Marlay Grange House – Charity Event

A fund raising event in aid of the Barnardos charity was held in Marlay Grange House on November 1st 2014. This event caused considerable noise disturbance and nuisance in surrounding areas and resulted in a deluge of complaints to Rathfarnham and Dundrum Garda stations. One of the residential estates nearby is Marley Grange Estate. Subsequent to the November 1st event, representatives of Marley Grange Residents Association (MGRA) met the owner of Marlay Grange House to discuss concerns regarding the event and in particular to ascertain what plans exist for future such events. The owner accepted that problems had arisen with the running of the 2014 event and explained that he wished to run an event on 31st October 2015, but that he did not wish to cause disruption and nuisance to local residents.

On foot of the discussions the owner and his event management company (Boggler Productions) have agreed to make a number of changes to limit the disturbance to local residents.

Ideally, MGRA would prefer for no event to take place in Marlay Grange House. It is nigh impossible to run an event of this nature with no impact on local residents, and given that local residents already have the nuisance factor of

• Marlay Park concerts
• Other social and community events in Marlay Park
• Sporting events in Three Rock Rovers Hockey club

It is easy to understand the lack of enthusiasm for yet another disruptive event to be added to the calendar. However MGRA do recognise that there is no legal framework to object to the holding of an event on private property. Furthermore MGRA do accept that the aim of raising funds for a deserving charity is a laudable one and would not wish to interfere with such an activity.

This document linked here represents the voluntary code of practice agreed by the owner and Boggler Productions. While this statement of agreement is primarily between MGRA and the owner of Marlay Grange House, MGRA have no difficulty with it being used as a template for further agreements with other residents associations, the relevant local authorities and An Garda Siochana. It must be stressed that MGRA are not endorsing or giving approval to any event, either on behalf of its own members or on behalf of any other neighbouring areas. MGRA are merely being pragmatic and accepting the inevitability of an event proceeding and seeking to minimise disruption on its members.

Noise level
The largest number of complaints arose from the excessively loud music which continued until the early hours of the morning. It is noted that the event planned for 2015 will take place at Halloween and that a lot of other noise sources such as parties and fireworks will exist on that night. Nonetheless, to minimise disruption to local residents Boggler Productions have committed to:
• Pointing of loudspeakers away from local estates, rather than parallel to or towards Grange Road.
• Use of directional loudspeaker technology to focus music sound towards the participating audience.
• Agreed start and finish times to limit the duration of any noise nuisance, and particularly a strict cut off time of 12 midnight for the end of the loud music. After midnight the event will move to a normal DJ style setup with smaller speakers and sound which should not be audible in adjacent estates. (Note, it is understood that the Eden Pub will run a Halloween night party on the same night as the planned event which will probably also end around midnight).
• A maximum instantaneous volume levels of 72dB (unweighted) which must not be exceeded.
• Measurement process for amplitude levels at the gates to Marlay Grange House, with feedback mechanism to allow for volume reduction in the case of any problem. This should be a more pragmatic approach than measurement in local estates as is done during the Marlay Park concerts but will still allow for minimising any noise nuisance.

Complaints process
The overload of complaints to the Gardai on the night not only reflected the level of annoyance generated by the 2014 event, but also risked a serious communications problem if any other police emergencies had arisen that night in the Rathfarnham / Dundrum areas. (The 112/999 emergency numbers were not affected). Boggler Productions have committed to providing a dedicated complaint line which is 083 8082441 where a member of the event staff will answer the call on the night of the concert. In addition a separate private hotline number will be provided to allow local authority / Garda have guaranteed access to the event management company on the night.

Car parking
Some impact on local residents arose from cars being parked in local estates. It is noted that efforts did take place in 2014 to mitigate this, in particular there were security people asking attendees not to park in Eden estate, though this can have a knock on effect of moving parking up to the next estate. It is also noted that any car driver is entitled to park a car in a public place provided it is done in compliance with the rules of the road.
Ideally participants at such events should consider taking public transport or taxis. If parking is taking place in local estates the participants should be reminded to be considerate to local residents and in particular to ensure that they do not park illegally (obstructing entrances, at corners etc.). To try and further mitigate the problem, Boggler Productions will investigate if parking can be made available in one of the sporting clubs nearby on a pay per park basis.

MGRA have no role or authority to approve or endorse any event held on private property. Ideally MGRA would prefer if no event takes place which results in noise or other nuisance for local residence. However, MGRA recognise that the owner of Marlay Grange House and Boggler Productions have voluntarily agreed to implement a number of key steps to limit the impact on local residents for the planned 2015 event. MGRA would ideally like to see this approach be formalised by the event organisers engaging with South Dublin County Council and An Garda Siochana. MGRA would be happy for this document to be used as a template or start point for formal agreement. Furthermore MGRA are willing to offer their web site as a vehicle to disseminate any agreed terms and conditions surrounding the event if this is helpful to all parties.