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 Deputy Director of Help Not Harm who has Master of Science degrees in Science Communication and Drug and Alcohol Policy. During a Bachelor of Science degree in Herbal Science he interned and conducted research at the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana- a nonprofit collective considered the “gold standard of the medical marijuana movement” by Californian Federal Judge Jeremy Fogel.

As a member of the MAPS Graduate Association he helped collate online anecdotal reports of the effects of MDMA in those with autism spectrum disorders which contributed to the justification for a now-in-progress FDA-approved trial considering this relationship in more detail. He is a graduate of the EMCDDA's summer school and volunteers full-time ìn emergency homeless accommodation. He is involved in a drug service mapping project with Help Not Harm's data science advisor Cailla Rose O' Shea.

Fergal Eccles

Fergal Eccles is a Deputy Director of Help Not Harm who is the co-founder and Lead Developer of Odus Technologies. He is a software developer who interns in Security Intelligence for Amazon cloud services and has primary responsibility for Help Not Harm's website and security.

Fergal helps co-ordinate Students for Sensible Drug Policy Ireland and has spoken at the United Nations about drug policy and its effect on youth. Previously he has been involved in festival welfare and harm reduction services at fetivals in the UK and Ireland and given harm reduction classes at colleges in Ireland.


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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