Wednesday 21 March 2018

Residents living near Dublin port can't sleep at night due to noise, court told

A crane transports a shipping container at Dublin port
A crane transports a shipping container at Dublin port

Tim Healy

RESIDENTS living near Dublin port say they cannot sleep at night because of noise caused by the intensification of operations at a container terminal, the High Court heard.

The residents, from Pigeon House Road, Ringsend, have brought an action the Dublin Port Company, which controls the port, and container operator, Marine Terminals Ltd (MTL), for noise nuisance and alleged breach of planning laws due to alleged intensification.

Among the orders the residents seek are that activities at the MTL facility should cease at 11pm and not resume until 7am.

The defendants oppose the action and MTL which is owned by the Merseyside Docks and Harbour Group, denies there has been an intensification of operations.

Opening the residents' case, Seamus Woulfe SC said his clients could not get enough peace in order to sleep for up to five nights a week because of MTL's activities.   They have been complaining since 2002, and before that, but had got no satisfaction from either defendant, he said.

The court would hear evidence of "engines running, vehicles moving, cranes moving up and down, clanging and banging", counsel said.  Containers were being moved from ship to shore and vice versa during the day but also during night time hours, he said.

This was a case of "the small man against the big company and the conflict between sleep and profit", he said.

The residents were not making a claim that MTL, which is a big and profitable company, should stop but simply that there should be no activity between 11pm and 7am.  They were also claiming for distress and disruption to their lives.

The residents seek a declaration that certain constructions at the MTL facility has constituted unauthorised development because they have led to intensification.

MTL says that the structures are exempted developments which facilitate more efficient use and have led to a reduction of noise.

More than a third of all container traffic through Dublin passes through the MTL terminal.

The case continues before Ms Justice Marie Baker.

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