Laois County Council has refused to grant a licence to hold the Electric Picnic music festival this year.

The event had been due to take place from 24 to 26 September at Stradbally Hall Estate.

In a statement, the local authority said the decision was made "following the most up-to-date public health advice made available to the council from the Health Service Executive."

The council added that "under current Government measures for the management of Covid-19 events of this nature are restricted to an attendance of 500 people only."

The Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council has said the decision was taken "on the basis of public health advice from HSE that was unambiguous."

"This was a very difficult decision for Council to make and I'm sure it will be disappointing to thousands of music fans and the live music industry - however; in the current climate it's the lack of certainty over Covid," Cllr Conor Bergin said.

"We'd all love to see it go ahead but with no certainty, it's very hard," the Fine Gael councillor added.

Yesterday two members of Laois County Council had said they do not want the event to go ahead this year.

Fianna Fáil's Paschal McEvoy described the proposed hosting of the festival as "madness".

"It is too many, too soon," the Stradbally resident said, adding there was "an awful lot of uncertainty around Covid".

Earlier this week, the Managing Director of Festival Republic, which runs the Electric Picnic, had expressed confidence that event would go ahead this year.

Melvin Benn had said he is "100% fully expecting the Electric Picnic to be going ahead on the basis (that) 100% nobody has told me I won't be able to".

Fine Gael TD for Laois-Offaly, Charlie Flanagan said on Twitter: "Good decision on Electric Picnic, having considered all aspects involved and in particular matters of public health.

"Local people in Laois unhappy with lack of consultation and some of the statements of organising group."

Last week MCD Productions and Festival Republic had written to Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Minister for the Arts Catherine Martin and other members of Government with proposals of how events, including Electric Picnic, could go ahead later this year.

The letter proposed that Electric Picnic would go ahead in September with enhanced safety protocols.