‘Living hell’ of Longitude noise leaves residents reeling

Complaint of ‘awful line-up’ also made to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

A licence for the event was granted despite 2,500 locals signing a South Dublin Protect Our Parks petition that urged an end to large commercial concerts in the suburban park. Photograph: The Irish Times

A licence for the event was granted despite 2,500 locals signing a South Dublin Protect Our Parks petition that urged an end to large commercial concerts in the suburban park. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Residents of south Dublin endured “three days of hell” during the Longitude Festival in Marlay Park last weekend, said a parks campaign group.

Festival Republic Dublin, on behalf of concert promoters MCD, was last month granted a licence by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, for the multi-stage event in the Rathfarnham park. This was despite 2,500 locals signing a South Dublin Protect Our Parks (SDPOP) petition calling for an end to large commercial concerts in the suburban park.

SDPOP spokeswoman Mary Kelly said the park was unsuitable for such events.

“There were 30,000 people per day at these concerts. This is a neighbourhood of 15,000 people, it is not equipped to deal with these numbers. There are plenty of venues that are, such as Punchestown Racecourse – an enclosed site with staff used to managing events.”

The crowd on Saturday was particularly disruptive Ms Kelly said. “They are actually worse going into the concert that they are coming out. They fall off the buses already dreadfully inebriated and throw up.”

Excessive drinking

People congregated outside supermarket off-licences, drinking before heading into the concerts, she said.

The park became a construction site with heavy vehicles driving around, while families were trying to enjoy the facilities, for several weeks before the concerts. “This is the very time of year when people want to use the park and it is frightening to see very small children on trikes, balance bikes or scooters sharing the paths with heavy vehicles.”

Ms Kelly lives about 500m from the park and noise from the concerts was intolerable, she said. It was “three days of complete hell. Even with the doors and windows closed and classical music playing, the noise from the concert was all you could hear.”

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said it received 18 complaints in relation to the festival. Four related to noise, three to drinking and three of anti-social behaviour. Of the remaining complaints one related to the “awful line-up”, the council said.

The council said it would permit concerts in the park again as there had been “no breaches of licence conditions”.Gardaí said there were “no significant incidents”.