Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.31 15 Jul 2021


Share this article


An overturning of a planning decision to allow Ireland's first supervised injection facility is being 'dictated by emotion and fear'.

That's according to the deputy editor of Hot Press, and long-time campaigner on the issue, Stuart Clark.

He was speaking after the High Court overturned planning permission for the centre in Dublin's south inner-city.

Advertisement

A local school had objected to the facility, which would be used by heroin users, due to its proximity to young children.

The High Court says the facility, which was to be run by Merchants Quay Ireland, should now be reconsidered by An Bord Pleanála.

Stuart told The Hard Shoulder this will see more people die on the streets.

"I'm gutted - people will die because of today's decision.

"And once again we've got health services being dictated by emotion and fear, rather than science and evidence.

"We just can't look at other countries and see best practice and bring it home - I don't understand why."

Stuart says the time for debate has passed, as this is a policy that is not being enforced.

"It's not really a debate, this is Government policy - this was passed four years ago and since then, an average of 230 people have died a year from overdoses.

"We have one of of the highest overdose rates in Europe, yet I don't see anything actually being done to sort this out.

"These people are not from Venus: they're your brother, sister, cousin, auntie - whatever - they're living in your community.

"This would have been a great community resource and improved the quality of local life, because you wouldn't have people injecting in toilets, on the recreation ground".

Stuart says those who are objecting to such facilities should think about how they would feel on the other side.

"I would say to those parents, teachers and to those school governors: if woe betide one of your children becomes dependent on heroin, would you rather they inject down a filthy, rancid alleyway, strewn with feces, overdose on their own and die or be in a safe room?

"You'd want, I think, a degree of respect for your relative".

'Changing the status quo'

Stuart says a mobile injection unit would solve a lot of the issues.

"There is a solution to all of this - and I have to say I have seen good and bad drug ministers.

"Aodhán Ó Ríordáin was fantastic bringing this to Cabinet - so far...I've seen nothing from Minister Frank Feighan to suggest he is really trying to tackle this holistically to change the status quo."

Stuart says he has been speaking to drug agencies who work on the front line, who all wanted this injection centre.

"They could, if there was change in the legislation, within two months have a mobile unit up and running whilst this is sorted out.

"I would like to think, as we speak, Frank Feighan is about to make an announcement that he will seek a change in legislation in the interim... to have a mobile resource.

"And I would challenge him to come on this show and to explain why, if he doesn't do that tonight or tomorrow morning, why he's not pursuing that."

Health services 'being dictated by emotion and fear' - Stuart Clark on injection centre rejection

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Earlier Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said Irish society isn't placing any value on the lives and safety of heroin users.

He told Lunchtime Live: "I'm very depressed and pretty angry about it - people are going to die unnecessarily because of this decision.

"For people who are currently engaging in street heroin injection, [a supervised injection centre] is somewhere safe for them to go.

"They're very vulnerable people who need the compassion and care of our society.

"No-one has ever died of an overdose in an injection centre - what we do have currently is people dying in toilets of railway stations, supermarkets, on the side of the streets, in alleyways, in parks, in playgrounds."

Main image: File photo shows a heroin needle and Merchants Quay Ireland in Dublin city, which first applied for permission to operate the nation's first supervised injection facility. Picture by: Mark Stedman/Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Share this article


Read more about

An Bord Pleanala Aodhán Ó Ríordáin Drug Use Frank Feighan High Court Injection Centre South Inner City Stuart Clark Supervised Injection Facility The Hard Shoulder

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Off The Ball

Off The Ball

13:00-19:00

Share

Up next

TALKING HISTORY WITH PATRICK G...

TALKING HISTORY WITH PATRICK GEOGHEGAN

19:00-20:00

Share

SOUNDSCAPE

SOUNDSCAPE

20:00-21:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

21:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on