Greenvale Hotel disaster: Police Federation defends Cookstown officers after chief constable apology

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton
PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton
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The Police Federation has defended officers who responded to the fatal Greenvale Hotel queue crush, after the chief constable apologised for calling them “brave”.

George Hamilton met the family of Morgan Barnard, 17, who died in the tragedy in Cookstown in March after they said his comments were extremely hurtful.

This was because the actions of officers at the scene of the incident had been called into question.

After the meeting Mr Hamilton tweeted: “I regret if any of my past comments caused distress, that was never intended.”

He also went on TV to apologise for saying the officers were brave, too (with the BBC leading its radio and TV bulletins and its website with the story).

As well as Morgan, Lauren Bullock, 17, and Connor Currie, 16, also died in the incident.

The first officers at the scene withdrew to await support.

The Police Federation said that the officers too suffered.

“This federation is representing and supporting the officers involved in this tragic and most traumatic incident,” it said.

“We should acknowledge what they have been going through since that night. They are not immune to the horrors of that night, but how and what happened are under investigation and we will continue to provide them with every professional and welfare support at the disposal of the federation.”