The owner of the Greenvale hotel in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, has been "de-arrested", having been taken in by police for suspected possession of Class A drugs following the deaths of three teenagers at the property.
Two men, aged 52 and 40, had been arrested, with the older man reported to be the hotel owner. But yesterday the Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) issued a statement clarifying that the man had been "de-arrested".
He has been released on bail but remains under arrest for a charge of manslaughter and will be questioned at a later date.
PSNI said: "This follows fast track forensic examination of a suspicious package consisting of a white-powder substance and tin foil, found during a search of a house in Moneymore." It added that the substance was "innocent".
Greenvale hotel owner Michael McElhatton told TheIrish Times that the accusation had "blackened" his name.
He said: "While I wished to respect the ongoing investigation by the police into the tragic deaths of the three young people at the Greenvale hotel on St Patrick's night, I have no choice but to make it completely clear that I have nothing whatsoever to do with drugs.
"I can assure everyone that whatever any suspicions the police have raised about me in relation to anything to do with drugs is totally without any basis."
He added: "I am shocked and horrified that the powdery substance taken by police from the laundry in my house could be drugs.
"Despite there being no basis to these suspicions, they have blackened my name and caused so much upset for so many people, especially those who are grieving and distressed over the events at the Greenvale hotel.
The owner of the Greenvale hotel and the 40-year-old are still in custody in relation to the allegation of manslaughter.
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