Marlay Grange House Concert Update

Marlay Grange House Charity Fundraising Concert.

The event held in Marlay Grange House on 1st November resulted in a lot of concerns for local residents, and many complaints were made to the Gardai, the local authorities and to Marley Grange Residents Association. The core issues to our residents was that this concert was very loud and was on until after 2am in the morning and could be heard over the entire local area. There is no approval required nor any legal basis to prevent any future private event taking place and there is no legal basis to control volume at such an event.

On foot of the complaints MGRA received, representatives of the MGRA committee met with the owner of Marlay Grange house to discuss the issues raised.

The main points arising from the discussion were –

  • The event held in Marlay Grange House on 1st November was a private function held to raise funds for the Barnardos children’s charity.  600 invited guests attended, of whom around 60 could be considered locals that had introduced themselves to the owner in advance of the event. Attendance at the event was free but a contribution to Barnardos was a condition of participation. This raised a very significant amount of funds for the charity.
  • It was accepted that the event this year caused a large groundswell of complaints, both to Gardai and local authorities. It was also accepted that mistakes were made in running this year’s event, in particular with regard to:

delay in the programme of live bands resulting in the loudest part of event spilling over well past midnight,

the orientation of the speakers for the event, parallel to Grange Road. In the 2013 event speakers were facing away although they could still be heard in Marley Grange housing estate.

there was a lack of communication with stakeholders such as local residents about the event (although this was a well-intentioned deliberate policy for security reasons to minimise any gate-crashing attempts to the event)

lack of a “complaints hotline” that could have lessened the overload of calls to Rathfarnham / Dundrum Garda stations

  • Gardai had been contacted by the organisers in advance of the event, and a small number of Gardai were present on the night to work with event security to ensure public safety. Despite reports to the contrary, the Garda request to turn down volume was acceded at midnight with a reduction in the volume levels by the event management company.  Although it was acknowledged that this may not have been noticeable to residents in Marley Grange.
  • The owner expects to run a similar event next year on 31st October, and to raise even more funds and raise the profile of Barnardos and the good work done by the charity. The Event next year would learn lessons from this year in an attempt to minimise any disruption to local residents with

Ø  tighter scheduling of the live bands with a strict cut off time earlier in the evening

Ø  pointing of speakers away from local housing, and utilisation of more directional speakers to focus sound at the event attendees and minimise spill over

Ø  strong engagement with local residents to communicate plans and rules to be adhered to as part of the event management company (possibly including a max threshold sound level or equivalent)

Ø  further thought to managing car parking associated with event to minimise disruption to local residents.

  • The owner clarified that while he was strongly committed to next year’s event and to the raising of much needed funds for Barnardos, he had no desire to hold something that causes significant disruption to the local community. The owner does want to be seen as part of our neighbourhood where Marlay Grange House has a role as part of the history and culture of the area. He fervently hoped that agreement can be reached that meets the needs of all parties.

It is our opinion that any event that causes upset to local neighbours due to very loud music, irrespective of the good intentions behind it, cannot be considered welcome in the area. However we recognise that the owner of the premises did not break any laws, and that any future events can only be covered by a voluntary code of practice rather than any existing legal framework. MGRA understands that local authorities are considering new bye laws to give the Garda powers to stop music above certain levels at such events. We would certainly welcome and support such developments. In the meantime we believe that a constructive engagement with the owner of Marlay Grange House will lead to tightening up of the conditions around future events and should lead to less disruption for local residents.

Comments

  1. Vera English says:

    October has hit us and my thoughts have already been drawn to the reminder of the ‘Charity Gig in Marley Grange House from last year, where unacceptable noise levels throughout the night and up until 2am in the morning resulted in hundreds of calls to the local Garda Stations. I understand that the owner expects to run a similar event next year on 31st October.

    During my now, grown up son’s late teen and early 20’s, there were a number of occasions, where without our permission, he invited more friends to our house than would be normal for a ‘free gaff party’. Needless to say, noise levels would have been high, and following a few complaints, the Gardai were called and the party was broken up…. and rightly so.

    It would seem however, that an older man, with a bigger house and a more sophisticated sound system is allowed to disrupt whole estates of neighbours within a large radius up till 2am in the morning and there is nothing to be done?? – How ludicrous!!!!

    We had a number of concerts in Marley Park this year, all run in a relatively reasonable manner. Some of the income from these concerts which goes to the local County Council, goes back into the upkeep and the new initiatives for the park, which then can be enjoyed by thousands of visitors.

    This is in complete contrast to the annual ‘private party’ (concert) in Marlay Grange House. It is run as a charity gig, by the owner of the house, Bobby Healy, to raise funds for Bernardo’s . The noise levels last year were unacceptable, it ran till after 2am and could be heard for miles.. It was indulgent, unreasonable and disrespectful. The fact that it is a charity event is no excuse and not a good enough reason, to disrupt a large community in the way it did.

    If the running of the party is an on-going affair, albeit on a yearly basis, then can a representation not be made to the district court, so that this ‘private party’ be governed under the same rules as the official Marley concerts. If this is not an avenue that we can explore, then at the very least, the community should know, what measures have been put in place by the organisers to ensure that we do not have a repeat of last years incident. It may be that the owner of the premises did not break any laws, but based on last years disruptions, it is amazing that members of the public were not tempted to take their own action that might have been outside the law.

    I would like my comments to be made public on your site, to allow others to comment

    Regards

    Vera English

    Marley Resident

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