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Wednesday 16 October 2019

Christmas party-goers 'not at risk' after two drug deaths

Ralph Riegel

A TOXIC cocktail of heroin, methadone, cannabis and alcohol is now being blamed for the deaths of two young men after a marathon Christmas Eve party.

John Foley (33) and John O'Donoghue (34) died from suspected drug overdoses linked to a party in a Cork flats complex which started on Christmas Eve and only concluded in the early hours of Christmas Day.

Mr Foley's mother, Margaret, last night was too upset to talk about the tragedy to the Irish Independent.

"I have nothing to say -- thanks," she said.

Gardai who are investigating the tragedy said they are now satisfied none of the other 10 people at the party face health risks.

Both men were found hours apart on Christmas Day in an unresponsive state at a flats complex at Rockgrove Terrace off the Glanmire Road in Cork -- and less than 100 metres from Kent railway station.

Desperate efforts to assist both men failed and both died within a short time of being discovered.

Gardai are now awaiting the results of detailed toxicology tests.

The garda probe is now focused on the suspicion the men accidentally ingested a lethal cocktail of drugs.

This may have been further complicated by alcohol consumption -- resulting in both men suffering overdoses within a 12-hour period.

It is not now believed that any of the drugs were contaminated.

Post-mortem examinations were concluded on both men yesterday at Cork University Hospital by the State Pathologist's Office.

Mr Foley -- who is originally from Mayfield -- had been living in the Rockgrove Terrace flats complex over recent months.

Mr O'Donoghue -- who has addresses in both Youghal and Knocknaheeny in Cork -- is understood to have been visiting the Rockgrove complex and decided to stay over on Christmas Eve.


Mr Foley's girlfriend visited at lunchtime on Christmas Day and discovered the 33-year-old in an unresponsive state.

Efforts by paramedics to stabilise Mr Foley's condition failed and he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Mr O'Donoghue was discovered by his partner in a similarly unresponsive state in a different flat.

He was rushed to the Mercy University Hospital shortly after 8pm on Christmas night.

His condition deteriorated and he was pronounced dead in the early hours of St Stephen's Day.

Gardai stressed that the nature of their investigation would now be determined by the state pathologist's report.

Irish Independent

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