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fines issued Gardaí break up street party in Limerick housing estate as flares set off and videos show dozens partying

Videos also show large groups running from Garda cars who attended the scene to break up the crowds.


Gardaí made three arrests after dozens of people gathered in College Court in the Castletroy area of Limerick City to party and set off fireworks this evening.

Videos online show flares and fireworks being set off amongst large groups of people who gathered to drink this evening in the estate predominantly occupied by UL students.

Other videos also show large groups running from Garda cars who attended the scene to break up the crowds.

The videos show people singing and chanting with music being played on speakers in the background.

Limerick currently has the fourth-highest incidence of Covid-19 in the country and Public Health MidWest have recently issued concerns about the spread of coronavirus in housing estates in the city.

A recent outbreak of the virus in the UL community saw “more than 200 cases” since early January, with “the majority of cases recorded in the past two to three weeks,” a Public Health Midwest spokesperson said last week.

Mass testing on campus was initiated following this outbreak.

Authorities in the University of Limerick are set to meet early on Wednesday to see if there are grounds to expel some of those involved in the street party.

In a statement on Twitter, they said they “will take action with strong disciplinary measures against any student who has been found to have breached public health guidelines.”

It is understood gardaí made a small number of arrests in the estate which is mainly populated by students.

Around 30 fines were also issued for breaches of Covid 19 regulations.

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris told the Irish Independent that the scenes were “completely unacceptable” and “a slap in the face to everyone sacrificing so much”.

“It does a real disservice to all students who abide by the rules day in and out,” he said.

Mr Harris added that he expects separate investigations to be carried out by An Garda Siochana and UL.

“Any student in breach of restrictions and regulations must and will face serious consequences,” he said.

Local Green Party Councillor Seán Hartigan was at the scene earlier and said there were numerous Garda cars in College Court and said a number of vehicles were being towed.

Cllr Hartigan said the “party started at 2pm” as he saw large groups of students carrying crates of beer from the local off-license.

Mr Hartigan said a staff member reported that the off-license had sold a lot of alcohol earlier today.

Mr Hartigan said he had planned to raise the issues of partying and social gatherings among students in the area at a Joint Policing Committee tomorrow as the area has a “serious issue with students partying”.

“There were a lot of parties going on and people drinking outside houses earlier today. I could see it taking off. There is a serious issue with students in the Castletroy area. Most of them have no business being there, they’re not in college. They’re travelling up and down the country every weekend.

“There is a huge incidence of Covid in there [College Court],” Mr Hartigan said.

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