An inquest into the deaths of two young men who drowned in the Grand Canal in February has heard that both men were intoxicated with cocaine and ecstasy at the time of their deaths.

18-year-old Shane Coughlan from Clondalkin, and his friend David White, who was also aged 18, and from Citywest, were reported missing on 25 February.

Dublin County Coroners Court heard that the two had been socialising at an outdoor area in Clondalkin in the early hours of that morning.

They left the area at around 4.30am to buy cigarettes and mobile phone credit at a nearby service station.

Their families raised the alarm later that day and a search was begun when shoes similar to those of Shane Coughlan were found at the Grand Canal near the Fonthill Road bridge.

Three days after his disappearance, the body of Shane Coughlan was recovered from the Canal.

Three days after that the body of David White was found 150 yards from where his friend had been found.

The post-mortem on their bodies found that both men had died from drowning with cocaine and ecstasy contributing as a cause. 

The state pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy, who carried out the post-mortem examination said that ecstasy can cause hype- thermal that heats up the body.

She said the young men may have decided to go into the water to cool down but due to the combination of cocaine and ecstasy, they did not realise the danger they were letting themselves in for.

The Dublin County Coroner, Kieran Geraghty, returned a verdict of death by misadventure in both cases.

He said that during 2007, a large number of inquests relating to drug related deaths came before him.

There were five deaths from ecstasy and 16 from heroin but he said cocaine was by far the biggest killer with 26 cases coming before his court.

He said these figures related to Dublin County alone and not the rest of the city or country.

He said he hoped that at least some people would pay attention to the fact and avoid drugs and the company of people who use them.