Thursday 14 December 2017

Council admits St Audoen's Park is a drug den and vows to clean it up

Two addicts shoot up on the grounds of St Audeon's Church as tourists walk by
Two addicts shoot up on the grounds of St Audeon's Church as tourists walk by

Dublin City Council has admitted that the popular St Audoen's Park has become a drugs den for heroin addicts and the problem is not one that can be sorted out overnight.

The Herald last month reported how drug addicts are injecting themselves and each other in broad daylight in the park beside a school and St Audoen's Church.

We revealed that more than 3,300 heroin users have been on the HSE sponsored methadone programme for more than 10 years.

READ MORE: 3,300 heroin addicts on HSE methadone for more than 10 years at a cost of €20M-a-year

We also reported how council workers are disillusioned having picked up 6,000 potentially lethal syringes left behind last year after the addicts had their fix. A month later little has changed and the problem of open injecting continues.

Dublin City Council (DCC) said the problem is multi-faceted and it has been aware of it for a long time.

"We need to sit down with the gardai, the HSE and the agencies like Merchants Quay that help deal with addictions to discuss this growing problem," DCC assistant chief executive Brendan Kenny told the Herald. "There is a particularly serious problem around St Audoen's. Ordinary people now avoid it."

Mr Kenny explained that agencies such as Merchants Quay are able to issue clean needles to addicts, which lessens the risk of the spread of diseases, but users are not allowed to use those needles on site and so they go somewhere else.

"We all work with each other, but the problems remain and we need a new focus to change them," Mr Kenny added.

A spokesman for An Garda Siochana told the Herald that they have increased patrols around the park.


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