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Friday 30 September 2016

Shocking images show blood-filled syringes as drug addicts litter historic park

Laura Larkin

Published 31/07/2015 | 09:11

Just some of the needles used by addicts which were found at Croppies Acre
Just some of the needles used by addicts which were found at Croppies Acre

These shocking images show hundreds of used needles being collected from one of Dublin's most historic green spaces - Croppies Acre Memorial Park.

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The northside park, which marks the graves of men who died in the 1798 rebellion, has been closed for almost three years after it became a hotspot for public injecting.

Cllr Mannix Flynn, who has been calling for the reopening of the park to the public, described the situation as "an outrage and a disgrace".

"This iconic piece of land is being used for wholesale drug-taking and is being disregarded and abandoned," he told the Herald.

"I've seen kids get into that park to play football, thinking it's a bit of a laugh ... what happens if someone does get hurt in there one day?

"There are also hundreds of tourists passing and looking in at Croppies Acre, saying 'what's going on in there'," he added.

Cleaning up all the drug paraphernalia and syringes at the Croppies Arcre Memorial Park on Wolfe Tone Quay
Cleaning up all the drug paraphernalia and syringes at the Croppies Arcre Memorial Park on Wolfe Tone Quay

Scattered

Mr Flynn said organisations which dispense clean needles to drug-users should be tasked with the clean-up of used needles around the city.

He does not believe that medically-supervised injection centres will work.

The park is located near Collins Barracks and the National Museum of Ireland.

Despite its prime location and its historic significance, it has been closed to the public since 2012.

A clean-up of needles found at Croppies Acre burial ground
A clean-up of needles found at Croppies Acre burial ground

The OPW shut the gates in 2012 - just a year after €35,000 was invested in upgrades to the park.

A spokeswoman later explained that the agency did not have the resources to keep the park clear of dangerous needles.

During the earlier works, the capital's famous Anna Livia statue was relocated there.

Matt Doyle of the National Graves Association said that the park was "sacred" ground.

"If this burial ground was in any other country it would be properly maintained," he said.

Dublin City Council is currently in the process of taking control of the park. A spokeswoman told the Herald it expected to be open by the end of the year, following upgrades.

"When the space is developed and open as a public park it is envisaged that the current anti-social activities will be significantly reduced," she said.

The Herald

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