Nitrous Oxide Misuse Continues to Plague Communities

Derren Ó Brádaigh

Councillor Derren Ó Brádaigh is once again raising serious concern at the lack of any real urgency by government to get a handle on the escalating problem of nitrous oxide abuse within communities, and the exorbitant profits being made outside of the intended purpose for which they are manufactured.

Cllr Ó Brádaigh said “I tabled a motion 2 years ago calling on the Council to report on the level of cannisters being lifted by their public realm work crews. The findings from data collated at the time from the agreed twelve-month pilot mapping project, carried out by South Dublin County Council between August 2021 and 2022, clearly evidenced that the problem was countywide. Discarded cannisters continue to be removed from almost all our major parks and open green spaces and housing estates across the county.

“A recent HSE report published on their Adolescent Addiction Service has shown that 22% of young people attending their adolescent service admitted to experimenting with nitrous oxide, reflecting an increase of 175% compared to 2021. Only last December, a neurology specialist at the Mater Hospital warned of an increase in the number of patients suffering severe nerve damage after inhaling nitrous oxide gas.

“The Council Parks Superintendent has stated in responses that I have received, that finds of larger cannisters of the substance have been found in large quantities, with finds of hundreds of the smaller silver bullets at some locations also. “The environmental impact is also a concern, with resident litter pick groups often unsure just how to dispose of them. There doesn’t seem to be a day that I don’t come across these large ‘fast gas’ cannisters discarded in my own locality, along the canal cycle track, when participating in community clean-ups or simply walking across the green or through the park.

“Many of my colleagues have continued to raise this issue with both council officials and more importantly in the Dáil. My own Dublin Mid-West party colleague Mark Ward TD has submitted legislation to the Bills Office in the Oireachtas to regulate the sale of nitrous oxide to the industries and commercial operators that use this product. These include the catering industry, dental practitioners, and hospitals. It is about time that Gardaí were given the ability to tackle this problem head on, where they come across individuals within the community in possession of this substance, without any obvious explanation for having it in the first instance.”

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



Related News