Off with the concert coughers


Sir, – I greatly enjoyed the recent Irishman’s Diary (Dermot Scott, March 26th) concerning coughing and other distractions in the concert hall. It brought to mind an incident I witnessed.

A few years ago, while on holiday in Berlin, I attended an orchestral concert in the wonderful concert hall in the west of the city. During the first half of the performance, a woman sitting in the row in front of me opened up a noisy sweet paper. Having consumed the said sweet, she continued to fiddle with the paper. Given the marvellous acoustics in the hall, the noise was exaggerated. In hushed tones, people all around her asked her to desist. A man came from across the aisle also to plead with her, but all to no avail. She continued to fiddle, which was totally distracting.

At the interval, a burly gentleman clad in black, with a peaked cap, ushered the woman from the hall by the forearm. She didn’t return for the second half of the performance.

Maybe in future in the concert hall this is the way to deal with the coughers and stubble-stokers, both male and female! – Yours, etc,


Marley Court,


Dublin 14.