Dublin 4 residents are celebrating a "huge victory" after Dublin Port Company was found in breach of planning regulations.
The Pigeon House Road neighbours have been fighting for years about constant deafening late-night noise from cranes outside their homes. They claim one elderly woman was forced to leave her home, another's hearing deteriorated significantly, children endured sleepless nights and some were racking up medical bills with stress.
However, now Dublin City Council has decided on a 'Section 5' against Dublin Port Company. This means the council has decided that the erection of the cranes was not exempt from planning permission.
The terminal, controlled by Marine Terminals Ltd (MTL), has three gantry cranes which handle container vessels. The company had previously claimed that the site qualified for an exemption from planning permission.
Residents' spokesperson Adrienne O'Sullivan said that they were relieved that they were making some progress after first objecting in 2002. Their requests are that the work stops at a reasonable hour or they are moved to a more peaceful location.
"It's a huge victory," Adrienne said. "Now we have to go for the next step, but we're tired." She said that during the previous weekend they had a "really bad night" where they had to endure the noise at 11.50pm. "We can't sleep, we can't continue to live like this," she said. "Our stress levels are off the map.
"I think the only option now is that we will have to leave our homes. We need a home we can sleep in, that is not shaking, that we are not afraid will come down on us."
Adrienne said that documenting the ongoing struggle had turned into a full-time job for her. "Why do we have to spend so much time and money?" she said. "We put forward a very detailed report to Dublin City Council, which led to this ruling. "But, if they think we are just the little people, we are not going away."