TheLiberty is a local paper for Dublin's south inner city

February 2001

Drugs project plans open access shelter

Related stories:



By Samantha Rowntree
THE Merchant's Quay Drug project plans to establish an open access shelter in partnership with the Dublin Simon Community later this year.

The shelter will offer accommodation to active drug users and will be open to people of all ages. At present, no shelter will accept drug users and they impose age restrictions which exclude people from accommodation.

This project hopes to reduce the number of people sleeping rough and will offer shelter for up to twenty people. Mr Emmet Bergin, of Dublin Simon, told the Liberty that the project is "in a premature planning stage. Dublin Corporation is trying to find us a site but local community resistance is delaying it," he explained.

"We have come up against resistance from people before when looking for accommodation for older people or people with mental health problems. But afterwards the response is positive, it is more a perception than a reality."

Mr Bergin added: "Provisions were made in the last budget for a facility but the money had to be returned. We are just sitting on our hands and cannot go ahead until a site is found. Dublin Corporation are trying their best and they are anxious to find us somewhere."

Mr Declan Wallace, the Assistant Principal Officer for Dublin Corporation's homeless persons unit, said the shelters issue is one City Hall is anxious to address.

"We haven't identified any suitable sites yet but the onus is on us to find a suitable site and meet the criteria that have been set down."