‘We had glorious sunshine... and now we have the privacy and the sunshine gone in our rear gardens, it just makes it null and void’
Residents living in a small row of houses in Dublin’s docklands said they are under constant siege as multi-storey developments continue to surround their homes.
Locals living on the row of terraced houses on Mayor Street Upper have described how the area, which was once a quiet cul-de-sac, is now surrounded by building sites, cranes and apartment and office blocks.
Tony McDonnell (62) has been living on the terraced row since 1992 and says the disturbance has been going on since 1998 when the planning permission was sought for the National Conference Centre and the Spencer Dock apartments.
“In the early stages of development, they used to allow the developers to work until half four in the morning after starting at 7am. That’s 21 hours of noise,” he said.
Residents have also racked up higher electricity bills as the tall buildings surrounding the street have blocked out the sunlight and created a dark atmosphere in their homes.
“We are a south-facing terrace of homes and even on a beautiful day like today with plenty of beautiful sunshine, we would have received that in the past, but now with the buildings up in front of us we’re in wind swept, dark and cold homes and the electricity bills are increased by virtue of the lights being on and the heating being on.
“We had glorious sunshine, there was nothing to stop us availing of it and now we have the privacy and the sunshine gone in our rear gardens, it just makes it null and void,” Tony said.
Locals have also lost all privacy as their homes are now “part and parcel of the forecourt of the apartment building” which towers over the back of the street.
“We had no say and never wanted to be part and parcel of the forecourt of a development and if we were to come outside in the summer to read a paper or listen to the radio, our privacy is totally gone,” Tony added.
The once peaceful street lost its status as a cul-de-sac when it became part of the Luas line in 2007 and this created a further disturbance for local residents.
Christopher Flynn, a resident of Mayor Street since 1993, says the area is unrecognisable from when he first arrived.
“When we first moved in, outside the front door here was a cul-de-sac.
“They’ve put the Luas through which they started in 2007. Then they put the conference centre in, and the Spencer Dock apartments which were being built around the same time so we had to put up with all that,” he explained.
Christopher said his health has suffered due to the build-up of silica dust in the area from nearby construction sites.
“I haven’t stopped coughing in about two or three years.
“I’ve gone to a doctor and he’s done checks and he’s sent me to the hospital but I just can’t stop coughing,” he said.
Tony said the residents have been “let down massively” by Dublin City Council who have failed to respond to any of the concerns raised about the disruption to the community.
“There’s banners up in front of the homes down here asking for someone to help us out. Councillors and TDs have never come up to any of the homes to ask us what the problems were.
“In the elections, whether local or general, not one politician knocked on any of the doors,” he added.