In Meath, everyone can hear you scream, objectors claim
In space, no one can hear you scream. But in Meath, residents living close to Tayto Park fear a new roller coaster will provoke shrieks loud enough to disturb the neighbourhood.
Last week, four residents - Jeremy Butcher and Suzanne Galwey, along with Donal Greene and Clare Smith, who live close to the country's most popular theme park - put the plan for a new ride on hold when they appealed Meath Co Council's decision over the €14m attraction.
The text of the appeal shows that noise disturbance was the first ground of appeal.
The appellants state that the existing Cu Chulainn wooden roller coaster produces significant "rattling" while moving, accompanied by screaming from riders every time it is in use, which is every few minutes up to nine hours a day.
They fear Tayto Park's planned "Coaster 2021" will only make things worse.
The appeal adds: "Although the new roller coaster is electric and may not produce the same rattle, it will inevitably bring the noise of participants screaming every time it is in use.
"We note that the application actually includes two roller coaster rides, tripling the total noise disturbance we experience.
"Combined with the general background noise coming from the existing roller coaster and other rides, this noise has led us as a family to avoid staying outdoors in summer months."
The residents' appeal states that they are being affected on a daily basis by the impact of Tayto Park and the ongoing development of the private commercial enterprise.
The residents also state that Tayto Park made no proactive efforts to engage with them in advance of the application being lodged, but representatives did make contact after the objections were lodged.
The appeal now threatens the timeline for the business to have the roller coaster constructed and open to visitors by 2021 and puts a question mark over the project.
Tayto Park has previously said that if operators do not add a major attraction at this time "the longer term viability of the park would be brought into question".
The planning documents state that "Coaster 2021" will help projected visitor numbers increase by 15pc from 630,000 in 2019 to 725,000 in 2023.
A decision is due on the appeal in early July.