A mother-of-four has told of her horror after her three-year-old son picked up a used syringe while building sandcastles on the beach on Easter Sunday.
Jayne Robinson (36) said her blood ran cold when the tot innocently asked her “What’s this, mammy?” as he handed the filthy needle to his 12-year-old brother.
She told Dublin Gazette: “They are just lucky they didn’t get a prick from it because that could have been fatal. I will never bring my kids near that beach again.
“You never think of something like this until it happens to you. I still feel sick thinking how serious it could have been.”
Meanwhile, in a separate incident on the same beach, a group of 13-year-old girls were forced to ring their parents to collect them after a gang threatened to “punch the head off” them on Easter Monday.
Jayne said it was unclear whether the syringe had been used to shoot up heroin or if it was medical waste washed up on the beach in Balbriggan.
But she said either way the consequences could have been very serious and she is urging other parents to be vigilant.
She said: “The top of it was brown and there was some liquid still inside it. We packed up and left straight away.
“The beach was packed. It was a really hot day and the kids were swimming in the water and running around barefoot on the sand.
“If there’s one used needle, you may be sure there’s more there. Parents need to be careful and keep a very close eye on their kids.
“It’s a beautiful beach but that is the last time that I will set foot on it.”
There were a number of unprovoked attacks on Balbriggan beach last summer and parents are calling for garda patrols to prevent a repeat this year.
In Monday’s incident, a small group of 13-year-old girls were approached by a gang of up to 20 females aged 15 and 16 who hurled abuse and threatened them.
The parents who arrived to collect them were also threatened with violence with a girl described as the ringleader reportedly warning she would get her dad to beat them up.
One parent fumed: “Why should young people have to stay indoors because of these low-lifes?
“This sort of behaviour needs to be tackled because it is getting out of hand.”