Definition of a noise nuisance in legislation: A noise so loud, so continuous, so repeated, of such pitch or duration or occurring at such times that it gives a person reasonable cause for annoyance.
Noise nuisance caused by neighbours makes up the vast majority of noise complaints in Ireland. The source of a neighbourhood noise complaint most often dictates the way it should be addressed.
Taking a case under the regulations
Under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Act 1992 (Noise) Regulations 1994, any individual person, or a local authority, may appeal to the District Court for an Order to deal with a noise nuisance.
Firstly a complainant must give notice to the person making the noise of the intention to make a formal complaint to the District Court and then he/she must serve a notice on the alleged offender that a complaint is being made at least 7 days in advance of the complaint being made to the Court. The District Court will hear both sides of a complaint and where it finds in favour of the complainant it can order the person or body making the noise to reduce it to a specific level, to limit it e.g. to specified times, or to stop it altogether.