A number of COVID-19 cases have been found in Beckett House Student Residence The College Tribune has learned. The student accommodation, situated in Summerhill, Dublin City, is known for housing students from various universities across Dublin, including University College Dublin (UCD).
A spokesperson for ‘Aparto’, the management company who provide accommodation at Beckett House, told The College Tribune that it has “notified the Health Service Executive (HSE)” following the discovery of a number of confirmed cases of facility in Summerhill.
Mass testing of both students and staff in Beckett House is currently underway following the completion of a public health risk assessment in collaboration with HSE Public Health. Aparto has expressed their assurance that all appropriate public health protocols are being followed.
According to Aparto, all close contacts of the confirmed COVID-19 cases are restricting movements for 14 days, regardless of test results, while all others are also currently restricting their movements while awaiting test results.
The spokesperson added: “A range of precautionary measures are in place at the facility aimed at safeguarding public health from the point of view of residents and staff members.”
A resident from Beckett House spoke to The College Tribune on the matter. The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, has attributed the outbreak to ongoing parties. They stated “the accommodation has had a problem with parties since September. A group of residents who live all over the building organise these parties through WhatsApp.”
The resident further told us the group of party-goers includes a receptionist working at Aparto in Beckett House. “They move location every hour or less to avoid cameras.”
The College Tribune was informed that “These incidents have been reported to An Gardai Siochana and staff but were never fined or evicted. Every member of staff and residents have to get a test, and the whole building is being quarantined.
“Despite staff and resident pleas for the group to be disciplined or evicted for everyone’s safety, management have done nothing about it.”
Recent reports from the Irish Examiner suggest that this is a common occurrence in student residences across the country. The publication reported that the residents association of Magazine Road, where many UCC student residences are situated, had their lives “made hell with several J1 or Magaluf-style house parties occurring in houses of multiple occupancy during the peak of the first wave.”
Gemma Farrell, Assistant News Editor
Luke Murphy, Co-Editor