I do not agree with Twink when she says the cause of Gerry Ryan's death "is not for public consumption" (News, 12 December). It is important that as much awareness as possible is raised about the dangers of cocaine.

Marian Neary Burke


Co Dublin


I listened to Gerry Ryan's radio programme many times and I agree he was a wonderful broadcaster, but I think it's about time we confronted head-on the scourge of drug abuse in our society. As with the model Katy French, another celebrity who in her tragically short life did Ireland proud, we seem to want to avoid the implications of Ryan's cocaine usage.

Apart from the potentially harmful effects of this disgusting habit on users (heart failure, stroke, chronic abdominal pains and nausea, severe paranoia resulting in horrific hallucinations and a loss of touch with reality, the risk that your nose could literally fall off, etc), cocaine snorting is NOT a victimless crime.

Anyone using this illegal drug is aiding and abetting the evil gangsters who have brought so much grief and mayhem to communities nationwide.

The money paid for this substance goes straight into the pockets or bank accounts of those greed-motivated predators who thrive on the ruination of people of all ages, including children and teenagers ensnared by their clever grooming. Drug pushers are no better than paedophiles.

We need to be clear about this: if you procure cocaine, no matter how high up the social ladder you may be, you are helping to finance organised crime in this country, in addition to putting your own life at risk.

I personally believe it would have been better if any one of the so-called "friends" of Katy French and Gerry Ryan who knew of their cocaine abuse had reported this to the gardaí. Both of these undoubtedly talented public figures might still be alive had they been arrested and charged with possession of cocaine. They might have ended up with criminal convictions, granted; but at least they would still be with us, and not lost to their families who loved them.

I suggest that anyone with information on people using or distributing cocaine pick up the phone immediately and report them to the gardaí.

And I would suggest that the gardaí themselves begin raiding parties or other functions where they believe prohibited life-threatening drugs are being abused.

This might seem like a step too far and a killjoy notion to some people. It ain't cool, I can already hear someone object. But cooler still is the cold hand of death.

John Fitzgerald

Lower Coyne Street

Callan, Co Kilkenny