Laois County Council will not reconsider its Electric Picnic licence refusal 2 months ago

Laois County Council will not reconsider its Electric Picnic licence refusal

MCD had said it wanted an answer from the council by “close of business today”.

Update: 3.20pm, 25 August.

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Laois County Council has said it will not reconsider its refusal earlier in the month to grant Electric Picnic a licence to take place in September.

A statement from the council issued on Wednesday afternoon reads: "There is no provision in law which enables Laois County Council to revisit that refusal or reconsider that application.

"Notwithstanding the comments emanating from yesterday’s 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 4 August 2021.

"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."

--end of update--

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Concert promotion company MCD has reapplied to Laois County Council for a licence to hold Electric Picnic next month.

MCD's Caroline Downey announced the news on RTÉ's News at One following comments made by Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan during a NPHET briefing on Tuesday.

The CMO was asked if there would be any justification from a public health perspective as to why an outdoor concert event, such as Electric Picnic, could not proceed if there was only vaccinated people in attendance.

"We wouldn't have a concern from a public health point-of-view to express about an event that happened that was confined to vaccinated people," Holohan said.

"We are in a slightly different position when we would have considered some of these things earlier in the year, in that the level of disease that we have in the population - we now have vaccinated people with the disease who are symptomatic and are capable of transmitting this disease to other people.

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"But the risks of a vaccinated person transmitting the disease and it being picked up by another vaccinated person, although they exist, they're very very small.

"So we wouldn't have a major concern to express in public health terms about that, if that can be achieved."

Earlier in the month, Laois County Council refused a licence for the festival citing public health advice, but the CMO's comments have led to calls for the decision to be reversed immediately.

Downey called Holohan's comments "a very lovely surprise" and said she was "shocked" by them.

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"We had been under the impression that NPHET... have been anti-Electric Picnic," she told the show.

"We have reapplied and have asked for an answer by the close of business today."

Downey said that if the festival goes ahead, MCD would need to start preparations "as soon as possible and work morning, noon and night to get it up and done and prepared".

Asked how soon MCD would need a green light so that the event could take place, she replied: "I would say by this afternoon, by this evening. Evening or tomorrow... It's a big undertaking building a village."

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Downey said that if Electric Picnic proceeds people won't be able to work at or attend the festival if they are not fully vaccinated.

The festival had been scheduled to take place on 24-26 September.