More than 80 people attended a rave at an undisclosed location in the Leinster area on Saturday, with video footage from the event showing large numbers of people dancing together in breach of public health restrictions.
The event was organised on social media via a private Instagram account, which advertised 200 tickets for a rave in a “mansion” on Saturday near Dublin.
The group behind the event claim to have organised a number of similar raves held during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.
Videos posted by the group’s Instagram account on Saturday, seen by The Irish Times, show large numbers of people in a building dancing, with no social distancing.
Tickets for the event cost €30, with people permitted to buy several tickets each. The event was advertised via two private Instagram and Snapchat social media accounts. People could only view the posts, or message the accounts, after requesting to follow the account and being approved.
People who asked to buy tickets were sent an online link by the social media accounts, and after providing proof of purchase were added into a WhatsApp group chat.
The organisers informed people an initial pick-up location would be provided, and from there attendees would be transported via coach to the location of the event, which would not be disclosed beforehand.
Last Thursday the organisers began a process of vetting those in the WhatsApp group. People who were approved following the vetting were added into a second group chat, where the pick-up location for the event was disclosed.
The rave was advertised as starting at 9pm and finishing at 6am the next morning. Videos from the event show large numbers gathered and dancing in a number of rooms in a building, with a DJ playing techno and dance music.
There was no social distancing between those present, or any evidence of attendees wearing face masks.
While the organisers stated they were selling 200 tickets, it is unclear how many people attended the event. Eighty people were added into one WhatsApp group after purchasing tickets, but people were permitted to buy several tickets each.
Under Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions no organised indoor gatherings are permitted. It is an offence to organise gatherings in contravention of public health guidelines, with fines ranging from €500 up to €2,500, or six months in prison.
While the rave in the Leinster area was advertised as the group’s first in Ireland, the organisers claimed they plan to hold further events in different counties “each week”.
In a post to those approved to follow their social media account last week, the group said “like any other event we will have security searching people on entry for knives and so on”.
The group said it was limiting its indoor parties to 200 attendees “so they don’t get out of hand”.
A UK phone number used to set up the WhatsApp group chat organising the event could not be contacted on Monday.
When questioned over whether the Garda were aware of the event, a spokesman for An Garda Síochána said it had a policy of not commenting on content published online on third-party sites.