Young people who staged “Magaluf or J1-style house parties” in rented homes in Cork’s university precinct over the weekend have been accused of “giving two fingers to the community” and of putting people at risk of contracting Covid-19.
It came as latest figures showed another two people have died from coronavirus and has prompted calls for new bylaws to manage summer lettings of student properties in an effort to crack down on such anti- social behaviour.
Long-time residents of the area of the city described scenes of mayhem on Saturday as long queues formed outside off-licences, large crowds roamed the streets and public greens drinking alcohol, before several house parties kicked off in rented properties later.
They said some of those involved admitted they had lost part-time jobs, and were using their €350 Covid-19 payments to move into student accommodation near University College Cork for the summer because their foreign travel or holiday plans had been cancelled.
Gardaí said they responded to complaints about loud music and group gatherings at houses in the Highfield West area of College Rd on Saturday.
“Enquires are continuing,” said a spokesman.
However, residents said up to 50 people were dispersed from one party in a small terraced house.
It prompted residents to line the streets of their neighbourhood yesterday to warn those involved, their parents, and landlords, that they have had enough.
“They are giving two fingers to the HSE, to the health regulations, to our frontline workers, and to this community. We are not putting up with this for the summer,” said Catherine Clancy, chairwoman of Magazine Rd Residents’ Association.
“There are many elderly people living in this community. They are the last guard of this community. We love where we live and we will move our campaign to landlords’ own homes because unless they feel the pain, nothing will change.”
The latest figures from the National Public Health Emergency Team showed two more deaths from Covid-19, bringing the total number to have died here due to the virus to 1,652.
Another 66 cases have been reported, meaning 24,990 people in Ireland have contracted the disease. Cork has the second-highest number of those cases.
Former city lord mayor, councillor Mick Finn said he saw many people carrying slabs of beer to nearby public parks at the weekend.
Gardaí were in the area monitoring the situation and were dispersing crowds, but by 9pm on Saturday, there were hundreds of people in the area and a large crowd was drinking on Canty’s Field, off Connaught Ave. Ms Clancy said residents intervened to prevent a number of house parties but had to call gardaí later for backup.
Mr Finn called for bylaws to manage such lettings.