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A crisis meeting to be held on the Falls

Drug death and powder seizure

By Ciara Quinn

THE sudden death of a West Belfast man from a suspected drugs overdose has led to an emergency meeting being called today [Thursday] at the Falls Community Council.

It is believed the lower Falls man, a father-of-one, who we’re not naming, died on Tuesday afternoon after taking “green Rolexes”, ecstasy tablets contaminated with highly toxic chemicals. A batch of the drug was seized by PSNI in July.

The pills which contain PMMA (paramethoxy- methamphetamine) are slow to take effect, which may cause an impatient user to take more – which can lead to seizures, convulsions and heart attacks. It’s understood that several other people sought medical treatment in the wake of the death after having taken the same drug. One man is believed to have been placed in an induced coma.

The tragic death comes as drugs with an estimated street value of £60,000 were  handed into the Andersonstown News offices by representatives of the IRSP.

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey yesterday said   statutory agencies need to work together to try and eradicate the scourge of drugs on our community.

“This is very very sad news for this young man’s family and it just goes to show how dangerous drugs can be and how dangerous they are in society,” he said.

“I would be asking people, especially our young people to stop when it comes to drug taking. If they need help – help can be provided. We have a duty to protect people.”

Mr Maskey added: “My heart goes out to the family of this young man. It’s families and communities that are left devastated, that are being devastated by drugs. The meeting planned for Falls Community Council tomorrow [Thursday] will be a step towards tackling this issue head on.”

Speaking on behalf of the West Belfast Community Safety Forum, Karol McKee said his group would be asking the PSNI to “tackle drug dealers head-on”.

“We need a major focus placed on the issue and dangers of drugs,” he said. “We don’t see the drug dealer in the areas, on the street, even sometimes living next door brought to justice and this needs tackled urgently by the PSNI.

“If anyone has any information on drug dealers we are urging them to pass it on without hesitation, it can be given to any elected representative, people can go to their nearest CRJ office where staff would be more than happy to take it.”

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