An announcement was due today, but it’s been delayed yet again.
THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF where an injecting centre for Dublin city centre has been delayed again.
The location of the city’s first supervised injecting centre has been subject of fierce debate and a tendering process kicked off nearly five months ago.
Announcements had been expected in November and December, with the HSE initially saying that the pilot project was anticipated to open before the end of 2017.
The centres – which would be medically-supervised buildings in which drug users could inject – have been a part of government drug policy for a number of years.
The 2016 Programme for Government explicitly says that it “will support a health-led rather than criminal justice approach to drugs use including legislating for injection rooms”.
However, the plans met a number of snags such as a delay in legislation and resistance from local businesses.
Last Saturday, Minister of State for Drug Strategy, Catherine Byrne told Newstalk that the decision would be announced by today.
“I am hoping by next week that we will have the decision on where it is going to be located and it will be announced then.
We will try and move along as quickly as we can. There are still concerns that planning permission may be needed and that is something further that we will have to look into but we will cross that barrier when we get there.
However, a spokesperson for the Department of Health today told TheJournal.ie that an announcement would not be coming today, but may be made next week.
The facilities will provide access to clean, sterile injecting equipment and have trained staff on hand to provide emergency care in the event of an overdose, as well as advice on treatment and rehabilitation.
It’s been argued that supervised injection centres will also help alleviate the problems associated with injecting on the street, including drug-related litter.
– with reporting from Daragh Brophy