Cookstown teenager a ‘ray of sunshine’

A teenager who died following a crush outside a disco was a “ray of sunshine”, her friend said.

Lauren Bullock, 17, was a bright and bubbly cheerleader and schoolgirl who lit up the lives of her friends, a close pal said.

Alice Lambert, also 17 and from Coalisland in Co Tyrone, went to Scouts with her a couple of years ago.

Alice Lambert
Alice Lambert said her friend Lauren Bullock was ‘like a ray of sunshine’ (Liam McBurney/PA)

She said: “I feel gutted for her about it.

“She was such a nice person – she was like a ray of sunshine.

“She made you happy, you saw her on a night out and she would have made you happy.”

The community in Cookstown in Co Tyrone was left reeling by the deaths on Sunday evening as young people waited to get into a popular disco at the Greenvale Hotel.

Books of condolence for the victims’ families have opened in towns near the scene of the tragedy.

Alice wrote a message in the memorial book at the Burnavon Arts and Cultural Centre in Cookstown
Alice wrote a message in the memorial book at the Burnavon Arts and Cultural Centre in Cookstown (Liam McBurney/PA)

Alice wrote a personal message in the memorial book at the Burnavon Arts and Cultural Centre in Cookstown.

She said: “The moment I found out I was completely broken down.

“Greenvale was a complete shock to everybody and came out of nowhere and it really hurt me and for one of my friends to be affected by it – it just kills you.”

Alice goes to the South West College in Cookstown.

She studies performing arts and has auditioned for drama schools in England.

A lot of her friends were at the scene, including Lauren.

Alice said: “She was really fun, really bright.”

She added: “She was a lovely person, a really nice person, it is really bad that she is gone.”

Lauren was a pupil at St Patrick’s College in Dungannon.

Principal Catherine McHugh described her as a “shining light”.

The other victims, Morgan Barnard, 17, and Connor Currie, 16, went to neighbouring St Patrick’s Academy.

The school said it was a time of “profound sadness”.

Morgan was an “ambitious, charismatic” young person with an abundance of potential, studying mathematics, digital technology, business studies and his “absolute passion” of Irish.

The school said: “He lifted the mood everywhere he went, everyone benefited from Morgan’s energetic, positive zest for life. It was contagious.

“His smile was bright and when Morgan was around, fun and laughter always followed.”

Connor was a “kind-hearted, loyal friend” who was always willing to help others and was “courteous, mannerly and compassionate”, teachers said.

His school said: “He had a great sense of team spirit and his warm, caring nature endeared him to all and earned him much deserved respect.”

Books of condolence opened on Tuesday morning in Cookstown, Dungannon where the victims were from, and Magherafelt.

Chairman of Mid Ulster District Council Sean McPeake
Chairman of Mid Ulster District Council Sean McPeake was the first to sign at the Burnavon (Liam McBurney/PA)

Chairman of Mid Ulster District Council Sean McPeake was the first to sign at the Burnavon.

He said: “This is a mechanism for local people to show their respect and feelings for the families of the three young ones who lost their lives so tragically at the weekend.

“This is one way to show the outpouring of grief.”

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