Three people were arrested after gardai broke up a student street party in Limerick.
Videos that appeared on social media on Tuesday night showed a large crowd of revellers in the Castletroy area of the city.
Higher education minister Simon Harris branded the scenes that unfolded in Carysfort Avenue in the College Court student area as “completely unacceptable”.
The University of Limerick warned that “strong disciplinary action” would be taken against any student who breached coronavirus regulations.
Two men in their 20s were arrested on suspicion of public order offences and another, also aged in his 20s, on suspicion of misuse of drugs.
UL will take action with strong disciplinary measures against any student who has been found to have breached public health guidelines.— University Of Limerick (@UL) March 2, 2021
Students at UL are subject to a Code of Conduct.
Gardai also issued approximately 30 fixed payment notices for Covid-19 regulation breaches.
The Garda said a significant number of its units attended the scene and gardai initially attempted to engage with the young people who had gathered.
A Garda statement said following “continued and orchestrated non-compliance” with public health regulations and failure to comply with Garda direction, gardai intervened around 7.15pm.
“Gardai have commenced an investigation into identifying the organisers of this event, and as with all breaches of the public health regulations a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions,” said a Garda statement.
Students like everyone have suffered a lot with #Covid19. The scenes in Limerick tonight are completely unacceptable & a slap in the face to everyone sacrificing so much. It does a real disservice to all students who abide by the rules day in and out. I have spoken to @UL tonight— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) March 2, 2021
The Garda insisted it would continue to maintain a close and positive working relationship with those associated with the University of Limerick.
“Gardai in Limerick will continue to provide high visibility patrols in the vicinity of the University of Limerick campus and surrounding residential areas to check compliance to Covid-19 regulations and keep the community safe,” the statement added.
“The Covid-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Siochana continues to appeal to all citizens to demonstrate personal and social responsibility to comply with public health guidelines and regulations in order to continue to save lives.”
Mr Harris tweeted: ”Students like everyone have suffered a lot with #Covid19. The scenes in Limerick tonight are completely unacceptable & a slap in the face to everyone sacrificing so much. It does a real disservice to all students who abide by the rules day in and out.”
The minister said he has spoken to the University of Limerick.
He added: “My understanding is a full investigation is underway by both the Gardai and by the university authorities. Any student in breach of restrictions and regulations must & will face serious consequences.”
The university tweeted: “UL will take action with strong disciplinary measures against any student who has been found to have breached public health guidelines. Students at UL are subject to a Code of Conduct.”