REVEALED: Longford councillors had been due to meet at Tullamore hotel embroiled in Covid-19 outbreak

Liam Cosgrove


Liam Cosgrove


REVEALED: Longford councillors had been due to meet at Tullamore hotel embroiled in Covid-19 outbreak

A HSE led committee of which three Longford county councillors are members of, had a lucky escape after it emerged the trio had been due to attend a meeting at a four star hotel in Offaly which has closed its doors temporarily after an outbreak of Covid-19.

Cllrs Paraic Brady, PJ Reilly and Paul Ross had been scheduled to attend a meeting of the Dublin-Mid Leinster HSE Forum on Tuesday at Tullamore's Bridge House Hotel.

It emerged last night the hotel had been forced to temporarily close after around half of the people from a group of 40 tested positive for the virus.

The group had stayed at the premises from Sunday to Thursday of last week, five days before the HSE meeting was pencilled in to take place and 48 hours after the alarm was raised concerning an outbreak at the hotel.

"There are councillors on the forum from Longford, Westmeath, Laois, Offaly, Kildare, Westmeath and south Dublin," said Cllr Ross.

"It's a huge area and cross party so it was a huge relief that a decision was taken to hold a zoom meeting instead otherwise there could have been much graver implications as to the virus' spread."

The Longford County Council cathaoirleach revealed how the forum, which meets bi-monthly, held two previous meetings at the Bridge House Hotel earlier this year.

Cllr Ross said both he and his fellow elected representatives on the committee were this afternoon counting themselves extremely fortunate at the decision to hold a meeting remotely.

"We did have an AGM in July and there was pressure to get that done which we did," he said.

"The HSE had been actively seeking a venue that would meet social distancing standards because our meetings would normally see up to 50 people attend.

"It was a great call in the end to have a zoom meeting at the end of last week especially what with what has emerged since.

"It just goes to show you even with the strictest of precautions you just don't know how or where it (virus) will spread next," he said.