Merchants Quay Ireland has been granted planning permission for Ireland's first supervised drug injection centre.
An Bord Pleanála has overruled Dublin City Council planners to allow the facility in the south inner city.
Excellent news! We can now proceed with Ireland’s first supervised injection facility and recognise that addiction is an illness. Well done Merchant’s Quay. Time we all get serious about tackling addiction issues in our country @MerchantsQuayIR https://t.co/zRssK2IWe4
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) December 24, 2019
Merchant's Quay Ireland said this afternoon that it had permission from the planning appeals tribunal to set up the centre at River House in Dublin 8.
New laws passed in February 2017 allowed users to be exempted from charges of possession of illegal drugs in a designated injection centre.
Merchant's Quay Ireland moved to set up the first such injection clinic in the country -- but was blocked by city planners in July over concerns from local residents and businesses.
In a decision dated yesterday and released today, An Bord Pleanála's overturned the City Council.
Merchants Quay Ireland has been granted planning permission for a Medically Supervised Injecting Facility (MSIF) by An Bord Pleanála.
— Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI) (@MerchantsQuayIR) December 24, 2019
The terms of the permission require Merchant's Quay to move its existing night cafe for the homeless out of the centre.
The charity will have to apply for permission again in three years' time if it wants to keep it open.