Residents near University College Cork (UCC) who experienced a summer of “Covid house parties” have expressed disgust after the fire brigade was called to a rental in the area where instead of a blaze they found a large party complete with a smoke machine.
Firemen reportedly had to force their way in to the rented property on Connacht Avenue near UCC shortly after midnight on Sunday.
Gardaí in the area had spotted smoke coming from a house. Windows at the house had been blocked out with plastic bags and a large tarpaulin was covering the back of the property.
A smoke machine was in use which was emitting plumes of smoke which had been mistaken for the first signs of a fire. A large group of people had gathered for the party.
It is understood the property is being rented out to adults and was not occupied by students.
Catherine Clancy, of the Magazine Road Residents Association, (MRRA) said urgent legislation is needed to make landlords accountable for such parties.
“The fire brigade had to break down the door. There were plastic bags on the windows all summer. These houses aren’t being managed at all. These people are gone today and we are hoping that the students who come in are quiet.
“During the summer months we kept records of the parties in the area.”
From the end of May to the start of June there were 215 incidences of house parties taking place in 77 rented houses, according to the association. There were 17 reports of parties in one house.
Cllr Clancy, who is a former lord mayor of Cork, is urging the Taoiseach Micheál Martin to address the issue as a matter of urgency.
Meanwhile, residents are pleading with landlords to include “no house parties” in the letting agreement for student houses as the new college year draws near.
MRRA is also calling on landlords to ensure that their tenants comply with the current Government guidelines on Covid-19 which state that no more than six people can visit a house.
Ms Clancy, who is chairwoman of the MRRA, said that they are not prepared to put up with a winter of anti social behaviour near the college.
“These house parties risk the spread of Covid-19 in our community and we need to ensure residents and students can share this area without feeling anxious.”