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  • Southside

Warning to public after needle scare

Tuesday, 26th February, 2019 8:00am
Warning to public after needle scare
Warning to public after needle scare

A SOUTHSIDE councillor has said greater efforts must be made to encourage IV drug users to safely dispose of needles after a used syringe was picked up by a boy in Tallaght.

Cllr Charlie O’Connor (FF) also urged the public to report any littered needles left lying in public spaces after the scare.

The councillor made his appeal following the discovery of the used syringe in Dodder Valley Park in Tallaght last Saturday week.

It later emerged that a six-year-old boy had picked up the used syringe and his family now await test results to determine any harm caused.

Cllr O’Connor said: “The incident on Saturday is deeply concerning. This is a young boy innocently out and about in a local park with family and who cannot be expected to know the dangers of picking up a needle.

“Given the nature of IV drug use, syringes are likely to be contaminated and can transmit blood borne disease or infection.

“That’s why it is so critical that needles and any other drug paraphernalia are safely and properly disposed of.

“The Dodder Valley Park area is popular with local young people and families,” he added.

“I dread to think that even more members of the public could be at risk or accidentally harmed by one of these needles.

“I would urge anyone who might be out and about and who discovers a used syringe or any other drug related items to report them immediately to South Dublin County Council. 

“Under no circumstance should anyone remove the needles themselves.”

The Tallaght family was left “sick with worry” as they await blood test results on the six-year-old after he picked up the used syringe.

The local man was out in Dodder Valley Park in Tallaght with his two daughters and nephew.

His nephew picked up the used syringe and put it into his pocket without his uncle noticing.

 After the boy returned home his mum discovered the syringe in her son’s pocket as she was washing his clothes.

The family are now left waiting 12 weeks for the results of a blood test on the boy to see if he has picked up any disease or illness from the syringe.

Sharing an image of the filthy syringe on Facebook, the man said they are now ‘up sh*t creek with worry’.

He also issued a warning to parents in the local area to make their children aware of the risk. 

He said: “Warning to all parents around Millbrook, Old Bawn, Homelawns, Bolbrook and surrounding areas.

“I was over at the Dodder on Saturday with my 2 girls and my 6 year old nephew and he picked this up and put it in his pocket without me noticing.

“His mam found it when she was washing his top. He has had to go get blood tests etc today because someone left it at one of the benches.

“Just make your kids aware of the danger, we now have to wait 12 weeks for results. All of us are up sh*t creek with worry.”

Cllr O’Connor said Needle and Syringe Programmes (NSPs) are one means of ensuring IV drug users safely return used needles so that they aren’t left in public areas.

“Our Local and Regional Drug Taskforces are doing good work in our area but they have faced funding cuts in recent times and have had to limit services including the provision of a needle exchange programme,” he said. 

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