At midnight, my Native Land banned smoking in pubs. When the kids and I were in Ireland before Christmas, there was a great deal of phoney outrage from the country’s publicans, one of whom (the proprietor of the Brazen Head pub in Limerick) promised to close his pub if the ban actually came into force.
(I haven’t been able to check if he has been as good as his word. Oh, hang on, thanks to Google, I have. It seems that his firm has gone into receivership. So maybe his business was in trouble anyway.)
But I digress… What was really amusing was the name adopted by the lobby group formed last year to fight the smoking ban. Nothing brutal like “The Pro-cancer Campaign” or “Smoke Free” but “The Irish Hospitality Industry Alliance” if you please. According to the Irish Times, the Alliance is now consulting m’learned friends:
“Mr Finbar Murphy, of the Irish Hospitality Industry Alliance, said it would be referring the regulations to its lawyers to seek their advice on a judicial review.
The Minister for Health, Mr Martin, appealed to the powerful lobby group to stand back and think before taking any such action.
‘Why would you take legal action against a measure designed to protect and improve public health?'”
Hmmm… Doesn’t the Minister know there’s a lot of money in peddling ill-health?