A LARGE majority of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party support Minister for Health Micheál Martin's stance on the smoking ban in pubs, a Sunday Tribune opinion poll has confirmed.
The poll, carried out in recent days, found that 70% of the party want to see the ban introduced in full and on schedule.
Just 20% of those polled said they were opposed to the measure or would like to see a compromise.
The result is a major boost for Martin, who last week heard his cabinet colleague, the Minister for Environment, Martin Cullen, publicly oppose his proposal. The poll also suggests that claims from former minister Noel Davern, that as many as 50 members of the parliamentary party would back his motion opposing the smoking ban, are exaggerated.
Based on the poll's findings, just 25 TDs, senators and MEPs would support Davern's motion.
The Sunday Tribune attempted to contact all 116 members of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party and despite the fact that many were away on holidays, a total of 35 ? mainly TDs ? were interviewed for the survey, representing just under a third of the parliamentary party.
Of those interviewed, 24 said they were strongly backing Martin's plans. Just seven said they were opposed or would like to see form of compromise reached, while four deputies declined to comment.
"After a few months, people will adapt to meet the regulations and I believe it will be up to nonsmokers to ask smokers to refrain from their anti-social behaviour, " junior minister Noel Ahern said.