Monday 23 October 2017

Protesters rally as head shop reopens its doors

Brian McDonald

ONE head shop yesterday reopened its doors following the ban on the sale of a range of legal highs, which came into force last week.

The legislation sparked a raft of closures of head shops across the country -- to the delight of protest groups who have been lobbying against the outlets amid fears over the effects of the products sold there.

At the weekend the High Times shop in Roscommon town centre reopened to the public after initially closing in the middle of last week.

And the proprietors lost no time in posting a message for the attention of a local newspaper. The sign over the door simply said 'One-All'. This was a reference to a newspaper headline which appeared after the closure of the head shop.

The headline said "People Power 1 -- Head Shops 0".

Yesterday the woman who initiated the protest in Roscommon against the head shop, Jacqui Snype, said the reopening was like a kick in the teeth.

Busy

The shop was "very busy", selling products to several people for prices of €15 and €30.

"But we were back out on our protest again on Saturday night and we will continue. They won't be here for long, because (Minister) Pat Carey has assured us that further legislation will be introduced in June, before the Dail breaks up, banning any remaining head shop products," said Ms Snype.

She added: "This battle goes on. It is not over yet."

The premises from which High Times operates is rented from local businessman, Adrian Murray. Mr Murray has previously apologised for making "a bad judgment call".

The shop opened on January 15 last and three days later, realising his mistake, Mr Murray said he asked the operator to close it, but his plea fell on deaf ears. Mr Murray said his legal advice is that he is locked into a contract, but he fully supports the protest against it.

The operator of the shop could not be contacted yesterday. It is understood that gardai are monitoring the situation.

Irish Independent

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