Now smokers face ban from playgrounds
A NEW move to ban smoking from south Dublin playgrounds is to come before Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council.
Fine Gael's Barry Ward has urged the council to adopt a new bye-law to prohibit smoking "in or around children's playgrounds".
It follows a proposal from Dublin city councillor Mary O'Shea to ban smoking outside schools.
Cllr Ward has tabled a motion for tonight's council meeting urging the council to adopt the Prevention Of Smoking In Certain Areas bye-law.
The areas mentioned include Dun Laoghaire's The People's Park, Rathfarnham's Marlay Park and Killiney Hill Park.
The ban would take in the zone around playgrounds up to a distance of 50 metres.
Anyone who contravenes the bye-law could be liable for a fine of up to €1,904.60.
Mr Ward's motion follows a similar initiative from party colleague Cllr O'Shea, who raised the issue of smoking outside schools with the city council.
Cllr O'Shea told the Herald: "People have made complaints to me. There is a big secondary school beside me in Glasnevin and there is lots of littering, particularly from cigarette butts.
"In Spain, they included outside schools and playgrounds in their smoking ban. If you can do it in Spain, why not here?"
She said a zone around schools should be turned into no-smoking areas.
"I think it would discourage [students] from gathering in gangs as well. It makes sense, because it gets them to think about the dangers of smoking," she added.
In her motion, she called on the council's environment and engineering strategic policy committee to "examine ways in which it can prevent littering outside schools".
Cllr O'Shea added that "disregarded cigarettes are a major cause of littering".
However, the councillor admitted her proposal may have to be implemented by way of Government legislation, rather than local authority bye-laws.
New anti-smoking laws introduced in Spain on January 2 are among the toughest in Europe.
The measures ban smoking at playgrounds and outside schools and hospitals.
They also make it illegal to smoke at airports, nightclubs and casinos.