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Worrying images show how Dublin park has become a shooting gallery for drug users

Locals claim the level of drug use in St Catherine’s Park, often in broad daylight, means they have to steer well away from the inner-city park

One of the needles found in the park

One local resident says she finds at least two needles every day in the park

Other evidence of drug use in the park

St Catherine's Park

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A resident who lives close to a popular local Dublin park has revealed how it has become a shooting gallery for drug addicts who have turned it into a no-go area.

Located within sight of the iconic Guinness gates, one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions, she told how St Catherine’s Park has become a wasteland littered with used syringes and other drug paraphernalia.

The level of drug use in the park, often in broad daylight, means that many locals steer well away from it while tourists who stumble upon it have been seen leaving again in a hurry.

The woman, who lives nearby, shared these pictures of some of the used needles she has seen left on the ground. And while she finds two here every day - she says she has been told by the council’s parks staff that they find as many as 20 to 30 on a daily basis.

St Catherine's Park

“It’s actually a lovely park and was even more so after the council did a bit of work on it and planted flower beds here,” she said.

“But then they had to cut back all the growth for health and safety reasons because staff were at risk of getting spiked by needles hidden in the undergrowth.

“They clean it every morning but now there is just grass there and it’s full of waste, human excrement and needles. And they miss the odd needle or two. They really are up against it because they could collect 20 to 30 needles every day, they told me, so it’s a real risk to them.

One local resident says she finds at least two needles every day in the park

“This is an issue that has been going on for years,” she added. “The park was actually closed for years before it was revamped. It’s a tiny, little park behind the Protestant church and it’s quite historical.

“You can see the famous Guinness gates from the entrance. But I’ve been in that park when there were about eight to nine people, more maybe, shooting up in broad daylight.

“There are also what I think are crack pipes, aluminum foil and little white bags lying around the place, which are all signs to me of drug consumption.”

This local woman explained that as there are restricted opening hours, and not a lot of green space in the area some people try to make the most of it.

“I walk my dog there and there a few others who are determined to also walk dogs there too but it can be very intimidating when there's all this drug activity going on.

Other evidence of drug use in the park

"And you do see the odd tourist wandering in and then quickly getting out of there when they realise what’s going on.

“Local schoolkids who would have gone in there to draw pictures of trees and nature before can’t do that anymore.”

The woman said there is not a significant Garda presence in the park, “but in fairness, this whole area is under-resourced”, she added.

“There is massive amount of drug dealing going on in the surrounding flats so the guards have enough on their hands. It’s like scene there from Clockers at times.

“The addicts can buy their drugs there in the flats and find a nearby place to take them, which happens to be this park.

“So, you have the whole supply and consumption of drugs running side by side, right in this area.”

Sunday World has asked Dublin City’s Council’s Parks Department for comment.

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