What Do I Do?
You should try and come to an acceptable solution with the creator of the noise. If this does not work, you can make a formal complaint to the District Court. Your local authority can also bring the issue to the District Court. If you wish to make a complaint to the District Court, you are not required to be represented by a solicitor, however, you may engage the assistance of a solicitor to help prepare your noise complaint and present this in court.
One issue with Irish law regarding noise pollution is that it does not specify an exact noise level or standard that is considered illegal. However, it is clear that if neighbourhood noise is affecting the quality of life of a citizen, then that citizen has a right to complain.
Make Sense of the Law
The principal law relating to noise is Sections 106, 107, and 108 of Part VI of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Act 1992.
Section 108 is designed for individuals to take their own cases to the District Court without the need for a solicitor. It is quite informal and the judges are usually very helpful in getting the facts of the case out. There is some basic information you should arm yourself with, ahead of a District Court Case;
- An outline of what the noise is, when you hear it, how long for and what effect it is having on you? You should have a log of the times and dates you have been affected by the noise.
- Be able to outline occasions when you have tried to resolve the issue. Whether that be speaking to your neighbours informally or through contacting the Gardaí.
- Mention - if it is the case - that you had no noise issues with previous occupants. When first making contact with the offending neighbours it is worth pointing out how long you lived in the house and also enclose a copy of 'Guide to Noise Regulations' leaflet.
- The District Court judge then has the power to grant an order, to deal with the problem. This can then be enforced by the Gardaí.
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