Gardaí in Longford say they will continue their investigations after the staging of a wedding celebration of up to 200 people in a marquee on county council property in the town this evening.

It is understood that gardaí spoke to the organisers of the event yesterday and made them aware of the Covid-19 restrictions with regard to staging an event of this nature.

This morning, Longford County Council sought and received an emergency court order to prevent the event going ahead.

However, following the wedding ceremony at St Mel's Cathedral in the town this afternoon, a group of 100 people arrived at the location and entered the marquee.

Gardaí say they were at the scene to support the local authority in serving the court order.

However, when the County Council and its agents left the area, the gardaí also withdrew, and it is understood that up to 200 people were attending the event.

Gardaí say they will carry out interviews with witnesses and prepare a file for the DPP.

Gardaí on duty close to the marquee site

Chairman of Longford County Council Cllr Paul Ross hit out at the decision to construct the large-scale marquee, insisting local authority officials had been left with little choice but to seek an emergency court order.

"Obviously with the current pandemic and public health guidelines on gatherings, the council could and would not sit idly by and allow this to happen in Longford town."

Cllr Ross said the development was one which had threatened to undo the recent progress in attempting to keep pressure on Covid-19 case numbers.

"Our vaccination centre is open, something which we fought hard to get and to see a large public gathering in the midst of all of this really is a kick in the teeth to all of the ordinary, law abiding citizens of this county," he said.

A Circuit Court order was obtained this morning for the marquee's removal

Garda Superintendent Jim Delaney said attempts by officers to engage with both the wedding organisers and the owner of the marquee had failed.

"We liaised with both families and the marquee owner and served them with written copies of the current State Covid-19 public health guidelines but both chose not to engage with us."