Drug warning as man fights for life after friend dies
The father of a man who is fighting for his life after taking drugs that killed his friend has pleaded with gardai to catch the dealers.
Simon Lynch (22) was on a life-support machine in hospital last night just hours after his close friend Oisin Crawford (22) was found dead at a house party.
Ambulances raced to a house in St Johnston, Co Donegal, just after 4.30am yesterday following reports that five people at a birthday party had taken ill.
The HSE said it believed the party-goers may have taken an ecstasy-type drug known as 'Double Cross' or 'Double Black'.
Tragic Oisin died in the house while Simon, two other men and an 18-year-old woman were rushed to Letterkenny General Hospital for treatment.
"One young man is now in a box and my own son is on a ventilator," said Simon's father Liam Lynch. "I would appeal to young people – please stop taking this stuff. Just don't do it. Gardai need to catch the b*****ds selling this stuff to our children."
Mr Crawford, from Port Hall, St Johnston, worked in his family's tyre business in Raphoe.
He and his family had been devastated by the death of his grandmother three months ago.
He was a popular young man in the Border area and had been at the Pulse Nightclub in Letterkenny with several friends on Saturday night.
On Sunday they went to a 21st birthday party at the house on Main Street in St Johnston.
He was pronounced dead yesterday morning.
Friends said Mr Crawford's highly respected parents, Seamus and Sharon, were "distraught" at his death.
Mr Crawford's cousin Evin posted on Facebook: "You're gonna be missed by many cousins. I know Granny Rose will look after you. Still waiting for someone to wake us up from this bad dream."
Gardai said they were investigating "all the circumstances" of Mr Crawford's death.
A post-mortem was being carried out last night.
Mr Crawford's death is the fourth in the past month linked to a drug that can cause seizures and heart attacks.
Toxicology tests on Henry Leavy (23), from Old Greenfield, Maynooth, showed that he had taken cocaine and amphetamines.
Tests have not yet been completed in two other cases, a man and a woman who were both in their 20s.
All three deaths were linked to a drug known as 'Green Rolex' or 'Green Apple'.
But last night the HSE issued a new alert for drugs known as 'Double Cross' or 'Double Black'
"The HSE Public Health Department in the North West has become aware of a number of people with serious illness requiring medical treatment/ intervention as a result of taking substances including an ecstasy-like substance known as Double Cross and/or Double Black," said a HSE spokeswoman.
"The Public Health Department is advising that people should not take these substances and if their friends are in possession of these that they should not be consumed."