Creche families object to Wetherspoons sound barrier in central Dublin

Objectors warn proposed wall would deprive children at neighbouring creche of outdoor light

Parents of children attending a creche and Montessori School next door to a Wetherspoons “superpub” on Dublin’s Camden Street have called on Dublin City Council to refuse planning permission for a proposed “excessive” 43ft high sound barrier.

The D2 Creche and Montessori is located next door to the Wetherspoons pub and beer garden that is part of Keaven’s Port Hotel, and Wetherspoons is proposing the sound barrier to prevent neighbours being impacted by excessive noise levels from the pub’s outdoor courtyard area.

In April of last year, the UK-headquartered pub operator temporarily ceased trading at the courtyard/beer garden arising from local residents’ complaints over noise levels from its operation.

Two of the parents to append their names to the new objection are married couple, UCD researcher Naoise McNally and her husband, well-known economist, associate professor in economics at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Dr Ronan Lyons.


In the group objection, the creche and Montessori parents argue that to compromise the children’s outdoor play space, “at the expense of the youngest of children, in favour of creating a more favourable drinking environment for adults seems egregiously unfair and would reflect extremely poorly on the priorities of Dublin City Council”.

They contend the proposed wall adjacent to the children’s small outdoor yard “will compromise their play space and present a significant risk to their safety”.

They argue that the proposed wall “will obliterate access to sky views, and substantially diminish daylight and sunlight to a vulnerable group for whom access to light in the early years is essential”.

Ms McNally and Dr Lyons have two children attending D2 Creche and Montessori School. In an interview on Friday, Ms McNally described what is proposed as “awful”. Ms McNally said: “It may well be an exercise in futility if the wall doesn’t achieve what it is supposed to do so what is the point in building this wall?”

Ms McNally said that for the city council “it comes down to a choice between more drinking space outdoors for grown adults versus overshadowing and diminishing an important outdoor amenity for children... in the city centre”.

In a 26-page planning report lodged with the plans, consultants Brock McClure state that “the barrier has been developed to protect all persons who will live, work or engage in other activities in the immediate vicinity of the courtyard from noise disturbance from the outside seating area”.

The report states that particular emphasis has been paid to nearby residential properties surrounding the premises. The consultants state that the design and scale of the barrier is appropriate for the site.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times