Next week’s monthly meeting of Castlebar Town Council will see two motions in relation to the regulation of head shops in the town put before the council. Both Sinn Féin Councillor Therese Ruane and Fine Gael Cllr Brendan Heneghan have put forward motions calling for the regulation of these shops.
“This is something as a council I think that we need to discuss,” Cllr Ruane told the Mayo Advertiser. “The reason I’ve brought this motion is that I have been approached by concerned parents, teachers, drug counsellors, and people who work with young people in a number of areas about these shops. We have two of these head shops now in Castlebar and we need to see some sort of strict regulations brought in nationally. We have to try and do what we can so there are no adverse effects on our young people.”
Cllr Heneghan said he has also been approached by a number of concerned parents and business people in the town about these shops. “People have come to me about the two shops. I’m calling to see do we have any bye laws in place or can we put some in place that can limit these shops. There are hundreds of kids passing by both of them every day going to school and parents are concerned about it. We saw before how the planning laws were used in relation to the closing of the casino down by McHale Park.” Cllr Heneghan, who operates a health food store in the town, also said there needs to be strict regulations on what can be sold in these shops. “In my business we have very strict guidelines on what I can sell, it’s not that long ago that the Irish Medical Board for example banned the sale of St Johns Wort, which was a very famous health food product, but because there were concerns they banned it. Something similar needs to be done with the products on sale in these shops.”