Back in my college days, on a gloomy, damp winter’s evening, I was ambling back to my digs when I spotted two kids crouched at the foot of some steps outside an office.
They were leaning over some tinfoil and might as well have been on Mars, never mind the top of Dublin’s Harcourt Street. They were getting high on heroin.
As the relatively young innocent from ‘up the country’ and as the imbiber of only the odd pint then (I drink even less now), witnessing drug taking of this kind was a bit of a shock.
Now there had been plenty of lads during my secondary school days who’d smoked hash, but I’d never ever seen any of them ‘off their heads’ because of a few lunchtime drags.
So seeing two kids (they were younger than me) doing heroin really stuck in my mind, and that memory has returned to me frequently in recent months.
One of the joys of my time as a cub reporter was getting out of the lecture theatre and wearing out some shoe leather, all in the name of good old fashioned reporting.
It’s not something we get to as much today in this era of Email and understaffing, which is a shame; because such excursions tend to produce the stories readers most want to read. But that’s a discussion for another column.
Walking through socially disadvantaged areas of the south inner city, such as Fatima Mansions and Dolphin’s Barn, was a real eye-opener, but not in the manner that you might have expected.
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