“We are at our wits end”: Magazine Road residents plea for end to lockdown parties

“We are at our wits end”: Magazine Road residents plea for end to lockdown parties

Residents living in the Magazine Road area have held a number of protests in recent days to highlight their concerns about parties taking place at rented properties in the locality. Picture Denis Minihane.

Residents living in the Magazine Road area have pleaded with gardaí and the HSE to enforce a 1947 Act which they believe would allow authorities to stop lockdown parties in the area in the interest of public health.

People living in the area have held a number of protests in recent days to highlight their concerns about parties taking place at rented properties in the locality. 

Chairperson of the Magazine Road Residents Association, Catherine Clancy said additional house parties had taken place in the area over the weekend, which residents had reported to gardaí.

In one case, she said, a marquee had been erected at the rear of a property.

“This is very stressful as a community. People are heading into their third week without a night’s sleep.

“We are at our wits end and we feel like we are on our own,” she said.

The Residents Association say that they understand that the 1947 Health Act gives the HSE the power to enter and investigate houses where an expected breach of the regulations are made under the Act and this includes COVID-19.

This Act has provisions including penalties of fines and jail, they say.

Ms Clancy said that residents feel they have brought the issue as far as they can as a community and said “it’s now up to the relevant bodies to deal with this.” 

“We are calling on the HSE to connect with An Garda Siochana, who already have the information on these houses as they have been called on over the last four or five days, to go in and close them down,” Ms Clancy said.

A spokesperson for An Garda Siochana confirmed that gardaí have received reports of house parties in the College Road/Magazine Road area and have attended approximately 10 incidents in the last 10 days.

“In each incident, Gardaí spoke to the residence and reminded them of the government regulations and guidelines. Gardaí are still approaching all COVID related incidents using the 4 E’s – engage, explain, encourage, and as a last resort, enforce,” the spokesperson said.

No arrests were made by gardaí in these incidents.

The spokesperson said that gardaí in the Cork City Division has increased patrols in this area and other areas in line with policing plans during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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