Northern Ireland news

Greenvale Hotel granted entertainment licence

Connor Cirrie (16), Lauren Bullock (17) and Morgan Barnard (17) died during a crush outside the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on St Patrick's Night 2019.
Connla Young

A Co Tyrone Hotel where three teenagers died in a crush must give council officials two months notice to hold paid admission events after its entertainment licence was renewed.

Morgan Barnard (17), Lauren Bullock (17) and 16-year-old Connor Currie died as they queued to get into the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on St Patrick's night 2019.

Mid Ulster District Council confirmed that the renewal had been granted with the condition that the local authority is given at least two months notice of any function involving entertainment and paid admission.

In a statement it last night said: "We are aware of one ticket-only function which has been held at the hotel and which prompted the inclusion of the condition."

In the weeks after the tragedy, hotel owner Michael McElhatton agreed to restrict events to weddings and private functions with no more discos for the next six months.

Council officials say the current entertainment licence was renewed in December 2019, however, the strict new condition was placed on the venue after the most recent renewal application.

It is understood the proposal went before a full meeting of the council last month after being considered by its environment committee

The council said: "The entertainment licence for the Greenvale Hotel has been renewed in line with the requirements of the legislation, and subject to the condition that the applicant shall give the council not less than two months' notice of any proposed functions involving entertainment with paid admission available to the public."

In a further statement it added that "the annual application for renewal was received and agreed by the council in December 2019".

"No formal conditions were attached at that time," a spokeswoman said.

"As the hotel has begun to hold functions involving paid entertainment since the previous renewal, the current application now has a formal condition attached relating to that activity."

Independent councillor Barry Monteith last night said: "I am on record as stating there should be no disco/night club events at the venue in light of what happened on St Patrick's night 2019."

Solicitor Darragh Mackin, Phoenix Law, said: "It is entirely premature to adjudicate in an application of this kind in circumstances in which there are ongoing investigations."

The Greenvale tragedy caused widespread shock and resulted in PSNI and Police Ombudsman investigations.

Police have interviewed 10 people and a file has been sent to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

A spokesman for the Police Ombudsman said it has "submitted an interim file to the PPS in relation to five officers".

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