Gardaí in the midlands have issued a warning about the origin of substances or drugs which may have been bought on the internet and are presently being circulated in the midlands.  

The move follows the death of three people in the Tullamore area  in the last seven days.

Chief Superintendent John Scanlon said gardaí are investigating the circumstances surrounding all of the deaths but he wanted to issue some strong advice to drug users. 

"Anybody should be very careful taking substances that they do not know of their origins," he said.

"Anybody who may have taken substances that they are unsure of should make immediate contact with a healthcare professional".

Meanwhile, in Tullamore a 23-year-old remains in a critical condition after he became ill at a homeless hostel in the town at the weekend.  

The centre based in the old Clonamore House Hotel is being used by Offaly, Laois and Westmeath county council as an emergency accommodation centre for homeless people.

However, there has been criticism of the period of time some residents have been housed there while waiting for alternative accommodation.

Speaking this afternoon, the Garda Commissioner said it was "very probable that a cocktail of drugs" was involved in the deaths of the three people. 

Drew Harris said gardaí were seeing "the difficulty for gangs street dealing " and people were moving on to counterfeit and prescription drugs and selling them on.

He said the circumstances that took the lives of these individuals were tragic but there was always a danger when people engage in drug abuse and in the circumstances where they may take a cocktail of drugs there can be a fatal outcome.

The commissioner also said gardaí were putting pressure on the organised crime groups and the drugs market in the midlands and had recently had a "huge seizure" of 62kgs of cannabis.