Residents in south Meath living under flight traffic at Dublin Airport say they are already suffering the effects of increased noise levels and are angered at plans for further expansion.

Noise monitors for airport ‘not where they need to be’ - Meyer

ANY person can track where noise monitors are located around Dublin Airport – but they are not where they should be, a Sinn Fein councillor has maintained.

Cllr Helen Meyer called on Meath Co Council to conduct an independent noise assessment of aircraft noise in Co Meath. Officials replied that the council did not intend undertaking such a survey as the Aircraft Noise Competent Authority had already commenced an assessment of the aircraft noise impact of the airport operating as a whole.

Cllr Meyer said the monitors needed to be placed where the complaints about noise were coming from and that had not been done. What was needed was an independent source to locate those monitors.

“There is an impact on the quality of life of people around south Ashbourne, down by Greenogue. They feel like they are not being heard at all and their lives are a misery. If the airport capacity was to increase to 40 million passengers, it would only impact further on Co Meath An independent monitor that people can trust should be put in.”

Sinn Fein Cllr Michael Gallagher supported the motion, saying that the flight path had changed.

Independent Cllr Nick Killian said he also supported the motion. He said they had all heard that Meath had no jurisdiction but the people of Meath could not continue to be ignored. It was the case that the noise was causing “great grief” to the people of Ashbourne and Ratoath Municipal Districts.

A recent meeting held at Coolquoy Lodge was packed. People were not being listened to, he said. “We cannot ignore the existence of what is happening. It is ruining the lives of elderly people in those areas”.

“We cannot keep saying no”, Cllr Killian said. He appealed to officials to take the motion and see what they could do with it “because the DAA are going to do what they like, how they like and when they like”.

Independent Cllr Gillian Toole said the fact that Meath Co Council thought it could do nothing about the problem was “very worrying”. This flew in the face of all the great plans the council had for the county and particularly the climate action plan that was being ratified at this council meeting. “We have to do independent noise monitoring.

“We have to stand our ground and we as a local authority have to have evidence, whether it is in favour or against the state of play”.

Fine Gael Cllr Gerry O’Connor said that he supported the motion but he also noted that there was an independent aircraft noise authority and it had already commenced a study. He asked if that report would be made available to Meath Co Council and if it would be circulated to the councillors.

Independent Cllr Joe Bonner said the matter was very, very serious and he thought the council could not “sit idly by” in relation to the noise monitoring issue. He said the council should invite members of the communities who had put together information on the issue to address the council.

Director of Services Dara McGowan, replying to councillors who raised issues about noise complaints from Meath residents said that while Meath Co Council has no role in planning matters regarding Dublin Airport it is possible for the Meath council to write to the authorities asking for additional noise monitors to the three already located in the county.