Pubdate: Fri, 16 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


"I was burning up like a furnace, down on all fours like I was going
to collapse. With heroin you can get pins and needles that last about
10 seconds, but this lasted about 20 minutes. Oh, I was freaked out."

Mr Alan Carass (43) was recalling the evening three weeks ago when he
and his best friend, Paddy Kane, injected some of the contaminated
heroin. Both homeless, the men were "partners", said Alan, who shared
everything - money, food, heroin. The heroin they shared near the
canal at Baggot Street killed Paddy and put Alan in hospital for three

"This burning sensation started. I was saying to Paddy that there was
something wrong with it, but he was still trying to get it in,
skin-popping [injecting into muscle] all of it." Two days later both
developed abscesses. Though Paddy was not the type to go to hospital,
Alan brought him to "nurse Alice" [Leahy, who runs Trust, a charity
for the homeless in Dublin 8].

"She said to get him to hospital immediately and got us a taxi to
James's. I left him there thinking he'd be out in the evening, but at
6 o'clock he had a massive heart attack.

"When I heard he was dead the next day alarm bells started ringing. I
got straight back to the hospital."

He stayed in hospital for three weeks.

"I'm going to try and stay off the streets, stay off the gear. I'll
miss Paddy an awful lot, you know. He was my best buddy. It's just a
shame we didn't get him to the hospital sooner."
- ---
MAP posted-by: greg