Council fail to stop Limerick Scare Factory operation

Anne O’Donoghue

Reporter:

Anne O’Donoghue

The operator of the Scare Factory defied a council notice to shut down in a disagreement over insurance
THE operator of the Scare Factory that defied a Limerick City and County Council order to shut down has finished out the agreed term in the premises.

THE operator of the Scare Factory that defied a Limerick City and County Council order to shut down has finished out the agreed term in the premises.

The popular Halloween experience had an agreement with the local authority that it could operate in the council-owned Old Town Hall, Rutland Street until Sunday night.

However, last week the council asked the short-term business to cease operations after its insurance company declared itself “unsatisfied” with the building during a routine inspection.

The council’s insurer, Irish Public Bodies Insurance, had accordingly withdrawn public liability cover.

But Scare Factory operator, Dave Ryan, said he was fully covered under his own insurance policy.

“The council have their own issues with their own insurance companies and they asked me to close down because of this. I am fully insured on my own side and there are no issues no my side,” said Mr Ryan.

The council cut power to the Old Town Hall after notifying the company to stop operating immediately. Consequently, the Scare Factory was run on generators and continued operating until the originally agreed date.

A spokesperson for council said they permitted the operator of the Scare Factory to hold the Halloween event on a no-fee basis and a fire safety management strategy was agreed between the operator and the local authority as part of the agreement.

“The council’s insurers formed an opinion, following a routine inspection of the property, that the building was unsuitable for this type of event,” said the spokesperson.

“As a consequence, the council notified the operator to cease operations with immediate effect.”

Thirty actors were employed by the Scare Factory, which operated in a walk through haunted house fashion. It proved hugely popular with the public with wait times of up to three hours for those who had not pre-ordered tickets, according to some social media sites.