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It's innocent craic: Students branded 'ignorant' over Holyland trouble comments

By Jonny Bell

Published 27/09/2016

Revellers in the Holylands on St Patrick's day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Revellers in the Holylands on St Patrick's day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/03/2016 A Police Presence in the Hollands area of Belfast, Celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Police were attacked with bottles in Agincourt Avenue as a crowd of about 300 people gathered in the area. The disturbances lasted for over two hours, ending at about 04:30 GMT. Police said they went to the area after a crowd was reported to be blocking the road and throwing missiles at homes and cars. Vehicles parked along the street were damaged during the trouble. One police officer said some people in the crowd had been singing "pro-IRA songs". Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/03/2016 A Police Presence in the Hollands area of Belfast, Celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Police were attacked with bottles in Agincourt Avenue as a crowd of about 300 people gathered in the area. The disturbances lasted for over two hours, ending at about 04:30 GMT. Police said they went to the area after a crowd was reported to be blocking the road and throwing missiles at homes and cars. Vehicles parked along the street were damaged during the trouble. One police officer said some people in the crowd had been singing "pro-IRA songs". Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/03/2016 A Police Presence in the Hollands area of Belfast, Celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Police were attacked with bottles in Agincourt Avenue as a crowd of about 300 people gathered in the area. The disturbances lasted for over two hours, ending at about 04:30 GMT. Police said they went to the area after a crowd was reported to be blocking the road and throwing missiles at homes and cars. Vehicles parked along the street were damaged during the trouble. One police officer said some people in the crowd had been singing "pro-IRA songs". Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/03/2016 A Police Presence in the Hollands area of Belfast, Celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Police were attacked with bottles in Agincourt Avenue as a crowd of about 300 people gathered in the area. The disturbances lasted for over two hours, ending at about 04:30 GMT. Police said they went to the area after a crowd was reported to be blocking the road and throwing missiles at homes and cars. Vehicles parked along the street were damaged during the trouble. One police officer said some people in the crowd had been singing "pro-IRA songs". Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Picture - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - March 17, Pictured is The scenes in the Holylands on St Patricks day on March 17, 2016 Belfast, Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
A naked man is pictured wearing a Tricolour in the Holylands. Picture: BBC reporter Claire Graham @JournoClaire
Clean up at the Holylands area of Belfast on Thursday Morning, One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Photo Pacemaker Press
Around 300 people gathered in the Holylands. March 2016. Picture: BBC
People in the Holylands celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
People in the Holylands celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
The morning after the night before. People in the Holylands celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
The morning after the night before. People in the Holylands celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker 17/03/2016
The morning after the night before. People in the Holylands celebrating Saint Patricks day.One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Picture Matt Bohill Pacemaker
Clean up at the Holylands area of Belfast on Thursday Morning, One police officer has been injured and three people have been arrested after disturbances in the Holyland area of south Belfast. Photo Pacemaker Press
The situation was brought under control at around 4.30am. March 2016. Picture: BBC

Students treating the Holyland area of Belfast as their own territory and saying the trouble is nothing more than "innocent craic" have been branded as "ignorant".

The BBC Radio Ulster Nolan show interviewed a number of students in the streets of the Holyland on Monday night and played a clip on Tuesday morning.

It comes as the new academic year begun and students took up accommodation in the area. Last week was the beginning of Freshers' Week which saw anti-social behaviour return to the area.

More:

Students bring freshers' week chaos to Belfast Holylands

Belfast Holyland's students behaviour no worse than at Twelfth, says SDLP landlord Boyle  

The Holyland area has long been associated with trouble during the university term.

 

Of the trouble in the area the small number of students interviewed by the BBC said the residents "should know what they are getting into" and if they didn't like it, they should leave.

"I was talking to my uncle who lived here 30 years ago and it was the exact the same, so they know what they are getting into," said one girl.

When told a woman, who was 58 would have her 12-year-old grandson staying over who had trouble sleeping during the disturbances, she added: "Is she of our culture?

When asked what she meant by our culture, she said: "There is a lot of Romanians living around here."

The reporter informed the girl the lady lived in the Holyland area because she had grown up in it and had an emotional attachment to the area.

To this she responded: "She is full of c***, you can not get emotionally attached to a place like this.

"If she grew up here and she doesn't like what is happening, why does she not leave?"

Another girl added: "People make so much of the Holylands stuff - but it's innocent craic."

The reporter said he witnessed a lot of police in the area saying that there could have been "no way" for trouble to occur.

More: It's time to get tough on feral students and the landlords who pack them in like sardines

Ray Farley, chair of the Belfast Holyland Regeneration Association branded the students as "ignorant".

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "For eight months of the year they come live in the Holyland, make a lot of noise, drink in the streets and wreck the place.

"There are a lot of long term residents in the place and over the summer months the area is transformed. It is actually quite a nice place to live.

"Then the university term starts up again.

"It is every single night - mostly it is noise. If they were quieter it would be more tolerable. But it is getting worse every year.

"I went to Queen's and it was nothing like it was today and with the students' actions and comments, it just makes you wonder what the next generation is going to inflict on us.

"They are good kids - they have done well to get to university - but it's like they go out of their way to cause a nuisance.

"And they don't seem to care about they consequences - they could really wreck their careers."

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