linked to the Cookstown tragedy to experience distress.

In a statement, the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) extended their condolences to the friends and families of three teenagers killed in a crush outside a St Patrick’s Day disco at the Greenvale Hotel in Co Tyrone.

Teenagers Connor Currie (16), from Dungannon, Lauren Bullock (17), from Donaghmore, and Morgan Barnard (17) from Dungannon died in the crush at around 9.30pm on Sunday.

From left, Connor Currie (16), Lauren Bullock (17) and Morgan Barnard (17) died following a crush outside a St Patrick's Day disco at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown 

The victims:

BPS and RCPsych said: "We recognise that this is a very difficult time for the whole community and in particular for those young people who were there, for their families, for the hotel staff and for the early responders and emergency services."

"Following a traumatic incident of this nature, it is completely normal to experience distress – difficulty sleeping and bad dreams, thoughts and memories of what happened popping into your head, irritability, feeling sad and worried," they said. 

Students from Holy Trinity College leave floral tributes outside The Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone. Picture by Liam McBurney, Press Association 

"People all react in different ways.  It is helpful to be with family and friends and for those who were there to talk about happened if they want to.  For some people quiet time can be important. 

"Many people find it helpful to return to the normal routines such as returning to school, normal mealtimes, and times for getting up and going to bed.  While there is no particular treatment that is recommended at this stage, support of family, friends and community will be most helpful in aiding recovery from this tragic event."

Police have appointed a major investigation team to conduct the probe into the Cookstown hotel tragedy. Picture by Mark Marlow

The Education Authority said staff from its youth service will be available to speak to young people at three separate youth groups tonight.

Staff will be at Ógras Youth Club in Coalisland from 7pm, Dungannon Youth Resource Centre from 5pm and Cookstown Youth Resource Centre from 6.30pm.

 

Meanwhile, Edendork GAC will provide counsellors at its ground tonight following the tragedy. The club said counsellors will be available at the Des Fox Pavilion between 6pm and 9pm.

Anyone affected by this story can access help and support by contacting the Lifeline helpline on 0808 808800

People looking for an accredited counsellor can contact the National Counselling Society on www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org or 01903 200666

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