News & Media

Labour Calls for Irish Public Bodies Insurance to Extend its Remit

15 November 2019

Statement by Jan O'Sullivan TD
Spokesperson on Housing & Local Government, Enterprise & Innovation

Labour spokesperson on Housing and Local Government and Enterprise and Innovation, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has called for local authorities and ETBs to use their ownership of the Irish Public Bodies (IPB) Insurance mutual to extend cover to community events and festivals.

It follows the cancellation of a number of local events around the country over the summer due to the high cost of public liability insurance, with concerns that organisers will face similar issues in the run up to Christmas.

Deputy O'Sullivan said:

“Christmas markets and festive entertainment may be harder to find this year as the high cost of public liability insurance has put many of these events in doubt. Fine Gael have failed to act quickly enough to stem the costs of insurance, which means seasonal jobs and important opportunities for artists and craftspeople will be lost over this Christmas season, not to mention the loss for communities.

“Irish local authorities and other public bodies own a mutual insurance company, Irish Public Bodies Insurance. Labour Councillors around the county will be calling for local authorities to use their ownership of this insurance mutual to extend affordable insurance to community festivals and events.

“A wide range of events that have been cancelled in recent months due to insurance. To name just a few of the cases that have been publicised, they include a cycling race and youth training camp in Cork, community meetings in Skerries, and a community play park in County Carlow.

"Members of the network of street artists and performers (ISACS) face insurance premiums up to 400% on last year, and Triathlon Ireland’s insurance costs have almost doubled to over €100,000 a year. These are just some of the cases that have been reported in recent months. Many other cases go unnoticed.

“The health and vibrancy of our communities require people to be able to organise events without being put off by exorbitant insurance costs. Labour’s proposal is for the state-owned IPB Insurance to fill the gap by providing affordable insurance to community groups until the insurance market is reformed.”