Justice Minister Helen McEntee said the country will not be able to reopen as planned if incidents like last night’s party in Limerick continue.
Speaking on Newstalk’s The Pat Kenny Show Minister McEntee said she believes the end is in sight, but not if behaviour like this doesn’t stop.
“I do firmly believe the end is in sight. We are introducing the vaccinations and we are at a point where we want, in particular this month, to see our numbers coming down so we can start to reopen our society but if we continue to see scenes like this that will not happen,” she said.
Minster McEntee said she understands how hard it is for young people and students, but that we are amid a global pandemic and public health guidelines are there for a reason.
“They are there to keep us safe and that includes our younger people,” she added.
“We are asking students to go to college but to stay in their room. We are asking them to go to college but not to socialise or engage with each other.”
The Justice Minister said that there will be consequences for students involved in the gathering, but that it’s important for the wider public to not blame all students and young people.
“Those who were there last night are very clearly responsible. They should not have done this and it is important to say these types of events, in the same way as the events we saw at the weekend, are not without consequence,” she said.
“If you do receive a fixed penalty notice, by law, you have to pay and if not, there are further penalties.
“So, people need to understand that it is not without consequence but what I don’t want to say though is a sweeping comment that every young person is behaving in this way and every young person I breaking the rules.”