Dublin Mayor wants mobile injection facility for addicts

Wednesday 23 October 2013 11.43
Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn said he favours the introduction of mobile clinics to allow drug addicts inject in private
Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn said he favours the introduction of mobile clinics to allow drug addicts inject in private

Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn said he favours the introduction of mobile clinics to allow drug addicts inject in private rather than on the street.

Speaking to RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke programme, Mr Quinn said he had discussed the issue with Minister of State Alex White, who he said was considering it.

Mr Quinn said: "Instead of sitting behind a wheelie bin, or in a doorway, or in a grimy basement, sharing needles and walking amongst discarded needles, you're putting them in contact with someone who is in a position to supervise what they're doing and create a pathway for that person out of the hellhole that they're in."

The Lord Mayor said he had also discussed the proposal with gardaí.

He said they would need to be given a clear set of guidelines on how to deal with addicts using such a service. 

Mr Quinn was reacting to a recent proposal by the Ana Liffey Drug Project for the introduction of a medically supervised injection centre (MSIC) for use in Dublin city centre.

It wants to reduce the number of times a person has to inject themselves in public.

They want the project to be piloted in the capital. 

Mr Quinn said you would need both a doctor and nurse to operate the unit, which could be a converted ambulance.

He said that a similar initiative such as this had worked effectively in Copenhagen. 

However, the proposal was dismissed by Grainne Kenny, the Honorary President of Europe against Drugs, who said that prevention programmes were the best way forward rather than facilitating the use of drugs by users. 

She said that similar initiatives, such as needle exchange and methadone, had not worked as a long-term solution, but she did concede that "everything should be tried".