“The Friendly Sons can go outside if they want to smoke”

The Irish Times notes a selective approach to anti-smoking legislation by the Friendly Sons of St Patrick on Washington DC City Council.

Washington DC city councillor Jack Evans, a member of the all-male Society of the Friendly Sons of St Patrick, pushed emergency legislation through the council last week to exempt the Sons’ annual dinner from the smoking ban which the council passed in 2006.

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  • IRIA


  • Seimi

    And, it’s got the words ‘Irish’ and ‘St. Patrick’ in it, so apparently it’s worth having a go at it….I think?

  • Framer

    It just proves that the Irish exception is an iron law, internationally, as well as in the EU.

  • Greenflag

    This DC City Councillor Jack Evans should be ashamed of himself . Imagine pushing through emergency legislation to allow the Friendly Sons of St Patrick to die agonising deaths sooner rather than later by promoting the use of the carcinogenic weed 😉

  • Henry94

    And, it’s got the words ‘Irish’ and ‘St. Patrick’ in it, so apparently it’s worth having a go at it….I think?

    That appears to be the only explanation. It’s not as if our new justice minister is going to be able to take up the case.

  • Pete Baker


    If you’re not interested in the story, just don’t comment.

    That would be more productive than attempting to read my mind.

    It doesn’t work you know.

  • Seimi

    Ok Pete, rather than have us try and read your mind, why not just give us the answer to the riddle – why did you post this?

  • joeCanuck


    That’s a age old question ever since pamphleteers got access to printing machines. Why do scribblers write what they do? Perhaps the LHC might spit out the answer.

  • George

    “Perhaps the LHC might spit out the answer.”

    Unfortunately, they’ve turned the LHC off for a year so we’ll have to get on with Plan B.

  • joeCanuck

    Not until end of next year, George. Will run at max 50% power until then. See Pete’s next blog.

  • James

    This is like Tammany Hall all over again, good man yourself Pete for bringing this to our attention.

  • Rory Carr

    Thanks, Pete for the startling revelation that a society known as the Sons of St Patrick is an all male society.

    Wonders will never cease.

    Have you any inside info on the composition of the Law Society by any chance? Do they let carpenters in?

  • joeCanuck


    You may be confusing the Law Society with the Saw Society, who do, indeed, welcome carpenters.

  • The Washington DC council is often a joke, as they pay taxes, but do not elect any senators or congressmen. The city is not part of any state.

    So when I watched the local TV broadcasts of council hearings in October (I was at the World E-Parliament Congress), it looked even more parochial than anything in NI.

    It is not surprising that special interests can get special favours voted through there, without the vast amounts of campaign funds it takes to buy decisions in Congress or Senate.

  • GFASupporterButRealist

    What you have here is a lot of Good Old Boys (no ladies, please note; not sure about no gays — don’t ask don’t tell ?) drinking fine alcohol and smoking non-Cuban cigars, and bloviating which reminds one of New York’s Tammany Hall a century ago. Jack Evans is the friend of business WASP member of the DC Council and he is doing a favour for his mates and maybe some campaign contributors ? Why pass a law for the citizens of DC to protect their health and then get a waiver ? A bit hypocritical, to say the least. But hey, it’s the “Irish exception.” In New York City, gays still aren’t allowed to march in the main parade. Living in the past ? And we thought NornIron was bad…..

  • “and smoking non-Cuban cigars”.

    I think you’ll find that they’re actually Cuban. In the U.S., banned Cuban cigars are unbiquitous in certain social circles. Bans are for the riff-raff, don’t you know.

  • granni trixie

    It could be worse – they could be living in Friendly Street near the Markets,Belfast area which is so friendly that many have been shot there.