The organiser of a party to celebrate Liverpool collecting the Premier League trophy which went viral after a clip emerged on social media of singing and dancing fans failing to adhere to social distancing requirements, has claimed, ‘I wouldn’t do it again.’
John Muldoon, from Kells , runs the local branch of the Liverpool supporters club and he told Meath Live, ‘It’s not something I would do again, what do you think, do you really think I would.
‘We organised the event in the Headfort Arms hotel and used three areas, the Keltic Bar, the Courtyard and the smoking area.
‘We invited 48 people, I have the list here in my hand, and we cannot be held responsible for anyone else that turned up.
‘The hotel staff went above and beyond the call of duty to make the thing work by the rules, the video clip is of the last five minutes just after the trophy was presented and it got a bit out of hand at that stage, for around five minutes it went stupid.
‘The management of the hotel was preaching to us all night about social distancing, they took a contact list when people arrived and even took our temperatures as we went in.
‘Look I should be walking around today with a happy head on me but instead I am walking around depressed, it was as I said five minutes of stupidity but unfortunately, everyone has access to cameras on their phone these days.’
This is the second time the Kells hotel has been mired in Covid 19 controversy.
Last month, Vincent and Olivia Duff who run the Headfort Arms claimed they were unaware of a 21st birthday party being held there during the lock down period when the premises was supposed to be closed.
That party was raided by Gardai and a decision on whether prosecutions will be brought against anyone has still to be reached.
It is clear from viewing the online clip, of last nights gathering, that, despite claims to the contrary from management, the numbers may well have exceeded the fifty permitted, a quick count on the footage appears to indicate that.
Sources have also disputed a management claim that the premises was cleared immediately punters had seen the trophy lifted.
One, who was in attendance on the night, told Meath Live, ‘Guards arrived in to clear the place around 12.30.’
It is understood that only finger food was served although management dispute this and say a full meal was provided to comply with the law in relation to food to a value of €9 being required to be served.
A department of health spokesperson stated, ‘ The social distancing advice as given by the HSE is just that, advice and best practice, but the food situation is covered in law.
‘The sale or supply of alcohol for consumption on a premises is only allowed along with the service of a substantial meal, such as might be expected to be served as a main midday or main evening meal or as a main course at either such meal.’
A source claimed, ‘There was a €10 cover charge and when I asked what that was about, as it is a public bar, I was told it was to cover the cost of finger food.’
One angry local told Meath Live, ‘What happened last month upset a lot of people, I mean there are loads in Kells would love to have been able to go out for a pint back then but couldn’t because they were playing by the rules,in the best interest of everyone.
‘Now this happens it is almost as if those in charge feel they are above the law, it is certainly causing a huge degree of resentment in the town.’
A statement from the bars management said, ‘Kells Liverpool supporters club booked the Kelltic and Courtyard venue to watch the league final match and see Liverpool lift the Premier Trophy as a private sit down dining event.
‘As set down by current regulations of a maximum of 50 persons allowed at an indoor gathering, the private event was hosted for 48 attendees.
‘A contact tracing list of all attendees was supplied to the venue and a physical temperature check was conducted on all in attendance on arrival and recorded.
‘A main meal was served during the match to everyone in the venue and tables were set out socially distant with screens and outdoor space also available for use, attendees were requested to use the entire venue.
‘All staff have taken part in comprehensive health and safety training and have completed Fáilte Ireland’s Infection Prevention Control for Tourism Course.
“Those in attendance were fully briefed on arrival by management on regulations and were asked to respect social distancing at all times.
‘Whilst the venue made every effort to ensure that all regulatory measures were in place, it is also incumbent on those attending a private club event to respect and abide by those regulations.
‘The venue was cleared directly after the lift of the trophy.’