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Tragic DJ Gerard is laid to rest

By Francesca Ryan

A West Belfast man who died after allegedly taking lethal  ecstasy-type pills has been laid to rest.

Gerard Mulholland, a well-known DJ on the local club scene, died on Friday night at a house party in Twinbrook’s Thornhill Court.

Paramedics battled to save the 42-year-old but he died at the scene.  Four other partygoers in a state of severe medical distress were taken to hospital from the same address but have since been discharged.

Gerard’s Requiem Mass was held yesterday (New Year’s Eve) at St Luke’s church in Twinbrook where mourners gathered to bid farewell to the popular DJ.

The death of Gerard Mulholland has been linked to a batch of deadly yellow ecstasy tablets known as ‘Speckled Rolex’.

Speculation is growing that the ‘Green Rolex’ drugs may have been dyed, reconstituted and put back on the streets by merciless dealers.

A chemical in the Green Rolex caused a slow release, encouraging users to take a higher quantity to get a ‘hit’ and when the hit came, it was too much for the body to cope with, causing fatal consequences.  Eyewitnesses reported that partygoers coming from the house party in Twinbrook on Friday were sweating profusely and complaining that they felt their insides were “cooking”.

“We would like to express our condolences to this man’s family,” said Sinn Féin Councillor for the area Charlene O’Hara.  “It is a terrible tragedy.  We would advise anyone that taking any drug is a gamble and, as this incident has sadly proved, it can end in death.  People should stay away from dugs completely, you just don’t know what you are taking.”

SDLP Councillor Brian Heading expressed his condolences to Gerard’s family.

“The tragic loss of life of a man in Twinbrook will be a devastating blow to his family and friends particularly at this time of the year,” he said.  “My thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time. I understand that the police believe Speckled Rolex tablets may have been taken by those at the party. Given the very serious nature of this incident I would urge people who have these drugs in their position to get rid of them immediately. It is clear that whoever may be supplying this drug has no regard whatsoever for human life. I would ask the local community to co-operate with the police during the course of this investigation and come forward with any information that may be relevant.”

Community safety worker for the Colin area, Michael George, urged people to stay safe as the party season continues.

“We don’t want anybody taking illegal drugs,” he said, “but it’s critical that people stay informed and don’t take anything that is offered to them. People need to try and stay safe as these drugs, as we have seen, are extremely dangerous.”

Benny Lynch, Manager of the Community Drugs Programme at the Falls Community Council, said people are right to be concerned.

“People are worried about kids in the area or indeed anyone else taking these drugs in light of this death,” he said.  “While we can’t stop people taking drugs, if you’re going to take them, please be aware of what you’re taking and know when to get help.

“The Falls Community Council is open to anyone that needs advice on any aspect of drugs, just call us, we can help.”

A PSNI spokesman said  anyone with information on the death should contact them.

“Detectives investigating the sudden death of a 42-year-old man in Thornhill Court area of Dunmurry on the evening of Friday, 27th December,” he said, “are appealing for anyone who has information in relation to the circumstances surrounding the death, to contact them in Lisburn on 0845 600 8000.”


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