Dublin City Council has refused planning permission for Ireland’s first ever supervised injection rooms for drug users.

Merchants Quay Ireland had applied to run the facility from its building in Dublin city centre.

DCC however turned down the proposal over concerns it would have a negative impact on tourism in the area.

Another reason given by planners to block the facility was due to an “over concentration of social support services in the Dublin 8 area”.

Merchants Quay Ireland say the decision will put “vulnerable lives at greater risk”.

The proposed facility would have had seven booths and been able to cater for up to 100 users per day.

The decision can be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

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.”