26/03/2019

PSNI Response To Cookstown Hotel Crush Referred To Watchdog

The PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has referred the initial police response to the tragic crush at a Cookstown Hotel last weekend to the Police Ombudsman for investigation.

A probe will now take place into the actions of officers who were first on the scene at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on the night of Sunday 17 March.

Co Tyrone school children Morgan Barnard, 17, Lauren Bullock, 17, and Connor Currie, 16, died following the crush. They were each laid to rest on Friday 22 March.
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Dr Michael Maguire will examine the actions of police at the scene at around 9.30pm, when officers withdrew to await further police support following an initial assessment of the situation. The officers waited until the first ambulance arrived and moved forward in support of them.

Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin announced the news, saying: "It is right and proper that the actions of all those involved are considered. 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 bereaved families have been informed of the referral.



(JG/CM)

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