Dangerous drug linked to Kinsale deaths


GARDAÍ HAVE appealed to anyone who may have obtained a new and highly dangerous form of ecstasy linked to the deaths of two young men in Co Cork to contact them immediately and also to seek medical assistance if they have consumed the drug.

Supt Eddie MacEoin, who is leading the investigation into the deaths of Michael Coleman (22) and Liam Coffey (22) from a suspected drugs overdose in Kinsale last weekend, yesterday appealed to anyone who has obtained any quantity of the drug to contact them.

“We would appeal to anyone who got this drug which we believe may be linked to the tragedy in Kinsale to contact us in confidence. We will deal with them fairly but our main concern is to try and get this drug off the streets,” he said.

Supt MacEoin confirmed that an ounce of the drug, which is brown in colour, is selling for about €1,500 and other sources have confirmed to The Irish Times that a typical deal consists of a gramme or “bomb” of the substance, which sells for about €80.

The Irish Times has learned that gardaí are satisfied both Mr Coleman and Mr Coffey obtained the drugs from a drug dealer in the Wilton area of Cork city at about 4pm on Saturday before travelling to Mr Coleman’s rented house in Kinsale.

Gardaí are remaining tight-lipped about their investigation but are satisfied that they have traced the supply line back four levels after arresting and questioning three men and a woman about supplying the drug to the two dead men.

It is understood gardaí examined mobile phone records, text messages and CCTV footage in the investigation, which led them to raid a house in the Roman Street area of Cork’s northside on Sunday where they seized a quantity of the drug.

All four people have been released without charge and a file will be prepared for the DPP.

However, analysis of the drug revealed that it contained both ecstasy or methylamphetine (MDMA) and paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA).

Confirmation of the chemical composition of the drug prompted HSE South to issue a warning to drug users as well as alerting medical professionals and community and voluntary groups working with drug users in the region about the dangers of this synthetic substance.

Meanwhile, consultant in emergency medicine at the Mercy University Hospital, Dr Chris Luke, warned that the taking of potentially deadly new forms of drugs is posing a huge challenge for medical personnel.

“Ever since the head shop episode in 2010, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of novel recreational drugs and molecules being created – many of them coming from China and eastern Europe and our laboratories just can’t keep up with identifying them.

“The result is that it’s almost impossible for doctors and nurses to know what’s in someone’s system when they arrive into the emergency department.

“There are so many chemicals we cannot test for so we end up treating the effects.

“If someone has a seizure, we treat that. If someone has a stroke, we treat that. If someone has high blood pressure, we treat that,” Dr Luke said.