GARDAÍ HAVE SAID a ‘zero tolerance’ approach will be taken as part of its policing plan for Galway’s Rag Week, which starts on Monday.
The event has been the scene of a number of high profile public order incidents in the last few years.
During unofficial Rag Week celebrations in 2013, a number of people were arrested in the city and video footage showed large noisy crowds – some topless young men – gathered outside fast food restaurants. Several fights broke out in the square.
In 2014, gardaí shut down an event at a night club after a crush outside the venue. Again, the students’ unions said this had not been an official event as they scrapped the official Rag Week a number of years ago.
The tradition in Galway continues, however, despite the student unions distancing themselves from it. Gardaí said a “zero tolerance approach is being adopted towards excessive drinking; drunkenness; drug abuse; public order and assaults”.
Extra resources are being drafted in to deal with the anticipated large crowds.
In a post on its Facebook page, the organisation warned excessive drinking or drug abuse could lead to arrest, fines up to €1,000 and imprisonment.
Students are also reminded that a criminal conviction could prevent them securing a J1 visa and may get them expelled from college.