Cllr Noel French and Balivor residents pictured in January 2020.

Narconon drug rehab centre green light: 'The people of Ballivor never got to have their say'

The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision which means the Narconon residential drug rehabilitation centre linked to the Church of Scientology can go ahead.

The court upheld a decision last year of the High Court that An Bord Pleanála was incorrect in deciding that the facility at Ballivor requires planning permission.

Read the full Court of Appeal report here.

Reacting to the ruling Cllr Noel French said his greatest difficulty with Narconon was that planning for the facility was secured under a Section 5 process, which did not allow the people of Ballivor an opportunity to have their say on what was proposed.

“Not only did it not allow the people of Ballivor have their say, but it was done without public knowledge.

“The decision to allow the go-ahead was not made public knowledge and it took approximately 18 months for local people to secure information on it.”

Deputy Peadar Toibin said the decision was obviously a big blow for the people of Ballivor, but also for the treatment of people with drug addiction.

“The HSE has told me there is no evidence to suggest the treatment provided is effective in the treatment of drug addiction.

“The lack of facilities for treating drug addiction is a problem. I have asked the Government a number of times to regulate the service, but they have failed to do so.

“Right now anyone can set up a clinic using any regime and the Government wouldn't take an interest in it,” he said.

The Meath Chronicle has put a number of questions to the Narconon Trust today and a response is awaited..