Friday 2 December 2016

Dublin Port neighbours in court case over 'nightmare' noise pollution from cranes

Angry residents during a protest in 2011
Angry residents during a protest in 2011
Houses and port cranes on Pigeon House Road (INM)

Residents living near Dublin Port have described their living conditions as "a nightmare" because of the noise created by ships unloading crates near their homes.

A group of residents from Pigeon House Road began a High Court action yesterday against the Dublin Port Company, which controls the port, and container operator Marine Terminals Ltd (MTL) for noise nuisance and alleged breach of planning laws.

Demented

"This has been going on for years and it's an absolute nightmare," said one resident, who did not want to be named.

"The cranes work all through the night. You can't sleep a wink. When one of the metal containers comes down, the vibration alone is enough to wake you. We're driven demented by the noise."

Another resident said his family could not move away because it would be impossible to sell the house.

"Who would want to live beside that?" he said.

The High Court heard that the residents from the Ringsend neighbourhood are seeking an order to ensure that activities at the MTL facility should cease at 11pm and not resume until 7am.

The defendants oppose the action and MTL, which is owned by the Merseyside Docks and Harbour Group, denies there has been an intensification of operations.

Opening the residents' case, counsel Seamus Woulfe said they could not get peace to sleep for up to five nights a week because of MTL's activities. They have been complaining since 2002 but had got no satisfaction, he said.

The court would hear evidence of "engines running, vehicles moving, cranes moving up and down, clanging and banging".

Containers were being moved from ship to shore and vice versa day and night, said Mr Woulfe.

The residents were not making a claim that MTL should stop, but simply that there should be no activity between 11pm and 7am. They were also claiming for distress. The case continues.

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