Revised January 14, 2005, July 29, 2007; November 1, 2007; and April 5, 2017.
Copyright 1998-2017 by John W. Allen

A page devoted to newspaper clippings, unusual articles some psilocybian mushroom trivia


Hello and welcome to our News archives. In this section you will find a wide variety of newspaper clippings regarding the visionary mushrooms. I Started to catalogue these clippings back in 1976.
They are arranged alphabetically by countries and newspapers and then Chronologically by dates.

The Sunday Times - Ireland -- January 29, 2006

The sale of magic mushrooms is to be banned in Ireland, following a lobbying campaign by the family of a man who died after eating the drug.

Mary Harney, the health minister, told the Dail last week that legislation is being prepared to make possession or sale of magic mushrooms a criminal offence. This will bring Ireland into line with Britain, where they were classified as class A drugs alongside heroin and cocaine in July 2004.

The man in his thirties, from Dun Laoghaire, died last year after he jumped out of the balcony at his apartment. Gardai are investigating claims that he bought magic mushrooms at a shop in Dublin city centre, and had taken less than the recommended dosage on the packet.
> The man’s family believe the hallucinogenic contributed to the actions that led to his death. Shortly beforehand, he and friends had been playing Trivial Pursuit and drinking beer.

His relatives have met government officials to ask that action be taken to stop shops selling magic mushrooms. Although there has been a long-standing ban on dry or packaged product, it is still legal to possess or sell them in fresh form.

Aengus O’Snodaigh, a Sinn Fein TD who has been in contact with the family, said they wanted people to be aware of what had happened to their son. “They also want prosecutions against these outlets to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else’s son or daughter,” he said.

In response to a Dail question O’Snodaigh posed last year, Michael McDowell, the justice minister, said gardai regularly monitor the premises where mushrooms are bought.

Noel Ahern, the junior minister in charge of the national drugs strategy, says he has met with Department of Health officials to discuss the legal position of magic mushrooms.

“Late last year, following the sad death of this man, I met with members of his family and I subsequently arranged for officials from my department to meet with the departments of health and justice, the gardai, customs and the Forensic Science Laboratory to assess the legal situation and whether existing legislation is sufficient to deal with their increased use and sale,” Ahern said.

“Arising from this it was decided that a change in the law was warranted. This is now being arranged through the tanaiste and her department.”

A drug prevalence study published in 2004 found that magic mushrooms were the second most commonly used drug, after cannabis, which had been used at least once by 17.6% of people. Mushrooms had been used by 4%, similar to ecstasy (3.8%) and cocaine (3.1%).

Following the British ban, a spokesman at the Department of Health said there were no plans to change Irish law. But Harney said last week that legislation is now being prepared that will remove any doubt that “magic mushrooms in their raw state are controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act”.

Dr Liam Twomey, Fine Gael’s spokesman on health, said that the mushrooms have hallucinogenic and often unpredictable effects. “Many people can get away with taking them, but some people can end up getting addicted and having significant psychotic episodes and something unfortunate can happen as happened in this case.”

Last week a Cork shopkeeper failed to get a High Court order stopping customs officers from seizing shipments of unprocessed magic mushrooms that she wanted to sell in her store.

Helen Stone, who runs the Funky Skunk shop, had sought an injunction pending the outcome of legal proceedings against customs.

She said seizures of the mushrooms, imported fresh from Holland, were having a bad effect on business. She argued that they were not processed by her employees, and therefore they were not illegal.

But lawyers representing the customs service argued that magic mushrooms are unlawful, because they contain a prohibited substance.

Justice Mary Laffoy refused to make an order, but said she would fix an early date for the hearing of the substantive case.

Magic mushroom seller's action fails

The owner of a shop in Cork city which sells magic mushrooms has failed in her bid to temporarily stop Customs seizing her shipments from Holland.

Helen Stone began selling the mushrooms last June. Her shop also deals in clothes and other natural products.

Customs and excise began stopping her mushroom shipments in August. They told her they contained an illegal substance, a derivative of psilo-cybin.

Lawyers for customs said it was not lawful to possess the mushrooms even though they are in their natural state.

Ms. Stone’s lawyers said they were not illegal, that they imported from a wholesaler in Holland and then sold in her shop without being dried out or processed.

Today, they sought a temporary injunction pending the full hearing of the case to stop the seizure of her shipments.

Ms. Justice Laffoy denied her that injunction but agreed that there was issue to tried-the case is up for mention on the 16th of February.


Ireland online.

© Thomas Crosbie Media, 2006.

Mushroom Death: Inquest Adjourned

      #5356378 - 03/02/06 05:17 AM

From today's Irish Independent

Mushrooms 'made man fall to his death' from fourth-storey balcony during party
Breda Heffernan

COLM Hodkinson bought a box of €25 magic mushrooms thinking they were a "bit of fun" but less than an hour after eating them he was dead, having fallen from a fourth-floor balcony.

The Hodkinson family believe their son's death at the age of 33 was due to the hallucinogenic mushrooms he had earlier bought over the counter at an alternative lifestyle shop in Dublin city centre.

The successful young businessman and keen golfer had been a first-time user of the drug.
He allegedly bought the mushrooms to share with friends at a Hallowe'en party.

Yesterday his father Eoin and brothers Sean and Paul attended the opening of his inquest at the Dublin County Coroner's Court in Dun Laoghaire.

They heard in shocking detail how Mr Hodkinson sustained extensive injuries, including fractures to the facial bones and base of the skull and crush injuries to the brain, in the plunge from the balcony of his apartment at The Anchorage, Clarence Street, in the seaside town on October 30 last.

Insp Denis Henaghan applied for an adjournment of the inquest as the Director of Public Prosecutions is still considering whether charges should be brought in relation to the death.

Sean Hodkinson is reported as saying that his brother had heard that magic mushrooms were meant to be a "bit of fun" and that no real harm could come from them.

His brother and three friends ate the mushrooms raw from the packet, he added.

But around half an hour after taking three of the hallucinogenic mushrooms with some alcohol, Mr Hodkinson started feeling sick and vomited several times.

According to Sean, his brother then became agitated and scared and did not know what was happening to him.

Soon after he plunged to his death from the balcony.

In the days following their son's death, the distraught Hodkinson family launched a campaign to make the sale and possession of the hallucinogenic mushrooms illegal.
After petitioning their locals politicians they met Tanaiste Mary Harney in December.

In January of this year Ms Harney announced that she was introducing legislation banning the sale and possession of the mushrooms in both their raw and processed states.

Previously, it had been legal to sell them untreated.

After the introduction of the ban, owners of stores selling magic mushrooms branded the move a "knee-jerk reaction".

The large-scale selling of magic mushrooms in Ireland began around two years ago when a loophole in the legislation meant that unprocessed mushrooms could be sold over the counter.

Coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty adjourned the inquest to June 27 next.

He said: "This is a very tragic case and I want to extend my sympathies to Mr Hodkinson's family.

"How his death came about will be explained when the inquest is heard in full."

Edited by TLG (03/02/06 05:17 AM)

Ireland Online

Market stalls blamed for magic mushroom boom
26/06/2006 - 13:31:22

Market stalls selling magic mushrooms helped kick-start demand for the powerful mind altering drug in the late 1990s, a report revealed today.

The study by the European Union’s drugs agency found the deadly fungi was openly available from so-called "smartshops" promoting herbal highs, websites and markets encouraging young people to try it out.

It said 5% of 15-24-year-old have taken hallucinogenic "shrooms" and 20% of school kids said it was easy to get their hands on them.

Despite it being made illegal to sell the fungi in January of this year, the report warned shops were looking at selling alternative, legal, types of mushrooms to give users a high.

The warning comes as an inquest is to resume into the death of a 33-year-old man who fell from a fourth floor apartment in Dun Laoghaire after eating magic mushrooms.

Colm Hodkinson bought a box of the drug for €25 to take at a Hallowe’en party in 2005 but less than an hour after eating them he was dead.

The successful young businessman and keen golfer had been a first-time user of the drug.

The inquest into his death is due to be heard at Dublin County Coroner’s Court sitting in Tallaght tomorrow by Dr Kieran Geraghty.

Magic mushrooms have been blamed for two other deaths across Europe including a poisoning in France and a suicide in the Czech Republic.

Six EU countries have tightened their legislation on hallucinogenic mushrooms since 2001 to coincide with recent increases in prevalence of use, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Estonia, the UK and Ireland.

Reports in the UK suggest that legislation has had an impact on the availability of mushrooms and overall volume of internet sales.

And the EU study showed that unpredictable potency and negative effects such as, nausea, panic attacks, and/or lack of sociable effects may all contribute to limiting recreational use of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

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