Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Anger at discovery of discarded drugs paraphernalia

Used syringes, needles and other drugs paraphernalia found discarded by the roadside in Glassdrummond recently has evoked an angry response from local Councillors who are urging parents to warn their children of the dangers of coming across such items. 

The items were discovered by residents on the Glassdrummond Road in the village, close to their homes and the nearby primary school and nursery, prompting Sinn Fein’s Terry Hearty and SDLP Councillor Pete Byrne to voice disgust at the find.

Although keen to avoid causing panic or undue concern, Councillor Hearty says he is advising parents to be vigilant for harmful items that have been carelessly discarded and speak to their children about the dangers of going near such things.

Directing his anger to those responsible, he said: “To those who carelessly discarded these disgusting items close to homes, school bus stops, a primary school and a play school, I would plead with you just to stop for one minute and think about your actions.

“If you want to destroy your own life with this stuff that is one thing but you have absolutely no right to put the children of this area in danger.  If a child had fallen on or picked this stuff up, it’s unthinkable what could have befallen them.  Used needles can pass on any number of blood-borne viruses and infections. Is that really something you want on your conscience?”

Likewise, Councillor Pete Byrne voiced his disgust: “Use of illegal drugs is becoming a prevalent problem in south Armagh and this latest find is extremely worrying particularly due to its proximity to a school.  I would of course urge parents to be vigilant and to inform their children of the dangers of approaching such dangerous material.

“The PSNI are critical to the fight in ridding our communities of the scourge of drugs [and] we as public representatives have a job of work to do in raising awareness but without a strategic and resourced support from government we will be fighting a losing battle,” he added.