WATCH: Cork residents group voice frustration as large crowds gather late at night

"Allowing hundreds, maybe thousands of people out onto the street at closing time all at the one time is no good to anyone." 
WATCH: Cork residents group voice frustration as large crowds gather late at night

Gardaí have said that “enquiries” are ongoing into reports of aggressive behaviour on Connaught Avenue in Cork city last night.

Update: Gardaí have said that enquiries are being conducted into reports of aggressive behaviour on Connaught Avenue in Cork city last night.

It comes as videos circulating online showed rowdy crowds of young people gathering on the streets late last night.

A Garda spokesperson confirmed that Gardaí did respond to reports of aggressive behaviour on Connaught Avenue in Cork last night.

“Gardaí attended the scene and did not observe such behaviour on arrival, but are conducting enquiries into the matter,” the spokesperson said.

Speaking to The Echo, chairperson of the Magazine Road and surrounding areas residents' group Catherine Clancy said the scenes in the city last night highlight the need for a “national strategy to deal with the ever-increasing antisocial and criminal damage being caused by a minority of students living close to all universities right across the country”.

Ms Clancy said the scenes on Connaught Avenue and on Washington Street last night are detrimental to the image of the city.

“We had predicted last week that this would happen last night and we need to be moving to preventative measures not crisis managing every time it happens,” she added.

Ms Clancy said the residents association had a meeting with UCC President, Professor John O’Halloran a few weeks ago who informed the group that he would not be found wanting in issuing fines to students, sanctions, suspensions and expulsions for breaches of the University Code of Behaviour.

The association welcomed the recent joint email sent to all students of both UCC and MTU urging students to act responsibly, to be mindful of the community in which they live and not to take any action that will impact their future.

In a statement UCC said:

“UCC works together with its Students' Union to promote awareness and adherence to our wider responsibility to our community.

“The vast majority of our 22,000 students engage with our community in a considerate, respectful, and cooperative manner.

“UCC Campus Watch is in place to receive any allegations of breaches of our Student Rules.

“UCC will continue to work together with its community, Gardaí and local authorities.”

Earlier: A Cork city councillor has called for "joined-up and mature thinking" when it comes to Cork nightlife suggesting staggered opening and closing times for pubs may be a way of avoiding a repeat of the thronged scenes in the city last night.

Pictures and videos on social media showed large crowds gathered on Washington Street after pubs closed.

One arrest in area

A Garda spokesperson confirmed that Gardaí attended the scene last night at approximately 11.30pm and encountered "a large crowd of persons in the area". 

"One man, (50 years) was intoxicated and arrested for public order offences.

"He has since been charged in relation to the incident and released and will appear in court at a later date.

"Investigations are ongoing," the spokesperson said.

Staggered hours for safety 

Speaking to The Echo following the scenes last night, Independent councillor Ken O'Flynn suggested a staggered approach to business opening hours could bring about a safer nighttime experience. 

He said that while he is happy to see people "back out and about and to see people filing into pubs and to restaurants" after the city has been "dormant" for so long he said that "allowing hundreds, maybe thousands of people out onto the street at closing time all at the one time is no good to anyone". 

"It’s certainly no good for the Garda resources that we have and it’s no good for the taxi business," he said.

"There needs to be a bit of joined-up and mature thinking about this. 

"This is not about me being the fun police or anyone else being the fun police, we’re a purple flag city for night-time experience but that has to be a safe, well managed night-time experience.

"I think we have to look at what other countries are doing. 

"In mainland Europe and even into Asia people are staggering their opening and closing times. 

"That means that two or three pubs are closing at 11pm, two or three pubs are closing at 2am - they’re opening later and finishing later, there are late-night pubs and you have that going on until 3am/4am and that allows the police to maintain the city, it doesn’t bring thousands of people fighting over taxis and arguing on the streets," Mr O'Flynn said. 

He said such an approach could alleviate some of the pressure for taxi drivers and Gardaí.

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