Gardaí shut down 35 house parties in Limerick, arrest 5 people

Senior UL officials patrol areas with gardaí to remind students about Covid-19 restrictions

Gardaí have shut down 35 student house parties and arrested five people as part of a policing plan around Freshers Week at the University of Limerick.

A Limerick joint policing committee meeting heard that 35 off-campus house parties have been shut down in the Castletroy area since last Sunday over coronavirus concerns.

More than 30 people were in attendance at each of the parties, gardaí said. They issued 70 fines, including 45 for alcohol consumption and 25 for illegal parking.

Five people were arrested for public order/trespass. Two of these were charged by gardaí and three were given a caution.

Gardaí conducted a total of 52 extra patrols in the area, which also resulted in three minor drug seizures.

Thirty antisocial behaviour order warning notices were issued during the week-long operation.

The head of the Limerick Garda Division, chief superintendent Gerry Roche said gardaí were working closely with UL in specifically focussing on house parties .

Henry Street Garda Station superintendent Brian Sugrue said UL president Kerstin Mey had accompanied gardaí.

A spokesman for Prof Mey said she and "members of UL's senior leadership have engaged in nightly walking tours of local residential estates in conjunction with An Garda Síochána this week.

“This is being done to engage with students, educate them about public health guidelines and to stress a co-operative approach in protecting the community surrounding the campus in light of the situation with Covid-19.”

When asked if any house parties had been discovered on the University of Limerick campus, a UL spokesman replied: "Nothing has been reported at this time."

Prof Mey’s spokesman reminded students that action can be taken against them.

“There is no set sanction within the code of conduct for any offence but penalties allowed within the code of conduct include monetary, academic, suspension and expulsion.”

During the first week of term, UL has “not yet processed any complaints that involve UL students who may have been in breach of the University’s code of conduct”, the spokesman said.