AN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE has voted against a proposed smoking ban in the grounds of Leinster House.
The members of the Joint Committee on Health and Children voted this morning against the motion put forward by Professor and Senator John Crown, who is also a consultant oncologist.
Crown gave TheJournal.ie his reaction to the decision:
I’m extremely disappointed and surprised and was quite certain that there had been broad support for this.
People were commenting that it was inconsiderate to bring in such a smoking ban but there is nothing considerate about people harming their own health.
The only person who supported Crown’s proposal this morning was Peter Fitzpatrick, Fine Gael TD for Louth, “the rest opposed it,” said Crown.
People were saying that I was putting forward this motion principally to punish smokers, but I was trying to help them.
Crown called for a ban on smoking because he believes an example should be set by those in Leinster House – a smoking ban already exists within the building under the terms of the 2004 smoking ban. It is also part of his strategy to ban tobacco trading in Ireland by 2030.
Earlier, he tweeted his disappointment at the “lack of support” for his motion. Image via ProfJohnCrown/Twitter
Crown is also annoyed at the fact that tax payer’s money is going towards funding “overhead electric heaters in Leinster House” to keep smokers warm. Although there are four main designated smoking areas, Crown went on to dispute that smokers stuck to them, “in practice, people smoke everywhere”, he said.
Image via ProfJohnCrown/Twitter
Out of the 166 members of the Dáil, around 30 are smokers and one of those is Dublin North Central TD, Finian McGrath, he told TheJournal.ie:
I’m pleasantly surprised and delighted that the Oireachtas committee has shown some common sense to all the staff in the Dáil and the minority of Oireachtas members.
I would now ask for Professor Crown to cop on and show a bit more respect to the 30 per cent of the Irish population who smoke.