The iconic Dublin bar, The Bernard Shaw, may be forced to undergo radical change in operations after An Bord Pleanála refused an application renewal to continue running its beer garden.
Locals had appealed to An Bord Pleanála - Ireland's building and development regulator - against the application. Many had complained, according to Journal.ie, about the noise levels from the pub throughout the week. One complaint lodged with the council said that, due to the number of events held at the venue each week, it "effectively operates as an open-air live music venue".
They continued, "These events are amplified into the beer garden and are clearly audible through the front and back windows of my house and in my back garden,” the resident said. “I have phoned the bar on numerous occasions to have the music turned off, most recently at 11pm last Sunday night. The phone is not always answered."
The Bernard Shaw had initially been granted permission by the council in December 2018 to continue running their outside area for a period of three years, before having to re-apply again - a standard procedure for such venues. However, the council's decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála by concerned residents who said that not enough had been done to tackle issues surrounding noise.
After investigating the appeal by residents, the inspector from An Bord Pleanála complimented The Bernard Shaw for running a "clearly vibrant enterprise with its own unique character within an area notable for the extent of dereliction." However she added that, were they to be allowed to keep using the outdoor beer garden they need to show evidence that they are seeking to curb noise levels. In spite of the inspector's notes however, An Bord Pleanála refused the application outright.
Bodytonic, the owners of The Bernard Shaw have said that they will lodge another application for use of the site as an outdoor area and will hope, with promises regarding attempts to curb noise levels that the renewed application will be granted.