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18/09/2021

HSE respond to Laois council plea for advice on Electric Picnic permit for Stradbally

HSE respond to Laois council plea for advice on Electric Picnic permit

A previous Electric Picnic. The festival was cancelled last year and is now planned for September 24 to 26, pending licence approval.

Laois County County Council has been left in a Catch 22 situation by health authorities following a HSE statement on the Electric Picnic and Covid-19.

It is a response to a request by Laois County Council for advice in making their decision on whether to give a licence permit.

Council CEO John Mullholland said that the advice from the HSE would be a "key consideration" in the planners' decision.

The following is the Health Service Executive's statement.

"At this time due to the current guidance for the management of Covid 19, events of this nature are restricted to only 500 people attending which include patrons, staff and artist. 

"Should this guidance change prior to the proposed date of the event the HSE will be available to discuss in line with any update the requirements in place that may facilitate the holding of this event," a spokesperson said.

That would mean the number would have to increase by 140 times in the next eight weeks. However new rates of Covid in Laois are now at the second highest in Ireland. Read more below our story. 

Meanwhile, the Minister for Health has told the Leinster Express that the festival is "unlikely" this year. Read our exclusive interview with Minister Stephen Donnelly below: 

The festival is due to happen from September 24 to 26, and has a capacity for 70,000 people in the Cosby estate in Stradbally village in Laois. A decision must be made on the licence by August 27 at the very latest 

There is local opposition to the festival taking place this year because of the pandemic. Cllr Paschal McEvoy from Stradbally says it comes too soon after 20 people died in the local nursing home last February. Meanwhile all Laois councillors attending the July meeting have agreed that they are against the event this year. Read more below.

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