777 restaurant customer complaint of ‘obscenely loud’ music not for WRC

Diner had alleged environment at restaurant on George’s Street in Dublin 2 was loud ‘to the extent that the glass was shaking in the window’

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) determined it has no power to rule on a discrimination claim against a “notoriously loud” restaurant by a hearing-impaired patron who claimed its staff refused to turn down a sound system “because of the vibe”.

The diner, Emily Brady, had alleged that the environment at 777 on George’s Street in Dublin 2, where she had dinner with friends on 19 April 2023, was “obscenely loud, to the extent that the glass was shaking in the window”.

In a complaint under the Equal Status Act 2000, Ms Brady said that when she asked for the music to be turned down, the restaurant manager “said no and walked away” – an allegation “vehemently denied” by its management, JFR Ltd.

“It was a humiliating and upsetting experience ... They didn’t care that I existed. People with disabilities, or marginalised communities, don’t fit their vibe and aren’t welcome,” the complainant said.


“I was not able to converse with my friends – any ordering, I wasn’t able to do, I had to hand over to my friends,” Ms Brady said.

Restaurant boss John Farrell said the sound system in the establishment, which had been installed at a cost of €50,000, “automatically” adjusted the sound level based on the “busyness” of the premises.

He said it was “quite loud” but “wouldn’t interfere with talking around a table” adding that it might “seem loud when you walk in” but not cause difficulty when a patron was seated.

The manager, Pepé Rodriguez, and a waitress, Christine Noguera, both denied to the tribunal last December that Ms Brady had informed them of her disability, contradicting what Ms Brady and one of her fellow diners, Pat McCarthy, had stated in their evidence the first day the case was heard.

A friend of Ms Brady’s, Pat McCarthy, said Mr Rodriguez told the party “unapologetically” that “the volume of the music was the vibe of the restaurant”.

Questioning the party’s waitress, Christine Noguera, the restaurant’s solicitor Michelle Loughnane said: “At any stage of the evening did Ms Brady or any of her friends tell you that Ms Brady had a disability?”

“No,” Ms Noguera said.

“I disclosed a hearing impairment,” the complainant said as she cross-examined the witness.

“No, you asked if it could be less louder and then I want to talk with the manager, nothing else,” Ms Noguera said.

During Ms Noguera’s testimony, adjudicator David James Murphy attempted to direct a question at the witness twice but got no response, before telling the company’s solicitor, Ms Loughnane, that she “could have asked for a translator”. Ms Noguera said she had not realised the adjudicator was addressing her and asked him to say her name when she did so.

In a closing submission, Ms Brady said: “I disclosed my hearing difficulty twice. I recognise, I see the waitress, Ms Noguera, had trouble understanding English and possibly didn’t hear or misunderstood what was said.

“However, there is no excuse for Mr Rodriguez denying that I disclosed my disability. This is backed up by my witness and witness statements and yet everyone involved from the 777 side is saying that I did not.

“Mr Farrell says it might be loud when you walk in as that’s where the speakers are. We were seated directly under the speakers by the front door. Mr Farrell has said that the music is set at a volume that everyone is able to hear and converse but it’s clear there’s a difference from the front compared with the back,” she added.

Ms Loughnane, said there was a “complete dispute” on the facts but that Mr Rodriguez had “very clearly stated that reasonable accommodation was provided and the music was turned down at the complainant’s request”.

She said the fact Ms Brady’s party stayed for a full two-hour sitting was “indicative of how she was treated”.

In a decision published today by the WRC (WEDS), Mr Murphy wrote: “The bar, while notoriously loud, was much louder than the complainant expected and experienced in the past.”

He noted that there was no dispute that 777 Dublin was a licensed premises. He wrote that the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003 “transferred jurisdiction of Equal Status Act complaints to the District Court” and made it clear the equality legislation “shall cease to apply” in relation to discrimination “on, or at the point of entry to, licensed premises”.

“I, unfortunately, do not have jurisdiction to consider this matter,” Mr Murphy wrote.