‘Celtic Hall’ in Albany loses liquor license for COVID violations, Gov. says

Albany County

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In a statement, the Office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that an Albany establishment is one of 21 businesses statewide to lose its license in the latest round of COVID shutdowns.

Celtic Hall on New Karner Road in Albany was officially cited on Sunday, according to the governor’s statement. On the previous Sunday, October 11, Colonie police responded to noise complaints at the club. They allegedly found over 200 people packed inside, ignoring social distancing—standing, drinking, and mingling, with several smoking marijuana.

Per the governor’s statement, police had previously dispersed a crowd and temporarily closed the club on September 20. At the time, they reportedly found more than 100 patrons at the Celtic Hall standing, dancing, and ignoring social distancing, with neither staff nor patrons wearing masks.

“Rules are only as good as enforcement, and as we have ramped up checks on bars and restaurants, compliance has increased, creating a safer environment for everyone. A small number of business owners still don’t think the rules apply to them,” Cuomo said. “These suspensions should serve as a reminder that we will take action against those who callously put New Yorkers in harm’s way.

Celtic Hall sent the following statement to NEWS10:

Dear friends,

You may have seen a news item about the Hall this afternoon stating that two events — one in September and one in October — which were sponsored by outside parties who rented the Hall violated state pandemic-related regulations.

The Board of Directors wants you to know that this is true, that we are embarrassed by this, and that the Hall is working closely with the state to clear up the issues.

As we work through this, the Hall is open for member groups use as usual.

As Celtic Hall staff and the Board of Directors walk through steps to reconfirm our commitment to promoting the best Celtic events and programs, and regain the trust of our members and the state, the Board wants you to know the following:

* As of October 19, Celtic Hall will no longer be rented to outside groups for events. These problems confirm that we don’t have staff in place to properly manage outside groups’ use of the Hall.

* We will ensure that staff, including the Executive Director, understand the relevant state regulations with regard to COVID. We also will ensure that any future use of the Hall by an internal group (the dance schools, pipe bands, language schools and other organizations) will strictly adhere to state and local COVID regulations.

* We will review all relevant internal policies, including operational policies, to ensure that the Hall stays a safe place to practice and gather for our members.

We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause our members.

If you have any more questions, please email celtichallevents@gmail.com.

Celtic Hall Board of Directors
October 23, 2020

Cuomo said that liquor licenses were suspended for egregious violations of coronavirus safety regulations. The Governor’s Office says 238 businesses have seen their liquor licenses suspended during the public health emergency. Fines for violations run up to $10,000.

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