This is old news by now, but I felt it merited a comment. Publicans of several bars decided to break the smoking ban by allowing their customers to smoke last week. The always slow to act health boards eventually pounced on the landlords with threats of fines and legal proceedings; by which time the ban had already come back into force.

Of course, the word of the only smoking pubs in Ireland hit every major media and the crafty old publicans got instant nationwide free advertising on TV, radio and newspapers. Bus loads of nicotene addicts flocked to once again enjoy a cancer stick with their pint, without having to stand outside like the second class citizens they keep claiming to be.

Were any publicans actually fined? Will any of them be under fierce scrutiny by the health boards when it comes time for license renewal? I’d be surprised. For their “we can beat this ban” attitude and blatantly flaunting the fact that they allowed smoking, they should recieve a hefty fine alone. I mean, if smokers keep moaning about how they are being treated like second class citizens, all us first classers might just start believing them.