The University of Limerick is conducting an investigation to identify any UL students who took part in a street party last night.

Students at UL are subject to a Code of Conduct and the university has said any student found to have attended the gathering will face suspension, pending a full investigation, or possible expulsion.

More than 50 fines were issued in relation to breaches of the Health Act following a street party in Castletroy on Tuesday night.

Gardaí were called to Carysfort Avenue, College Court, which is located close to the university, following reports that a large number of people had gathered in contravention of public health regulations.

A number of videos emerged on social media of widespread anti-social behaviour during which a number of flares and fireworks were set off.

The university has been urged to introduce a "zero tolerance" policy for students who gather in breach of public health regulations.

"Students at UL are subject to a Code of Conduct," a statement from the college concluded.

UL President Professor Kerstin Mey met senior garda representatives today.

She said it is clear that there "is a small minority among our 16,500 students who live in off campus estates who are consistently ignoring government and institutional guidelines.

"Students found to have broken the UL Code of Conduct will face the full rigour of our disciplinary process including temporary suspension and possible expulsion.

"We are fully supportive of An Garda Síochána and remain grateful for a close cooperative partnership with them."

In a statement issued following the meeting, UL said it "deplores the behaviour of a small minority of students living in the off-campus estates in private rented accommodation".

The university said it "has provided resources for high visibility Covid-19 garda policing with a focus on estates in the immediate vicinity of the campus".

It said it is conducting an investigation to identify any UL students who took part in the gathering last night.

Assistant Secretary General at Department of the Taoiseach Liz Canavan has urged anyone part of last night's events in Limerick to come forward for testing if they have any concerns.

At a Government Covid-19 briefing, she said "it would be easy to generalise, but it wouldn't be fair or accurate" and "the majority of young people are doing great and they have missed out on a lot".

The Minister of State with responsibility for Office of Public Works, Patrick O'Donovan, said those involved in last night's events "need to cop on". 

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime he said he has no empathy with those who took part, and that they have done "an awful lot of damage" to the vast majority of students in Limerick who adhere to the guidelines. 

This is "not about finger wagging or punitive action" he said. 

"It's a group of people who had no regard for elderly people, for their own families, for their neighbours, for the wider Limerick community and there has to be repercussions."

Minister of State at Department of Higher Education and Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick Niall Collins told RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne that many students cannot avail of the campus experience, but a small minority of people are "bringing the whole system into disrepute".

He said a clear plan and guidelines were given to all higher institutes of education in terms of who can be on campus and why they are allowed and only around 2.2% of students are on the UL campus.

Mr Collins said everyone's life has been inhibited during the pandemic and people are weary and frustrated, but said he did not accept the excuse that "a different regime can apply to students because they are students".

Labour councillor Elena Secas said the university needs to communicate the policy to all students and to "establish strict rules and enforce them".

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Cllr Secas said residents have voiced concerns following previous incidents, but this was the largest gathering to have taken place.

A Limerick-based GP said older residents of the Castletroy area are choosing to use shops and services in neighbouring Tipperary over fears that they will put themselves at risk of contracting Covid-19.

Dr Yvonne Williams said patients are reporting that they are afraid to use their local shop in Castletroy due to the high level of Covid-19 among the area's population.

A man in his 20s has been charged in relation to the Castletroy incident and is due to appear before Limerick District Court on 22 March.

Another man has been released without charge and issued a fixed charge notice for public order offences.

A third man, who was arrested under misuse of drugs legislation, is still being held at Henry Street Garda Station.