I welcome the announcement from the Minister for Health that a further ban will be placed on products sold in headshops.
There are currently two so called head shops operating in County Clare. I have repeatedly raised this issue in Dáil Éireann and also attended meetings with representatives of County Clare’s secondary schools on the matter.
I very much welcome the announcement today from Minister Harney on the banning of many of these products. This is the decision she should have made last year when she banned BZP, which was used in magic mushroom products. I have listened to the concerns of many Clare residents, from parents to publicans and teachers at the presence of these shops in our area and I share their concerns. I am concerned though that the ban will not come into effect for several months.
I am calling for funding to be released to help schools and community workers educate young people in particular on the dangers of these products. Banning them alone will not help solve the problem.
We must also get much tougher on any headshops that remain, applying stricter planning restrictions on their operation and have regular inspections of their premises and products.