Nu zelfs twee ministers van de partij van de Ierse gezondheidsminister Martin niet in staat waren de man tot een compromis te bewegen, kiezen de horecaorganisaties massaal voor een nieuwe techniek. Mocht de wet die de hele Ierse horeca rookvrij verklaart per 1 januari tóch ongewijzigd doorgevoerd worden, dan gaan de ondernemers massaal de wet overtreden.
In bijeenkomsten die door het hele land werden en worden gehouden zijn door de horeca organisaties moties in stemming gebracht die de leden vragen de wet te negeren. Uit de eerste stemmingen blijkt dat de leden unaniem aan een dergelijke aanpak gevolg willen geven.
Publicans threaten to defy law on smoking
THE first shots have been fired by publicans in an all-out war against the smoking ban.
They are threatening to ignore the controversial measure which is scheduled to be introduced in all pubs and workplaces in January.
They say they will refuse to implement the ban and will allow smoking to continue in designated areas.
As vintners’ officials prepare to meet Health Minister Micheal Martin, Kerry publicans threw down the gauntlet by voting overwhelmingly against implementing the ban.
Cork publicans will meet next week and a similar motion is expected to get huge support.
And last night a vintners’ leader in Galway said there was a groundswell of militancy there against the ban.
The issue is expected to dominate a meeting later this month between Mr Martin and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), which represents 6,000 publicans outside Dublin.
This will be followed by a meeting of the federation’s national executive council.
VFI chief executive Tadgh O’Sullivan said the Kerry vote was an indication of the frustration felt by publicans about the controversial proposal.
The move came after anti-ban Fianna Fail TDs, who voiced their opposition at a parliamentary party meeting, finally conceded that the minister would not agree to a compromise.
By the end of the month Mr Martin is expected to finalise regulations setting out penalties for breaches of the ban. Under current legislation, breaches of the Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2002 carry fines of up to €1,900 for a summary offence. But the penalties rise steeply on indictment with maximum fines of €125,000 and/or two years in jail.
In Kerry, more than 200 publicans who attended the meeting voted unanimously against implementing the ban and said they would continue to allow smoking in designated sections on their premises.
A similar anti-ban motion is expected to be put to Cork county branch which meets next week, its chairman Niall Murphy predicted last night.
“I know there will probably be a similar motion at our meeting calling on Cork publicans to follow Kerry,” he said.
“We don’t want to break the law but there is a lot of frustration among members at this stage,” he warned.
Growing militancy was also reported in Galway where Connacht representative Christy Ruane said it was increasingly difficult to keep publicans in line.
An increasing number of publicans in Galway were seeking militant action against the ban and there were similar elements in every county, Mr Ruane said.
The Kerry publicans’ decision was slammed by MANDATE, the bar workers’ union.
Assistant general secretary John Douglas described it as “a nonsense”.
He added: “It shows their level of arrogance which is unbelievable.”
* The board of North West Tourism, which covers counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan, has agreed to write to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to voice its opposition to the ban.
Bron: The Irish Independent