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King Johns Castle, in Limerick City Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland
heroin use

Heroin problem in Limerick is getting worse, says councillor

9 year old girl was hospitalised in Limerick after falling into a rubbish tip with used heroin syringe.

THE HEROIN PROBLEM in Limerick city is getting worse,  a City Councillor has told thejournal.ie, as city residents expressed their fury over an incident in which a 9 year old girl came in contact with a used heroin syringe.

Holly Sheehy, a 9 year old girl from Nun’s Island in the city centre, was playing in a laneway near her home when she fell into a rubbish heap that contained a heroin needle. Her fingertip touched the needle, which doctors confirmed contained heroin.

“There is a sense that things are getting worse” Cllr Maurice Quinlivan, a Sinn Féin representative, said.   “There is open drug dealing and taking on our streets and the problem is not going to go away until the government commits to doing something about it. We don’t even have a detoxification centre in the city but were promised one last year” he said.

There are over 600 heroin addicts in Limerick city.

However, the situation in Limerick is not unique, according to a spokesperson at Merchants Quay Ireland Homeless and Drugs Services.

The number of heroin addicts in Ireland is the highest in the EU, he said, with “the recession exacerbating the problem across the whole country, in small towns as well as large ones.”

“The likes of Ennis, Nenagh and Clonmel have big problems because everything happens on two streets” added Tom Gleeson, Chairperson of the Mid West drugs task force.  “Drug use in those areas has been phenomenal,” he told the thejournal.ie.

Meanwhile Quinlivan says that the only way to put an end to the problem is by taking on the gangs who deal the drugs.

“But there are only two CAB (Criminal Assets Bureau) officers in the city. The emphasis should be on tackling the drug dealers who have profited from the trade. But they continue to amass vast sums of money. They are untouchable.”

Gardaí seize €2.25 million worth of heroin in Dublin >

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