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Fatal Highland Games without a permit, municipality wants external investigation

The Highland Games in Geldrop, where an accidental passer-by was killed last Sunday, were held without a permit being issued.

An application has never been submitted to the municipality of Geldrop-Mierlo. The Stichting Landgoed Kasteel Geldrop, where the festival was held, also does not have a permanent event permit. This was claimed by the municipality on Sunday after the incident. Chairman Jos van Lange of the Stichting Landgoed Kasteel Geldrop informs Omroep Brabant.

got hit by accident
During the matches, 65-year-old Jan from Geldrop was hit by a heavy metal ball that was thrown incorrectly. The object then accidentally ended up over the hedge into an adjacent flower garden where the victim was just walking.

After the dramatic accident, a spokesperson for the municipality stated that the organizing Highland Games Federation had not asked for permission for the festival. It was assumed that the permanent event permit that the ‘Landgoed Kasteel Geldrop’ would have would be sufficient.

Van Lange says that the organizing ‘Federation’ has collaborated with the Village Marketing Geldrop-Mierlo Foundation during the preparations. At the request of this foundation, ‘Landgoed Kasteel Geldrop’ has made the event meadow on the estate available. Van Lange is clear about whether or not permits have been issued or existing: “The municipality has not issued a permit and my foundation does not have a permanent event permit.”

No request for closure
The Geldrop Estate Foundation was never asked to close the Bloemenhof, where the man was fatally injured, last Sunday. Van Lange: “If we had been asked to do this, this should also have applied to the adjacent Zintuigentuin and Children’s Farm. We almost never close such a large part of the estate.”

The spokesperson for the municipality informed on Tuesday evening that no permit has been requested and that there is indeed no permanent event permit for the estate around the castle. She also reports that the municipality was only aware of the Highland Games through informal means (an announcement in the newspaper). An investigation must show whether the municipality itself has failed to act.

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Research external company
“Where the story of the permanent permit comes from is also a mystery to us. This week we’re going to commission an independent third-party company to analyze the entire process. Of course we, but also the police, hope that there will be clarity as soon as possible. How fast, I can’t say anything about that. A police investigation has been underway since Sunday,” the spokesperson said.

She also reports that contact has been made with the relatives of the 65-year-old man who died fatally. “We offered our condolences and our help.”

In the flower garden, a bench with a few bunches of flowers and a notepad on which people can write a message in memory of Jan, reminds of the bizarre accident.

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