Council bans head shops within 10km of schools
A COUNTY council last night took the first steps to tackle the scourge of head shops through the planning laws.
Members of Clare County Council backed a motion that it confine the location of head shops at a minimum of 10km from schools across the county.
The motion from Green councillor Brian Meaney was similar to one he brought before Ennis Town Council earlier this month, which was unanimously endorsed.
There is now only one head shop in Ennis after local businessman and retired solicitor Desmond Houlihan secured a court injunction to shut down the 'Laughing Buddha'.
In a sworn affidavit, Mr Houlihan said he was shocked to learn his premises was being used as a head shop as the operator had told him it would be used to sell charity items to support Nepalese orphans.
Mr Meaney said at the meeting last night: "We need to be creative in how we deal with this problem." Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) seconded the motion, saying it was "innovative".
New powers are to be given to gardai to shut down head shops. The powers will be included in a new criminal justice bill, which will ban a range of products that are legal at present.