Mum’s agony as constant noise from new Dublin Airport runway leaves kids crying
“It’s heart-breaking, my daughter has seen the stress and anxiety this has caused. She’s saying things like ‘we can move somewhere else, I can move schools, it’ll be okay’. That’s awful. “
A four-year-old girl has asked her parents if they can move house due to the noise from the new North Runway at Dublin Airport.
Dr Niamh Maher, who lives in St Margaret’s with her husband and two young children, said the family is suffering because of aircraft noise above their home.
The runway started operating on August 24 last year in a “teething phase”, before changes were made to flight paths on February 23 after complaints about noise from local residents.
However, many of those living in the area say this is still not enough.
“I’ve to hide my stress at work. As a result, I’ve had issues with my stomach which is stress induced. My sleep is all over the place. I’m very on edge because I’m constantly thinking about it,” Ms Maher said.
“There’s no clear resolution to this, it was forced on us. There’s no control of this situation. There’s a massive anxiety associated with it, along with working full time and two young kids. It’s so upsetting, I feel so helpless.
“It’s heart-breaking, my daughter has seen the stress and anxiety this has caused. She’s saying things like ‘we can move somewhere else, I can move schools, it’ll be okay’. That’s awful.
“It’s like a warzone. The planes are flying over the garden. My daughter cries because of it.
“The noise stops me from thinking, I can’t have a conversation because the planes drown you out. My kids can’t play in the garden. It’s not a noise you get used to.
“This wasn’t meant to happen; we’re not meant to be under low-flying planes. The noise of them, the house vibrates. You can feel them go through your body. The noise is deafening. I get angry talking about it,” she added.
Niamh and her husband looked into the situation before moving into the area, but they didn’t expect it to be this bad.
“We recently renovated our home and only moved to the area in the past seven years. My husband had checked with the council about where the proposed bypass was meant to be for the new runway before it was built,” she said.
“We were told it was fine so obviously when it opened, we got a massive shock. They were flying directly over the house at low altitude.
“Your home is immediately devalued if you’re under a flight path. This is meant to be our forever home.
“We put everything into this house. I was pregnant with my second child, and we were living in a shoebox to get this house.
“We’ve been in the house a year and a half since the renovation, then bang, we get this. It’s completely unjust and unacceptable.
“We’re used to a certain amount of aircraft noise; we’re used to planes in the sky around us. But there was absolute terror at the beginning of this.
“They’d use it between 7am until 11pm at night. We feel we’re being completely ignored and nobody seems to care,” she added.
Green Party councillor Ian Carey has said it is “shameful to see what the daa is doing”.
“After decades of work in preparation for the new runway, public consultation, noise maps prepared, insulation schemes initiated, all that has just been thrown out the window,” he said.
“Everything the community was told about the impact of the new runway was totally wrong.
“People who built and bought houses after being told there would be little or no impact on them are finding out they are in an area of the highest impact with no explanation of why, no transparency and no engagement whatsoever.
“The daa needs to correct flight paths so they are exactly in line with what was contained in the planning permission,” he added.
Independent councillor Joe Newman also criticised the daa and described the North Runway project to be a “catastrophic failure”.
Councillor Newman said residents of the Ridgewood and Boroimhe estates in Swords, who live just one kilometre away from the new runway, have “had their lives shattered with this huge noise disturbance invading their homes”.
He pointed out the significant noise disturbance at St Margaret’s, The Ward, Tyrrelstown, Kilsallaghan and Oldtown.
These towns are “under the flight path where planes make a sharp turn which is contrary to planning permission and contradicts the daa noise contours presented at public consultations”.
“The residents of the River Valley estate in Swords have put up with a lot of noise from airplanes taking off from the south runway for years,” he said.
“Now, they have to deal with an increased amount of noise because the planes are taking off at much lower altitudes.”
Councillor Newman is demanding the daa returns immediately to the original planning conditions as set out by Fingal County Council.
“The management and usage of the new runway has caused a huge discomfort and annoyance to the residents of the Fingal region,” he said.
“The daa clearly has no regard for people of Fingal or for the conditions as set out in the planning.”
When asked for comment, the daa confirmed the new flight paths “came into play on February 23.”
In addition, 18 new noise monitoring terminals are being added to monitor aircraft using Dublin Airport.
“Some areas like St Margaret’s, Shallon and The Ward Cross will continue to be overflown as anticipated, whilst other areas like Oldtown and Ballyboughal will be overflown, but at higher altitudes,” the statement added.
“Areas such as Skephubble, Kilsallaghan and Rolestown will no longer be directly overflown by jet aircraft.”
It added that any homes eligible for mitigation measures as a result of these changes will be contacted “as soon as possible”.
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