Local campaign leads to drug den demolition

Local campaign leads to drug den demolition

EE news 28/04/2017.

A former charity building turned drug den in Mahon has been demolished after a successful campaign locally.

Hopes are now high that the site of the former Abode building on the Skehard Road may be used to house a library for the area.

City Council contractors moved in on the derelict site on Thursday afternoon, levelling the building by Friday morning.

Previously used for disability respite care, the centre was vacant for more than a decade.

It fell into disrepair, attracting antisocial behaviour, drinking, vandalism and, in recent times, extensive drug use.

Used needles, blackened spoons, bloodstained tissues and other signs of heroin use were uncovered in the derelict building in recent months.

In March, members of the local drugs task force cleared away more than thirty needles and other drug paraphernalia from the building, though local councillor Chris O'Leary pushed for a more permanent solution.

He said he feared that a body would be found at the derelict building if nothing was done.

"It is a sad reflection that the building ever got to this state. This was a fine building that could have been used for so many things once it was initially vacated but somebody sat on it and let it fall into disrepair," he said. 

"This cannot happen again, so it is great news that it has been demolished."

The former Lord Mayor said the local authority must move quickly to transform the site into something useful for the area.

"The fear locally is that the site will be left vacant and attract dumping or further antisocial behaviour. It is uncovered and has cameras but the city needs to be proactive in dealing with it," he said. 

"We have issues of illegal dumping in the area and this site cannot become another target for it."

Mr O'Leary is optimistic that the move may finally signal the start of work on a library for Mahon.

The south-east ward is the city's biggest and it is the only one without a library.

"My understanding is that there have been discussions with the Department of Environment about the prospect of building a library. It would be a wonderful addition to the area, not just for book-readers but for the entire community." 

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