A HEARTBROKEN mum whose hurling-mad son died hours after taking a so-called "legal high" drug has called for tough Irish laws to be introduced in the UK.
Karen Audino moved from London to Co Donegal with her three children in 2005.
But last week her 20-year-old son Jimmy Guichard had his life-support machine switched off days after he bought and used legally available drugs in Kent.
He had returned to England to care for his father who is battling cancer. Ireland outlawed the so-called "head shops" three years ago.
Jimmy was a member of the St Eunan's GAA club in Letterkenny and played for their minor hurling team last year. His ashes will be scattered at the club's O'Donnell Park grounds next week.
"I'm absolutely shattered," said Karen (42) last night. "I am determined now to fight to have the same laws that exist in Ireland introduced in Britain.
"I don't know why Jimmy took the substances that he took but I want to make sure no other family has to go through what we are going through now."
She told how she raced to London to be at her son's bedside at Darent County Hospital in Dartford, Kent.
"I didn't want him to die without me being there. I made it in time and when we turned off the life-support machine, he was in my arms," said Karen, who is planning a funeral Mass and cremation in London next Monday.
"I went on a trip to Donegal in 2005 with my mother who is a Daniel O'Donnell fan and when we came home to London we said we'd love to move there, so we did.
"My children were at secondary school but I was still having to leave them to school and pick them up because where we were in Lewisham wasn't safe.
"Jimmy took to life in Donegal like a fish to water. He was just 12 and we were in Letterkenny just two days when he saw two young boys outside with what he called 'funny looking sticks'.
"In London he wouldn't have been outside so I told him it was all right and he went out and played with the boys.
"Two days later he was playing hurling with St Eunan's GAA club. He was a total natural because he hadn't played it before and didn't have any bad habits. He became a real Irish boy that week and just loved his club, loved playing for them."
Late last year, she said, Jimmy went to England to be with his dad who still lived there and had been diagnosed with cancer.
Ms Audino, who is a staff manager at a fast food restaurant in Letterkenny, says coming 'home' to Ireland next Wednesday will be tough. "I think that's when it will hit me and his two sisters so hard," she said.
She has now spoken to several British MPs in a bid to have "head shops" closed in the UK. "The fact Jimmy bought what he did in a so-called head shop in Chatham in Kent must be a warning to parents over here," she said. "Ireland has led the way. Britain must now follow."
Police in Kent say they are investigating Jimmy's death on behalf of the coroner's office there. Doctors have told his family that he died from multiple organ failure.