Andrew reflects on changes on 20th anniversary of the smoking ban in pubs

Dundalk publican Andrew McGeough has praised the introduction of the workplace smoking ban on March 29, 2004, on its 20th anniversary.

The owner of McGeough’s Bar & Restaurant on Roden Place, Townparks opened his popular business on July 12, 2000, four years before the introduction of the ban.

“On our opening night, the fans weren’t working properly so because of the smoke everyone had red eyes. We had to open the doors to let out the smoke,” Andrew recalled.

“Some smokers would put out cigarettes on carpets or timber floors. They didn’t always just use the ashtrays and some of the cigarettes would still be burning.
“There would be burnt seats and the walls and ceilings would be yellow from the nicotine sticking to them.”

Andrew added: “The smoking ban has been a big plus for the industry in terms of the health benefits and for re-decorating costs.
“I used to be a smoker but I haven’t smoked for years now. A lot of people did; it was normal at the time.

“As far as the industry goes, the smoking ban has been brilliant. There are staff members who never smoked but worked in the industry for years and were inhaling second-hand smoke all that time.”

He continued: “Publicans don’t always like telling people what to do. The hardest pill to swallow for publicans in terms of the smoking ban was what constituted a smoking area according to the HSE.”

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