Gardaí have praised UCC students for their behaviour during Rag Week as the focus swings back to fundraising for charity.
But they warned last night that an intensive policing operation will continue as some of the major social events are set to take place tonight and tomorrow.
Extra foot and bike units have been deployed on high visibility patrols in and around UCC and the city centre. Garda units from Togher have been drafted in to back up city units on duty at night time.
There have been just a handful of arrests for minor public order-related incidents since the annual ‘raising and giving’ event kicked off on Monday.
And there were two minor assaults in the city in recent days which were not linked to student-related activity.
Superintendent Barry McPolin, who is overseeing the policing operation as part of a combined approach involving student leaders, college authorities and local residents’ groups, to clamp-down on drink-fuelled anti-social behaviour which had marred Rag Week in recent years, said the consultative approach appears to be working.
“The message does seem to be getting across through dialogue and education.
“The college authorities and the students’ union are also monitoring the activities.”
UCC residents’ spokesman Barry Keane said there has been a vast improvement on recent years. “There were a number of refuse bins thrown around on College Rd on Monday night, but residents are quite happy so far.”
Students’ Union president Eoghan Healy said his members are committed to ensuring that Rag Week is all about fun events for their chosen charities — the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, Cork Penny Dinners and Barretstown.
“We are on course to beat last year’s target of raising €24,000,” he said.
Languages student Dara Kennedy, from Tralee, who is blind, was among those who did their bit yesterday.
The 20-year-old, who has been visually impaired since birth, took an extraordinary leap of faith and abseiled down the Kane building. “It was my first time abseiling and it was a very unusual experience. I judged the distance to the ground by listening to the people cheering from below.”
He is now preparing for a parachute jump in a few weeks with all funds raised going to his chosen charity, the IGDB.
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