'Shock and sadness' at plans to demolish Greenvale Hotel

Sadness in Cookstown that Greenvale Hotel could be demolished following St Patrick's night tragedy.
Sadness in Cookstown that Greenvale Hotel could be demolished following St Patrick's night tragedy.

Many have taken to social media to express their shock and sadness at plans to demolish the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown and replace it with five houses.

Morgan Barnard, Lauren Bullock, both 17, and Connor Currie, 16, died in a crush as they queued outside the hotel to get into a St Patrick's night disco.

A planning application was submitted to Mid Ulster District Council on Tuesday.

The owner of the hotel, Michael McElhatton, confirmed in a statement today that an application has been made for planning permission for the redevelopment of the hotel site.

"There are no immediate plans for a change of use of the premises which will continue with its current operations for the foreeable future," the statement said.

Mr McElhatton said he did not wish to make any further comment about his reasons for the application.

The Greenvale Hotel, which is thought to employ around 50, has been a popular venue for wedding receptions for many years and its closure would have a considerable impact on the local economy.

People have been expressing their opinions on the Mid Ulster Mail's Facebook page:

"Very sad to hear this and my prayers are with the families of Morgan, Connor & Lauren & Mickey & the McElhatton Family and the staff of the Greenvale," wrote one contributor.

"Never heard the likes in my life!! Never thought would come to this!! Cookstown would not be Cookstown without it," said another.

"Some great memories back in the 90’s in the place sad it’s come to this," one man reflected.

While another wrote: "OMG I’m so shocked,brilliant venue Mickey cudnt do enough for us when we had our weddin there last month."

It is understood the planning application will now be considered by planning officers and then a recommendation will be brought to the council's Planning Committee within three to six months for a decision.