Residents pleading for a crackdown on house parties in rented property around Cork’s university precinct have taken their campaign directly to the door of a landlord.
Members of the Magazine Road and Surrounding Areas residents association staged a silent and peaceful protest yesterday outside the home of Fachtna O’Reilly who rents out a number of properties close to University College Cork (UCC).
They said another house party kicked off in one of his properties on Highfield Ave, off College Rd, on Thursday night, continuing into the early morning.
Mr O’Reilly arrived at the property with a van yesterday to collect several bags of empty cans and bottles, and several wheelie bins.
Residents’ spokesperson, Catherine Clancy, a former Lord Mayor of Cork, said their patience has run out: “This was the fourth in that property since May 25. On another occasion, we counted up to 100 people coming out of a party in another one of his properties. We have contacted him on numerous occasions but nothing has changed. We've spoken to him, we’ve had meetings with him, we have tried everything — but despite all that, and the joint letter last week from the HSE, Cork City Council and the gardaí to landlords, we have another Covid-19 house party and rubbish building up.”
Mr O’Reilly said he wasn’t too bothered by the protest outside his house and he defended his record as a landlord, saying he has behaved responsibly for years. He said a Highfield Ave resident made a “civilised phone call” to him to complain about the latest house party and he assured her he would clear the rubbish and speak to the tenants.
“I met the students. They told me the reason for the party was that they got their exam results, and they were very satisfactory. I warned them about the noise, and told them I would be calling to the house at midnight the next day but after the protest outside my house, I won’t be doing that now. If I get a foul-mouthed phone call, I won’t be responding."
He said he has called to properties at 3am and has mounted patrols with other landlords in and around College Rd during Rag Week — an event he said local residents support.
But he said: “A large percentage of the population in this area are students. There is a natural conflict between older and younger people and trying to manage that is the problem.”
He also pointed out that tenants enjoy legal protection: “I can tell them [the students] that this kind of behaviour must stop and that there must be no noise after midnight. I get cross and they react to that. Most of them are from decent homes and families and they do respond if the request is done properly.”