Belfast Telegraph

Vigil held for tragic teen

By Michael McCready

A community vigil took place at the weekend in memory of a north Belfast teenager who committed suicide last month after taking illegal drugs.

Doctors told the family of 16-year-old Jimmy Joe Brown that he had taken drugs known as ‘blues’ and they believe that the comedown from them drove him to suicide.

The drugs cost as little as 50p each and can contain anything such as the sedative Diazepam, the horse tranquilliser Ketamine and even anti-freeze.

The community vigil, which took place on Sunday in Victoria Parade in the New Lodge area, was supported and attended by Alison Clarke, mother of Tiger's Bay youngster, Dean Clarke, who died in similar circumstances two years ago.

Jimmy Joe’s heartbroken mother Kate has made a simple plea to young people who are taking these drugs: “Please don’t...just stop. If you just see the devastation that we have been through, I mean he only just turned 16 and his life has ended all over these ‘blues’.”

New Lodge Safer Streets representative Liam Wiggins said: “We have witnessed how the Tiger's Bay community has experienced a positive turnaround in recent times after the tragic loss of Dean and we intend to learn from Alison and her community’s experience, using the wide range of community and statutory avenues at our disposal.”

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