Belfast Telegraph

Drug link in Co Down man's death: Spate of deaths "worrying turn of events"

By John Mulgrew

A series of recent deaths linked to drugs in Co Down is a "worrying turn of events", it has been claimed.

Police are probing a fresh drug link to the death of a man in his 20s in the Banbridge area on Thursday night.

He was found dead at a house in the Kenlis Street area of the town.

It's understood police have arrested three men in connection with the death.

The DUP's Stephen Moutray has said there have been five deaths, blamed on drugs, in recent weeks.

"This is a very worrying turn of events within the Banbridge area and my thoughts are with the family of the deceased," he said.

"The death of a young person rocks any community to the core, and this is no exception.

"It's being treated as having a suspected link to drugs and I am aware that three arrests have been made."

He said it was "no secret that Banbridge has a drugs problem with five recent deaths in the community caused by drugs misuse".

"The PSNI and other relevant authorities must tackle this epidemic," he said.

"The supply of these substances must  be cut off and appropriate sentencing for those profiting from this multi-million pound industry."

Last month an inquest into the death of a young Banbridge man heard police have been unable to identify how a sinister new drug that has killed 21 people was brought into Northern Ireland.

Connor Cochrane (21), who had Asperger's syndrome and a history of drug and alcohol misuse, died at his home last November after taking a cocktail of substances, including Para Methyl 4 Methylaminorex.

He is one of almost two dozen people across Northern Ireland who have died after taking the substance, which is known by other names including "speckled cherries" and "green rolex".

Further reading

Legal drug is linked to 19 deaths, inquest told

Paramilitaries peddle 'serial killer' drug: unregulated stimulant para-methyl-4-methylaminorex sold for £2 

PSNI in dark over drug that's killed 21, inquest is told

Police can't trace new killer drug

Killed... by drug bought for price of a pint 

Death bid accused gets bail altered to see bonfire

Legal drug is linked to 19 deaths, inquest told 

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