Businesses call for decentralisation of injection centres

The chief executive of the Restaurants' Association of Ireland said a city centre location for the facilities will attract "drug pushers"

Businesses call for decentralisation of injection centres

A used needle used to inject heroin sits in a pool of blood in Dublin city centre | Photo: RollingNews.ie

Businesses in the city centre are "totally opposed" to centralising one location for injection centres, according to the Chief Executive of the Restaurants' Association of Ireland.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Adrian Cummins said the supervised injection facilities should be established within communities in which drug addicts live.

"We are advocating that these [injection centres] should be decentralised into the communities where the addicts live, not in one central area," he said.

He further added that if such a centre is opened in the city centre, it will act as a "magnet" for people selling drugs. Mr Cummins called for them to be opened within GP services in local communities.

"These centres are going to be, in effect, legalising drugs."

'A scourge'

Dermot Lacey, Labour Councillor and Chairperson of the South Inner City Local Drugs Task Force, said that while there is a need to look at the effect of injection centres on local communities, he stressed that there is a need for them in Dublin.

"I don't like drug treatment centres, but as a society I feel we need to tackle them," he said. "If it attracts people into those centres who wouldn't be attracted to services that we could try and wean off drugs, I believe it's a good thing.

"This is a measure that will help reduce the intake of drugs in the city centre."