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Greenvale Hotel victim Lauren Bullock 'was happiest when helping others' mourners told

 The coffin of Lauren Bullock arriving for her funeral at St Patrick's Church in Donaghmore, Co Tyrone. Picture by Liam McBurney, PA Wire
Claire Simpson and Digital Staff

CO Tyrone teenager Lauren Bullock who died in the Greenvale Hotel tragedy was happiest when she was helping others, mourners have heard.

Lauren died alongside Connor Currie (16) and Morgan Barnard (17) as they queued for a disco with up to 400 other young people on the evening of March 17. Funerals for all three teenagers are taking place today.

Mourners crowded into the small, rural church of St Patrick's in Donaghmore for Lauren's Requiem Mass and the 17-year-old was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.

Students from Lauren's school, St Patrick's College in Dungannon, were in attendance along with members of the cheerleading squad Lauren belonged to who clutched flowers and each other's hands as they waited in the driving rain for the cortege bearing Lauren's pink and white coffin to arrive.

Hundreds of pupils from schools across the area lined the roads outside the village church, bowing their heads as the funeral procession appeared.

Shops in the village of Donaghmore closed in the morning as a mark of respect.

 Lauren Bullock's cheerleading friends hold hands as they form a guard of honour. Picture by Liam McBurney, PA Wire

Fr David Moore told mourners, led by Lauren's parents Mary and Martin and her brothers Shane and Ryan, that the teenager had been "the essence of a wonderful and caring daughter".

"Aged only 17, Lauren was well in the process of making her mark on her home, her school, this community, her circle of friends," the parish priest of Pomeroy added. 

"She was ‘living the dream’, energetic and full of life, doing and enjoying all the things that made her happy. She was a girl who was happiest when she was doing things to help others and gave of herself and her time to do a good deed whenever and wherever she could.

"Lauren’s many friends have described her to me as having ‘a warm and bubbly personality with a very infectious smile’, that’s a lovely picture for all of us to have of her in our minds today."

Lauren Bullock (17) died following a crush outside Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on St Patrick's night

The 17-year-old was a member of the Pope John Paul Faith Team and the Rosary Prayer Group at St Patrick's College Dungannon and Fr Moore said Lauren's teachers would "attest to how eager and very able a student" she was.

"She had a bright future in front of her and we know she still had so much more to contribute to our community.

"Nothing seemed to get Lauren down. She had such a positive outlook on life and a real zest for living. Lauren loved people as much as they loved her and was a real ‘socialite’ with lots of friends and people who admired and looked up to her. Lauren was involved in football and the scouts."  

 Requiem Mass for Lauren Bullock is being celebrated at St Patrick's Church in Donaghmore. Lauren (17) was one of three teenagers who died following a crush outside a St Patrick's night disco at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown. Picture by Liam McBurney, PA Wire

She had started learning to drive and was enjoying the lessons as well as her part-time job in McDonalds where she kept "the whole of the food outlet in craic, friendship and fun".

 Members of the Euphoria Cheerleading squad, of which Lauren Bullock was a member, grieve. Picture by Mark Marlow

However, Lauren's passion was cheerleading and she was a member of Euphoria Allstar Cheerleading NI.

"Lauren was a girl who loved to get dressed up, loved make-up, her nails done, a bit of style, her hair just right. She only had to come into the family home at number 27 and they knew she had arrived."

A funeral pamphlet had a photograph of Lauren with her dog, Benji, on the front.

 A student holds a funeral missalette with a picture of Lauren Bullock and her dog, Benji. Picture by Mark Marlow 

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Fr Moore said family values and family time were important to Lauren who, despite having lived a short life, had crammed so much into it and "used her time well and wisely".

"When tragedy strikes, there is a numbness that comes with it. We don’t want to think too far ahead and we cannot imagine life without her warmth and presence. Since the early hours of Monday morning, there has been a wealth of support and care for the family from the entire Donaghmore community and further afield. I commend our schools in the locality for all that they have done in ensuring the well-being of all our students as they come to terms with the deaths of Lauren, Connor and Morgan."

Archbishop Eamon Martin, the Catholic primate of All-Ireland, addressed mourners, speaking of the tragic loss of three young lives.

"Here in Co Tyrone this week - as families, parishes, schools and communities - we’ve been circling each other around with love and faith and kindness and compassion. 

"The shocking events of Sunday last have reminded us that life is very fragile; we need to cherish every moment and always look out for each other, and keep each other safe."

 The funeral cortege for Lauren Bullock makes it way to St Patrick's Church in Donaghmore, Co Tyrone. Picture by Liam McBurney, PA Wire

Ahead of her funeral Lauren's family said they would remember her as "a very thoughtful and caring young girl who was out-going and fun-loving".

St Patrick's College earlier this week paid an emotional tribute to the Year 13 pupil.

Principal Catherine McHugh described Lauren as "a beautiful girl, a shining light in our school community".

"She gave generously of her time and talents. She was a leader among her peers and a quiet strong and loyal presence. A treasured friend and capable young lady with a bright future," she said.

 

"She was a role model for positivity, good relationships and kindness.  We have lost someone very dear to us and we will miss her greatly," Ms McHugh added.

"Our thoughts are with her parents, her family and her friends in the coming days as they try to come to terms with their immeasurable loss.

"As a school community we are here to offer support."

 

Outside school, she was a leading member of the team Euphoria Allstar Cheerleading NI. In an online tribute, the club said it was "absolutely devastated" to lose one of its senior athletes.

"You were the most down to earth, beautiful soul and our Coral team will never be the same without you. You were an incredible cheerleader and were the backbone of our team," the club said on Facebook.

Read more:

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

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