Wednesday 13 December 2017

Naked party goers 'were using their own blood to draw on walls' - inquest

Coroner plea after 'Dark Web' drug claimed life of teenager

Nicole Ryan, sister of the late Alex Ryan, pictured at Cork Coroners’ Court. Photo: Daragh McSweeney/Cork Courts Limited
Nicole Ryan, sister of the late Alex Ryan, pictured at Cork Coroners’ Court. Photo: Daragh McSweeney/Cork Courts Limited
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Cement, piano wire cleaner and rat poison are among the ingredients that are now being discovered in 'designer' drugs.

Cork coroner Philip Comyn has called for a radical overhaul of drug education in Irish schools, as it emerged one-in-three inquests in the city is connected to drugs or alcohol.

It comes as the sister of a teenager who died from a lethal synthetic party drug nicknamed 'NBomb' pleaded with youngsters to say no to drugs.

Nicole Ryan was speaking as an inquest returned a verdict of death by misadventure for her brother, Alex (18).

In evidence at Mr Ryan's inquest, gardaí warned that youngsters have no idea of precisely what is contained in such drugs.

Det Sgt Jason Lynch said some synthetic drugs seized in recent years have included such trace ingredients as scouring powder, rat poison, cement and even piano wire cleaner.

Alex Ryan
Alex Ryan

"The (drugs) market now changes on a weekly basis," he said, in terms of specific designer drug demand.

The deadly psychedelic drug NBomb which claimed Mr Ryan's life was sourced via the 'Dark Web' from Thailand.

"Young people need to realise that they are playing Russian roulette with their lives when they take drugs," his sister said.

"It is not a question of 'if' someone else will die from drugs in Ireland, it is only a question of when."

Mr Ryan died after ingesting the lethal synthetic party drug on January 18, 2016.

Six people fell ill after the four-day Cork house party.

Gardaí revealed that when they attended the Cork house involved, some party-goers were dancing naked covered in blood, their feet being sliced on a broken mirror.

The alarm was raised when one blood-soaked reveller ran naked out into the street.

Another naked party-goer was using their own blood to create images on the house walls.

Gardaí said there was "a scene of total chaos".

Mr Ryan was found lying unconscious on the floor.

One reveller later described the party to gardaí as "the best trip" she had ever had.

Ms Ryan said she found such comments to be "absolutely shocking" given her brother had lost his life.

Almost a year after Mr Ryan's death, in an unconnected tragedy, another Cork teen, Michael Cornacchia (16), died after the suspected ingestion of a different designer drug.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster admitted Irish doctors and lab technicians are now battling to keep up with the changes in such synthetic drugs. "Even a small amount of these drugs can kill you," she said.

Mr Comyn said if any good was to come from Mr Ryan's tragic death it had to be through better Irish drug education measures.

"The systems at the moment are rather ad hoc," he said.

"My recommendation today is that drugs awareness and education needs to be tackled in a much more structured way, particularly in schools."


He revealed that 17 of 46 inquests staged in Cork this year (36.9pc) directly or indirectly involved drugs or alcohol.

Last year, 253 inquests were staged in Cork, with 10.6pc directly and 22.1pc indirectly involving drugs or alcohol.

Ms Ryan pleaded with youngsters to heed the stark warnings of her brother's tragic death.

"Alex made one very bad decision. That mistake cost him his life. He paid the ultimate price. We don't want any other Irish family to suffer our loss," she said.

Mr Ryan's organs were donated by his family and four Irish people had life-saving operations as a result.

Last November, three people were sentenced before Cork Circuit Criminal Court on charges arising from Mr Ryan's death.

Irish Independent

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