Ex-servicemen's club close to losing licence over line-dancing


An ex-servicemen's club narrowly avoided losing its drinks licence yesterday because of its failure to deal properly with a neighbour's complaints about noise from its line-dancing and jazz nights.

The Royal British Legion, on Crosthwaite Terrace, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, was warned that a continued failure to deal with the complaints would lead to its licence not being renewed next September.

Judge Terence Finn said he was "stopping one short" of cancelling the club's licence, and its committee would have to do some "serious soul-searching" about what type of events it could run in order to minimise the nuisance.

Dublin District Court heard neighbours in the adjoining mews property had to listen to foot-stomping, whooping, handclapping and amplified music from between 20 and 30 people who took part in line dancing night every Tuesday. There was also noise from the jazz sessions held every Friday.

A rear fire door was frequently used by patrons and bands to get in and out of the club, and this was particularly disturbing late at night. The fire door was also left open.

Experts for both sides had carried out tests to assess the noise, but they disagreed on the solution. The objector's expert believed using concrete on the roof on the rear extension of the club would solve the noise problem, but the club's expert said this would be using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

When the neighbour approached a member of the committee, he was told the club was there before him, and he should "go and drop off the end of the pier".

The court heard the club had taken a number of steps to address the problems, including stricter control over the fire door. The patrons were mainly middle aged, and functions did not go on late at night. They were held to raise funds for the club which is a welfare organisation for ex-servicemen.

Judge Finn said the efforts to address the complaints appeared to be done in a grudging manner. He ordered the club to pay €3,000 to cover the cost of the objector's experts and legal fees.