herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Men take drugs in phone box just yards from top tourist site

These shocking pictures of two men using a phone box to smoke drugs in broad daylight were taken just yards from the Ha'penny Bridge on Dublin's busy quays.

The junkies are using the Eircom kiosk for shelter as they cook their drugs on a crumpled piece of aluminium foil and inhale the resultant smoke with a small tube.

Drug addicts commonly use foil to vaporise heroin or crack cocaine, and often use the method when syringes are not available. Plainly visible to passers-by, the addicts continue getting their fix before going back onto the streets.

The images, taken beside Temple Bar's Merchant's Arch, have led for fresh calls from a group representing businesses in the capital for Eircom to review its phone box model in the capital.

"We have written to Eircom previously about the misuse of phone boxes in the city because anything that facilitates the drug scene in Dublin is not welcome," said Richard Guiney of Dublin City BID (Business Improvement District), which represents 2,500 businesses in the capital.

 

Kiosks

"We know Eircom are obliged to provide a certain number of public phones around Dublin, but there are designs such as more open kiosks that might be better," he told the Herald.

"This is an ongoing issue in Dublin and one that needs to be addressed," Mr Guiney added.

Eircom would not comment on the photographs.

Last January, the Herald exposed the use of phone boxes by drug addicts when a bloody syringe was found discarded on a shelf in an Eircom booth at Trinity College.

It led to fears for public safety and calls for Dublin's drug treatment systems to be overhauled.

Mr Guiney said that tackling anti-social behaviour has become one of a main focuses of Dublin City BID and that in 2011 a Strategic Response Group was set up.

The strategic group, which is also represented by drug treatment agencies, called for new approaches to drug treatment which include smaller treatment centres around Dublin instead of a concentration of them in the city which brings addicts into town.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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