NewsCrime Desk

Sunday World team buys lethal drugs days after death of tragic teen Ana Hick

Crime DeskBy Denise Smith
Our girl Denise Smith with drugs she bought
Our girl Denise Smith with drugs she bought
Tragic Ana Hick
Tragic Ana Hick
Drugs that our team bought
Drugs that our team bought

Undercover Garda drug units had already launched a crackdown on dealers in the area where teenager Ana Hick collapsed and died last weekend.

Local drug squads were carrying out sting operations in the area as they believed that dealers were selling ecstasy tablets wholesale to young clubbers.

A number of drug pushers were being cleaned off the streets, but tragically it came just too late for the beautiful acting student.

Today a Sunday World probe reveals how the heartless dealers were back this weekend on the same streets where the 18-year-old was sold a killer dose of ecstasy. 

The night after Ana’s death, a unit raided the Twisted Pepper nightclub in Dublin city centre, but the Sunday World understands that the operation was pre-planned before the tragedy.

The tablets seized are believed to have come from Europe and officers do not believe they were made in a factory in Ireland.

Other clubbers who attended hospitals after Ana’s collapse are believed to have panicked after believing they may have had adverse side effects. However, none of them experienced any ill effects.

Sources say Ana’s death is being treated as a simple tragedy and that there will be no criminal investigation into who supplied her with drugs.

One man from the Marino area of north Dublin was arrested the night after Ana fell ill on suspicion of selling ecstasy in The Twisted Pepper. 

However, he was arrested for the sale and supply of drugs, not for selling ecstasy directly to Ana.

On Thursday afternoon hundreds of mourners trailed behind the white coffin of Ana. 

Just hours later, and despite the raids, callous drug dealers stood in a city centre club pushing a lethal concoction of class A drugs.

Less than a week after the popular student collapsed and died, the scourge of drugs continues to dominate the Dublin social scene, with dealers openly trading pills in city-centre nightclubs.

The talented drama student was celebrating finishing her first-year exams in college when she suddenly fell ill and suffered a deadly heart attack outside The Twisted Pepper nightclub on Middle Abbey Street in the early hours of last Saturday morning.

Despite the public outcry surrounding her death and an increased Garda presence on the streets, we can reveal that there is now a growing concern as cheaper and more potent tablets flood Ireland’s club scene.

In an exclusive Sunday World investigation, our reporter uncovered just how easy it is for young people to score an illegal, and possibly deadly, high in a Dublin city nightclub.

The Twisted Pepper may have closed its doors on Thursday night, but across the Liffey, tucked away just off Dame Street, Andrews Lane Theatre, famous for its hip student crowd, proved to be the perfect venue for pill-popping revellers.

Despite a noticeable security presence and a bag search on entry, once inside it takes only a few moments before we see club-goers openly pouring MDMA, the purest form of ecstasy, into their drinks.

A group of party-ready lads stand at the end of our table, brazenly emptying the sachet’s contents into their plastic cups, while simultaneously dabbing the remainder into their gums for an extra hit.

Just a few feet away, two bouncers take up position beside the busying dance floor, oblivious to what’s happening.
Above the house music a group of lads claim: “It’s a great buzz.

“We can sort you out if you want. We got it off someone in the club – it was €50 for one gram. I think he only has speed left. I wouldn’t touch that shit, though, it’s lethal.”

It’s been an hour since their first hit and the effects are showing as one of the group stumbles and falls as he makes his way to the smoking area.

Disorientated and confused, it takes one of his friends to lead him back into the club – it’s just 1am.

This gang of drug-users are not the only club-goers feeling the high – fresh-faced students who are celebrating the end of their exams are enjoying the thrill of cheap and easy-to-get pills.

There were three dealers working in the throbbing city-centre nightclub, blending in with other clubbers. They are keen to make a deal, and they’re peddling MDMA, ecstasy tablets and speed.

When we inquire about what’s on offer, the dealer is pushing speed – a stimulant, or ‘upper’, that can begin to affect you within just 20 minutes. Like any drug, it’s potentially deadly.

“I had pills and MDMA earlier, but they are gone,” the dealer tells us. “I have a gram of speed for €30.”

Agreeing to the sale on the dance floor, we ask him to meet outside, away from the prying eyes of security. 

Edging past the smokers, we walk just out of sight of the bouncers. Quick and easy money, it takes less than 10 seconds for him to hand over the goods.

“If you want more just let me know,” he says. 

Back inside, there’s more spaced-out revellers who are enjoying the high.

One club-goer tells us: “I had some pills, but I took them all,” he says. “I’m off my head. You can get them for a fiver or a tenner.”

With new, cheaper tablets hitting the club scene that contain toxic chemicals, people are gambling with their lives by popping these pills.

Ana was suspected of taking PMMA, tablets which are sold as a cheaper alternative to ecstasy.

Six other clubbers were admitted to hospital from the Twisted Pepper the night Ana collapsed.

The Twisted Pepper has released a statement, posting on Facebook: “Everyone at the Twisted Pepper is deeply saddened and devastated. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ana’s family and friends at this tragic time.

“We are working closely with the authorities and out of respect for Ana and her family we cannot comment further at this time.”