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Cookstown Hotel tragedy: Initial police response to be investigated

Belfast Live logo Belfast Live 26/03/2019 Ryan Smith
a man standing next to a road: Alan Lewis - Photopress Belfast  18/3/2019     
Photo By Justin Kernoghan
Police at the scene this morning - Three teenagers have died after reports of a crush at a St Patrick's Day party at a hotel in Cookstown, County Tyrone.
A 17-year-old girl and two boys aged 16 and 17 died after the incident outside the Greenvale Hotel on Sunday night. A number of other teenagers have also been treated in hospital. The police said a large group of young people had been waiting to get into a disco at about 21:30. One of the teenagers died at the scene. © Justin Kernoghan Alan Lewis - Photopress Belfast 18/3/2019 Photo By Justin Kernoghan Police at the scene this morning - Three teenagers have died after reports of a crush at a St Patrick's Day party at a hotel in Cookstown, County Tyrone. A 17-year-old girl and two boys aged 16 and 17 died after the incident outside the Greenvale Hotel on Sunday night. A number of other teenagers have also been treated in hospital. The police said a large group of young people had been waiting to get into a disco at about 21:30. One of the teenagers died at the scene.

The PSNI ’s initial response to the Cookstown tragedy has been referred to the Police Ombudsman.

On St Patrick’s Day, three teenagers lost their lives after an incident at the Greenvale Hotel.

They were Lauren Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and 16-year-old Connor Currie.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin, said that the PSNI will work with the Ombudsman.

The scene outside the Greenvale Hotel night club on March 18, 2019 in Cookstown, Northern Ireland. On Sunday night a 17-year-old girl and two boys aged 16 and 17 died after reports of a crush at a St Patrick's Day party held at the hotel. A number of other teenagers have also been treated in hospital. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) © Getty The scene outside the Greenvale Hotel night club on March 18, 2019 in Cookstown, Northern Ireland. On Sunday night a 17-year-old girl and two boys aged 16 and 17 died after reports of a crush at a St Patrick's Day party held at the hotel. A number of other teenagers have also been treated in hospital. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

He said: “The ongoing investigation into the tragic events at the Greenvale Hotel is active and wide ranging. As part of that investigation, it is right and proper that the actions of all those involved are considered.

“Part of the investigation has included a review of the initial police response.

“The first police officers arrived at the hotel grounds shortly after receiving the 999 report. 

"Following their initial assessment they made attempts to establish more detail and information about what was happening and subsequently withdrew to await further police support. When the first ambulance arrived police moved forward in support of them.

a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

“The timing and nature of police actions during this period require further investigation to fully establish the facts.

"The Chief Constable has therefore decided that the initial police response should be subject to independent scrutiny and it is in the public interest to refer the circumstances and the nature of the actions of the first officers arriving at the scene to the Police Ombudsman. The families have been informed of the referral.

Cookstown tragedy funerals take place as Tyrone communities united in grief over loss of three young lives  

“The confidence of the families and the confidence of the communities we serve are at the forefront of our minds in our decision to refer this matter to the Police Ombudsman. We will work with the Ombudsman to support whatever action he undertakes and would ask that people do not speculate or prejudge the outcome of the Ombudsman’s investigation.”

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