A DUBLIN pub co-owned by celebrity restaurateur Jay Bourke and Electric Picnic founder John Reynolds has been hit with fines for breaking the smoking ban.
The Market Bar, which was at the centre of the RTE Fade Street reality series, was prosecuted after it was inspected by an HSE environmental health officer.
Mercroft Taverns Ltd, which operates the Market Bar at Fade Street in Dublin city centre, was taken to court to face two counts under the Public Health Tobacco Act and was yesterday ordered to pay €750.
The HSE had summonsed the company, which has a business address at Molyneux House, Bride Street, Dublin 8, following complaints from the public about smoking at the restaurant and pub, which has seating capacity for about 300 people.
The popular bar is controlled by Mercroft Taverns Ltd, which is co-owned by restaurateur Jay Bourke, music promoter John Reynolds and businessman Eoin Foyle.
Mr Bourke attended the hearing at Dublin District Court, at which his company was ordered by Judge John O'Neill to pay the fines within three months and to cover the HSE's costs in bringing the case.
Senior environmental health officer Michael McAleer told the HSE's solicitor Marie Kinsella that on August 9 last year he inspected the ground floor smoking area at the Market Bar after a complaint from a member of the public who had alleged breaches of the smoking ban had taken place.
He said that to be exempted from the provisions of the legislation there had to be no roof and "this did not apply – the area was completely covered".
He also said he noticed a man and woman smoking in that area when he carried out the inspection.
Mr McAleer told the court that on the night of September 20 last year, he returned to the pub and inspected the first floor smoking area.
He said that was "effectively an enclosed room" except for a skylight.
Staff were serving customers and Mr McAleer said he saw four people smoking when he carried out the inspection.
Mercroft Taverns Ltd pleaded guilty to the offences.
Since then the ground floor smoking area has undergone modification, there is no smoking allowed upstairs and the pub is compliant with the legislation, the defence team said.
Judge O'Neill was also told that the company had a previous conviction for the same offence, but he noted that since Mr McAleer's initial inspections, modifications have been carried out, and he also noted that he had a discretion not to impose the maximum fines.