Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Viewpoint: Turn in the drug dealers

A priest spoke for a whole community yesterday when he pleaded for young people to 'give up' the dealers who supplied 19-year-old Danielle Gibbens with ecstasy.

Danielle, from Ballykelly, died early on Friday after collapsing in Limavady. It is believed she suffered a massive heart attack induced by taking one or more tablets of the so-called 'party drug'.



This is obviously not the first death from ecstasy in Northern Ireland. Nor is it even the first death in that area.



Four years ago, schoolboy Jason Brolly from Bellarena died after taking ecstasy. He was just 16 years old. After Jason's death, his family bravely released photos of him in his coffin in a bid to warn others of the dangers of drugs.



Four years on, however, and another clergyman finds it necessary to warn young people about ecstasy. Fr Stephen Kearney's words at Danielle's funeral will, hopefully, not fall on deaf ears.



Fr Kearney rightly pointed out that the dealers of death and addiction do so to enrich themselves and do not care about the lives of our young. He was right, too, to warn that there is no such thing as a simple, one-off recreational drug.



Even a single ecstasy pill can kill. The dealers know this, of course. The point is that they just don't care.

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