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18/10/2021

University of Limerick management meet with local residents over return of students

University of Limerick management meet with local residents over return of students

University of Limerick

THE University of Limerick has confirmed it is to continue funding additional garda patrols in the Castletroy area following a meeting with residents and other stakeholders.

The meeting was arranged in the wake of some chaotic scenes in private housing estates following the return of students after the summer.

“UL acknowledges that the behaviour of a small minority of the student body who live in the off-campus estates in private rented accommodation has been entirely unacceptable in recent weeks,” said a spokesperson who added that appeals have been made to those living in off-campus rented accommodation to be responsible.

“The University takes any behaviour that disrupts the campus and local community very seriously and will address matters in accordance with existing procedures outlined in the UL Student Code of Conduct,” said the spokesperson.

UL has come under pressure to take action following a number of incidents – some of which were highlighted on social media.

Gardai have also attended a number of incidents and proceedings have been initiated under the Public Order Act and the  Road Traffic Act.

UL says it has worked extensively with local residents, gardai and the local authority over the summer to ensure the return to campus of students is co-ordinated in as safe a manner as possible.

“While UL cannot be a responder to off-campus incidents, which are the jurisdiction of An Garda Síochána and other relevant agencies, any student who has been officially reported, investigated and found to have broken the UL Code of Conduct will face sanction,” stated a spokesperson.

“As we continue to encourage our students living in off-campus accommodation to be good neighbours, University of Limerick is also implementing a number of measures, together with the ongoing work with the local community, to help combat issues with anti-social behaviour in our community,” added Professor Mairead Moriarty, UL’s new Vice President Global and Community Engagement.

The UL Advocate process has been expanded and there are now three advocates dealing with official complaints.

“To this end, we have been engaging with stakeholders over the summer and presently we are working with the gardaí to fund additional policing presence in the form of patrols for the next month,” added Prof Moriarty.

UL senior management has also approved the rollout of a community liaison framework that would engage with the community and student body living in off- campus accommodation and directly address reported incidents of anti-social behaviour.

UL Student Life is also recruiting participants for the Meitheal Na MacLeinn initiative which will see student patrols, starting this weekend, to encourage good neighbourly behaviour and support student safety. 

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