herald

Wednesday 14 November 2018

'A living hell' - woman who keeps neighbours up all night faces jail

Catherine Swords was warned about her behaviour by judge
Catherine Swords was warned about her behaviour by judge

This woman has been making the lives of her neighbours "a living hell" with loud noises that sound like marbles being dropped and rolled along her apartment floor, and furniture being moved at all hours of the night.

Catherine Swords, of Hamilton Way in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, has been warned by a judge if she continues with the disruptive noises she will face prison.

However, Ms Swords claimed it is not her making the loud night-time noises - but her neighbours "who have military equipment" that they are moving around and are sabotaging everything on her - including her radio.

She claims that one of her neighbours - Richard Corr - who took a civil case against her under the Environmental Protection Act Noise as a Nuisance at Balbriggan District Court - is "mentally ill".

Mr Corr, who told Judge Dermot Dempsey that he would have moved out of the apartment if he had the money to do so, said that he and his family cannot sleep at night because of the constant noise from Ms Swords's apartment, which is above his.

"Ms Swords is constantly banging, shouting and smashing things around her apartment at all hours of the night," Mr Corr said and claimed he has recordings of the noise.

He said he has two young children who cannot sleep at night because the "noise gets worse then".

He said he tried to talk to Ms Swords about the constant noise but she shouts abuse at him through her audio system on her apartment door.

"Gardai have been called numerous times but she never answers the door and screams and shouts from her balcony," he said.

He said if he had money he and his family would be long gone from the apartment.

Another neighbour told the court that her young son has sensory issues and is "overloaded with the constant noise" from Ms Swords' apartment.

"The noise sounds like marbles being rolled and dropped on the apartment floor and furniture being dragged along the floor," the neighbour said.

However, Ms Swords claimed her neighbours, including Mr Corr, "are profoundly mentally ill" and that they "have military equipment" that they are moving around and terrorised her into taking medicine.

"They have military equipment and everything is sabotaged. They are torturing me and I have to increase the radio noise as I don't know what the noise is. I was told it's military equipment," she said.

She also claimed she is trying to get her neighbours psychoanalysed and that she has been "psychologically damaged by them".

She denied she is dragging furniture and dropping marbles on the floor.

"Not that I am aware of but they [the marbles] may have fallen accidentally," she said.

After hearing the evidence, Judge Dermot Dempsey found her neighbours had proven the case and said "all her neighbours are in a living hell".

He ordered Ms Swords to comply with Section 108 of the Environment Protection Act.

Ms Swords gave the undertaking that she won't make noise anymore.

"I am trying to get out of the apartment. I have another year to go. I won't survive there. They are all mentally ill," she claimed.

Warning Ms Swords to comply with the order, Judge Dempsey said: "If you don't comply you will face imprisonment."

"Any further breaches and it will be custody you are facing," he warned Ms Swords.

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