Press Release

Supervised injecting facility decision ‘puts lives at risk’, says Merchants Quay Ireland

Supervised injecting facility decision ‘puts lives at risk’, says Merchants Quay Ireland


Merchants Quay Ireland (MQI), the national homeless and drugs charity, has today said Dublin City Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a Medically Supervised Injecting Facility ‘will put lives at risk’.

Speaking on the decision, Merchants Quay Ireland CEO Paula Byrne said:

“This decision by Dublin City Council is deeply disappointing. With one person a day in Ireland dying of a drug overdose, it will put vulnerable lives at greater risk.

“In 2016, 736 people in Ireland died from drug-related causes, the fourth highest rate in Europe, and every indicator suggests that this number is increasing.

“International evidence clearly demonstrates that supervised injecting facilities reduce public injecting, reduce risk of disease transmission, and most importantly, save lives.

“We will review Dublin City Council’s decision and consider our next steps. In the meantime, we will continue to advocate for people in addiction, to ensure that they receive the care they deserve.”



For more information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, please contact:

Tom Sheppard
Communications Co-Ordinator
Merchants Quay Ireland
T: 01 531 2958
M: 086 7793 206


Twitter: @MerchantsQuayIR


Notes to the Editor

About Merchants Quay Ireland

Merchants Quay Ireland is a leading Irish charity working with people who are homeless and in addiction. The organisation provides services ranging from open access crisis intervention and health promotion services to day-support programmes, educational programmes, vocational training, residential treatment, detox and prison counselling.


About Supervised Injecting Facilities

Merchants Quay Ireland was announced as the preferred operator for the Medically Supervised Injecting Facility in February 2018.

A planning application was submitted by MQI to Dublin City Council on 8th October 2018. A request for further information from DCC was received in December 2018, with the response supplied on 28th June 2019.

According to the most recent figures (2016) in Ireland, 736 people died of drug-related causes. Of these, 354 died as a result of poisonings. Two thirds of those who were injecting at the time of their death died in Dublin City Centre.

Independent evaluations of SIFs from around the world show that this service will save lives and help make the community a healthier, safer environment for all.

Research on SIFs show benefits including:

  • Reducing the number of deaths by drug injecting overdose.
  • Reducing the spread of disease (particularly blood-borne viruses such as HIV and Hep C) and infection through unhygienic injecting.
  • Increasing access to health and social services for people who use the SIF.
  • Reduction in drug litter, public drug use and associated anti-social behaviour.
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