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Dublin's new mayor wants supervised injection centres for drug addicts

Críona Ní Dhálaigh has backed an initiative that the government could legislate for in the coming months.

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DUBLIN’S NEW LORD Mayor has backed the introduction of medically-supervised injection centres for drug addicts in the city.

Críona Ní Dhálaigh, the capital’s first ever Sinn Féin lord mayor, said that having worked on the issue of drug addiction in the inner city for many years she would support such an initiative.

Her comments come in the week when the surge in HIV cases among injecting drug users in the city was linked with the former head shop drug known as ‘Snow Blow’.

“I would be supportive of the medically-supervised injecting centres,” Ní Dhálaigh told TheJournal.ie today.

The south inner city councillor added:

What is the harm in actually trying it out on a pilot basis and if it doesn’t work we’ve learned that this isn’t a model that we can use here.

Source: Paul Hosford/TheJournal.ie

Ní Dhálaigh’s position contrasts with her predecessor Christy Burke who said he was not in favour of the idea, citing his experience of having seen them in Amsterdam.

However, Burke has previously told this website that authorities are not adequately dealing with the issue and called for more residential beds and treatment centres for addicts.

New drugs minister Áodhán Ó Ríordáin has indicated he would be in favour of legislating to introduce such centres before the next election. The Anna Livia project is working on proposals to bring to government in the coming months.

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As a member of the South Inner City Local Drugs Task Force and a board member of the Donore Community Drug Team, Ní Dhálaigh is acutely aware of Dublin’s drugs problem.

Although not in favour of it she said there needed to be a “grown up conversation” about possible decriminalisation, particularly in cases where youths are being caught smoking “a little joint”.

Watch more in the video above and look out for more from our wide-rangng interview with Críona Ní Dhálaigh on TheJournal.ie next week. 

Read: Two young people have died in Monaghan after taking ‘legal highs’

Read: Should we stop bringing criminal charges against those possessing drugs for personal use?

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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