An Bord Pleanála have approved an application for a supervised injecting facility for Merchant’s Quay in Dublin 8 – a decision which has been welcomed by local Green Party representatives.
The injection facility provides a safe, supervised, medical space for people injecting drugs. There are over 90 in operation worldwide.
In 2018, addiction charity Merchant’s Quay Ireland was given government approval to run an 18-month pilot injecting facility. The planning application for the service was initially rejected by Dublin City Council, but was approved on appeal by An Bord Pleanála. That decision was overturned by the High Court in July 2021 and sent back to An Bord Pleanála, which has now approved it.
Local Green Party councillor for the area, Michael Pidgeon, welcomed the decision:
“This is a positive and long overdue decision. A facility like this will save lives.
“We need to get on with building this facility. Services like this are in place across the world. They are proven to save lives, reduce public injecting, and drastically cut the number of discarded, dirty needles on streets.
“People have died on the streets and in toilets around the area. Locals – including children – have been forced to live alongside needle litter and public injecting.
“No location will be universally accepted, but these centres have a proven record in improving the area around them. We need to get this centre up and running as soon as possible.
“Delays cost lives and do nothing to resolve this problem. It’s time to build.”
Local Green Party TD, Patrick Costello, said:
“The justice-based approach which we have taken in relation to drug use has failed. Today’s decision can herald the beginning of a new, compassionate, and treatment-based system. This is not only better for drug users, in offering a safe and monitored environment, but also for the public writ large.
“More generally the opening of this new centre will form a positive discussion point in relation to the upcoming Citizens Assembly on Drugs. This assembly, secured by the Green Party in the Programme for Government, will be transformative in reforming policy around illegal substances and drug users. For our part we will be arguing for a health-based approach which puts people’s safety and rehabilitation at the core. This injection centre represents that progressive approach.
“Delays here have cost lives in Limerick, Cork and elsewhere, as they waited for this pilot to begin. We need to rollout these facilities across the country urgently.”
July 2019 statement from local Greens: https://pidgeon.ie/planning-refusal-for-supervised-injection-facility-puts-lives-at-risk-green-party/
Michael Pidgeon’s 2019 submission to An Bord Pleanála in favour of the centre: https://pidgeon.ie/dublin-needs-a-supervised-injection-facility-my-submission-to-an-bord-pleanala/
December 2019 statement from local Greens: https://pidgeon.ie/approval-for-supervised-injection-facility-welcome-news-for-dublin-greens/
July 2021 statement from local Greens: https://pidgeon.ie/decision-on-injecting-centre-will-cost-lives-greens/
December 2022 approval from An Bord Pleanala: https://www.pleanala.ie/en-ie/case/312618