Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Residents in call for responsible behaviour on St Patrick’s Day

Scenes from Belfast's Holyland area during disturbances on St. Patricks day.
Scenes of chaos: St Patrick's Day revellers and police in riot gear in the Holy Land area of south Belfast
Scenes from Belfast's Holyland area during disturbances on St. Patricks day.

Ray Farley, chairman of Belfast Holy Land Regeneration Association, called on students to think of their neighbours and to behave responsibly.

He said the problem of anti-social behaviour did not just occur on St Patrick’s Day and that it was an ongoing problem for local residents.

“The figures provided by the universities show that there is constant disturbance in the area. The main problems are alcohol and excess overcrowding. There are too many people living here and the area can’t cope,” he said.

“It did quieten down over Christmas but has got noisier again. We are not saying that people should not go out and have a good time, but the problem is when it interferes with other people.

“We propose that there should be purpose-built accommodation for students in non-residential areas.

“This would release houses in the Holy Land area which could be taken on by families and this would help us to get a neighbourhood back again.”

At present some of the streets have just two or three houses out of around 90 lived in by full-time residents, he said.

“We do not want a repeat of what happened last year on St Patrick’s Day,” Mr Farley continued.

“The police assure me they are going to do everything they possibly can and we hope that it will be OK but it only takes one or two drunken people to spark off a fight.

“I would appeal to the students not to bring in friends from other areas to the Holy Land on that day.

“The Holy Land is a residential area, not a carnival place.”

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