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25-year-old man died after taking little known synthetic drug in Clare pub

The man’s friend also took the drug, which he told an inquest looked like “crushed glass”.

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A 25-YEAR old Co Clare man was dead – and a second man had a lucky escape – within hours of the two unknowingly taking a little known synthetic drug at a pub in Miltown Malbay last September.

In the tragedy, taxi-driver, PJ Lysaght was pronounced dead before midnight on September 3rd last year after snorting what he thought was MDMA -or the drug Ecstasy – at a pub in the west Clare town at around 7pm that evening.

However, a toxicology report presented to the Coroner’s Court in Ennis showed that Mr Lysaght had also taken the synthetic drug, PMMA.

At the inquest, the man’s grieving mother, Claire Lysaght asked the coroner, Isobel O’Dea ‘What is PMMA?”

Consultant pathologist, Dr Terézia Laszlo told Ms Lysaght that it is more toxic than MDMA and taken with alcohol can result in a very high temperature, hallucinations, cardiac arrhythmia and cardiac arrest.

Mr Lysaght died after losing consciousness following a seizure and foaming at the mouth in his bedroom of his home on Ballard Rd in Miltown Malbay

In evidence, a friend of Lysaght’s, Paul Fox said that Lysaght gave him what he believed was MDMA in the pub at around 7pm that evening.

He said: “I took it off PJ and put it in my mouth and chewed it and swallowed it then. PJ snorted his up his nose.”

Fox said that the drug resembled ‘crushed glass”.

However, Fox told the inquest that “about a half hour or 20 minutes later, I got sick all over the place – it just turned my stomach as I had two pints drank”.

Fox noticed that PJ started rubbing his head and his face after snorting the drug- “he looked like he was off his face”.

Shortly after at 7.50pm, PJ’s mother, Claire Lysaght said that a seven year old boy called to her at her home at Ballard Rd and told her than PJ was out in the bushes.

She went down to PJ and he got out of the bushes. She said: “I felt that he had taken some sort of drug and I asked him what he had taken. He told me that he took a bang of MDMA.”

Ms Lysaght said that when coming into the house, PJ went upstairs. She said: “I went up the stairs after him and he had his t-shirt off and lying face down in the bed and had the window open.”

Two friends of PJ’s, Ryan Cusack and Tommy Galvin also arrived at the home to be with PJ.

Ms Lysaght said that shortly after she left the house at 10.35pm, Tommy Galvin phoned to say that PJ’s body was seizing up.

An ambulance was called and Ms Lysaght returned immediately to see PJ in his bedroom. She said: “He was blue in colour and his eyes were fixed – like he was dead.”

She said that Cusack and Galvin were performing CPR on her son until the paramedics and a doctor arrived.

In his deposition and describing the scene, Tommy Galvin said that PJ was having seizures at around 11pm and was foaming at the mouth. He said: “His whole body was cramping. He was trying to talk to us but he couldn’t.”

Prior to PJ having his seizure, both Galvin and Cusack said that PJ was hallucinating and that he thought he was driving a bus.

More efforts were made to revive Mr Lysaght, but he was pronounced dead at 11.50pm.

MDMA and traces of cannabis were also found in Mr Lysaght’s blood along with non-toxic levels of alcohol.

Coroner, Isobel O’Dea said that Mr Lysaght died as a result of drug intoxication due to the combined effects of drugs listed.

O’Dea said that she would record a narrative verdict in accordance with the evidence.

Ms Lysaght declined to comment after leaving the inquest.

Read: Family calls for fresh autopsy for woman who died of sepsis after being ‘scalded’ with hot tea>

About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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