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Heroin killed drugs lord in his prison cell


Colum Carroll

Colum Carroll

Colum Carroll

A DRUGS lord who was found slumped over in his cell in Mountjoy Prison died from heroin intoxication, an inquest has heard.

Colum Carroll (40) from Riverstown, Glanmire, in Co Cork was found collapsed in his cell in the early hours of August 30 last year. He was taken to the Mater Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

He was serving a 16-year jail term for possession of €4.5m worth of ecstasy and cocaine.

At Dublin Coroner's Court, the inquest into his death heard that prison officer Sean Brennan became concerned for him after seeing him slumped over in his cell at around 12.30am.

Carroll had earlier spoken to another inmate, Francis Sherlock, who was on cleaning duty after lock-up. He called him to his cell door and asked Sherlock if he had any cigarette papers. Sherlock said he got some and pushed them under the door.

The alarm was raised after officer Brennan saw Carroll and went to request the master key to gain access to his cell.

Supervising officer Patrick Moran said he issued the key and officer Brennan subsequently contacted him to say that Carroll was not responding. The emergency services were called.

Nurse officer Philip Byrne said he went to assist and when he checked for a pulse, there was none. Asked if they had administered heroin antidote Naloxone, he said they hadn't.

"We didn't know it was a drug overdose. He wasn't breathing and there was no heart rhythm," he said.

Deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said a toxicology screen found the breakdown products of heroin in Carroll's system, as well as a "fairly high dose" of Xanax, sedatives, paracetamol and Zopiclone.

When gardai inspected Carroll's cell, they found burnt tinfoil and a packet of brown powder. The inquest was adjourned for further mention on December 19.