‘Mother lode’ of killer drug found in garda probe

Gardaí believe they have found what could be “the mother lode” of a potentially lethal drug which may already have claimed the lives of two young men.

Garda sources believe a worried dealer may have decided to dump about 12 ounces of the drug, known on the streets as Mandy, because “the heat was coming on” following the deaths of Liam Coffey and his friend Michael Coleman, whose bodies were found in a house in Kinsale last Sunday morning.

Up to 60 gardaí have been working flat out to clear the drug from the streets of Cork in the knowledge that further deaths could result if they do not.

Members of the Cork West Divisional search team found the drug — which is a mixture of ecstasy and its chemical cousin PMMA — in a field on the south-western outskirts of Cork City on Wednesday night.

It is believed the discovery was made in the Halldene area, off the Waterfall road.

The drug, a brown powdered form of ecstasy, is believed to have a street value of up to €30,000.

Bandon-based Superintendent Eddie MacEoin, who is in charge of the investigation, said he was confident the drugs were part of the same batch which may have been used by the two Co Waterford men.

A smaller quantity of the drug was seized by detectives in Cork’s Roman St earlier in the week.

Supt MacEoin said gardaí were hoping there was no more Mandy circulating in the county, but admitted he could not be certain this was the case.

“We don’t know if there is more out there, but this is certainly a significant find and we believe it has a street value of anything between €25,000 and €30,000.

The search in Bishopstown was made after gardaí “gathered intelligence”.

No arrests were made at the scene.

However, three men and a woman have been arrested as part of the investigation to date. They were all subsequently released without charge and gardaí are preparing a file for the DPP.

Supt MacEoin repeated his warning to drug users that they were dicing with death if they took the substance.

While gardaí are still awaiting toxicology results from the bodies of the two men, both 22, they believe that there may be a link to the drug.

He said that on their own, ecstasy and PMMA can be lethal, but combined their potential to kill is even greater.

The drug can cause an increase in body temperature and heart attacks.

Its killing power is enhanced if the user also consumes alcohol.

* Anybody who may know if there is more so-called Mandy on the streets is asked to immediately contact their local Garda station or Bandon Garda Station at 023 8852200.

More in this section