Northern Ireland news

Video: Lauren Bullock (17) killed in Greenvale Hotel crush a 'beautiful girl' and 'shining light'

Lauren Bullock (17) was named locally as one of the victims
By Simon Doyle

A CO Tyrone school has paid an emotional tribute to one of its pupils killed in a crush outside a St Patrick's Day disco.

St Patrick's College in Dungannon said it was shocked and saddened at the tragic death of its Year 13 student Lauren Bullock.

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.

Lauren was a member of the Pope John Paul Faith Team and the Rosary Prayer Group.

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"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."

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WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

  • A 17-year-old girl, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy died in the crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown
  • The incident happened at around 9.30pm as teenagers were waiting for a St Patrick's Day disco to begin
  • Police say revellers fell during a crush at the front door of the hotel
  • Despite initial reports of a fight, the Ambulance Service said none of the victims' injuries were consistent with an altercation
  • The hotel's CCTV footage is being examined

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St Patrick's College was open from 1pm today and tomorrow for pupils wishing to gather and receive support.

"Our school chaplain, counselling services and the EA Critical Incident Team will be available in the coming days as necessary for our students and staff," Ms McHugh said.

"At this time, we think of those families and young people impacted by this terrible tragedy and will do what is needed to support them."

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.

"I honestly can't put into words how much you will be missed. Thank you Lauren for giving me the pleasure of coaching you all this time.

"We love you Lauren, you're now shining over us all. We will never forget you. The brightest purple star in the sky. Our angel. Fly high our beautiful girl."

Studio 86 in Carrickfergus said it was heartbroken to learn of the death of "such a beautifully talented athlete".

Members have been asked to wear purple to dance classes this week in tribute to Lauren.

The two boys were pupils of the neighbouring St Patrick's Academy in Dungannon. A prayer service has been held at the academy this afternoon.

Parents and pupils attended the packed service, which lasted about half an hour.  Education officials were also in attendance to offer further support to families. 

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If you or anyone you know is affected by this story you can contact Lifeline, the 24-hour crisis helpline on 0808 808 8000

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