Belfast Telegraph

Deadly drugs warning after man dies

A new batch of lethal drugs are being sold on the streets of Belfast, it was claimed tonight.

The warning comes after a 30-year-old man was found dead in west Belfast.

The father-of-one, named locally as Kevin Doherty, was taken to hospital at about 11am yesterday but died in hospital a short time later.

MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey said he believed there was a suspected drugs link to the death.

"There are major concerns out there that drugs were involved in this death," said Mr Maskey.

" This is not only happening in west Belfast but right across Belfast and, indeed further. There are dangerous consequences for people taking drugs. I believe those involved in taking drugs should desist because it is very clear to us all that there are bad batches out there at the moment."

It is understood Mr Doherty had been partying with friends in the Ross Street area when he collapsed.

Two other men who were also at the party were rushed to hospital and had to be placed in an induced coma. Both men are now said to be recovering well.

However, Mr Maskey said the dead man's family had been left devastated.

He added: "He was very active in sports and was well liked within the community. It is just unfortunate that he appears to have got caught up with drugs. His family are devastated and are trying to work out how to get their heads round this.

"They probably never thought this was something that would come to their door."

This is the latest in a spate of suspected drugs-related deaths across Northern Ireland.

Earlier this year the police and health authorities issued a warning about a contaminated batch of ecstacy-type tablets after eight people aged in their 20s and 30s died in east Belfast, Co Fermanagh and the north west.

Mr Maskey said: "I would urge young people to desist from taking drugs. There is no such thing as a safe drug. No one knows what drug dealers are putting into drugs and they do not care how it affects and devastates human life."

In a statement the PSNI confirmed they were investigating the death.

"Police in west Belfast are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a 30-year-old man."

Earlier today a multi-agency meeting was held in west Belfast aimed at developing an action plan to tackle the scourge of illegal drugs.

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