Noise Pollution

The term ‘Noise Pollution’ involves many strands. It includes a noise that:

  • ... is a nuisance;
  • ... would endanger human health;
  • ... damages property;
  • ... could harm the environment.

Noise pollution can take place in any area where sound is generated. It may not happen there all the time, but on some occasions the levels and proximity of the noise can change, changing its impact on you. Vibrations can also become a problem, especially if you are close to quarries, mines or tunnels. Humans can detect very low level vibrations and they can cause damage to property.

There are a number of regulations to help curb noise pollution. These include where and who to report the disturbance to and how the problem can be dealt with. In 1994, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government addressed the problem of noise pollution by making regulations under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Act 1992 (Noise) Regulations 1994. Part of those regulations are that any individual person, or a local authority, may complain to a District Court seeking an Order to deal with a noise that gives a person reasonable cause for annoyance.

Types of Noise Pollution

At a second stage debate in the Dáil, on a Green Party published Private Members Bill on Noise in November 2006, noise pollution fell into these categories:


  • Road traffic noise , railway related noise and air traffic, and in particular, noise from low flying helicopters.


Commercial / Industrial

  • Air conditioning units on shops;
  • Noise and disruption caused by bars/nightclubs/disco;
  • Industrial installations;
  • Blasts from quarries  and rock breaking.


  • Noise from jet-skis;
  • Levels of noise at a disco internally and externally, and noise from outdoor events.


  • Continual and persistent car and house alarm; 
  • Noise from neighbourhood parties;
  • Particularly high domestic noise levels at weekends;
  • Animal noise including in particular the barking of dogs; 
  • Young people loitering and engaging in boisterous activities generating a considerable level of noise in residential areas.

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