Northern Ireland news

Greenvale tragedy parents welcome probe of PSNI officers

Connor Currie (16), Lauren Bullock (17) and Morgan Barnard (17) died during a crush outside the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on St Patrick's night
Connla Young

THE launch of a criminal investigation into five PSNI officers linked to the Greenvale Hotel tragedy was welcomed last night by the parents of one of the teenage victims.

Morgan Barnard (17), Lauren Bullock (17) and Connor Currie (16) were killed in a crush as they queued for a disco outside the hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone on St Patrick's night.

Earlier this year former PSNI chief constable George Hamilton referred the organisation to the Police Ombudsman after it emerged that four PSNI officers who attended the scene withdrew without intervening.

It later emerged that the officers did not return for 16 minutes.

Those officers, and a fifth involved in call handling on the night, are to be investigated.

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It is understood none of the officers at the centre of the investigation have been suspended, although this remains under review.

Solicitor Darragh Mackin, who represents James Bradley and Maria Barnard, the parents of Morgan Barnard, last night said they welcomed the investigation.

The Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown where the teenagers died in a crush

“There are, and remain, serious questions which must be answered,” Mr Mackin said.

“The decision to initiate a criminal investigation exonerates the family’s efforts to ensure that no stone has been left unturned in the pursuance of truth of what happened that night in Cookstown.”

A spokesman for the Police Ombudsman confirmed it is “considering whether five police officers... have committed the offence of Misconduct in Public Office”.

Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin said police will “co-operate fully”.

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