'Why should I leave my home of 50 years?': Resident speaks out after mini-gig on Cork city's College Road

Residents of the College Road area have raised concerns following a mini-gig which attracted large crowds on Tuesday night.
'Why should I leave my home of 50 years?': Resident speaks out after mini-gig on Cork city's College Road

The band, which has published video footage and photographs of the event on their social media channels, did not respond to a request for comment. Picture: Violet Club/Instagram.

Concerns have been raised about continued anti-social behaviour by students in the College Road area of Cork city.

It comes as gardaí had to disperse a crowd after a band played a mini-gig outside a rented house on the street this week.

Local band Violet Club, complete with a drum kit, brass instruments, guitars and a keyboard, set up outside a property on College Road.

Videos shared on social media show large crowds gathered in the driveway, on the footpath and in the front gardens of neighbouring properties.

A resident of the area, who wished to be named only as Tom, said that the incident is “just one series of things that happens one after the other over a period of time”.

He said that people living in the area, particularly the elderly population, are “living on a knife-edge and in fear”.

“You're wondering when the next episode is going to happen,” he said.

We got lucky with RAG week this year. It isn't that anything has changed but they took themselves into town by and large and they didn't bother hanging around the houses for long periods of time.

“The good weather makes it worse. You should be looking forward to that and half the time you’d be hoping it would be raining.” 

He said that residents are “sick of it” and said that they were “persecuted when lockdown came in two years ago” as people hung around the nearby Canty’s Field before moving on to find a house “to party in for the night”.

He said that more needs to be done about the issue as people living in the area for years “don’t have the option of leaving”.

“People don't want to leave because it's their home. 

They’ve lived here the majority of their lives and these people are passing through doing as they please, it's a desperate attitude and it’s a lack of respect.

“It was said to me what was I doing here, it's a university area, and I’m here for over 50 years.” He said that sympathy and empathy “are no good” and that something must be done.

Independent councillor Ken O’Flynn said that this type of behaviour “cannot be tolerated whatsoever”.

“There was no license given for closing off the streets and so on.

"It’s about time that the gardaí started acting on this type of anti-social behaviour and infringement on other peoples’ rights. 

Elderly people were scared in their homes, there were people trying to put kids to bed that night that found it almost impossible.

He said there isn’t a week that goes by that he does not receive a complaint from somebody in the area.

He said that University College Cork (UCC) needs to “step up and make all their students sign into a code of ethics where they have respect for their neighbourhoods and the community around them”.

A spokesperson for the university told The Echo: "University College Cork is committed to meeting its responsibility to our local community, as evidenced by the fact that UCC became the first third level institute in the country to appoint a dedicated Neighbourhood Support Officer.

“Our NSO works with neighbours, students, and key stakeholders to deepen relationships and help develop community led-initiatives, seeks to address concerns, and ensures the needs of the community are responded to in a collaborative and supportive way.

The vast majority of UCC's 22,000 students behave in a responsible and respectful manner; the recent successful Raise and Give Week passed without major incident and is indicative of the good behaviour of UCC students and the ongoing positive collaboration with the local community.

"UCC's Student Rules outline how the University requires its Students to conduct themselves in an appropriate and reasonable manner, and UCC Campus Watch investigates any complaints relating to any alleged breaches of these Student Rules."

A Garda spokesman confirmed that gardaí attended the scene and dispersed the crowd but that the event itself was not prohibited by law. No arrests were made.

Speaking to The Echo, a spokesperson said: “All reported incidents of anti-social behaviour in public places are fully and thoroughly investigated in accordance with legislation.” 

Violet Cub has been contacted by The Echo.

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