Boy (10) ‘jabbed’ by used needle dumped on green
By Mary Dennehy
A TALLAGHT boy is this week starting a six-month wait for test results after he was “jabbed” by a used needle while playing on a green space – a situation which has prompted calls for those with addiction issues to dispose of their needles responsibly.
The young boy’s family and local gardai have also urged parents to speak with their children about the possible dangers posed by bags of rubbish dumped in their communities – and to steer clear.
Last Monday afternoon, the ten-year-old boy was playing with his friends on a green space in Cloonmore when they came across a bag that contained used needles, bloody gloves and other drug paraphernalia.
According to the young boy’s aunty, the children came across the bag and started messing with it, which resulted in her nephew being jabbed by a needle in the arm.
“They didn’t realise what they were doing or the dangers associated with what was in the bag”, she said.
“However, my nephew was jabbed by a used needle and now has to wait six months to see if there is anything wrong.
“We brought him to Tallaght Hospital and he underwent blood tests and he’ll get various injections over the coming months.”
The family also raised the dangers posed by the dumping of illegal waste in communities, a growing epidemic which is impacting on all estates.
“The dumping of bags of rubbish is a huge problem for us here in Cloonmore and we are encouraging parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of these bags – they could have anything in them.
“Kids also need to be reminded to stay away from dumped needles.”
She added: “We’re also asking people with drug addiction to dispose of their needles properly, there are places they can dispose of their needles . . . and not in a field where kids are playing.
“We can’t let the kids out to play on the green space anymore because of the risks posed by illegal dumping.”
The young boy’s family contacted Tallaght Garda Station and guarded the bag until officers arrived an hour-and-a-half later and removed the items.
Tallaght South councillor Martina Genockey (Labour) was contacted by the family and she told The Echo: “The dumping of bags of rubbish in estates is an ongoing problem and the council is spending a lot of money cleaning up.
“I think we need to take a more preventative approach to this problem rather just going out and cleaning up all the time.
“We need to invest in preventative measures like covert cameras which have been used with success in some areas.”
She added: “There is a risk posed by the dumping of waste in communities and this week there was a serious incident involving needles and drug paraphernalia.
“It is really important that we remind people with addiction issues that there are places they can go with their used needles, there are needle exchange programmes in the community.
“We also need to remind people of how serious it could be for a child if they come across needles.”
When contacted by The Echo, Mary Maguire of the council’s environmental services said: “The council appreciates the concerns expressed by the community in this regard and advise any member of the public who comes into contact with waste where syringes or drug paraphernalia are present to immediately call County Hall.
“As our Public Realm crew are trained in needle-stick awareness, we make immediate arrangements to attend on site and remove the reported items.
“Members of the public are advised not to make any direct contact with the paraphernalia.”
Tallaght Superintendent Peter Duff also encouraged members of the public to contact the council or Tallaght Garda Station if dangerous items are discovered.
He said: “We would encourage children to stay away from bags of dumped waste in their community, especially over the Halloween period.
“Dumped bags could have the added danger of containing drug paraphernalia or there could be half-lit fireworks or bangers hidden amongst them.
“Children should be reminded not to play around bags of dumped waste.”
To report dangerous waste call the council on 4149000.
For details on where needles can be disposed of responsibly visit the Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force’s website www.tallaghtdatf.ie, call 4649303 or drop into any community drug project for advice.