St Patrick’s Day tragedy: school pays tribute to pupils who died

St. Patrick's Academy Dungannon has paid tribute to their 'much loved and popular' pupils Morgan Barnard and Connor Currie, who died after a crush in a queue to a St Patrick's Day party on Sunday night at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown.
St. Patrick's Academy Dungannon has paid tribute to their 'much loved and popular' pupils Morgan Barnard and Connor Currie, who died after a crush in a queue to a St Patrick's Day party on Sunday night at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown.

St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon has said it is experiencing “a time of profound sadness” as the school community comes to terms with “the tragic loss of our much loved and popular pupils Morgan Barnard and Connor Currie”.

They were two of the three teenagers who died after a crush as they queued for a St Patrick’s Day party at Greenvale Hotel, Cookstown, on Sunday night.

Morgan Barnard, 17 and 16-year-old Connor Currie, died after the incident, which also saw the death of 17-year-old Lauren Bullock,

In a statement on Facebook, St Patrick’s Academy said Morgan was “an ambitious, charismatic young person with an abundance of potential”. He was studying Maths, Digital Technology, Business Studies and his “absolute passion” was Irish.

“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.”

The school said that Connor was “a kind-hearted, loyal friend” and that he was “always willing to help others” and was courteous, mannerly and compassionate.

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

“Our school community will miss them both deeply. Our lives have been enriched by knowing them and they will always have a place in our hearts.”

The school said it held a prayer service yesterday afternoon and that the time afterwards was “very important” for those who were close to Connor and Morgan and those who witnessed the events of Sunday night.

Time and facilities are available for pupils and staff today from 1.00pm to address any issues, the academy said.

“It is best for pupils to come in and talk together, share their experiences and seek guidance and support as they need it. We have our school counsellor available throughout the day and the Critical Incident Team will also be available for pupils over the coming days.

“We remember also Lauren and our friends in St Patrick’s College as they too deal with the grief and devastation.

“This is a terrible tragedy for the families and friends of Morgan, Connor and Lauren and we keep them in our thoughts and prayers at this time and in the difficult time ahead.”