Pubdate: Fri, 02 Jun 2000
Source: Irish Times, The (Ireland)
Copyright: 2000 The Irish Times
Contact:  11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland
Fax: + 353 1 671 9407
Author: Kitty Holland


The heroin behind the deaths of at least eight addicts in Ireland and 14 in 
Scotland may have come through Liverpool, sources in the Greater Glasgow 
Health Authority said last night.

"One of the possibilities being looked at, I understand, is that the drug 
came into Liverpool and then some came up to Glasgow and Aberdeen, and more 
then went across to Dublin," said a senior official involved in the 
investigation into 12 heroin-related deaths in Glasgow and two in Aberdeen.

A spokesman for Strathclyde police would not confirm this, saying all 
inquiries were being dealt with by the health authority.

Supt John Sayer, of Merseyside police, said, however, there was no evidence 
that Liverpool was the source of the contaminated heroin.

"No illicit drug is safe, no matter where it is taken," he said. 
"Merseyside police are working closely with all police authorities in the 
country against the trade."

Meanwhile, Det Chief Supt Ted Murphy, of the Garda National Drugs Unit, has 
been appointed to head the Garda investigation into the deaths here. He 
said the main country though which heroin passed before it came to Ireland 
was Holland.

Any death caused by drugs could be regarded as "suspicious", he said, and 
each was investigated.

"Every drugs seizure brought in will be analysed and tested for other drug 
contents as well as for bacteria," said Det Chief Supt Murphy.

He also said injecting equipment would be forensically examined.

Of the eight people who have died in Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare since May 
1st, two were women. Of the 15 confirmed cases in Glasgow, four were women.
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