Gardaí in Limerick have shut down 35 house parties that had upwards of 30 people at them in the Castletroy area of Limerick since last Sunday.

It came after they strengthened patrols around the University of Limerick neighbourhoods as students return to the college.

A meeting of the Joint Policing Committee heard gardaí made five arrests for public order offences and trespassing offences, and issued 30 warnings about anti-social behaviour.

Academic personnel at UL have been accompanying gardaí on their nightly patrols to hammer home the public health guidelines to students, appealing to them not to gather in large group or to organise house parties.

However, in the absence of penal provisions Superintendent Brian Sugrue from Henry Street in Limerick,  who is heading up the operation, said gardaí are limited in what they can do about house parties.

Addressing councillors and TDs at the JPC, he said anybody with concerns about house parties or other anti-social behaviour should contact gardaí.

If we do not know about them, we cannot act, he said.