Business owners and a primary school say a ‘heroin centre’ in Dublin would put children in danger and increase crime in the local area.
The centre features six injecting booths for drug users and was approved last week for an 18-month pilot at an existing ‘drug treatment facility’ in Dublin. It would be the first of its kind in the Republic of Ireland.
But a primary school that is only 300 metres away said it was not consulted about the centre and has warned of the grave dangers it poses for children.
Principal of St Audeon’s Roman Catholic school, Eilish Meagher, said: “There is no mention of regulation and/or legislation regarding the distribution and selling of illegal drugs, policing challenges and volume of service users and addicts in the immediate vicinity of a childcare setting.”
“Children’s right to education, play and protection from harm are the school’s primary concerns and multiple breaches of these rights hinder children’s chances of a happy and safe childhood. That is why we are seeking immediate legal advice”, she added.
Education Minister Richard Bruton has previously said that schools should be consulted before an injection centre was approved.
A group of local business owners, the Dublin Business Alliance, has also objected to the move, saying it would increase crime and attract drug dealers to the area.
It was approved by the Irish Health Service Executive, the provider of Ireland’s public health services.
Last year in the UK, the Government rejected a call to introduce officially sanctioned rooms for drug addicts to inject themselves.
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs had claimed that ‘drug consumption rooms’ could prevent drug deaths. But the Government rejected the claim and said it has “no plans” to legislate for them.
Tommy Cairns, a former addict from Halifax in West Yorkshire, said: “Whoever came up with the idea has never been addicted to drugs.
“I used to take six bags of heroin a day, I got imprisoned for four and a half years for dealing, and let me tell you, a consumption room wouldn’t have helped me.
“Abstinence from all drugs is the only way to begin recovery.”