Some of the students who gathered in parts of Cork today to enjoy unofficial Christmas celebrations told The Echo they were delighted to be out after missing out on similar social events last year.
Groups of young people gathered in student areas and queued outside a number of bars from Thursday morning, including The Harp Bar in Ballyphehane and a number of pubs on the Bandon Road. Staff at The Harp Bar said all regulations were being followed, with IDs and Covid certification checked and a strict cap on numbers.
''We're complying with the rules and regulations, we want everyone happy and safe,'' a staff member told The Echo.
Other busy pubs also had door staff in place throughout the day.
UCC engineering student Peter told The Echo that it was hard to stay at home last year, when there were more restrictions in place.
''There was nobody in the streets, nothing was going on at all,” he said. “But this year, everyone's celebrating because they're able to do stuff.''
But not everyone was celebrating, with local councillor Mick Finn saying he had heard from members of the public with concerns.
“I came across large groups of students in the Lough and College Road areas on the way to work and received calls throughout the morning from residents in Ballyphehane and Pouladuff concerned about large crowds gathering, including queues outside pubs,” he said.
There were no organised college events linked with the gatherings.
When contacted for comment, a UCC spokesperson said: "UCC works continuously with its Student's Union to remind students of their responsibilities and to promote behaviour that protects one another and our community."