Help Not Harm

Supporting a realistic, evidence-based approach to drug policy in Ireland.

What We Do

Help Not Harm aims to update Ireland's current approach around drugs to help people and communities. We believe policy should be pragmatic and realistic in its objectives. People are currently using drugs in a way that is harmful to themselves and others. With a more effective approach we could be bringing help to the people and communities that need it the most.

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Our Goals

Promoting a compassionate, evidence based approach to drug policy in Ireland.

Medical Cannabis

Promoting regulated access to cannabis-based medicines in Ireland and to end the criminilization of sick people seeking help.

Drug Welfare

Providing drug welfare services and distributing information at music festivals and events to keep people safe and reduce the burden on medics.


Taking a health-based approach, rather than a criminal approach, to more effectively help people and communities effected negatively by drugs.

The Board

Graham de Barra

Co-Founder of Help Not Harm with Paul Birch (founder of Bebo), Graham is the Executive Director and has been featured on RTÉ Radio One, Today FM,, Newstalk and RTÉ 2 documentary "Reality Bites."

Previously Graham served as secretary to the board of Students for Sensible Drug Policy for two-and-a-half years and found Students for Sensible Drug Policy Ireland which is currently present in five Irish colleges, updating Ireland's drug education policies.

Currently Graham sits on the Education and Prevention Committee to the National Drugs Strategy (2017 – 2024) and was an advisor to the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016.

Graham conducted the largest ever student drug survey among third level students in Ireland with Dr. Colin O’Driscoll and Tim Bingham, which was featured in the Irish Examiner, Hot Press, SpunOut and The University Times.

Graduating with a LL.M in international human rights law and a B.A. in philosophy, Graham directs non-profit campaigns and blockchain technology start-ups.


Tom Curran

Director of Exit International and C.E.O. of Exit USA

An M.Sc. from Edinburgh University led to a career as an I.T. Consultant. This was cut short to become a full time carer for his wife, Marie, who suffered from MS. During the twenty years of caring for Marie, Tom became in advocating for the rights of Family Carers and is now a Board Member of Family Carers Ireland. He is also a strong advocate for Assisted Dying for the people with Life Limiting Illnesses and is a Director of Exit International and C.E.O. of Exit USA. A long term grower and processor of cannabis for medical use he also campaigns for the legalisation of cannabis and its derivatives for use as a medicine.

Florian Scheibein

Florian Scheibein is a PhD Candidate studying "Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) Injecting in Ireland: Practices, Health Implications and Service Utilisation". He currently helps teach a Substance Misuse module as part of the third year Psychiatric Nursing curriculum in Waterford Institute of Technology. He is an active International Working Group (IWG) of Youth RISE with whom he is currently working on 'law enforcement and youth' and general best practice guidelines.

He recently helped develop a Health Needs Guidebook/online health needs support library and delivered harm reduction workshops whilst working as a Community Integration Officer for Depaul Ireland. In 2017, he received a 'Positive Role Model' from Dublin Simon Community whilst volunteering in emergency homeless accomodation. He has Masters of Science in Science Communication and Drug and Alcohol Policy and Bachelor of Science in Herbal Science.

Fergal Eccles

Fergal Eccles is a Deputy Director of Help Not Harm and also a Junior Software Engineer at Opera Incubator - a blockchain technology start-up hub. Previously Fergal interned in Security Intelligence for Amazon Data Services in Dublin, Ireland.

Fergal has had two years experience providing Festival Harm Reduction with Chill Welfare, at festivals such as Boomtown, Creamfields, Wildlife and more. Fergal also helps co-ordinate Students For Sensible Drug Policy, Ireland and acted as Chairperson for SSDP UCC.


Katy MacLeod

Katy has worked in front line drug services for over 10 years in residential detox, needle exchange and community based settings. This work has included coordinating welfare services at large dance events and festivals throughout UK and Europe. Before entering the drug field, she worked as a DJ and club promoter. Katy trained initially in counselling and then in learning and development.

Katy's areas of interest are drug use in nightlife settings, safer nightlife, drug trends, new psychoactive substances (legal highs), club drugs, harm reduction and poly-drug use. Since 2009, she has researched emerging drug trends and supported services to respond to these new trends, work funded by the Scottish Government.

Katy currently conducts research and delivers drugs training throughout UK in her role as National Training and Development Officer for the Scottish Drugs Forum. She is also a board member for Phoenix Futures Scotland.

Cailla Rose O'Shea

Cailla Rose O'Shea is a Help Not Harm advisor who has Master of Science degree in High Performance Computing and has a worked as a data scientist for Allied Irish Banks and Junior Neo4j Graph Analyst for Another Fine Graph. She advises Help Not Harm on data management and UX development and has experience with HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Illustrator, SQL Server, Google Apps and APIs.

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