Local restaurant owners are supporting a call for a smoking ban in outdoor dining settings.
The call came from Green Party Councillor Erika Doyle based in Wicklow.
The issue proved divisive on this morning’s Tipp Today among listeners, while business owners felt that with the rising popularity of outdoor dining, outside areas are no longer just for smokers.
Niamh Quinn of Flanagan’s Lane told Tipp FM that more people are sitting outside and it does raise health concerns if someone is smoking.
“Well we do have a few people that would be smokers outside, but the issue with that is someone who isn’t a smoker and wants to sit outside and their tables are one metre apart, there’s a bit of a breeze and they are trying to eat.
“Then you’re going to have the issue of someone not feeling comfortable at their table.
“We’ve invested heavily in providing all year round outside dining areas, we spent a lot of time designing our menus with local sustainable produce and with outside dining becoming more popular and it’s here to stay, I think we need to support the smoking ban.”
Councillor Ann Marie Ryan, who is also in Tipp Town, added that it is not fair on diners to be expected to eat while someone in smoking close by and it’s something they have always had in place in The French Quarter Cafe.
“We have a lot smaller outdoor space that we opened up because of Covid, we only have three tables and can seat about 12 in total.
“Right from the start, we just put up a sign saying ‘Please don’t smoke here’ because it’s a cafe, it’s where people come to have some lunch or a cup of coffee and it’s a small enough space, we just can’t tolerate smoking in that area.
“The smoke does drift to other tables and it’s uncomfortable for people.
“Everyone’s been brilliant about it, I think I only had to ask one person not to smoke and they stopped straight away.”