Tuesday 30 May 2017

Officials back down over storm in a D-cup

Barry Duggan

A GARAGE owner last night expressed his delight after the health and safety watchdog backed down on a demand he remove calendars of topless models.

Michael Daly (62), who works alone, yesterday said a bit of common sense had been shown after the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) rowed back on its demand that he take down the racy calendars.

A HSA inspector had conducted a routine visit to the garage which Mr Daly runs from a small premises in Limerick city.

Mr Daly was then sent a letter, instructing him to remove photographs of "nude/topless women" immediately.

Pornographic

The authority said "the display of pornographic material at the place of work is not allowed".

Mr Daly has been managing Treaty Garage for 40 years and has four calendars of topless women hanging on the walls inside his garage where he services cars and carries out electrical repairs.

He also has a framed picture of the Blessed Virgin near the entrance to the premises along a laneway off Mallow Street.

However, the HSA backed down yesterday and accepted that it had "acted in an over-zealous manner". The HSA said Mr Daly would not have to remove the calendars -- some which are over 10 years old.

"They only add a bit of colour and it is better to be looking at them than a cold, old wall on a rainy day," Mr Daly said.

He said "a storm in a teacup" had been made of the topless calendars on his wall. "They're all different makes, they're all motor trade calendars. They don't do them anymore -- I don't know what's gone wrong at all," Mr Daly said.

The garage owner said it was good that the HSA had acknowledged it had been overzealous in its approach.

"It's a bit of common sense. I'm delighted they withdrew it (their threat)," he said. "I suppose it comes down to a matter of opinion. What is pornographic these days -- all these calendars are tastefully done. These people (motor trade) wouldn't have been allowed to print this if it was pornographic," Mr Daly said.

A spokesman for the HSA said it was clear the garage owner "had a very unsatisfactory experience".

"We will be in contact with the garage owner to clarify the specific issue and to confirm to him that the removal of the images as indicated in our correspondence does not apply," the spokesman said.

"Our inspectors carry out their work with due regard for the realities of running a business. Our work is focused on ensuring that all employees go home safe and sound after a day's work and in this regard the vast majority of workplaces inspected each year will have a positive experience," he added.

Irish Independent

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