Defence Minister intervenes in first-aid issue to avoid cancellation of up to 200 summer festivals
A deal has been hammered out that is likely to mean a reprieve for hundreds of festivals that were faced with having to cancel this summer.
A regulatory issue around the licensing of first aiders was threatening to force the shut-down of the events.
Defence Minister Paul Kehoe has now sought an extension from regulators over new licensing arrangements for Civil Defence personnel.
Festivals rely on Civil Defence members to provide first-aid in the event of an accident.
Health regulators are currently reviewing certification of Civil Defence members as first-aiders.
The regulator, the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC), had set a deadline of July 31 for certain Civil Defence emergency medical services to renew their licences.
Civil Defence has been slow submitting its application for a licence renewal.
Executive director of the Association of Irish Festivals and Events Colm Croffy raised fears that as many as 200 festivals may have been forced to cancel this summer and autumn.
But now it has emerged that the Department of Defence is due to formally seek an extension from PHECC which would push the deadline that currently applies to the licensing procedures beyond July 31.
This will allow festivals that rely on Civil Defence members to provide first aid, usually a condition of their insurance cover, to go ahead.