Brexit & Ireland, an inside story of the Irish response

Tuesday, 03 September 2019
Need to understand how Ireland helped to shape the EU's response to Brexit? RTÉ's Europe correspondent Tony Connelly tells the dramatic story of the Irish response to this political and economic earthquake. Read More...

Stanhope Forbes, father of Cornwall's Newlyn School of painting

Friday, 16 August 2019
Dublin-born Stanhope Forbes spent time painting Brittany before founding the influential Newlyn School of painters in Cornwall in the late 19th century. Read More...

Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Death of popular Irish model sparks cocaine debate in Ireland

The death of the popular Irish model Katy French has sparked off a debate about drug use in Ireland. The Irish celebrity died of brain damage last 6th December and the post mortem revealed that she had taken cocaine before her collapse.

The death of the popular Irish model and socialite Katy French has sparked off a debate about drug use in Ireland. The Irish celebrity died of brain damage last 6th December and the post mortem revealed that she had taken cocaine before her collapse. The Irish police, An Garda Síochána, have launched an inquiry into her death.

Statistics show a dramatic rise in cocaine deaths in Ireland since 2004 and the death of the popular model has brought the issue into the media spotlight.

Irish television investigative journalism programme, Prime Time, claimed that 90 per cent of 300 venues which were forensically examined for cocaine nationwide tested positive for the drug. The documentary was broadcast on Radio Telefís Éireann a week after the death of Katy French and found traces of the drug in nine out of ten toilets in clubs, pubs and workplaces tested.

Drugs Minister Pat Carey said that people have to wake up to the extent of drug abuse in the country. He admitted that drugs that were in the past associated with working-class and disadvantaged areas are now as prevalent among the higher socio-economic groups.

The Dublin County Coroner, Dr Kieran Geraghty, announced that cocaine had claimed 26 lives in the city area alone last year.

Tony Geoghegan, CEO of the voluntary organisation for drug users Merchants Quay, believed that the real number of people dying of cocaine abuse in Ireland was probably higher than the statistics suggested. "It's obviously very rare that people die from just cocaine, it's often mixed with alcohol or something else. People may have died from heart failure so cocaine wouldn't be the primary cause of death", he said.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern called for a stronger enforcement of the law against the distribution of illegal drugs, but Justice Minister Brian Lenihan rejected claims that Ireland is losing the war on drugs and appealed for information from the public about drug dealers.

Statistics from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction show that cocaine is now the second most frequently used drug in Europe after cannabis.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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