BANBRIDGE businessman Dominic Quinn has spoken of his relief after nearly three years spent living with drugs charges hanging over his head came to an end with a not guilty verdict at Newry Crown Court last week.

The well-known owner of the Coach had been charged in connection with allowing his premises to be used for the supply of drugs at the popular nightclub dating back to 2007 but was found not guilty by a jury who took less than an hour to make their decision.

Speaking to the Leader Mr Quinn said the ordeal has been a difficult one.

"I don't want any pity," he said. "It is a huge relief and I just want to get on with my life now."

Mr Quinn, who also runs several other businesses in and around the town said he always believed he would be cleared by the court.

"I am understandably relieved and pleased with the verdict of not guilty," he said. "Personally I never doubted that I would be found not guilty.

"It gives me great satisfaction to know that I was found unanimously not guilty by twelve members of our community."

The trial, which began earlier this year was twice delayed after the first two selected juries were both discharged. In January a judge at Newry Crown Court discharged the jury "in the interests of justice" while another was discharged in February after a jury member became ill.

The 53-year-old said he will now concentrate on getting back to his business and extended his thanks to those who have stuck by him throughout the traumatic ordeal.

He said, "I want now to move on with both my life and business.

"I would like to thank all those loyal employees, friends and most of all my family for their continued support over the past two-and-a-half years."

As for the future of the Coach nightclub Mr Quinn remained guarded. "There is always something going on down at the Coach," he said.

"We are just going to get on with it as we have always done."