19 May 2022

BREAKING Laois County Council responds to Electric Picnic appeal to reverse licence refusal

Festival organisers hoped the Dr Tony Holohan's comments might lead to change

electric picnic laois covid-19

Up to 70,000 was the capacity sought in the 2021 Electric Picnic licence application

The refusal to grant a licence to the Electric Picnic will not be reversed because the public health advice has not changed and there is no legal avenue to reverse the decision, according to Laois County Council.

The local authority has issued a statement in the wake of comments by the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan that the event could proceed if everybody was in attendance was vaccinated.

The organisers Festival Republic subsequently appealed to Laois County Council to reverse its decision and allow the event happen at the end of September.

However, the local authority has issued a statement in which it says nothing has changed.

It said a decision by Laois County Council to refuse the application for an event licence for the Electric Picnic 2021, issued on the 4th August 2021 pursuant to section 231 (3)(a) and (b) of the Planning and Development Act, as amended.

The local authority said the decision was based on the following reasons:

  • Having regard to the up to date advise from the Health Services Executive in their statutory submission;
  • Having regard to government public health measures currently in place and made pursuant to the Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020 and the Health and Criminal Justice (Covid -19) (Amendment) Act 2021.
  • There is no provision in law which enables Laois County Council to revisit that refusal or reconsider that application. 

While Dr Holohan expressed the view that the event could happen conditionally, the council said in its statement added that official public health advice has not changed.

"Notwithstanding the comments emanating from yesterday’s (August 24) press briefing from NPHET nothing has changed as regards advice from the HSE, nor has there been any change to the Government Public Health Measures in place in respect of hosting of outdoor events, from the position that pertained on the 4th August  2021," it said.

The council also clarified the situation on the possibility that a fresh licence application could be considered.  

"The Planning Authority, Laois County Council, further notes that even if a new application for an event licence is made, the statutory timelines do not allow for the  processing of a new application to facilitate the event on the dates as intended in the application previously submitted," it said.


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