More than 100 guests attend wedding party despite court ordering marquee be dismantled
Gardaí had been drafted to Longford after court ordered marquee be dismantled
Several units of uniformed gardaí were drafted in to maintain a ‘watching brief’ at the site of the marquee, in a bid to prevent any unrest from taking place.
More than 100 guests attended a post-wedding celebration in a marquee in Co Longford on Wednesday night despite an earlier court order for the structure to be dismantled.
The local authority secured a Circuit Court order in Sligo on Wednesday morning for the structure’s removal, following its emergence less than 24 hours earlier.
Several units of uniformed gardaí were drafted in to maintain a “watching brief” at the site on Wednesday afternoon in a bid to prevent any unrest.
It is understood the marquee remained in place however and the wedding party returned to the venue later on in the evening.
A number of the wedding party guests had earlier attended a ceremony at St Mel’s Cathedral ahead of the after-party.
Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Cllr Paul Ross, criticised the decision to construct the large-scale marquee, insisting local authority officials had been left with little choice but to seek an emergency court order.
“It came to the council’s attention yesterday [Tuesday] that a marquee had been put in place to host an after-wedding party in Longford town,” he said.
“Obviously with the current pandemic and public health guidelines on gatherings, the council could and would not sit idly by and allow this to happen in Longford town.”
Cllr Ross said the development was one which had threatened to undo the recent progress both the council and various State agencies had made in attempting to keep a lid on Covid-19 case numbers.
“Our vaccination centre is open, something which we fought hard to get, and to see a large public gathering in the midst of all of this really is a kick in the teeth to all of the ordinary, law-abiding citizens of this county,” he said.
“As Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council it is something I and my colleagues could not stand for.”
Supt Jim Delaney confirmed gardaí were providing assistance to the council following the granting of the court order.
He also revealed attempts by officers to engage with both the wedding organisers and the owner of the marquee had failed.
“We liaised with both families and the marquee owner and served them with written copies of the current State Covid-19 public health guidelines, but both chose not to engage with us.”
The Longford Garda chief said despite rebuttal, files on any suspected breaches of those regulations will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine what, if any, charges can brought.