- 08 Aug 19
Three-and-a-half-years after being agreed on by the government, intravenous drug users are still waiting for this essential service
Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) has confirmed that they're lodging an appeal with An Bord Pleanála regarding planning permission for the pilot Medically Supervised Injecting Facility, which was blocked last month by Dublin City Council on what was essentially tourism grounds.
"Extensive international evidence clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of injecting facilities," reads the official MQI statement ."These facilities have been repeatedly shown to support people in addiction and on into treatment, as well as reduce public injecting and drug-related litter.
"Two out of every three injecting deaths in Ireland occur in Dublin city. These fatalities are more than statistics - they are the tragic loss of someone’s brother, mother, neighbour or friend. We have a duty as a society to protect our most marginalised and vulnerable citizens.
"The development of this service is part of the Programme for Government and is in the National Drugs & Alcohol Strategy - Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery. We acknowledge the support given by Minister Catherine Byrne to MQI in developing the facility, and we will continue to engage with the Department of Health, HSE, and Dublin City Council to progress the appeal."
Contacted last week by Hot Press, Minister for Health Simon Harris said: “Let me reaffirm my commitment to a supervised injection facility. It remains Government policy. Catherine Byrne T.D. continues to lead on this. I want to see it happen and will do all I can to make sure it does."
Let's hope common sense finally prevails on this...