Magazine Road was a hotspot for house parties during the first lockdown.

Halloween parties feared

Residents of Magazine road and the surrounding areas are still traumatised after a “terrible summer” and are concerned that more anti-social behaviour may be coming on Halloween night.

That’s according to Magazine Road Residents Association Chairperson Catherine Clancy who said that, although there has been an improvement, residents are “not relaxed yet”, with more house parties feared this weekend.

Ms Clancy said: “We have seen huge improvements since UCC said that they would treat house parties at the highest level. That needed to happen. Suspension or expulsion, and while we don't want to see anybody expelled, we felt those two words needed to be said.”

Ms Clancy said that the powers the gardaí now have to issue fines has also made a huge difference and that she hopes the message has been received.

“Enforcement is what has made the difference, but we're still on our guard. We've been through a trauma as a community,” said Ms Clancy.

Resident of College Road, Sarah Lyons told the Cork Independent that the area is much quieter at the moment but that before the lockdown she had witnessed many anti-social incidents in the UCC area.

“Pre-lockdown eggings were almost a daily occurrence where walking to the shop or waiting for the bus to work could mean a car pulling up and young people roaring at you and hitting you with eggs. It has happened to me countless times,” said Ms Lyons.

She added: “It’s the elderly that I feel sorry for. There is as a wonderful residential neighbourhood here where people look out for one another.

“Although this road has a reputation, it really is just the small few. Most students are respectful and pleasant, however the small few that have decided to flaunt the rules are most likely the same people who are throwing eggs and screaming at you.”

Earlier this month UCC confirmed that 11 students had been temporarily suspended following breaches of student rules relating to public health.

Student Residential Services and Community Relations Officer at UCC, Gary Mulcahy told the Cork Independent that the college is working “proactively and positively” with students and the local community to promote respectful and responsible behaviour.

Mr Mulcahy said: “The UCC Students’ Union have recently launched a dedicated Covid-19 awareness campaign and UCC is in regular communication with its neighbours on all relevant issues.”

Local Green Party Councillor Dan Boyle told the Cork Independent that locals don’t know what to expect this Halloween, and that people need to be aware that any type of congregation should be strongly discouraged.

Cllr Boyle said: “If we are to bring the (Covid case) numbers down, we must make sure not to artificially inflate it by having large gatherings. 

“There’s an ongoing fear that there will be a repetition of behaviour we saw during the initial lockdown. I would be hopeful that it won’t exist to that extent, but the fact that it happened at all is a huge slap in the face to the community.”

Gardaí confirmed that Operation Tombola will remain in place in the leadup to and throughout Halloween. 

The operation will include an overt uniform presence and covert element where appropriate.

This operation also focuses on preventing associated public disorder and anti-social behaviour.