Hundreds of clubbers are at the Button Factory in Dublin this evening for the pilot night club event, with most saying they had not been at a night club for over a year and a half.

The event involved a 60% capacity crowd, vaccine certificates and antigen testing.

Full contact details of those who attended tonight's nightclub pilot event was required for contact tracing. Attendees will be contacted in the coming days to see if any infection occurred as a result of the event.

Ahead of the event, Minister for Arts Catherine Martin said no clear decision has been made as to whether antigen testing will be used when nightclubs reopen after 22 October.

Minister Martin said a number of issues were being tested at tonight's event, including ventilation, people not social distancing and not wearing masks.

In relation to antigen testing, she said that is something the industry said it may need and she said no clear decision has been made.

The minister said the expert group on antigen testing is due to report back in the coming days and these are the sort of issues it was asked to examine.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, DJ and spokesperson for the Give Us The Night campaign Sunil Sharpe said they are glad to get back to clubbing and it is the "beginning of a way of life returning".

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Button Factory promoter Will Rolfe said the event would be "a taste of normality" with no rule of social distancing inside the venue.

'Any indoor environment carries risk'

Virologist Gerald Barry said that there is a need to "try create as safe an environment as possible" ahead of the reopening of a nightclub tonight for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, the Assistant Professor of Virology at UCD said: "There's clearly a risk, but to be honest any indoor environment has a risk associated with it when we have such a high prevalence of the virus like we do at the moment.

"In terms of nightclubs, if we imagine what a nightclub was like two years ago prior to the pandemic, that kind of environment is like a perfect breeding ground for this virus."

Dr Barry said that getting the vaccine remains "first and foremost" the best line of defence.

"If you're being particularly conscious about this you should probably antigen test yourself. If you have any concern about any kind of symptom, don't go, and get a PCR test," he said.