Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister has cautiously welcomed proposals for a so-called drug consumption room in Cork.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Tánaiste Micheál Martin indicated that the Government would be “open to” an officially sanctioned room in Ireland’s second city where drug addicts can inject themselves.
After an 18-month trial in Dublin, the country’s first “medically supervised injection facility” is set to open in September.
Despite Government backing for the scheme in Dublin, which is to be operated by a third party, Martin questioned whether the state would still be liable “for any negative consequences for facilitating injection”.
University College Cork is expected to deliver an interim feasibility study on the proposals by the end of the month.
Go-ahead for the ‘shooting gallery’ in Dublin was given despite fears of increased drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and its proximity to a school.
Last month, the Citizens’ Assembly on Drug Use (CAD) urged the Irish Government to decriminalise the possession of all hard drugs for personal use.
Launching the Assembly’s final report, CAD’s chair Paul Reid said: “Our recommendation relates to all of those drugs that cause harm – cocaine, cannabis, heroin, opioids, benzos”.
He explained that the group backed a shift away from a “criminal justice-led approach to possession”, to a “decriminalised model”.
The Government will now consider CAD’s “deliberations” so that “it can enhance the response to drug use, from a policy, legislative and service delivery perspective”.