Hotel owner held after St Patrick’s Day disco deaths released on bail

A hotel owner arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after three teenagers died outside a St Patrick’s Day disco has been released on bail.

Students Lauren Bullock, 17, Connor Currie, 16, and Morgan Barnard, 17, died after a crush at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on Sunday.

Michael McElhatton, 52, owns the Co Tyrone premises and will return for “further questioning at a future date”, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said.

He was further arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply but fast-track forensic analysis swiftly ruled out the possibility, and he was subsequently de-arrested.

Another suspect arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of manslaughter is a member of the popular nightspot’s door staff.

Hundreds of mourners have left written and floral tributes to the three teenagers.

A group of young teenage girls escorted by their families leave floral tributes at the entrance of The Greenvale Hotel (Laim McBurney/PA)

On Wednesday DUP leader Arlene Foster signed a book of condolence in Cookstown.

She said: “I cannot begin to comprehend the pain and anguish the families of Lauren, Connor and Morgan are going through at this time.

“As a mother of two teenagers, this is the news no parent should ever receive, particularly as young people go out for an evening of enjoyment.”

Flowers left in tribute at The Greenvale Hotel (Liam McBurney/PA)

She added: “The tragic loss of life has been felt across the entire area of Cookstown, Dungannon and beyond.

“There are many homes in Northern Ireland who have been devastated by tragedy over the bank holiday weekend.”

Up to 400 people were present as the tragedy unfolded, and detectives said it was fortunate more were not killed.

Police confirmed some were trampled underfoot as they waited to enter the disco.

Buses let youngsters off outside before the disaster happened.

Counselling services are being provided to those affected and prayer services have been held.

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