Two men to be charged with gross negligence manslaughter over Cookstown disco crush

Two men to be charged with gross negligence manslaughter over Cookstown disco crush

TWO MEN are to be charged with three counts of gross negligence manslaughter over a fatal crush outside a disco in Co Tyrone in 2019.

Lauren Bullock (17), Morgan Barnard (17) and Connor Currie (16) died as hundreds of people queued at the doors of the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on 17 March 2019.

It is understood that one of the men is the hotel owner Michael McElhatton.

The pair will also be charged with one offence of contravening the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.

In March 2022, a watchdog submitted a file to prosecutors following its investigation into the police response. It confirmed a file on five officers had been sent to the Public Prosecution Service, however none of the officers were included in today's decision.

This is due to the test for prosecution not being deemed to be met in the instances of the remaining officers.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton of the PSNI commented today:

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland acknowledges the decision taken today, Thursday 1 September by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in respect of the deaths of Connor Currie, Lauren Bullock and Morgan Barnard following an incident at the Greenvale Hotel, Cookstown in March 2019.

“We again extend our deepest sympathies to their families on what is understandably a difficult day for them. Given the decision to commence proceedings against two individuals and a limited company, it would not be appropriate for us to comment further whilst we continue to work with the PPS to present these matters to the court.

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland referred itself to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland in the aftermath of the incident. Following the direction not to prosecute any police officers, the misconduct investigation undertaken by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland is still live and we will await receipt of their report and any recommendations in due course.”

Meanwhile, the company which runs the hotel, Tobin Limited, will face a charge of contravening the same health and safety legislation.