Hotel guest’s shock at seeing ‘up to 400 people’ at concert in Gleneagle Hotel in Kerry
The woman claims the revellers were eating, drinking and singing along at the Gleneagle in Killarney
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A hotel guest told of her shock after seeing up to 400 people at an indoor concert at the weekend.
Three women were returning from dinner on Saturday night when they heard commotion and loud singing coming from the ballroom, one of the biggest in the country.
One told the Irish Mirror that the showband Gina And The Champions were on stage in front of a noisy and singing crowd. She said: “We were just appalled, I stopped and said to myself ‘Is this really happening?’
“I was so shocked that I looked up the guidelines for indoor gatherings when I got inside. There were definitely 400 people if not more in the room.
“I was fearful for my elderly mother and for those who were at the concert, it was packed and the audience was mostly elderly people who should be reducing their contacts.
“We left quickly. I decided it wasn’t a safe place to me. I was extremely concerned.”
When contacted, the Gleneagle Hotel did not confirm the numbers at the show but stated it has followed Failte Ireland Covid-19 guidelines.
The restrictions under level two of the Living with Covid plan for hotel bars say: “Up to 100 patrons permitted in larger venues with strict two-metre physical distancing.”
However, the framework – which was released four days prior to the concert – also states under hotel bars: “Maximum numbers within the premises linked to the capacity of the premises taking appropriate physical distancing into account.”
There appears to be confusion in the roadmap between the two sets of advice with one capping numbers at 100 and the other suggesting larger venues can have crowds linked to their size.
The INEC arena in the Gleneagle would be one of the biggest ballrooms in the country.
Many couples have cancelled hotel weddings when numbers were capped at just 50.
A spokesman for the Department of Tourism and Arts told the Irish Mirror last night that – although it would not comment on a specific case – hotels “cannot currently have more than 100 people indoors at a concert.”
The source said until specific guidance for very large purpose-built event facilities is developed, agreed and shared with relevant sectors, the existing published limits of 100 patrons should apply.
The Gleneagle hotel said it has a number of measures in place to protect the safety of guests and staff including “low key, low volume” entertaining acts for residents only.
It added dancing is not allowed and details are taken for contact tracing upon entry to the hotel and to the INEC.
The Irish Mirror understands only hotel residents could attend the concert for free. The band are due to play at the venue again next Wednesday.
Thousands of people in the entertainment industry have been out of work since March as gigs all over the country were cancelled. 138212091369