Wednesday 23 October 2019

First supervised drug injection room planned for Dublin city centre

The centre will be run in Merchant's Quay. Stock photo: Getty
The centre will be run in Merchant's Quay. Stock photo: Getty
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The opening of the country’s first supervised drug injecting centre moved a step closer today after it was announced the Merchant’s Quay Project has been chosen to run it.

The centre would allow drug addicts to shoot up in a controlled and supervised centre.

The HSE said today the Merchant’s Quay Project, which runs services for addicts, has been awarded the contract –subject to planning approval.

Dr Eamon Keenan, National Clinical Lead, HSE Addiction Services said, “I very much welcome this announcement of the location for the first Medically Supervised Injecting Facility at the Merchants Quay Project following a robust procurement process.

“This is a significant Public Health development in Ireland allowing a marginalised group of society, injecting drug users who may be homeless, to access a harm reduction service that will improve their health, access them into a range of medical and social services, and contribute towards a reduction in drug related deaths.”

Drugs Minister Catherine Byrne said:”This pilot facility seeks to bring vulnerable people into a safe and clean supervised setting while also helping to reduce drug litter and open injecting in our communities.”

Dublin City Council  has ruled the centre cannot go ahead without planning permission.

The Temple Bar Company had sought a declaration from the council that the centres would require planning permission.

The centre was originally earmarked to open the end of last year but the planning process, and possible appeal, will cause considerable delay.

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