'It was like a war zone': Concerns voiced after crowds gather at popular Cork city park 

'It was like a war zone': Concerns voiced after crowds gather at popular Cork city park 

Bell's Field, overlooking the northside of Cork City.

Local residents have expressed concern over crowds gathering in the Bell’s Field area. 

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh, who visited the area at the weekend, said that such gatherings have become a problem of late, but stated that this weekend was particularly bad.

“I know youngsters are frustrated, they have nowhere to go but you have to have consideration for residential areas too. You can’t be going into housing estates or going into public green areas and literally destroying them which is what happened up in Bell’s Field,” he said.

“The aftermath- it was like a war zone,” he added.

Resident concerns 

One resident said that two wheelie bins were set on fire as crowds of people gathered in the area at the weekend. 

“On Friday and Saturday night we had up to 150 people drinking, late in the evening, into the night. Friday night they started a large fire. They dragged in two full wheelie bins from the local houses...Friday night was the fire and a lot of people there, and Saturday night, again, there was about 150 people that were removed by gardaí late in the evening.” 

The local resident said that such anti-social behavior has become a particular problem since the lockdown last year, with the recent good weather making matters worse.

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh, who visited the area at the weekend, said that such gatherings have become a problem of late, but stated that this weekend was particularly bad. Picture Darragh Kane
Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh, who visited the area at the weekend, said that such gatherings have become a problem of late, but stated that this weekend was particularly bad. Picture Darragh Kane

“I guess our fear is that when the weather improves, that this activity is going to get worse if something isn’t done.” 

They described the scenes on Friday and Saturday as the “worst we've seen in a long time”.

Garda response 

Gardaí said that they received a report of a large gathering in the Bell’s Field area of Cork City Saturday 20 March.

Gardaí arrived at approximately 6:50pm, engaged with those present and asked them to disperse. All complied in an orderly manner, they said. 

The Lord Mayor commended the gardaí for their efforts over the weekend and reiterated calls that members of An Garda Síochána be prioritised for vaccinations.

“The gardaí need to be prioritised for vaccination because they are putting themselves into a vulnerable position here and not just the likes of Bell’s Field, this was happening right across the city over the weekend.”

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