Cigarette sales in clubs and pubs could be suspended for illegal smoking on the premises, Ballyshannon District Court was told.
Lisa Finnegan, prosecuting on behalf of the HSE, said any smoking offence since July 1, 2009, could lead to a vending machine on the premises being closed for between a day and three months.
Gerry McGovern, defending McEniff Holdings – who admitted allowing smoking at Paris/Fusion night club in Bundoran on October 16, 2010 – said he thought that was unusual.
He said normally, vending machines are on the wall and belong to agencies or somebody else.
The court heard that when a HSE inspector visited, four people were smoking in an internal area adjoining the smoking area and there were ash trays on the table.
Mr McGovern said a “considerable” amount of money was spent providing an external smoking area when the ban was introduced and this was a first offence when people were sheltering from the rain.
Judge Kevin Kilrane imposed a €50 fine and ordered the defendants to pay €1,038 prosecution costs. He also ordered the cigarette vending machine to be closed for one day.