Galway Councilor Says Outdoor...


Galway Councilor Says Outdoor Smoking Ban Is "A Step Too Far"

Heather Lawrie
Heather Lawrie

03:06 28 Jun 2023

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Back in 2004, Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking inside public spaces.

Now, there are calls to extend that ban further. ASH Ireland, an anti-tobacco advocacy group, is calling on councils to outlaw smoking in designated outdoor eating and drinking areas.

The organisation has asked the Galway County Council to add no-smoking conditions to all new outdoor dining applications. The conditions would only apply to seating areas on public streets and not those on private property.

However, since the Covid pandemic, many businesses have begun using footpaths for outdoor seating in the summer, through a licenced process.

Independent Councillor Declan Geraghty is one of those opposing the plans. He says small businesses will be the most impacted.

"We're talking about the rural areas, rural towns and what we're talking about is small businesses. And they're granted this licence to have their two tables outside. So are we now going to stop this? Well in Galway County Council, it met ferocious opposition the other day because a lot of people see the advantage and that people could smoke outside."

However, Mark Murphy, Advocacy Officer with Irish Heart Foundation, says it would benefit public health:

"By taking the step and banning smoking in outdoor areas such as hospitality, areas such as pubs and restaurants, and their new licencing areas that we can denormalise smoking, we can reduce secondhand smoking."

Around 5,900 Irish people die each year from the effects of tobacco-related disease

Ireland has set a target of being tobacco free by 2025.


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ASH Ireland Anti-smoking Galway Galway County Council Irish Heart Foundation Rural Smoking Ban