PLANS for a supervised injection centre for heroin users in Cork will continue to be pushed, despite a court rejection of similar plans for a centre in Dublin. Supervised injection centres for heroin users in Cork and Dublin were part of the 2016 plans for government.
Southern Regional Drug and Alcohol Taskforce co-ordinator David Lane said that there could be a case for pushing for Cork to go before Dublin in providing a supervised injection centre, given the challenges that have faced the Dublin project.
The Dublin plans by Merchant’s Quay were rejected by Dublin City Council in 2019, with the possible impact on tourism in the area cited as one of the reasons for the rejection. That decision was overturned by Bord Pleanála in 2019 but a judicial review was taken by a primary school in the area.
Last week, a ruling was made against the Bord Pleanála decision, stating that the planning decision “makes no reference at all to the school, education or the impact of the proposed development on the welfare of the pupils.”
Mr Lane described the decision as disappointing “because the need is there in Dublin”.
“We will continue to look at making a case for such a facility in Cork. Right now, we don’t have an eye on a property,” he said.
He said any properties which would meet the criteria will be considered, even though there is as yet no timeframe for the Cork project.
Independent Cork City Councillor Mick Finn has been a strong voice in calling for such a centre for Cork.
He said: “It is something that needs to be explored and fleshed out for a Cork solution. Just because it was knocked back in Dublin does not mean it should be ruled out for Cork,” but added that the big issue will be finding a location for it.
“I would like to see it located in a clinical or hospital setting, for both the clients and people living nearby. A lot of pharmacies are already methadone clinics.
“We have to take away addiction from a criminal perspective. Cork could take a lead on this.”