Dublin Council puts brakes on heroin centre near primary school

Dublin City Council has declined to grant permission for the Republic of Ireland’s first drug-injection facility, after heeding nearly 100 objections.

A homeless charity was initially given permission to trial the centre, which would provide heroin to between 60 and 100 addicts each day.

But the Council decided, after considering concerns about children and tourism, to block the move. The charity has lodged an appeal and a decision is expected in December.

‘Unjustifiable risk’

The Merchants Quay Ireland homeless charity was given permission in May by the national Health Service Executive to open the drug centre for an 18-month trial period.

Supporters of the scheme say it will help people who are addicted to drugs.

But 99 objections were made, including from hotels and restaurants concerned about the impact on tourism.

A local primary school said the plan “represents an unjustifiable risk to the pupils and staff who attend the school”.


Dublin Council said the homeless charity was unable to put a precise number on how many people would use the centre. This led to concerns about the “impact on the safety and perception of safety of the wider public”.

The Council also warned about the lack of a “robust policing plan”.

It said the facility would “undermine the existing local economy, in particular the growing tourism economy, have an injurious impact on the local residential community and its residential amenities, and would hinder the future regeneration of the area”.


Earlier this year, NHS Scotland received a backlash for announcing it will open the UK’s first heroin distribution centre in Glasgow.

The centre, which will see nurses distribute heroin to addicts up to three times a day, was branded “a wrong approach, which will only make Scotland’s drug crisis worse”.

Drugs researcher Neil McKeganey, commenting on drugs distribution centres, said the treatment of drug addicts “should be focused on helping them into a drug-free state, not facilitating dependence.”

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