Two people have died and two others are in hospital after taking ill at a homeless hostel in the midlands in the last 24 hours.

Gardaí in Tullamore say they are investigating the cause of the deaths and the possible role played by illegal drugs, which may have been purchased on the internet.

A 44-year-old woman was found unresponsive at the hostel in Tullamore town early yesterday morning and pronounced dead a short time later, while another woman in her late teens was pronounced dead at the facility early this morning.

A 23-year-old man has since been taken to hospital where he is said to be in a critical condition and another man, 32, is also ill in hospital.

Gardaí believe the deaths are not connected with Covid-19.

All four people were residing at the old Clonamore House Hotel in Tullamore.

The hotel closed several years ago but ten bedrooms in the building have been outsourced to Laois, Offaly and Westmeath county councils provide to hostel accommodation for homeless people in the three counties.

Gardaí are interviewing other residents at the hostel and seeking the assistance of residents in the area.

They also said they are investigating the circumstances of the death of a third person which happened in a different hostel in the midlands.

It is unclear if there is a connection with this death and the deaths in Tullamore.

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