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Thursday 2 October 2014

Drug addicts were 'dealing in hospital A&E'

Alan O'Keeffe

Published 08/08/2014 | 23:02

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9 June 2014;   General view of the Mater Hospital. North Circular road, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Mater Hospital

ADDICTS appeared to be dealing drugs as they spent a night in the Mater Hospital's casualty department, a woman has claimed.

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She said a group of addicts were given blankets to sleep on benches in the accident and emergency department but began "shouting and roaring".

"The department was an absolute disgrace. It was like a junkie hotel," said Colette Power.

She was speaking on RTE Radio One's Liveline programme which featured a number of callers complaining about the intimidating behaviour of drug addicts in Dublin city centre.

She said she was with her daughter in the Mater A&E as she waited for treatment last Friday from 6.45pm to 5am.

"As the night went on there were more and more junkies coming in," she said.

"Very obviously they were dealing drugs as after a while they were going out and coming back in.

"Every one of them got a blanket to go asleep on the benches.

"They all fell asleep, had their night's sleep and got up then and started roaring and shouting again.

Sympathy

"And I just thought, 'What do the tourists think? That Dublin is the safest place?' I don't think so. Everybody knows it's not."

Ms Power said she had sympathy for heroin addicts but felt it was a disgraceful situation at the hospital. She wondered if the addicts were given blankets to keep them quiet by letting them sleep.

"But it's just awful if you have a patient coming into the hospital who may be very anxious, very nervous and in an awful state," she said.

"They don't want to hear roaring and shouting from people who sometimes are a bit threatening towards other people in the condition they may be in."

Ms Power said the tourists in A&E that night must have thought the situation was "crazy".

"We're not helping our addicts, God love them, with the life that they have," she added.

A spokesperson for the Mater did not respond to a request for comment.

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