A NORTH Main Street resident has blasted the bizarre antics of inebriated students unfolding outside his home during Freshers’ Week.
George Patterson said he fears that these disturbances won’t just be confined to Freshers’ Week.
The chairperson of the Middle Parish Community Centre was referring to an incident which saw college students carting each other around in a shopping trolley in the early hours of the morning.
Freshers’ Week is the official start to the new academic year at UCC which gives students the chance to participate in events and activities.
Mr Patterson said the arrival of 300 student bed spaces, under proposals for an apartment building on a derelict site on North Main Street, could mean a dramatic increase in noisy and unruly behaviour.
The property at 96 North Main Street had been purchased by City Hall back in May of last year.
Cork City Council has been approached by developers, Panterlee Ltd, who own the adjoining properties at 92-95 North Main Street with a view to developing the entire site.
George, who is a well-known singer with the Roaring Forties, had pleaded with students disturbing the peace outside his home to stop but they refused.
“They were pushing this trolley up and down the street. I opened my window and asked them to stop.
“They refused to stop and told me they would be taking the trolley up and down another few times. This was at 3am. As far as they were concerned all we were doing was interfering with their fun.”
He questioned if parents are to blame, adding: “I wonder if parents actually care about the people whose quality of life is being compromised by this unruly behaviour?
“This isn’t just about respect for your elders. It’s about respect for the world that you live in.”
He fears that the behaviour could be a sign of what’s ahead.
“Soon every day could be Freshers’ Week. That’s our biggest concern. To think about what this is going to do to our way of life is worrying.”
He praised the community spirit in the area. “This is a great community. It’s alive and happy and we don’t want anything to interfere with that.”
George pointed out that the problem is only increasing. “The problem is spreading out much more now,” he said. There was a time when any activity during Fresher’s Week took place during the day was in full view.
“The attitude seems to be that if young people are enjoying their freedom it shouldn’t matter if they wake a few people up.”
He emphasised that the peace in the area should not be compromised in order to facilitate students.
“It would be nice to see Cork City Council giving as much consideration to residential areas as they do their own profits. If An Bord Plaenála approve this we can’t appeal the decision which takes away our rights.”
In a report to the council’s Finance and Estimates Functional Committee city manager, Ann Doherty said last April:
“In line with the council’s overall objectives for the wider North Main Street area and in order to facilitate an integrated, rejuvenating plan for the proposed redevelopment of this property...it is proposed that Cork City Council would allow the developers to include 96 North Main Street in its planning application and, subject to planning permission, that Cork City Council enter into discussion in relation to the sale of the property to the developers.”