Residents near UCC urge Gardaí to crack down on “student parties” amid tension

Frustrated residents living near University College Cork (UCC) continue to speak out against what they claim are parties being held in violation of Covid-19 restrictions, following a confrontation with students renting in the area.

Homeowners from the Magazine Road and Glasheen Road area, popular locations for student renters, have complained to Gardaí numerous times about anti-social behaviour from young renters as well as late-night house parties which residents claim attract up to 60 people.

A spokesperson for An Garda Siochana confirmed that parties and noise complaints were reported in the area and Gardaí had recently responded to 10 incidents in 10 days, although no arrests were made.

The tension between renters and locals escalated on Wednesday June 3 when two men were videoed shouting profanity at tenants in a rented house, throwing around glass bottles that were sitting outside the house, and threatening to throw a brick through the window if their “behaviour” continued.

The men can be heard saying “next time we’re up here we’ll be with the hurling team” and cursing at the tenants before leaving.

A Garda investigation is underway and the tenants told The Echo newspaper that they believe they were targeted due to their age, with the men wrongly assuming that they were students, and are in fact working in the city having never arranged a party at the premises.

Catherine Clancy, Chairperson of the Magazine Road and Surrounding Areas Residents Association, expressed sympathy with the young women living in the house and said she was horrified by the video.

Clancy, a former Lord Mayor of Cork, has also voiced concern over the potential spread of Covid-19 in an area with a large amount of elderly residents; “we have seen yet again more lockdown Covid-19 house parties in the area and enough is enough. We have brought this as far as we, as a community, can and it’s now up to the relevant bodies to deal with this.”

On May 31st residents held a socially distant protest on Magazine Road against what they’ve called “Magaluf and J1 style house parties,” and have since urged the HSE and An Garda Síochana to enforce the 1947 Health Act to combat breaches of Covid-19 restrictions.

The act gives HSE officials, aided by Gardaí if necessary, the power to enter and investigate houses where it is believed there is a breach of health regulations, which could result in fines or jail time for wrongdoers.

The Presidents of UCC and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) as well as Presidents of both Student Unions issued an open letter on Saturday, which called for an end to anti-social behaviour in the area while acknowledging that many of the incidents taking place didn’t involve UCC or CIT students.

However, the joint letter also stated that “while term has finished, students acting irresponsibly are reminded that they are still subject to disciplinary procedures.”

Jamie Mc Carron

Image Credit: Winniw Liu