Over the last week, a number of student gatherings have been shut down by An Garda Síochána.
According to the Irish Times, Gardaí have shut down 35 “student house parties” over Freshers’ Week at the University of Limerick (UL).
Gardaí have also arrested five people as part of the policing plan around UL.
A policing committee in Limerick meeting heard that 35 off-campus house parties have been shut down in the area since last Sunday, following the start of Freshers week.
Speaking to the Irish Times, gardaí said that “more than 30 people were in attendance at each of the parties”, and gardaí issued 70 fines, including 45 for alcohol consumption and 25 for “illegal parking”.
Gardaí also searched a house in Cork, where students had gathered. According to the Irish Examiner, gardaí took student IDs from University College Cork (UCC) students. The incident occurred on Monday.
Although gardaí did not have a warrant to search these students and confiscate their IDs, according to the Irish Examiner, gardaí and UCC have a “long-running arrangement”, where gardaí can confiscate student IDs and “report back” to the college the reasons for the confiscation.
The student can retrieve their ID following an informal hearing where they can pay a “fine” of €75, complete two educational courses, or pay €25 and complete one course.”
Regardless, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties have raised questions about the legality of the search.
Students in attendance at the party pointed out that it can take up to 10 days for ID cards to be retrieved, following a hearing. During this time, students will be denied access to student services, such as the library.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, a spokesperson for UCC said the college works together with the gardaí to “promote responsible student behaviour on- and off-campus”.
“UCC has authorised the Gardaí to request student cards from UCC students in the event they appear to be contravening UCC student rules,” he said.