Open drug use 'a terrible worry for us all', says Cork mother who confronted men

Mother praised for confronting men who  took heroin in public in her estate
Open drug use 'a terrible worry for us all', says Cork mother who confronted men
File photo

A brave mum who confronted three men she suspected of injecting heroin openly in her estate has been praised for taking a stand for her community.

Debbie Quinn, a mother of two teenagers, who lives in the Glen on Cork’s northside, said she was sick of seeing people coming into the area and blatantly shooting up in public close to where children play.

“We have had enough,” she said.

“I know it’s an addiction and that it’s a sickness but shooting up in broad daylight, on the side of the road, close to where young children play and where vulnerable elderly people are living, it’s just not on anymore.

"Don’t do it near where our kids play, or where the elderly people live," she said.

Debbie was flooded with supportive messages after she posted a video on her verbal exchange with the men on social media.

The incident occurred on Friday afternoon as she was driving with one of her sons along Glen Avenue to the local shop.

As she passed the Glen Resource Centre, she said she spotted the three men sitting on a wall at the roadside acting suspiciously.

The former security industry worker said: “I knew something was up. I could tell something suspicious was going on.” 

She said one of the men appeared to have his trousers lowered and that she saw needles. 

She stopped her car, rolled down her window and challenged them.

The two younger men tried to shield the older man who told her he had been urinating. He told her she was "messing with the wrong man".

Debbie was not intimidated and told them they were messing with the wrong woman, to leave the area and that gardaí were being called.

She said the open use of heroin on suburban streets and in vacant homes in her community is on the rise.

“It’s a terrible worry for us all - we are worried for the elderly who live here and for the young children who play around here,” she said.

Local Labour councillor John Maher praised her for taking a stand but said he was widely criticised for sharing her Facebook video, and was accused of demonising those hooked on the drug.

Labour councillor John Maher said he was criticised for sharing the video but said open drug use is an issue in the area. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Labour councillor John Maher said he was criticised for sharing the video but said open drug use is an issue in the area. Picture: Denis Minihane.

“My young nephew lives about a minute from where this happened. That’s how raw this is to me and I will do everything to protect him," he said.

I make no apology whatsoever for taking a stand on this. This is not about demonising people, it’s about trying to find a solution. 

As well as highlighting the need for more community gardaí, he said the incident highlights the need for a supervised injection centre in Cork city.

“We need to have the conversation. We need to be grown up about this. We need a supervised injection centre. 

"The alternative is more of what we saw in the Glen in other communities. And make no mistake about it, every community is just one step away from this, from what we saw in the Glen.” 

He also encouraged people to see such behaviour to contact the gardaí first before posting material on social media.

“Likes and shares are not going to solve the problem,” he said.

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