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LIGHTS OUT; Last four rebel pubs cave in on smoke ban.

Byline: DECLAN FAHY

THE five-day smoking ban rebellion was fully stubbed out last night.

Owners of the last four defiant pubs all backed down to avoid jail and heavy fines.

The boozers, all based in Co Cork, had allowed customers to light up until yesterday. Their rebellion ended as a survey commissioned by a publicans' organisation found the ban has cost 2,000 Dublin jobs.

Publican Gareth Kendellan, owner of Paddy The Farmers in Cork city, was given two formal warnings by the smoke police.

He promised to obey the law after taking legal advice and talking to his family.

Three other Co Cork pubs which had defied the law - The Loft Bar in Bantry, Ozzie's Bar in Dillon's Cross and Connie Doolan's in Cobh - said they would fall in line.

After visits from the smoke police, all three agreed to enforce the ban.

They faced EUR3,000 fines, jail terms for disobeying a court order and a possible closure for not upholding the three-month-old ban. The Galway city pub which sparked the revolt, Fibber Magees, backed down on Thursday.

Co-owner Ronan Lawless said he did not want to go to jail for defying a High Court order.

Meanwhile, a survey commissioned by the Licensed Vintners' Association (LVA) found the ban has caused the loss of 650 full-time and 1,300 part-time jobs.

The study by market researchers Behaviour and Attitudes found Dublin pub sales are down by 16 per cent.

The licensed trade in Dublin currently employes 14,000 workers.

LVA chief Donall O'Keeffe said: "This shows the harsh reality of the economic impact of the smoking ban on our members.

"The majority of Dublin publicans have described the current business climate as being unfavourable."

CAPTION(S):

WHAT A DRAG: Brian Walsh savours his last cigarette at Paddy the Farmers; STORY: Yesterday's Mirror; CHANGE OF HEART: Gareth Kendellan outside his bar Paddy The Farmers on Southern Road, Cork city
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 10, 2004
Words:320
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