Gardaí to share locations of student house parties with NUI Galway authorities
Large gatherings of students in city centre and at parties condemned as ‘insanity’
Gardaí were called to a site close to the river Corrib at the Engineering Building on the NUI Galway campus
The Garda has agreed to supply college authorities at NUI Galway with the addresses of house parties they break up in an effort to curtail large gatherings.
The move comes following a number of events across Galway city held as the new college term got under way on Monday night.
City mayor Mike Cubbard said an enhanced degree of communication between gardaí and the college was one step agreed at a meeting held in the wake of the gatherings around the city.
He said Galway City Council would also step up warden patrols and extend the hours of operation.
“The gardaí have agreed to work with the college and give them addresses of houses where they have been called because of parties, and then the college will make contact with landlords,” Mr Cubbard said.
He said it was “not about being a killjoy but when you have 45 people coming out of a party in a two-bedroom apartment at 1.30am as we saw last night, then clearly it is a big problem and something which could easily see us heading back into lockdown”.
The large gatherings of students in the city centre and at multiple house parties were condemned as “insanity” by local representatives.
As many as 1,000 mostly young people gathered close to the Spanish Arch on Monday night as the university term started. Large groups also congregated on Shop Street and at other locations around the city.
Gardaí were also called to a site close to the river Corrib at the Engineering Building on the NUI Galway campus and to at least a dozen house parties in accommodation believed to be rented by students.
NUI Galway described the events as “deplorable” and said it had “repeatedly appealed to the better judgment of our students and reminded them of their responsibilities”.
In a statement the college authorities said it would not “hesitate in dealing with any breaches of public health guidelines in line with our Student Code of Conduct (which has penalties up to and including expulsion)”.
Independent city councillor Colette Connolly said the events were “an insanity”. She pointed out that many older people living in the area were “scared and sick and tired of this. Either we have by-laws that prohibit public drinking or we don’t.”
Galway Senator Ollie Crowe called for the Army to assist gardaí, saying it would be impossible for them to immediately roster members of the force when incidents such as the riverside gathering happened. “No doubt they would be willing to help restore order,” he said on Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio One.
President of NUIG students' union Pádraic Toomey also condemned scenes and said only a “small minority” of the student body in Galway had been involved.
“We have 30,000 students in the college and most of those people are following public health guidelines,” he said.