Coroner calls for more resources to fight illegal drugs

Thursday 30 January 2014 17.57
An inquest at Ballina Coroner's Court it was horrifying to think illegal drugs are so easily obtainable
An inquest at Ballina Coroner's Court it was horrifying to think illegal drugs are so easily obtainable

A coroner has called on the Minister for Justice to provide extra resources to assist in the fight against illegal drugs.

Dr Eleanor Fitzgerald made the call after issuing a verdict of death by misadventure in the case of Allessio Shiavo, from Hill Street, Ballina, Co Mayo who died last September.

The inquest at Ballina Coroner's Court heard that toxicology tests carried out on his body showed a high level of para-Methoxyamphetamine or P.M.A.

A friend of the 27-year-old told the inquest that he spoke by telephone to Mr Shiavo the evening before his body was found.

Ashley Stephens said that he told him he was sick after taking three "yokes", which were described as green pills.

Mr Stephens said he had read newspaper reports warning people against consuming the pills in question as they had bad side effects.

Garda Kevin Carey was called to Mr Shiavo's apartment after his body was found by Mr Stephens. There was no indication of third party involvement in his death.

Pathologist Dr Faddel Benanni told the inquest that PMA was rapidly absorbed into the body after consumption and led to severe simulation, followed by hallucination and then collapse.

Dr Fitzgerald said it was horrifying to think such drugs were so easily obtainable.

She said every illegal drug was potentially lethal and said she would like to see increased resources to enable gardaí to tackle the "scourge" of illegal substances.