A NINE-YEAR-OLD boy found heroin needles and other drug-taking paraphernalia when he went to retrieve his football on Cork's northside this morning.
Zack Goulding from Dunmore Gardens in Knocknaheeny was playing football near his aunt's house in the same estate when the ball went into a neighbouring house, which has been idle for a number of years.
Zack's father Francis told The Echo: "He ran in after the ball and stopped dead in his tracks."
He showed his father what he had found - three needles, spoons, blood-stained tissues and condoms, and packets belonging to alcoholic wipes.
Francis said it is the second time in his life that Zack has seen heroin needles. The first time was on a footpath in the Commons Hill area of the city.
Francis continued: "This time though, it was in a residential estate where there are kids literally in and out of there all the time."
And he said: "Zack was shocked when he saw it. I had to tell him about the dangers of touching the needles."
A needle outreach worker came to the area shortly after the discovery and removed the paraphernalia.
A short time later, Francis said he was going to a shop and saw a dumped needle on the footpath near St Vincent's GAA grounds.
The incidents came 24 hours after a syringe was found by a member of the public yesterday on Blarney Street, across the road from the entrance to Sunday's Well girls' primary school.
The man who found the needle said there was a tray with it and said the needle was a danger because it was exposed on the ground.
In recent months, there have been major heroin seizures in Cork, including €70,000 worth of the drug in a car in Fermoy on March 31, and €53,000 worth seized in Cork city in February.
Late last month, three syringes believed to have been used for heroin were found on a footpath on Knocknaheeny Avenue.