Drug bags found near new Northern Ireland play park
A community worker says residents in Dunmurry were left "shocked and horrified" after a large bag containing traces of white powder was found just feet away from a newly-opened play park.
The bag, which contained around 50 smaller bags each bearing a bulldog stamp, was found near River Road Play Park, which opened a fortnight ago in a new residential development on the site of the former Dunmurry High School.
While it is not yet known what the packets contained, 'bulldog' is a slang term for heroin.
The play park is in a new housing estate popular with young families, and it is also used by families from the neighbouring Seymour Hill and Conway estates.
The park was funded and constructed by Connswater Homes and after its opening responsibility for its operation and maintenance transferred to Lisburn and Castlereagh Borough Council.
Vice chair of Seymour Hill and Conway Residents Association Julie Ann Jackson said that it was the second drugs-related discovery in the area recently after empty syringes were found outside tower blocks two months ago.
She said parents were horrified and she feared there could be a fatality if a child comes across illegal substances.
"It's absolutely disgusting, this play park has been used by hundreds of local children already," Ms Jackson said.
"This area is full of families and the play park is also right beside a youth club. Parents are horrified to see this on the estate, and some parents aren't even letting their kids go back to the play park.
"Thankfully this bag was found by adults, but I would be worried that substances like this could prove fatal if they fell into the hands of a child or teenagers.
"This was quite a shock, although there are drug problems in the area. Around six or eight weeks ago we found three or four syringes lying outside the tower blocks at Riverdale and Parkdale."
She said that the community would come together to tackle the drugs scourge.
And she added: "Our message to the people bringing these substances in is: 'Stay out of our community, we don't want that dirt here'. Our community will not tolerate this."
In response to the discovery, Lisburn and Castlereagh Borough Council said: "The council had not previously been made aware of the material found in the vicinity of the play park and will now be confirming with the PSNI that the matter is being investigated."
Connswater Homes said that it "would have no information" on the discovery and that it would be a "PSNI matter".
The PSNI confirmed the find was reported yesterday and said that the items were seized.
It added: "Drugs are illegal and dangerous and cause untold suffering in communities.
"For this drug paraphernalia to have been dumped in such close proximity to an area where children play is despicable."