Post-mortem to be carried out on body of Cork teenager who died after taking drug

Alex Ryan (18) was one of six people hospitalised after emergency services were called to a party at a house

A post-mortem examination will be carried out today on the body of a Cork teenager who died after taking a synthetic drug at a house party last week.

18-year-old Alex Ryan had been critically ill in Cork University Hospital since last Tuesday morning, but life support was switched off on Saturday and he passed away in the hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

Mr Ryan was one of six people hospitalised after emergency services were called to a party at a house in the Greenmount area of Cork city in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

It is believed the group took a powdered form of a psychoactive drug from the 2C family, which has a street name of 'N-Bomb'.

The other five people were later discharged from hospital, but the Millstreet teenager was pronounced dead on Saturday.

Mr Ryan is an alumnus of Millstreet Community School and is survived by his mother Irena and his older sister Nicole.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster will carry out a post-mortem examination on the young man's body today, and toxicology tests will be taken to confirm the exact form of the drug he consumed.

Gardaí investigating the teenager's death are preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) after a man was arrested and later released without charge last week. The results of the post-morterm will be included in the file sent to the DPP.

Following the incident the Health Service Executive (HSE) addiction services are issuing a warning about possible contaminated 'party pills' - and are advising people to not consume any unknown substances.

Dr Sheila Willis is the Director General of Forensic Science Ireland, snd says these new psychoactive drugs pose a real problem for users.

Speaking to Breakfast, Dr Willis explained, "since about 2008 and 2009 there's an increasing number of what are called the new psychoactive substances, and they can be almost anything.

"They're a very broad range, and the challenge is both how to identify them - and I can't see how the user can easily identify what they're taking," she added.