Clontarf residents protest against operation of head shop in village

 

RESIDENTS IN Clontarf, north Dublin staged a protest at the weekend against the operation of a head shop in the village.

Deirdre Tobin, one of the organisers of the Saturday rally, said the group wanted to disassociate themselves “completely” from an attack on the premises the previous day.

“We had nothing to do with that and wouldn’t condone it. Our protest was peaceful, largely on the other side of the road opposite the shop, and we collected almost 500 signatures from people opposed to this business being there,” she said. Ms Tobin said those who protested in front of the shop had been moved on by gardaí.

Gardaí said they believed they would be able to identify two men who were captured on closed circuit television as they broke windows in the D3 Head Shop in the early hours of Friday.

The men who arrived by car and were wearing glasses and hats used hurleys to break windows in the shop. They appeared to be undeterred by people emerging from a nearby chip shop.

The footage, which was seized by gardaí from nearby premises, is being studied by detectives.

Head shops typically sell legal preparations which can be used as alternatives to illegal, and usually more costly, drugs.

Earlier this month, the Government announced plans to ban several substances sold in head shops. The ban will come into effect in June.

Local councillor Aodhán Ó Ríordáin of the Dublin North Central Labour Party said a protest against all head shops would take place outside the Dáil on Wednesday. Cllr Gerry Breen of Fine Gael said he believed there were sufficient measures available to authorities to close head shops if the political will was there.

He instanced a number of separate authorities including the Office of Tobacco Control, the Food Safety Authority, the National Consumer Agency and the Revenue Commissioners, all of which he said had a role in regulating businesses.

Mr Breen also said the insurance industry had a role to play as policy holders had a duty to report any material change that could impact on the risk for the policy.