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'Absolute disgrace' - Gardaí remove around 60 young people from house party in Waterford

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(stock photo)

Niall Carson/PA Wire

(stock photo)

Footage has emerged of around 60 young people being removed from a house party in Waterford on Saturday.

The area, Templers Hall in Waterford City, is usually mostly occupied by students attending Waterford Institute of Technology but the majority of students have left their accommodation for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is thought that the house had been temporarily rented by the hosts of the party.

As of Monday, under Phase Three of the Roadmap for reopening society and business, indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 have been permitted, but the house party took place during Phase Two, when the number of people permitted to gather indoor was only six.

Local Councillor Donal Barry said that he counted at least 62 people being removed from the house just in the duration of the footage which emerged. None of those asked to leave were wearing face coverings.

"It's an absolute disgrace," he said.

"I thought it was absolutely disgraceful that I think I counted 62 people coming out of the house when they were told to leave by the gardaí, so I think they've really let all of the health workers down that have done so much work over the past few months.

"First time you have a bit of leeway and you have a house party - it has a huge potential to spread in that group. They seem to be very young."

"Templers Hall is nearly a student accommodation area, but an awful lot of them would have been gone home or left the house so I don't know what has happened. Generally there's a lot of trouble in that area when the students come back but I have a feeling they were local Waterford youths," he continued.

"During this pandemic, just stop, don't have a party. Think of your health and your family's health and the wider community."

Gardaí confirmed that they attended the scene of the house party and removed a number of people.

"Following reports of a disturbance at residence, Gardaí in Waterford responded to call at a location in Briot Drive at around 8.35pm on Saturday," a spokesperson told Independent.ie.

"A number of people were asked to leave the area. All complied."

This comes as gardaí report invoking coronavirus regulations just 320 times out of over a million interactions with the public.

None of those incidents took place, they said in the week between June 20 and June 27.

Gardaí caught people breaking pre-existing regulations on 2,177 occasions while enforcing Covid-19 operations.

These range from incidents like drink driving or disqualified drivers detected at checkpoints, to drugs and weapons seizures, to public order offences.

Between April 8 and June 27, gardaí were coughed or spat at 121 times by members of the public.

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