The Department of Defence has said it has settled a regulatory issue, which could have resulted in some festivals being cancelled this summer.

The problem around the licencing of first aid workers had threatened to shut down events.

The Civil Defence, which provides essential medical support, requires a licence from regulatory body, the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC), to operate at festivals.

The licence was due for renewal at the end of July and the department had to provide assurances in order for it to go ahead.

However, the department received a legal warning about the lack of information surrounding members in the Civil Defence, including their level of training and qualifications.

While the department provides funding for training and grants for Civil Defence members, local authorities are in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations.

The legal advice said the department was taking on liabilities associated with the Civil Defence, without having full visibility as to what the organisation was doing.

Following consultation with the PHECC, the department said it was satisfied it has the necessary guarantees from local authorities.

The department confirmed that an application has now been submitted with PHECC to renew the licence following engagement with local authorities.

Colm Croffy, executive director of the Association of Irish Festivals and Events, welcomed the breakthrough. 

He said: "Now that the department has come to an agreement about the licence I think this is a good move forward for the Civil Defence nationwide.

"They are a huge support to local communities and they provide an important service when it comes to the safe running of festivals for our audiences and artists."

Minister with Responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe said: "I am very conscious that Civil Defence volunteers have been anxious about this issue and I would like to thank them for their patience.

"I wish to assure them that with the licence issue is now resolved, the organisation can continue to deliver the professional level of emergency medical service that it is renowned for."