The Mayor of Waterford has described a house party attended by over 60 teenagers over the weekend as “grossly irresponsible.”
Video footage of Gardaí clearing the house in the Templars Hall area of the city on Saturday has been widely shared online.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Waterford Mayor Damien Geoghegan said the gathering was totally unacceptable.
“To see 63 or 64 people emerging from a semi-detached house in a housing estate in Waterford city, it was shocking really to be quite frank about it - and grossly irresponsible by the people involved,” he said.
“It is understandable that young people will want to meet up with their friends but to have that amount of people at a house party in the present circumstances is just totally unacceptable.”
Under public health restrictions at the time, indoor gatherings should have been limited to a maximum of six people.
The new guidelines allow for up to 50 people indoors; however, the chair of the COVID-19 Expert Advisory Group, Dr Cillian de Gascun, has warned that the new guideline is "certainly not intended to mean a house party."
Mayor Geoghegan said Waterford has been “doing quite well” in terms of its COVID-19 infection rate and locals were “shocked and angry” to see footage of the party being broken up.
“We have seen the effect that COVID-19 has on people,” he said. “We have seen the pressure the health service is under.
“We have to bear in mind that as the restrictions are eased, it doesn’t mean that COVID-19 has gone away, it means we have to be more vigilant than ever.
He urged the public to “continue to be vigilant and to act responsibly.”
“COVID-19 has not gone away and it is only by everybody pulling together, young and old, that we will get through this,” he said.