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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 24 March, 2018

Debate Room: Where should the first drug injecting centre be located?

Does the first supervised injecting centre need to be in the city centre? Some business owners say no.


NEW LAWS TO set up a pilot drug injecting centre in Dublin have been making their way through the Oireachtas, and were debated in the Seanad this week.

There are already over 100 of these centres around the world in countries like Germany, Spain, Canada and Australia – and backers of the Irish facility argue that they cut down overdose deaths dramatically, stem the spread of diseases like HIV and reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.

The establishment of such a centre, however, would represent a fundamental change in how problem drug use is normally dealt with – so it’s no surprise that, in every country, when this idea has first been proposed, it’s been met with fierce debate.

The head of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Adrian Cummins, and Dr Garrett McGovern, a specialist in addiction medicine who has clinics in Dublin city centre, joined us at’s offices to debate the location of the planned centre.

The proposal is to locate the first facility in Dublin city centre, and its backers argue that it needs to be in a central location if it is to have its desired effect. A number of groups, including the restaurants association, have argued that the centre should be placed outside the city.

- Debate moderated by Daragh Brophy, video by Nicky Ryan

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