Northern Ireland

Belfast Holyland: Residents to meet minister over student behaviour

Trouble broke out as hundreds of students and other young people celebrated St Patrick's Day in Belfast's Holyland during the early hours of 17 March
Image caption Trouble broke out as hundreds of students and other young people celebrated St Patrick's Day in Belfast's Holyland during the early hours of 17 March

Residents of Belfast's Holyland are due to meet the minister responsible for universities later to discuss students' involvement in disorder in their area.

It follows hours of disturbances during the early hours of 17 March as hundreds of students and other young people celebrated St Patrick's Day.

The Holyland is a residential part of south Belfast popular with students.

Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry is to meet residents' representatives on Monday afternoon.

'Appalled'

Eleven people were arrested in the area and the city centre over the St Patrick's Day period. One policeman was injured when bottles were thrown at officers in Agincourt Avenue.

A number of vehicles were also damaged and residents complained about excessive noise and litter in their streets.

There has been a history of trouble in the Holyland on previous St Patrick's Days and talks have been held before in a bid to prevent students engaging in anti-social behaviour.

The chairman of the Holyland Regeneration Association, Ray Farley, said the existing measures had not worked and called for Stormont ministers to intervene.

Speaking last Friday ahead of the meeting, Mr Farry said he was "appalled" by the behaviour of some young people in the area but said the majority of them were not university or college students.

However, he added that further steps to address students' bad behaviour would now be considered in light of this year's trouble.

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