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Friday 18 October 2019

Post mortem after double death at Cork city party

Ralph Riegel and Tom Brady

A CHRISTMAS party ended in tragedy when two men died after apparently taking a lethal drugs cocktail.

Gardai are now investigating the deaths in Cork, and are focusing on a Christmas Eve party.

The men were named locally last night as John Foley (33) and John O'Donoghue (34).

Both were found, hours apart, in an unresponsive state at a flats complex at Rockgrove Terrace off the Glanmire Road in Cork on Christmas Day.

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

Both deaths are suspected to have been drugs related -- but gardai said they will only be able to confirm this after toxicology tests.

It was unclear last night whether the men died from a lethal cocktail of drugs or whether the drugs themselves may have been contaminated.

Post-mortem examinations began yesterday at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Detailed toxicology tests were conducted and gardai want to speak to those who were with the two over the past 48 hours.

One garda described the incident as "a terrible tragedy".

"This is an appalling thing to happen on Christmas Day and is absolutely heartbreaking for the two families involved," he said.

Both men are believed to have attended a party on Christmas Eve which continued into the early hours of Christmas Day.

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


There are a total of 12 apartments in the three-storey building.

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

However, desperate 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 (MUH) shortly after 8pm on Christmas Day.

His condition deteriorated and he was pronounced dead in the early hours of yesterday.

Gardai stressed that the nature of their investigation would be determined by the State Pathologist's report.

The full toxicology results are not expected for a fortnight.

Last night, a local man said: "We knew that something was going on but we didn't realise until today (St Stephen's Day) that anyone had died," he explained.

"It is a shocking thing to happen -- particularly on Christmas Day. I don't know the two lads -- there are a lot of flats and apartment complexes around here so you never really get to know all your neighbours," he added.

A post mortem examination was due to be conducted today.

Irish Independent

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