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Smoking at Clare beaches could be stomped out

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SMOKING in Co Clare’s public areas could soon be a thing of the past, following a motion to introduce a prohibition on smoking in all public facilities owned or operated by the local authority.

The initiative would see a smoking ban in all public parks, playgrounds and eventually beaches.

Mayor of Clare Tom McNamara, along with Councillors Ann Norton, P.J. Ryan and Pat Burke, raised the issue at the recent council meeting.

“We want to extend the ban to those areas because we have a responsibility as a public body to that people are protected from tobacco smoke,” Mayor McNamara said.

Mayor McNamara confirmed that he was happy with the response he received as The Council agreed to pass the proposal on to the Strategic Policy Committee for consideration.

“At a strategic level, the Rural Development Directorate will shortly begin the process of preparing a “Healthy Clare Strategy” and the consultation process could consider this proposal and any emerging policy for inclusion in the Strategy,” Director of Rural Development Leonard Cleary commented.

When asked if he thought it was realistic to introduce a smoking ban in all public areas, Mayor McNamara pointed out that a smoking ban in the workplace would have been considered almost impossible 20 years ago.

“Everybody said it wasn’t going to work in the workplace in the restaurants or the bars and the pubs and it has happened. The initiative was taken to ban it in all education and HSE campuses and there is good progress in that. Everybody thought it would never happen.

“But we have to be strong and take those initiatives. It’s going to take a good bit of education on the part of the people as well but look we need to take some action. There is too many people suffering because of cigarette smoking,” Mayor McNamara added.

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