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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019
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Why we don't need to worry about mobile euthanasia booths in Castleknock

There’s been some chatter about mystery leaflets and planning permission notices this week. So what’s going on?

YOU MAY HAVE heard some chat about ‘mobile euthanasia booths’ in the last few days.

Bizarre leaflets advertising the service were dropped to homes in the Clontarf area of Dublin earlier this month – an area known for its high ratio of pension-age residents.

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A number of site notices under the name of ‘Tranquility Euthanasia’ also popped up around Dublin – in areas like Castleknock and the south inner city.

“It could be funny if it wasn’t so sick,” Tom Curran, the right-to-die campaigner and partner of the late Marie Fleming, told Joe Duffy when Liveline tackled the issue on Monday.

The leaflet has been covered in the Irish Times too – and this popped up on Broadsheet on Thursday.

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: there won’t be installations offering euthanasia-on-demand in Dublin or anywhere else in the country, anytime soon.

It’s obviously not legal.

Even if it weren’t (an that’s a big ‘even’) the site notices are littered with mistakes, and the phone number offered by their website is essentially a portal to nowhere.

And for that matter the architectural firm said to be building the booths doesn’t appear to exist.

Here’s what we found out, when we looked into the mysterious ‘Tranquility Euthanasia Ltd.’

The site notices 

This is an example of the site notices that have been spotted around the city.

We’ve examined two, and there are a number of problems with them – for instance, the one on James Street Upper puts it in ‘Dublin 3′. The street is, in fact, in Dublin 8.

The one in Castleknock, featured on Broadsheet, gives notice for a ‘Tranquility Euthanasia Mobile Booth’ at the Phoenix Park, Dublin 8. The Phoenix Park is a considerable distance from the location of the notice.

While we’re at it Castleknock is in Fingal, not Dublin City – as claimed by the notice.

Dublin City Council’s planning department said they hadn’t received the required paperwork to progress an application for the James’s Street address by the deadline of Wednesday of this week.

Neither Dublin City Council nor Fingal had any record of an application for the Castleknock location (which, again, isn’t even in the DCC area). Fingal said they needed a more specific address to the one listed on the sign, in order to search.

Anyone can erect a fake ‘site notice’. You can download forms from local authority websites, fill them out and place them where-ever you wish, if that’s the sort of thing you’re into.

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The architects

Deiner & Burkhalter are listed as the architects involved in the project – or, to be specific, Deiner & Burkhalter Swiss Architects of Josefstrasse, Zurich.

Unless they’ve decided not to have a website or register themselves as a company in Switzerland, there doesn’t appear to be any such company as ‘Deiner & Burkhalter’.

There are a couple of Swiss architectural firms with similar names – like Diener & Diener (with the ‘i’ before ‘e’) and Burkhalter Sumi. We emailed both to ask if they were involved (we haven’t heard back yet, but we’ll update the article if we do).

Here’s a scroll-through of the register of companies in Switzerland, searching for both names:

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The website

An ‘under construction’ website – registered in the US – hosts a copy of the leaflet that was distributed to houses in Clontarf.

We called the phoneline and, as requested, left a number and email address in the hope of receiving further information about the service (even, perhaps, an ‘access code’ for one of their booths?)

24 hours later no text messages, phone calls or emails had been received.

tranq Source: Tranquility Euthanasia

It’s obviously ridiculous and illegal

It may be blindingly obvious, but perhaps it’s worth stressing that what’s being proposed by this mystery outfit is entirely illegal.

In short, the leaflet offers ’9 easy steps to tranquility’: you’re supposed to receive an access code after contacting them, go to a booth, and get an ‘on-screen psychiatric evaluation’.

At the end of the process, you enter your credit card details (your card is automatically destroyed afterwards) before, well … here’s Step 9:

Finally, if you choose to proceed with your journey, your chair will retract into the booth, an anesthetic is administered automatically allowing you to float away into this relaxed environment.”

You can also choose your own in-booth soundtrack, by the way.

People have speculated the whole scheme could be the work of activists opposed to euthanasia, some sort of art project, or simply the ill-judged work of a lone prankster with a printer.

In fact, the whole thing probably didn’t require this level of examination (we may have got a little carried away trying to track down who’s behind it).

There’s a serious point to be made here though…

Speaking to us yesterday, Tom Curran said that he had taken some offence to the leaflets at first “on the basis that it was by someone trying undermine what we’re trying to achieve” (a right-to-die bill backed by Tom is due to be debated in the Dáil in the coming weeks).

“But looking at it again I couldn’t see who would do it.

“No-one who would be campaigning would do that sort of thing, because they have humanity.

“To do this sort of thing you would have to be very cruel. It seems purposeful as well – with no thought as to the effect.”

Read: The final Ballymun tower is to be demolished this Monday…

Read: Michael Noonan never wants to stop being Minister for Finance 

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