Families have been forced to sell their homes in Cork’s university quarter because of a surge in anti-social student behaviour, the leader of the Seanad has claimed.
However, it has emerged that UCC student leaders have decided to cancel future ‘Christmas Day’ events after a flood of complaints from residents about student drunkeness after this year’s event last month.
Fine Gael senator Jerry Buttimer told a meeting of the Cork City JPC this week that he has never fielded so many complaints from residents living around UCC about the behaviour of a cohort of students.
“This term has been the worst term I’ve seen in recent years in terms of anti-social behaviour of some students,” he said.
“The level of dissatisfaction amongst residents around the university about the lack of a coordinated response from UCC on this issue, has, I would say, quadrupled.
“I know of two families who in recent months have sold their homes to get out of the area. People are at their wit’s end.”
Complaints peaked after the student-organised ‘Christmas Day’ event on November 23.
In previous years, UCC and CIT have held separate ‘Christmas Day’ events. The events took place on the same day this year.
Pubs in the area could not cater for the large numbers, which led to large crowds of students gathering on the streets in the afternoon.
Gardaí said they dealt as best they could with a lot of anti-social behaviour but admitted that their resources were spread thin.
Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said there is no excuse for such anti-social behaviour.
“If students are going to hold such an events, perhaps you’re better off having an organised event that involves consultation with gardaí akin to the plans that are already there for Rag and Fresher’s Week,” he said.
“That is a lot more productive than going on a solo run and causing difficulties for people living in the environs.”
Yesterday, UCC students leaders confirmed that they will not be staging such an event next year.
Gardaí have been working closely in recent years with UCC and CIT authorities, and with their students’ unions, on policing plans for the annual Fresher’s and Rag week events.
Chief Supt McPolin said gardaí have also forged good relationships with the licensed trade in the college districts, with the security industry, and with local residents’ groups.
However, given that there are more than 30,000 third- level students in the city, some problems will arise when they socialise, he said, adding that students have a responsibility to behave, that parents should be aware of this behaviour, and that landlords have responsibilities too.
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