On a day of national celebration, 3 people lost their lives whilst attempting to gain entry to a nightclub in Northern Ireland (17th March 2019). The facts on this incident are unclear at the time we write this blog; so we will not assume anything and wait till the investigation is concluded.

For any person to lose their lives attending an event is tragic. What should have been a night of celebration, turns into horror and suffering and is totally unacceptable. When watching the news reports, it is challenging to wrap your head around how this can happen in a small Irish town.

The sad thing though, the signs are there that nightclubs are not as safe a place to attend as say a stadium, arena or larger venue. There seems to be a lack of appreciation that it does not take 10’s of thousands of people to have a crowd related incident. This can happen with a couple of hundred.

When you think of a good size nightclub, they will take a couple of hundred people. Now, they will have a capacity set by the local authorities and checked every once in awhile to ensure they are sticking to it. But, I am sure there are always a few out there that will let a few more in.

There is nothing a nightclub manager loves more than a queue outside the door. It means that it attracts attention, “look at the size of that queue, that must be a popular club, let’s join it.” Not as much a problem at the start of the night (it the queue in well managed), but as the night goes on and the place fills up, then there is more chance of that queue still being there when the club is full.


Who controls that queue?

Now thinking back to the SIA Door Supervisors course we took many moons ago, pretty sure queue management was not part of the course work. Now a lot of those big lads standing on the door will not see that as their job, they think they are there to knock drunks back or kick them out (yes, that is a stereotype and does not apply to all)

So, again……who controls the queue?

The incident in Ireland, sadly is not a freak event. There are well documented incidents of loss of life or injury at nightclubs. This does not include the volume of near misses that occur weekly. How many times do you see on social media, comments like, “the place was packed”, “the joint was rammed”, “that was chaos outside trying to get in the club”.

What is missing?

What is missing between a nightclub and a concert venue? Both are part of the night time economy. Is it training? The difference between door staff and crowd management? Understanding of the venue management of the risk a crowded place can be?

Whatever it is, things have to change. Nightclubs have to realise that they are a crowded place, and as such need managed in the same way.

PPS to commence proceedings in connection with Greenvale Hotel incident

Publication date: 

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) is to prosecute two individuals and one company in relation to an incident on 17th March 2019 at the Greenvale Hotel, Cookstown which led to the deaths of three teenagers.

Cookstown hotel disco 'crush': Three teens dead

Three teenagers have died after reports of a crush at a St Patrick’s Day party at a hotel in Cookstown, County Tyrone.

Lauren Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and 16-year-old Connor Currie, died after the incident outside the Greenvale Hotel on Sunday night.

The police said a large group of young people had been waiting to get into a disco at about 21:30 GMT.

St Patrick’s day deaths: what happened at Cookstown hotel

Three teenagers have died following a suspected stampede by people pushing to get into hotel hosting a disco in County Tyrone. 

The victims – a 17-year-old girl and two boys aged 16 and 17 – are believed to have been crushed when a “large crowd” surged forward to get into the St Patrick’s Day party, according to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

These are the three teenagers who lost their lives in a St Patrick's Day disco crush

Connor Currie (16),

Lauren Bullock (17)

Morgan Barnard (17)

died following a crush outside a St Patrick’s Day disco at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown

Two men and Greenvale Hotel owner facing prosecution following St Patrick's disco teenagers' deaths

The company which owns the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown and two men are to be prosecuted over the deaths of three teenagers at a St Patrick’s Day disco in Cookstown in 2019.

Greenvale Hotel tragedy: Court proceedings face setbacks with lawyers working through 3,000 pages of evidence

Court proceedings linked to the Greenvale Hotel tragedy have been delayed again.

Committal proceedings against the hotel owner and a self-employed member of security staff facing manslaughter charges are now unlikely to be heard before the end of August.

Cookstown deaths: Third teen killed in St Patrick's Day crush laid to rest

A football team had one final huddle with their talented teammate who died after a stampede on St Patrick’s Day, before he was laid to rest.

The funeral for Connor Currie, 16, was the last of three held today in a day of mourning for Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, after Lauren Bullock, 17, and Morgan Barnard, 17, were laid to rest earlier this morning.

Tyrone disco deaths: ‘It started with pushing… then the crushing started’

The terrifying scene at a St Patrick’s Day disco in Co Tyrone, where three teenagers died in a crush, has been described in a post on social media by a girl reportedly caught up in the incident.

Greenvale Hotel: Two men to be charged over Cookstown disco deaths

Two men are each to be charged with three counts of gross negligence manslaughter over a fatal crush outside a disco in Cookstown three years ago.

Lauren Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and Connor Currie, 16, died as hundreds of people queued at the doors of the Greenvale Hotel on 17 March 2019.

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