Warning: video contains strong language, viewer discretion advised
GARDAI have broken up a significant public order incident in Limerick.
Officers attended the scene in the Castletroy area yesterday evening to disperse the crowds.
A number of videos have been widely shared on social media, especially Snapchat, revealing a gathering of dozens of students in breach of Covid-19 social distancing regulations.
Co Limerick currently has the fourth highest Covid-19 infection rate in Ireland with a 14-day incidence level of 273.5 per 100,000 people.
The incident is believed to have taken place at College Court in Castletroy.
One video shows outdoor drinking taking place, alongside loud music, and a lack of social distancing.
In this piece, the students fall silent as the pyrotechnic explodes near a vehicle.
In a second video, glasses are broken on the roadway, with a firework subsequently spinning out of control in the night sky.
Why though? pic.twitter.com/ZttETdXL2O— JJ (@jayhartigan) March 2, 2021
This is just by my home in Casteltroy, Limerick! pic.twitter.com/ftqQEEMzph— Mostafa Darwish (@eldarwish90) March 2, 2021
A further video seen by the Limerick Leader shows a large number of people fleeing the scene as a garda car – sirens blaring – arrives, as chaos reigned supreme.
A Garda statement said:
Gardaí in Henry Street, Limerick received reports of a street party which was taking place on Carysfort Avenue, College Court, Castletroy, Co. Limerick on Tuesday 2nd March, 2021. A policing operation was put in place and a significant number of Garda units attended the scene.
An Garda Síochána has been consistent in our graduated policing response (engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce) to supporting Public Health Regulations and guidelines in line with our tradition of policing by consent. Garda members attempted to engage with the gathered individuals.
Following continued and orchestrated non-compliance with Public Health Regulations and failing to comply with directions from An Garda Síochána, Gardaí were forced to intervene at approximately 7.15pm.
Three persons were arrested at the scene. Two men (20s) were arrested under the Public Order Legislation and one man (20s) was arrested under Misuse of Drugs Legislation.
Gardaí have issued approximately 30 Fixed Payment Notices for Breaches of the Health Act, at this time.
Gardaí 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.
An Garda Síochána in Limerick continue to have a close and positive working relationship with the authorities and community in the University of Limerick, which was previously demonstrated at the start of the Academic year in 2020.
Gardaí 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 COVID-19 Pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána 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.