Drug units could 'help clean up the capital'

Tony Geoghegan

By Robin Schiller

The boss of one of the country's biggest drugs and homeless services believes the introduction of mobile treatment units would help clean up the capital.

Merchants Quay Centre chief executive Tony Geoghegan thinks a mobile drug treatment van, one of which was in operation some years ago, would reduce the levels of drug-taking and anti-social behaviour in Dublin city centre.

Such an initiative would see a van or bus travelling around the city issuing drugs to users in a controlled environment rather than having users congregate in one place.

"A mobile drug unit might be helpful in terms of drug abuse and the anti-social behaviour that unfortunately comes with it in parts of the city," said Mr Geoghegan.

"In a street where a small but chaotic group congregate to use drugs, it would impact greatly on taking them out of that one area."

Mr Geoghegan also said his organisation would consider running such a van or bus if there was interest, having already opened the city's first night cafe last month.

"We'd prefer if nobody was using drugs, but it would be preferable having a controlled service," he said.

The Herald highlighted the scourge of drug abuse in Dublin last week when we revealed that heroin addicts were shooting up in plain view in a park only yards from a school.

The problem has become so bad that Fr Stanislaw Hajowski is forced to lock the gates of the adjoining St Audoen's Catholic Church to keep addicts out.