The heads of Cork’s two universities and their student union leaders have written to college students urging them to behave responsibly and warning that their actions could affect their future.
Residents living around UCC say they have witnessed unprecedented antisocial behaviour and criminal damage by students returning for the new semester this week.
The residents have called for a National Strategy to deal with antisocial and criminal damage being caused by a minority of students living close to all universities right across the country.
A letter, signed by the presidents of UCC and the Munster Technological University, and co-signed by the presidents of the students' unions in both universities, has been issued following a week of alcohol-fuelled disruption in the residential areas.
Gardaí were called to a number of house parties and public order incidents in the College Road area around UCC several times this week.
Extra patrols were on duty and gardaí have been praised for high-visibility policing and an increased presence.
But residents said they shouldn’t have to put up with up to 200 students partying on the streets of residential areas at 2am.
In their letter today, UCC President, Prof. John O’Halloran, MTU President, Maggie Cusack, UCC students’ union president, Asha Woodhouse, and MTU students’ union president, Aisling O’Mahony, said they were collectively writing to students to ask for their cooperation in protecting and caring for each other and the community.
“You have endured so much recently, and we understand these challenges that you have faced,” they said.
“Many of you are acting to protect our community and we thank you for your efforts. Unfortunately, some are not and, we are concerned.
“We urge students to adhere to national health guidelines and to act responsibly, having respect and consideration for all members of our community at what remains an anxious time.
“UCC and MTU are working together with the Gardaí and the local authorities on this issue.
“Our strength comes from our local community and we must respect and support it through responsible behaviour.
“Please do not take actions now that will impact your future.
“We are always here to support you and together we have worked to protect each other. Let us all engage, proactively, in supporting one another as well as ensuring the safety and wellbeing of those who continue to live and work within our communities.”
Chairperson of the Magazine Road and Surrounding Areas residents' association, Catherine Clancy, confirmed meetings have been held with college bosses and with gardaí to highlight the escalation of antisocial behaviour and criminal damage.
"We are now calling as residents for a national strategy to deal with the ever-increasing antisocial and criminal damage by students living in university areas in this country.
"We are also calling for the licensing and planning regulations for residential properties being converted to houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) from where most of this antisocial and criminality emanates.”