The owner of the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown said he had “nothing whatsoever” to do with drugs following his de-arrest this evening.
Michael McElhatton remains in police custody on suspicion of manslaughter following the deaths of three teenagers at the Greenvale Hotel on St Patrick’s Day.
The 52-year-old was re-arrested after police claimed to have seized suspected Class A drugs following a search at a house in Moneymore on Tuesday.
However, Mr McElhatton was de-arrested following forensic examination of the white powder substance found during the search.
In a statement Mr McElhatton said that he had “nothing whatsoever” to do with drugs.
“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,” the statement read.
“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.”
Mr McElhatton said the powdery substance was taken by police from the laundry.
“I am shocked and horrified that the powdery substance taken by police from the laundry in my house could be drugs,” he said.
In a new statement this evening, police said: “Detectives from PSNI’s Major Investigation Team investigating the deaths of three teenagers at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on Saint Patrick’s Day have de-arrested a 52 year old man, who was arrested earlier today on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply.
“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.
“The 52-year-old and the 40-year-old man remain in custody on suspicion of manslaughter.”
A 40-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of manslaughter on Tuesday. He remains in police custody.
Lauren Bullock (17) from Donaghmore, and Morgan Barnard (17) and Connor Currie (16), both from Dungannon, died following a crush at the hotel door as crowds of young people waited to gain entry.
Their funerals will take place on Friday.