FAQ's about noise

  • What is environmental noise?

    Environmental noise is 'unwanted sound' arising from all areas of human activity such as noise from transport, industrial and recreational activities. Excessive noise can:

    • seriously harm human health, including mental health
    • interfere with people‚Äôs daily activities at school, at work, at home & during leisure time
    • disrupt sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects
    • lower performance, lead to annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour

    In Ireland, we would normally consider noise complaints under four main categories:

    • entertainment
    • domestic/neighbourhood noise
    • industrial/commercial activities
    • transport-related noise
  • What can I do about a noise nuisance?

    There are a number of steps open to you under the law when you are experiencing a nuisance caused by noise. The procedures detailed below are designed to cover general neighbourhood type noise problems, such as continual noise from other houses home workshops, local businesses etc. The Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 (Noise) Regulations, 1994 (S.I. No.179 of 1994) provide redress in the case of these types of problems. They are designed to allow straightforward access to the Courts by individuals or groups concerned about excessive noise.

    When can I take action to deal with noise as a nuisance?

    Whenever you consider noise to be so loud, so continuous, so repeated or of such duration or pitch, or occurring at such times that it gives you reasonable cause for annoyance you can initiate action to deal with it.

    What action can I take?

    Initially, it may be sufficient to explain to whoever is causing the noise that it is a nuisance and come to some mutually acceptable understanding. If this does not resolve the matter you will need to take the following steps:

    • contact your local authority for assistance on general neighbourhood noise, as detailed above. Noise compaints about privately rented accommodation should be directed to the landlord and the relevant city/county council in the case of local authority housing.
    • contact the EPA if you want to make a complaint about an EPA licenced activity.
    • you may exercise your right to make a formal complaint to the District Court seeking an Order to deal with the nuisance. Forms are available from the District Court office.
  • My neighbour's dog is barking, what can I do?

    Initially, it may be sufficient to explain to the dog owner causing the noise that it's a nuisance and come to some mutually acceptable understanding.

    However, persistent problems arising from barking dogs are covered under the Control of Dogs Acts 1986 & 1992.  A copy of the Form used for complaints to the Courts about noise from dogs is available from your local authority (city/council).

  • What can I do about noise arising from public events?

    Any event such as a concert or festival would normally require planning permission. However, in some cases, a particular venue may have prior approval to stage a set number of concerts/events per annum.  The appropriate local authority (city/county council) should be contacted in relation to any planning conditions relating to noise for these once-off events