herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Student parties 'are turning our area into slum'

'Berserk': residents plead for action

IT'S that time of the year again, and as ususal the place for student hijinks is the University of Limerick.

But some irate residents of estates near the college have become so fed up with rag week celebrations that they claim some students were bringing down the tone of their area.

Residents have pleaded with the college to take action against some students after claims that refuse bins and gardens were set on fire, trees uprooted, glass bottles smashed, and rubbish strewn around the area.

Locals also claimed they also saw male students drinking alcohol from the roofs of houses.

Some students are accused of "going beserk" after a "heavy garda presence" left the area at 1am yesterday. Rag week, which UL students have this year called 'Charity Week', ends tomorrow.

One furious resident from College Court in Castletroy said: "I thought charity began at home.

"For a middle class area, Castletroy is slowly turning into a slum."

Another resident fumed: "This place was out of control last night. UL aren't taking any responsibility. The community gardai are doing what they can with limited resources."

A neighbour added: "It's going on year after year after year. The college does nothing, but it has a duty of care to the local community. There is a breakdown in society here and it needs to be addressed."

A statement on UL's website said: "This year An Garda Siochana will be operating a zero tolerance policy for any students who are littering or engaged in antisocial behaviour and will hand out fines immediately.

"This in particular pertains to drinking in the estates so please don't do it. There are a lot of local residents with families who live in these areas so let's try having some respect for them," the statement added.

Derek Daly, President of the Student Union at UL said: "Any bad behaviour we can't condone. But, we are running events on the college campus so as to attract students away from the estates.

"We have 25 people operating patrols in the estates every night to try and make sure people are behaving.

"If anyone can be identified by a resident, then they can be brought up to be diciplined by the college. But, the university can do no more if it's a private citizen misbehaving on private property outside of the college campus."

hnews@herald.ie

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