• Widespread condemnation as Student party-goers flock to Spanish Arch, one day after University’s return
By Paddy Henry
Student revellers have been slammed by local representatives and residents, after scenes of mass social gatherings were captured on the Spanish Arch on Monday night, just one day into the return of the academic year in NUI Galway.
The Spanish Arch and Claddagh area saw congregations of over 300 people last night, most of which were believed to be students.
Photos and videos of the Claddagh carnage spread like wildfire on social media, with the scenes causing outrage among Galway residents and local politicians.
Gardaí dispersed the large crowd shortly after images of the gatherings began to circulate.
Sad to think of the consequences for the people of #galway – inevitable rise in cases and restrictions to level 3 thanks to the actions of students down the arch @gavreilly @ZaraKing @cooper_m pic.twitter.com/HWuKqKtEmI
— Robert Moloney (@moloneyrobert) September 28, 2020
Speaking to SIN, Mayor of Galway City Mike Cubbard described the scenes as ‘a slap in the face to frontline workers.’
“The scenes are shocking and are a slap in the face to frontline workers, to those who continue to adhere to the guidelines and to the majority of students who were not there.”
“All those who went there should be ashamed of their actions, and whilst I accept that younger people have arguably suffered more than most in recent months, it is not an excuse to put the public health of all of Galway at risk”. he added.
The Mayor has called for an emergency meeting between the Student’s Unions of both NUIG and GMIT, An Garda Síochána , the Chief Executive of Galway City Council, and the Presidents of both colleges on the back of Monday night’s mayhem.
Yesterday, there were 390 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland, 21 of which were in County Galway
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said on Saturday that government health officials, were ‘very concerned” about Covid-19 infection rates in the city, with a localised lockdown in the county looking increasingly likely.
Disgusted students expressed their fury at last nights events describing them as ‘embarrassing’
Other unimpressed college goers laid blame at the feet of the government for a lack of clarity.
On Friday, the Department of Higher Education Innovation and Research announced that all learning at Higher Education institutes would move to an online platform for at least the next two weeks. Some students argued that the announcement, three days prior to the commencement of the college year came too late, arguing that those who had intended to move from their homes to college had already done so.