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Temple Bar publicans win noise battle

PUBLICANS in Temple Bar are this evening toasting the latest victory in an ongoing battle with local residents.

Business people in Dublin's best-known party zone are celebrating the news that a stringent licensing law has been lifted in the Circuit Civil Court.

And they say it's time to call 'last orders' on the particular rules that they say are crippling their venues and killing their businesses.

It comes after hotelier Frank Conway, who owns Think Tank nightclub, won an ongoing battle against a group of locals led by Irish Times environmental editor Frank McDonald.

He had spent €80,000 soundproofing his bar after residents nearby waged a 15-year-old campaign against the "intolerable noise" emanating from the hotel complex.

Mr Conway successfully argued that the ongoing ban on live music in his venue could result in financial ruin for him, resulting in the motion being lifted.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery also relaxed certain restrictions covering applications the businessman could make to the District Court for special exemption orders.

And this evening bar owners and managers in the popular area were over the moon with the news.

Lee Sim, who co-owns the nearby Bar Pinxto, said problems with residents were an ongoing issue for publicans.

After one resident claimed it was in breach of noise levels, the Bar made every effort to try to address the resident's concerns, he said.

"They still weren't happy with that and I got a few irate complaints at all hours of the day."

And he thinks it's "ridiculous" that locals should expect the popular area not to have live music playing at night.

"We're talking about one of the liveliest places in Dublin and that's what you're getting into when you move into Temple Bar.

"I used to live here and it's a great place."

The Porterhouse Temple Bar manager Dan Garrett admitted that problems crop up from time to time.

"Over the years, we have had a few complaints with people about noise levels. You don't want to fall out with people and you try to keep it within the parameters," he continued.

He added that he thought the civil court verdict was good news as long as all the parties were happy with the result.

Dave Allen of the Button Factory sid that they were also the subject of a possible licensing problem amid complaints from locals.


He said: "What happened in court this week probably eases our problems in the long term so we would definitely welcome that."

Supervisor John Farrelly of the Temple Bar pub said there has to be "a bit of give and take" when it comes to keeping everyone happy.

"You have to take the residents' opinions into account as they have a right to a good quality of life as well."

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