Horror as children find several dirty needles on green in Cookstown estate

The needles were found dumped beside waste for the bonfire

The needles were found dumped beside waste for the bonfire

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Parents in a Cookstown estate were left horrified after a group of children found several dirty hypodermic needles on a green near their homes.

Mid Ulster councillor, Sinn Fein’s, John McNamee told the Mail the situation at Coolnafranky Park was brought to his attention early on Friday morning.

They were scattered throuhout the area

They were scattered throuhout the area

He explained how children as young as seven had stumbled across the used needles - six of which were said to be sticking out of an apple - while gathering materials for the area’s Hallowe’en bonfire.

“This is scary stuff,” he said. “There’s all sorts of ages of kids running about that estate.

“Young ones had been collecting rubbish for a fire and this stuff was found dumped beside it. They had been used.”

After being alerted to the needles that morning, Cllr McNamee said he involved Mid Ulster Council’s Environmental Health Department “to ensure that this was dealt with speedily”.

One beside a proper medical disposal box

One beside a proper medical disposal box

“We are working with different agencies to try and establish how it came about and if the person has a problem with disposing of the stuff,” he added. “It is a big concern for parents with young children running about.

“From what I’m aware, there was self contained boxes of them and an apple with five or six needles stuck into it as well. People were angry about it. It had potentially very serious dangers for local children and residents and should not have happened.”

A spokesperson for Environmental Health said: “This matter was investigated by Mid Ulster District Council staff and as a result the material was promptly cleaned up from the site.”