Irish Republican News · July 9, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Pub rebellion put down

Pubs in Cork and Galway which had briefly defied the smoking ban this week have now given written undertakings that they will comply with the legislation.

Fibber Magee’s pub in Galway said yesterday it would end its defiance of the new ban on smoking in workplaces, which has prohibited smoking in pubs and restaurants across the 26 Counties. Four pubs in Cork have made similar pledges.

Gareth Kendellan, who owns Paddy the Farmers, one of Cork`s biggest pubs, took legal advice after being issued with his second formal warning.

He said: “It looks like I’ve lost the battle but I felt I had to make a stand and I did so, I don`t regret that at all.

“We got a lot of support from both smokers and non-smokers and for 24 hours at least we brought back the atmosphere that has been lost.”

The owners of Fibber Magee’s, which led the rebellion, were forced to back down after the 26-County Attorney General wrote to them and signalled his intention to take High Court action yesterday on the instructions of the Government.

Fibber Magee’s has closed pending a legal challenge to the smoking legislation.

The country’s Health Boards also that “serious consequences” would follow in the event of the law being flouted. They said they would draw on all the powers of the High Court, including injunctive proceedings where necessary and would initiate criminal prosecutions in respect of all premises that flout the law.

The 26-County Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, said yesterday that his government was not prepared to stand by and see people disobey the law.

He said that if the publicans decided to take legal action against the ban, that was a matter for themselves.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News