Sunday 20 August 2017

Woman who claims 'little explosions' water pump disturbed her life for three years awarded €7,500

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Ray Managh

A Dublin woman, who claimed her life had been disturbed for three years because of noises “morning, noon and night,” from a water pump in her neighbour’s apartment, has been awarded damages in the Circuit Civil Court.

Carol-Ann Flanagan, a Dublin City Council tenant who lives at Crossguns Bridge, Phibsborough, claimed the pump, used to power a shower, washing machine and taps in the apartment directly adjacent to hers and owned by Kay Lennox, had not been designed for multi appliances.  

Flanagan, who moved into the apartment in May 2012, described the noises as resembling “little explosions".

“The apartment went from being a relatively quiet and peaceful place to something like a construction site,” Flanagan told her barrister Conor Bowman SC. 

The court heard she contacted Dublin City Council which investigated the matter but decided the noise did not constitute a nuisance.  She had issued legal proceedings against Ms Lennox, of St Fintans Road, Sutton, Dublin, after mediation had failed. 

She said she had been hopeless and helpless and did not know where to turn to address her complaints. 

“I am not a party reveller. I read a lot at home. I’m only a tenant who wants to live in peace and quiet,” Flanagan said.

She told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that the noise frequency had reduced by 50pc since an engineering inspection took place in 2015.  

Landlord Lennox said she had tried everything she could to suppress the noise and had replaced the original pump with a smaller one, thinking it would be less noisy. 

Her tenants, a couple with a child, had changed their lifestyle to accommodate Ms Flanagan.

Judge Groarke said the water pump was not designed to power a shower along with other appliances and increased noise levels as it laboured to pump water.  

He earlier reprimanded Ms Flanagan for loudly interrupting Ms Lennox’s evidence and said he would have her removed from court if she continued with her “theatrical attitude.”  He said she had exaggerated her complaints but he was satisfied the noise constituted a nuisance.

The judge said Ms Lennox’s tenants had done the best they could to accommodate Ms Flanagan but awarded her €7,500 damages.

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