The images from Galway were shared widely on social media.
Images from the Spanish Arch area in Galway were widely shared on social media late on Monday night, showing large groups congregated in and around Shop Street.
In reaction to the images, Eddie Haore, Fine Gael Councillor for Galway City, took to Twitter to state that "Numbers will inevitability continue to rise. I’d expect Level 3 restriction before the end of the week".
Spanish Arch, Galway tonight. Numbers will inevitability continue to rise. I’d expect Level 3 restriction before the end of the week.... pic.twitter.com/cBLUoJOfj9
— Cllr. Eddie Hoare (@EddieHoareFG) September 28, 2020
Additionally, Fianna Fáil Senator Ollie Crowe shared footage from a different vantage point, stating that he has "sympathy for those entering college for first time during Covid but these scenes are simply unacceptable, particularly with recent growth in Galway cases."
Have sympathy for those entering college for first time during Covid but these scenes are simply unacceptable, particularly with recent growth in Galway cases. Have contacted Millstreet Gardai & written to NUIG President though I fear damage may be done. pic.twitter.com/IASFtk6Eqr
— Ollie Crowe (@olliecrowe_ie) September 28, 2020
Another Galway councillor, Owen Hanley, took to Twitter to say that "Every person who broke Covid restrictions in the Galway crowds tonight should be ashamed. Not only are you putting the whole city at risk but you are sacrificing the experience of the next entire college year for your class mates and yourselves."
In the last few days, Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed that the situation is being closely monitored in four more counties that could soon join Dublin and Donegal on level three if cases continue to rise.
Galway is one of those four counties - along with Cork, Louth, and Wicklow - and the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) will meet this week to discuss whether localised lockdowns should be introduced.