‘First drug centre will turn Temple Bar into a war zone’
THE country’s first supervised drug injecting centre will be run by Merchants Quay Ireland on the banks of the Liffey in the oldest part of Dublin.
MQI already provides a drop-in service, night café and other supports for people who are homeless and struggling with addiction issues in the capital.
The highly-controversial project, which is being personally championed by Fine Gael Minister Catherine Byrne, will be run by MQI for an 18-month period, by means of a licence under the Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injection Facilities) Act 2017.
Last year the Irish Mail on Sunday revealed details of draft legislation that showed ‘authorised’ heroin users in the clinic will be exempt from the Misuse of Drugs Act and will not, under law, be arrested for possession of narcotics.
The MoS published the details of a confidential Garda report, which raised questions about how to manage drug users and dealers in the environs of the facility and said it was ‘impossible to police’.
Martin Harte, chief executive of the Temple Bar Company, fears for the impact on tourism. He described the area as ‘currently like the Wild West; the level of significant violent anti-social behaviour is scary’.
‘This is going to be carnage of the highest, highest order, and it shows the complete disregard the Government has for the inner city, and particularly around Dublin 8,’ he added. ‘It’s appalling. At the moment this area is a battleground and it’s going to become a war zone.’