Eason avoid conviction for selling cigarettes to minor

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
The company was summonsed over the sale of cigarettes to a minor
The company was summonsed over the sale of cigarettes to a minor

RETAILER Eason have agreed to donate to €1,000 to charity 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 for selling a tobacco product to a person under the age of 18 at their shop in the Pavillion Shopping Centre in Swords in 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 6th last but the company was co-operative and informed the HSE a week in advance of the hearing that they intended to plead guilty.

Mr Lennon also told the court the company had no prior convictions and has agreed to pay €1,230 in prosecution costs.

Judge O'Neill noted from the defence that the bookseller had set up new procedures to prevent it happening again. This included “refresher training” of staff in all branches and  automatic “till prompts” to remind sales assistants to  make some enquiries when a cigarette pack is scanned.

They were also willing to donate a sum of charity as well as pay the prosecution 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 are paid and €1,000 is donated to suicide prevention charity Pieta House.