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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Boy jabbed by syringe in school play area

Published 05/06/2014 | 09:45

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North Presentation national school in Cork
Syringe and needle
Syringe and needle

GARDAI have been urged to crackdown on heroin addicts ‘shooting up’ near schools after a Cork boy was jabbed by a hypodermic needle thrown into a school play area.

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The five year old, a student at the North Presentation national school on Cork’s northside, jabbed his finger and the needle broke his skin.

He was immediately taken for medical assessment to the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) by school staff.

He was treated at MUH and a full range of blood tests were taken to ensure the boy wasn’t contaminated with anything from the needle.

However, his parents now face an agonising wait of up to eight weeks for some of the test results.

They are said to be “very upset” over the incident.

Local politicians have now demanded that gardai adopt a ‘get tough’ policy on heroin users who are using drugs paraphernalia within sight of the school.

Cllr Thomas Gould (SF) warned that it is further proof that Cork’s heroin problem is rapidly reaching crisis proportions.

He pointed out that one Cork GAA club, St Vincent’s, were shocked to discover that needles were included amongst rubbish dumped near their facility.

Earlier this year, heroin paraphernalia was also discovered dumped in St Finbarr’s Church on the southside of Cork city.

North Presentation principal, Kathleen Haverty, said their primary concern is for the five year old student and the welfare of their other students.

“We deeply regret what happened but this is a problem outside the school which visited the school,” she said.

“The school caretaker checked the yard for hazards minutes before playtime and it was clear.”

Gardai are now investigating the incident.

School officials said that while they want to take every possible step to ensure the security and safety of play areas, they don’t want to erect massive nets and security fences around the facility and change the entire tenor of the school.

However, the incident occurred just weeks after school officials had expressed concern to gardai about growing levels of anti-social behaviour on the streets around North Presentation.

This includes areas off Gerald Griffin Street where several streets are now known to be frequented by heroin addicts.

Locals complained that addicts were seen ‘shooting up’ in the area on several days over the past fortnight.

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