Two students charged over street drug at Cork house party

Two students were arrested and charged yesterday arising out of the investigation into the death of a man who allegedly ingested a drug known as N-bomb in Cork City in January, writes Liam Heylin and Eoin English.

Garda Daniel McEnery arrested Ruairí Maher, of 12 Ballycurrane, Thurles, Co Tipperary, and Jessica O’Connor, of Rosebank House, Ballyhar, Killarney, Co Kerry.

Both students were charged with conspiring with another to possess a controlled drug for the purpose of sale or supply to another in Cork City on January 18 and that the drug was known as N-bomb.

Inspector Finbarr O’Sullivan said at Cork District Court that the Director of Public Prosecutions had already decided that the cases would not be heard at District Court level and should proceed by indictment at Cork Criminal Court.

Frank Buttimer and Andrew O’Connell, solicitors, were appointed to represent Mr Maher and Ms O’Connor, respectively, on free legal aid.

Judge Leo Malone said the next sessions of Cork Circuit Criminal Court were not scheduled until October 24, so there would be no reason for a brief adjournment while the books of evidence were prepared.

On the application of Insp O’Sullivan, the case was adjourned until September 15 at Cork District Court to allow time for the preparation and service of books of evidence. Mr Maher, aged 22, and Ms O’Connor, aged 20, were both remanded on bail until that date.

It is anticipated that the cases will be sent forward, ultimately, for trial by judge and jury on a date to be set at the October sessions of Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Alex Ryan, aged 18, from Liscahane, Millstreet, Co Cork, died on January 23.

Last week, Cork Coroner’s Court heard that the teenager died after consuming the synthetic drug. He was one of six people at the party at St Patrick’s Terrace on Green St in Greenmount, Cork City, to have been hospitalised.

Alex Ryan
Alex Ryan

At the inquest into Mr Ryan’s death last week, Margot Bolster, the assistant State pathologist, said a postmortem examination had revealed that Mr Ryan died from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy — lack of oxygen to the brain — due to cardiac arrest from ingestion of 4-iodo-2 5-dimethoxy-n -2-methoxybenzyl) phenethylamine, or 251NBOMe, a psychedelic drug known on the streets as N-Bomb.

Witnesses reported at the time that party-goers were in states of extreme distress when they were found, with reports that some had slashed themselves with broken glass and that others were hallucinating widely.

Mr Ryan’s family consented to organ donation after his death, with four people in the UK benefiting .

There was no reference to the late Mr Ryan in the charges brought yesterday against Mr Maher and Ms O’Connor.

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