Tuesday 21 January 2020

Injection centre could hit vital tourist trade, Failte Ireland warns

Suspected drug-related activity on St John’s Lane West
Suspected drug-related activity on St John’s Lane West

Failte Ireland fears a super- vised injection facility will increase crime and anti-social behaviour and could have a detrimental impact on tourism growth in Dublin city centre.

A submission made to Dublin City Council (DCC) stated that a considerable number of its most popular tourist attractions are close to Merchants Quay, where the proposed injection centre would be located.

Widespread drug dealing already taking place in and around Christ Church Cath- edral and Dublin Castle have been highlighted by the Herald in recent days.


Incidents of blatant dealing on the streets, as well as drug addicts shooting up in broad daylight, have been witnessed on successive days.

Our latest photo shows addicts apparently taking drugs in a doorway on John's Lane West in Dublin 8, a short distance from several famous tourist spots.

In its submission to DCC last month, Failte Ireland said that while it was not against the idea of such a facility opening in Dublin, it had concerns over the proposed location.

It said that those in the tourism industry in that particular area of the city were worried that such a facility would encourage further anti-social behaviour and crime.

Failte Ireland spoke of the efforts to grow tourism further and of the major attractions close to Merchants Quay.

It highlighted that 1.7 mill-ion people visited the Guinness Storehouse in 2017, with 603,000 taking in St Patrick's Cathedral, 371,000 visiting Dublin Castle, 238,000 going to Christ Church Cathedral and 200,000 having a look at Dublinia.

"The tourism industry in the area of this proposed national facility has raised its concerns that the proposed medically supervised injecting facility may encourage crime and anti-social behaviour within this key tourism hotspot and may have a negative impact on their business and the safety of their staff," the submission read.

"Failte Ireland recognises the need for this type of facility; we would like to point out that we do not object in principle to a medically supervised injecting facility.


"However, we do believe that the concerns of local tourism businesses should be given full consideration with respect to the value of the area's tourist amenity and we respectfully request that you take these concerns into consideration in the determination of this proposed development."

The tourism body's submission was one of nearly 100 made against plans for the injecting centre, which would be run by Merchants Quay Ireland.

Those in favour of the facility have argued that the number of incidents of addicts openly injecting drugs would drop if it got the go-ahead.

The plans anticipate having the capacity for 60 drug addicts each day.

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