University of Limerick paid €112,000 for off-campus Garda patrols

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UL President Professor Kerstin Mey joins one of the off-campus patrols last year.

THE University of Limerick paid €112,000 to Gardaí for carrying out  patrols in residential areas near the Castletroy campus last year following public concerns over anti-social activity and large-scale parties.

The Garda patrols started in March 2021 after a street party in the College Court area which allegedly breached Covid-19 public health guidelines.  A number of arrests were also made for alleged drugs and public order offences.

Six months later, UL management confirmed that they began funding extra Garda patrols in the same flashpoint areas following a number of incidents in the same area.

According to figures released to the Irish Independent though a Freedom of Information request, the €112,000 paid by UL was included in the more than €4m collected by An Garda Síochána over the past 18 months for non-public duty events.

Gardaí said the work was normally performed by members who would “otherwise be off duty” and that it was generally the practice to charge for policing inside the events.

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All large-scale public events, such as music festivals and national sports events, have a police presence. The organisers are usually charged a fee for this, as it is carried out outside of rostered garda working hours.

However, there were no charges for the JP McManus Pro-Am in Adare last July as it was a charity event.

Twelve Gardaí were assigned to the two-day tournament while a further 80 provided security along the route to Adare Manor, ensuring the participants, many of whom arrived by private jet, reached the venue without incident.