Last gasp for the Chamber puffers
A total ban on smoking inside the Wicklow County Council chamber was introduced this week but it took members 20 minutes to make a decision on the issue.
The ban now means that cigarette, cigar and pipe smokers who attend meetings will now have to leave the room for a satisfying puff.
The lengthy debate was more used as a pre- Christmas amusement issue for members rather than a serious piece of legislation.
The motion was proposed by non-smoking members Pat Doran, Jim Ruttle, Mick Lawlor, Liz McManus, Sean Wolohan, Pat Sweeney, Jim Giff, Tom Keenan and Hugh O’Keefe.
After due consideration, the matter went to two votes, one on an amendment by Cllr Tom Keenan who took a U-turn and proposed that members voluntarily refrain from smoking during meetings, while the second was the original proposal.
Some felt the local authority should be setting an example.
How could the authority expect people to refrain in certain public areas when smoking was allowed in the council chamber?
When the proposal was won it was made clear that the smoking ban applied to the officials and the press as well.