40 people have been fined at a Holylands house party

Some were found hiding in the attic

Forty people have been fined by the PSNI for attending a house party in the Holylands which broke coronavirus restrictions. 

The fines were recorded after the PSNI had to break up two separate parties at the house on Penrose Street in the heart of the heavily student populated Holylands area of South Belfast. The fines were given out as Northern Ireland remains under circuit breaker restrictions, as the battle against coronavirus continues.

The PSNI were alerted to the first gathering at 12:40 GMT on Wednesday. Upon arrival at the residence, fines were made to an initial 19 party-goers who had “locked themselves in a bathroom” and, “refused to come out”.

An additional two people who were attending the same party were also found hiding in the property attic, with the PSNI issuing 32 fines for breaching Covid restrictions.

The incidents took place on Penrose Street

Four people received warnings for breaching the rules whilst another two people received fixed penalty notices for obstructing police.

Whilst police remained at the scene until the property was vacated by those who were not tenants, a separate noise complaint was later lodged at 08:15, with reports that the house party had restarted at the same BT7 address.

Upon returning to the property, the PSNI issued a further 8 fines to those who had restarted the restriction violating soiree.

In a plea to members of the public to remain conscientious of the ongoing restrictions, Sgt Stuart Jackson said, “People must understand that the current health restrictions are not a game”.

He added that, “The young people congregating or travelling to this area really need to consider their actions for their own health and that of the community of this residential area”.

Whilst it is unknown if the revellers were students at either Queen’s University Belfast or Ulster University, the PSNI have said that they will be in contact with both institutions, “who may consider taking action if any of their students were involved with this party”.

Holylands house parties have been a source of contention now for years. However, they have received particular attention since the Covid-19 pandemic emerged, with nearly 400 students and staff at QUB self-isolating within the first few weeks of term.