Cancel RAG Week or get a licence for it, say residents

RAG week events at DkIT

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Residents of housing estates surrounding Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) are calling on the student union at the college to either cancel the annual RAG week or get a licence for the event.

Residents of housing estates surrounding Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) are calling on the student union at the college to either cancel the annual RAG week or get a licence for the event.

John Temple, chairman of College Manor and College Heights Residents Association, has compiled a highly critical report with the input of residents from College Manor, College Heights, Rockfield, Langfield and private properties from Hoey’s Lane.

“Although up to €20,000 is raised for various chairy groups, the cost of damages caused by students during the week is nearly equal to that amount,” Mr Temple said.

The cost of litter collection against illegal dumping and bottle removal coupled with repair to community property has cost to date €3,000 paid for by the management companies.

“If the event was properly licenced then the gardai would be assigned extra resources and would be better able to police and monitor the activities and events,” Mr Temple said.

Brian Fitzpatrick of DkIT students union said that while they “can’t take responsibility” for the damage done during RAG week, they also ‘don’t condone’ criminal damage and anti-social behaviour.

“What we have found is that many of the people involved are not students from DkIT, and are friends of students from the down the country who don’t face consequences for their actions,” said Mr Fitzpatrick.

“We sent out a message to students to mindful of local residents. We weren’t aware of any problems this year until we saw these pictures. Raise and Give (RAG) week raised over €2,000 for local charities last year, and banning an official RAG couild actually worsen the problem as more parities will be held off campus.

“We are also looking at setting up students patrols to help monitor parties who may get out of control”.

President of DkIT Dennis Cummins could not be contacted yesterday evening.