Drugs warning in Belfast after three die


People who attended a party in west Belfast and took drugs were tonight being urged to seek urgent medical attention following the deaths of three young men.

Police believe the deaths were drug related and that they may have been caused by prescription drugs morphine or diazepam which had not been issued on prescription.

Post mortem tests were being carried out to confirm the cause of death of the three.

They were named by the RUC as Mr Eamon McCoubrey (22) of Hannaglen Heights, Mr Jim O'Connor (20) from Beechmount Drive, and Thomas Sterritt (18) from Tullymore Walk, all west Belfast.

The three friends had met up in a night-spot on the Falls Road last night and gone on to a party in the Westrock area, believed to have been held in the home of the girlfriend of one of the deceased.

They were found dead in a house in Westrock Green in the Ballymurphy area when an ambulance was called to the scene at 9.30 am. Ambulance staff found one man dead in a downstairs room and another in an upstairs bedroom.

An hour later Mr Sterritt was found dead at his home in Andersonstown.

Fear spread through the area that others who attended the party could be lying dead or ill elsewhere.

Sinn Fein Assembly member for west Belfast Ms Sue Ramsey, a member of the North’s Health Committee, visited the house where the two men died.

"I would appeal to everyone to take this seriously and if they were at the party to go and get medical attention," she said.

Mr Joe Deakin, who is in charge of the Northern Ireland Anti-Drugs Strategy, said the deaths should be a warning to other young people to keep away from narcotics.

"These three young people have died, families have been torn apart - I think it is a terrible tragedy.