Pre-St. Patrick’s Day Party Spirals Out of Control

By Iris Moore
BU News Service

On Saturday, a pre-St. Patrick’s Day party near the campus of University of Massachusetts in Amherst turned violent, forcing police to take action and arrest more than 70 people.

The gathering, known as the “Blarney Blowout,” is an annual party traditionally held by UMass Amherst’s students the Saturday before spring break. A crowd of about 4,000 people gathered at an off-campus apartment complex to celebrate the holiday, according to the Associated Press.

The party soon spiraled out of control as intoxicated participants were staggering around, vomiting and destroying property, said authorities.

Shortly after noon, the city and university police and state troopers moved in on the crowd at the apartment complex to try and break up the party. Beer bottles, cans and snowballs were thrown at authorities.

After the apartment scene, partygoers moved to a nearby frat house, where the disturbance continued. Officers were again met with debris being thrown at them. According to authorities, four officers were injured.

According to a statement from Amherst Police Capt. Jennifer Gunderson, the police dealt with numerous reports of unruly behavior and noise all throughout Saturday night.

Gunderson told The Republican in Springfield the party was   “Perhaps one of the worst scenes we have ever had with drunkenness and unruliness.”

However, students seemed to feel differently about the situation. “Blarney Blowout 2014 was a blast, even though I got tear-gassed,” said Selin Uzumcu in an interview with the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

UMass Amherst spokesman, Ed Blaguszewski, said students who were arrested could face suspension or expulsion.