Limerick’s heroin scourge: nine-year-old hospitalised

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A YOUNG city girl was rushed to hospital after she fell into a heap of rubbish containing a half-full heroin needle.

A YOUNG city girl was rushed to hospital after she fell into a heap of rubbish containing a half-full heroin needle.

Holly Sheehy, just nine years old, was playing in a laneway near her home on the Abbey Lane, King’s Island, on Sunday night last with friends, when she fell off her scooter into a heap of rubbish next to a laneway close to her home.

This contained a used needle containing what doctors confirmed to be heroin. The syringe connected with the tip of her finger.

After realising this, Holly’s mum Irene rushed her to the infectious diseases clinic at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital where she was kept in overnight.

Now, the St John’s National School student is on a cocktail of five drugs in the morning and the evening, designed to eradicate any threat of HIV and hepatitis B.

Holly has to take these for the next month - and on Tuesday, she has further tests at Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin.

Her mother-of-ten Irene described it as her “worst nightmare” - and called on the council to carry out daily clean-ups of all housing estates to ensure this appalling incident does not happen to any other youngster.

“I am appalled this is going on in our street. I know people do it [take heroin] but I am appalled that these needles are being left lying around. If it did not stick into my child accidentally, another young person could have picked it up,” she told the Limerick Leader, “You just don’t know what is going on in your street when you sleep at night.”

Holly has to take Kaletra, Epivir, Retrovir, Maxolon, and Motilum twice a day for a month.

But she says she is struggling to keep the remedies inside, they are making her so sick.

“I feel so sick and queasy. I am also struggling to keep my food down, and I cannot sleep properly at night,” she explained.

The morning after the incident, Irene approached Sinn Fein city councillor Maurice Quinlivan and her local garda station at Mary Street.

Both parties contacted Limerick City Council who immediately sent staff to the area to clean up the rubbish.

*FOR A FULL VERSION OF THIS STORY SEE THE LIMERICK LEADER WEEKEND EDITION*