'Brown powder' warning issued after Kinsale deaths

A warning has been issued to recreational drug-users following the deaths of two young men in Cork.

'Brown powder' warning issued after Kinsale deaths

A warning has been issued to recreational drug-users following the deaths of two young men in Cork.

It is now suspected that the friends may have consumed a brown ecstasy-containing powder, which could have been a factor in their deaths.

Michael Coleman and Liam Coffey were found dead in Michael's rented house in Abbey Lane in Kinsale on Sunday morning.

Gardaí have confirmed that a product containing MDMA or ecstasy and another substance PMMA may have led to their sudden deaths.

The HSE has taken the unusual step of warning drug users against taking the substance, which is known to contain Methylamphetamine (MDMA Ecstasy) and Paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA).

Health professionals in the region and community and voluntary groups who work with users have also been urged to be vigilant in relation to the substance.

Elsewhere a man in his 20s is being questioned on suspicion of the sale and supply of drugs by detectives investigating the deaths.

He is being detained at Bandon Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984, where he can be held for up to 24 hours.

Two other men and a woman arrested in relation to the investigation were released yesterday. Files are being prepared for the director of Public Prosecutions.

David Lane, HSE South Addiction Services, said practical steps drug users can take to prevent overdose include knowing your tolerance, avoid mixing drink and drugs, and recognise that medications prescribed by a doctor may interact with street drugs and cause an overdose.

“If someone gets into difficulty after consuming a substance it is critically important to get help immediately by calling the emergency services,” said the HSE south. “Symptoms associated with the above substance include high fever, rapid heart rate and agitation."

Mr Coleman, 22, from Dungarvan, recently moved to the Kinsale area with his girlfriend, a trainee teacher, and had started a job at Eli Lillis pharmaceuticals.

He will be buried tomorrow after his funeral mass at St Augustine’s Church in Abbeyside.

Mr Coffey, 22, from Cappoquin, was visiting the couple.

The two friends were found dead by Mr Coleman’s girlfriend.

A Garda investigation is continuing, which has already resulted in four arrests. Two men and a woman who were arrested earlier in the week have all been released without charge. A fourth man was arrested today.

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