Eason will donate €1,000 to charity for tobacco offence
RETAILER Eason has agreed to donate €1,000 to charity in order to avoid a court conviction for selling cigarettes to a minor.
The company was summonsed to appear at Dublin District Court to face a charge under the Public Health Tobacco Act.
The charge relates to selling a tobacco product to a person under the age of 18 at the company's shop in the Pavilions Shopping Centre, Swords in north Co Dublin.
The prosecution was brought by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the company pleaded guilty to the charge.
Solicitor Adrian Lennon, prosecuting, told Judge John O'Neill that the offence was committed on May 6 last.
But he added that the company had been co-operative and informed the HSE a week in advance of the hearing that it intended to plead guilty.
Mr Lennon also told the court that the company had no prior convictions and had agreed to pay €1,230 in prosecution costs.
Judge O'Neill noted from the defence that the bookseller had set up new procedures in order to prevent this from happening again. This included 'refresher training' of staff in all branches and automatic 'till prompts' to remind sales assistants to make inquiries when a cigarette pack is scanned.
The company was also willing to donate a sum of money to charity as well as paying the prosecution's costs, the judge noted.
Judge O'Neill said Eason was a reputable company which had pleaded guilty and had no previous convictions.
Adjourning the case for three weeks, he said he would strike out the charge if the costs were paid and €1,000 was donated to the suicide-prevention charity Pieta House.