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Contaminated drug probe as two young mothers fight for life after multiple organ failure

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A man has been shot outside a shopping centre in Tallaght, south Dublin

A man has been shot outside a shopping centre in Tallaght, south Dublin

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A man has been shot outside a shopping centre in Tallaght, south Dublin

Two young mothers are fighting for their lives after they took what they believed to be a 'recreational drug'.

Medical teams were last night battling to save Samantha Morgan (24) and Alannah Molloy (25) who suffered multiple organ failure.

Gardai believe the pair, who did not know each other, were dealt "contaminated" drugs by the same dealer and though to be cannabis - but there are also concerns it was mixed with some other more potent substance.

Samantha's mother revealed how she has "lost all hope" for her daughter. Fidelma Morgan, who lives in Drogheda, said she believed her "little baby" was slipping away.

"We've been told that the best case scenario is that Sam will be left with permanent brain damage. We are just distraught," she said. "She's my little baby and my only child, and now she's slipping away from me.

"We've lost all hope. My father is already making his way over from England for whatever will happen next.

"We're bracing ourselves for the funeral to be honest."

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Ms Morgan was described as a "wonderful mother" to seven-month-old son JJ by family friends who were as shocked by the tragedy as her mother.

It's believed that the young woman was socialising on Monday night and had taken the substance. The family of Alannah Molloy also revealed they have braced themselves for the worst: "We're under so much pressure right now, things are extremely difficult for us. But we honestly don't know whether she will [survive]."

Ms Molloy, who has one child, lives in nearby Kilsaran with her brother. It's understood that she has also suffered "catastrophic" organ failure.

Cllr Pearse McGeogh, who knows the Molloy family, pleaded with other young people in the Co Louth area not to take anything resembling cannabis.

"Please, please destroy it if you have any. We must avoid another situation like this. We are talking about two young girls now battling to survive."

Last night, sources close to the garda investigation said they believe they have identified the dealer who sold the drug.

 

Contaminated cannabis unlikely to be behind severe illness in two women

By Tom Brady and Louise Hogan

Two women, who are in a serious condition in hospital, may have become ill from using substances other than a contaminated batch of cannabis.

Fresh toxicology tests were under way last night to determine how they became critically ill.

But gardai now believe that cannabis may not have been a major factor in either case.

One of the women is now thought to have been inhaling a deodorant and this may have been more significant in creating her medical problems. Last night the woman's condition at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda had stabilised and she was no longer in a coma.

The second woman's condition was also stabilising last night but she remained in a coma.

Fears that a contaminated batch of cannabis could have been responsible for their illnesses grew after initial toxicology tests on samples taken from the women at the hospital.

However, urine samples were sent yesterday to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and then forwarded to the state laboratory and the forensic science laboratory at garda headquarters for further tests.

The fresh tests on the first woman, who is from Drogheda, showed that abusing the aerosol was the likely cause of the damage to her respiratory system.

Samples

She had been in Dublin on Tuesday and returned home to Drogheda that night. She was taken to the hospital at around 4.30am on Wednesday.

The second woman, who is from Kilsaran village, outside Castlebellingham, Co Louth, was taken to the hospital on Monday night. The additional tests on her samples had not been completed late last night. But it is believed substances other than cannabis are likely to have been responsible.

The two women, who are aged 24 and 22, are not connected. One of them is the mother of a young child.


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