Aim is to stop street drug use but only those who inject get in
TONY GEOGHEGAN, founder of Merchants Quay Ireland, says: ‘Drug use and street drug use have increased. Anyone who walks around the city can see that.
‘Unfortunately it has now become entwined with homelessness, there is such a level of homelessness now. There are single people and people with more complex problems who are becoming homeless and getting filtered down to the bottom. They are the visible face of drugs and homelessness on the street. There are issues of public injecting and public drug use. What this initiative [the planned drug injecting clinic] is about is trying to bring people in off the street… into a safe, clean, supervised environment.’
Mr Geoghegan says he agrees with Minister Finian McGrath’s preference for drug treatment centres not to be concentrated in the city centre.
‘I would agree with that. In the past there was difficulty in establishing drug treatment facilities. People said have them somewhere else and that is why they ended up being established in the city centre. The aim is ultimately to move them back out into the suburbs.
‘One of the big concerns business people and others have is about visible drug use on the street, of people injecting on the street and on the green opposite the school [St Audeon’s]. So the aim is that people won’t have to witness that.’
Mr Geoghegan says only drug addicts who inject will be permitted to use the injection centre.