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‘It is a time to celebrate and we have nothing to fear’ says Professor Luke O’Neill ahead of Electric Picnic return

Luke O'Neill
Roisin O, Luke O’Neill and Simon O’Neill - Photo Alf Harvey

Professor Luke O’Neill says that Electric Picnic goers have nothing to fear Covid-19 wise as the festival returns this weekend.

70,000 people are expected to descend on Stradbally for the hugely popular weekend event.

The event was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the professor, who rose to prominence thanks to his easy to understand analysis of the health crisis, says the festival does not cause him concern.

We caught up the immunologist who was serving up drinks behind the bar at the new and improved Freetown area on the press day on Tuesday

Professor O’Neill said: “It’s brilliant, you know, to be back out and enjoying ourselves and it’s important.

“And the great news is there is a wall of immunity built in our community so there is no need to be frightened. It is a great time to celebrate, really.

“And I can’t wait to get out. I was saying they should have run EP last year, and it is so important for mental health isn’t it and young people especially were locked up for so long and I said have it last year and they didn’t.

“But now we are back and it is tremendous. It is almost like a human right I think for people to gather and have a good time.

“And with music and a bit of science thrown in.”

Professor O’Neill will actually be performing at Electric Picnic too as part of his band.

The Metabollix are playing in Mindfield on the Leviathan Stage at 6.30pm on Friday and Saturday and 7pm on Sunday.

The consists of nine members and Professor O’Neill sings and plays the guitar.

He said: “There’s nine of us in the band. Three doctors, two scientists, two singing so we’re all here to have a bit of fun. It’s our hobby.”

SEE ALSO – Thomas Cosby: ‘It’s a working weekend for us and we have to look after our guests’

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.