Two men and a hotel company face charges in disco crush that killed three teenagers

Two men and the company that runs the Greenvale Hotel in Co Tyrone are charged over a crush outside the Cookstown venue that killed three teenagers.

Auren Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and Connor Currie, 16, died when hundreds of people queued outside the doors of the Co Tyrone disco on March 17, 2019.

Two men, aged 55 and 43, are each to be charged with three counts of grossly negligent manslaughter – one charge for each of the deaths – and breaches of health and safety laws.

The company that runs the Greenvale Hotel, known as Tobin Limited, is also facing charges of breaching the same health and safety laws.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Northern Ireland (PPS) announced the results of its inquiry into the St Patrick’s Day tragedy on Thursday, updating the young people’s families of their decisions before the details were released.

Lead prosecutor Graham Cardwell said “criminal proceedings will begin in due course and we will continue to work directly with affected families as the prosecution progresses”.

The PPS had been reviewing evidence files from that night for the past two years.

In a statement, the PPS said: “The PPS received an inquiry file from the PSNI relating to the Greenvale Hotel incident, which identified 11 people as potential suspects.”

Seven of the nine people not facing criminal charges worked as bouncers at the St. Patrick’s Day event, while the remaining two had roles related to entertainment and hotel management, respectively.

“The PPS concluded that each of these nine could have exercised very little control over the planning and management of the events unfolding, or alternatively had a role that bore little responsibility for the safety of hotel guests,” the statement continued.

The PPS also obtained a file from the Police Ombudsman after investigating the actions of five PSNI officers at the scene.

Each officer was investigated and charged with misconduct in public office, as police reportedly waited 16 minutes before intervening in the incident.

“The allegations against the officers in the report related to a period from 9:25 p.m. to 9:48 p.m. when a 999 call was made to police and later to officers arriving at the hotel,” the PPS said.

“The investigation focused on the actions of the police dispatcher and two groups of police officers who were on duty in Cookstown at the time.”

The PPS found that the call dispatcher had “reasonably communicated the seriousness of the situation to other officers” and that the evidence available was “insufficient” to determine that the remaining four officers “recognized the seriousness or precise nature of the situation emerging.” “.

Mr Cardwell concluded: “The offense of misconduct in public office is committed when a public official, without adequate excuse or justification, willfully neglects his or her duty to such an extent that public trust in the public official is betrayed.

“The threshold for this offense is high. I have concluded that none of the five officers passed the prosecution test. The evidence was unable to show bad faith or improper motives in police actions at the scene, or that they willfully ignored a high-risk situation of which they were aware.”

Morgan Barnard’s family have previously called for a public inquiry into the tragedy, with his father hoping it would “reveal the whole truth, the before, the during and the after”.

Justice Minister Naomi Long ruled out an investigation last year. She said she believes it could affect any criminal proceedings. Two men and a hotel company face charges in disco crush that killed three teenagers

Fry Electronics Team

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