Wednesday 13 December 2017

Revellers used dating app Tinder to source lethal 'N Bomb' drug

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Revellers at a four-day party used dating app Tinder to source a lethal psychedelic drug nicknamed 'N Bomb' which later cost a Cork teenager his life, a court has heard.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard harrowing evidence on charges brought against three young people following a Garda investigation into the death of student Alex Ryan (18) following a party last January.

Alex Ryan (18) died after taking the drug at the party in Cork. Photo: Provision
Alex Ryan (18) died after taking the drug at the party in Cork. Photo: Provision

Harry Clifton (29), Jessica O'Connor (20) and Ruairí Maher (22) all pleaded guilty to a variety of drugs offences following a Garda investigation into the tragic death of Mr Ryan from the lethal psychedelic drug, N Bomb or 25i.

Six people got sick after the Cork house party attended by Mr Ryan but only the teenager subsequently died. The scenes of illness at the party were described as horrendous.

Judge O'Brien was told that a group of around a dozen young people were having a four-day party in Cork on January 19 last.

Jessica O'Connor was in the company of Mr Ryan and used the dating app Tinder to match up with another young man.

She 'matched' with Mr Maher and, during their online conversation, queried whether specific drugs could be sourced. Others at the party encouraged her to find drugs for such 'trips'.

Maher knew that Clifton might have such drugs and initiated contact. Eventually, Mr Ryan, O'Connor and Maher went to Clifton's home at St Finbarr's Place.

Maher sourced 12 'trips' of a hallucinogenic drug Clifton told him was 2CB. Unknown to all the young people, it was in fact N Bomb, an exceptionally dangerous designer party drug.

Maher bought the drugs for €80 and sold it to the others for €120. Judge O'Brien was told that Clifton knew the psychedelic drug was strong. He used the drug himself and did so by swallowing a small quantity wrapped in paper.

Clifton gave them a smaller dosage and advised them to be very careful with it. However, the court was told that Mr Ryan later ingested the drug by inhaling it.

When several other people at the party later began to get sick, Maher became very concerned and rang the gardaí and the emergency services. The court was told he deeply regrets what happened.

Clifton, who is from Kilkenny and has previous convictions for drug offences, fully co-operated with gardaí when they searched his property.

Clifton of St Finbarr's Place, Proby's Quay, Cork, pleaded guilty to four charges. These included having drugs in his possession for sale or supply on January 18 last.

O'Connor of Rosebank House, Ballyhar, Killarney, Co Kerry, pleaded guilty to a single charge of possession of a controlled drug, namely N Bomb, for sale or supply in Cork city on January 18 last.

Maher, of Ballycurrane, Thurles, Co Tipperary, pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiring with another to handle drugs, namely N Bomb, for sale or supply.

Judge O'Brien adjourned sentencing of Clifton, Maher and O'Connor until Friday.

Irish Independent

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