herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Gerry calls for peaceful protest as headshop windows are smashed in

GARDAI are investigating an attack on a Headshop in Clontarf after all the windows were smashed in overnight.

The incident took place at the new 'D3 Head Shop' on the Clontarf Road at around 12.15am last night.

A garda spokesperson said: "Nobody has been arrested and the investigation is ongoing."

RTE broadcaster Gerry Ryan spoke about a new Headshop in the leafy suburb yesterday, but urged residents not to use violence against the store.

The opinionated star has put his weight behind a campaign by local residents to show their strong opposition to the controversial new premises, which opened on St Patrick's Day.

Residents in the posh northside suburb are disgusted that the 'D3 Head Shop' is selling a range of legal highs in such a prominent location, between a row of upmarket boutiques and restaurants.

Locals also believe it could represent a serious security risk to the area, as there have been four arson attacks on Headshops around the country given in the past month alone.

The news comes after it emerged that a 17-year-old girl from Bray was left fighting for her life after taking a drug containing the legal high mephedrone, aka 'Wild Cat', which was also blamed for the deaths of two 18-year-olds in Britain this week.

Gerry said that while he saw both sides of the argument and "free commerce" should be supported, this was not something that Clontarf residents wanted in their area. He added that if parents felt something unsavoury was coming into their community, they had every right to say 'no'.

"My conclusion is that non-violent protests are perfectly OK and they want to send a strong message that the shop isn't wanted," he said.

Staff at the Headshop declined to comment.

A protest outside the store has now been organised for tomorrow at noon by Cllr Aodhan O'Riordain (Lab), who has insisted that locals' opposition is not a symptom of the "not in my backyard" attitude. He said: "We don't want the shops to operate anywhere.

"Parents are extremely worried about it, as the substances being sold there are not something that want to be readily available."

His concerns were echoed by Cllr Gerry Breen (FG) who is calling on the Government to take a firmer stance on the issue. He said that despite meetings with the council, the gardai and the Irish Medicines Broad, there was little that could be done on the issue without the support of new legislation.

mfinn@herald.ie

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