Year after year there are three constants in any UCC student’s life: Fresher’s Week, RAG week, and the annual conflict the two events cause between students and residents living in the area. Common concerns of residents include noise from house parties, late night/early morning drinking on the streets, and litter, particularly broken glass, which can pose a hazard for young children living in the area. Many will remember the infamous video of a boisterous house party on Magazine Road that circulated during RAG week last year.
While Fresher’s this year seemed to pass by without much conflict, Garda Mairín Kelleher of Anglesea Garda Station had this to say: “An Garda Siochana took a very proactive approach to policing of Freshers week. There were a number of arrests for public order in additions to detections for drinking on the street and for drug offences. In addition a number of houses were visited where house parties took place and a number of student ID cards were confiscated in conjunction with UCC. There was ongoing consultation with all stakeholders in the lead up to this event and during same including UCC, Students Union, Vintners [publicans], Residents etc.”
In addition to alcohol consumption, drug use seems to be on a rise. Speaking to the Evening Echo, Community Policing Officer Trish O’Riordan noted that there was a general increase in drug use among students last year, and that they appeared to be prominent again.
Annually, the SU seem to do their level best to keep the peace, with numerous awareness campaigns and the continuing difficult work of the Student Community Support Group. However, the friction between students and residents is a long standing one, and for the time being at least, seems destined to continue.