Playwright warns Limerick theatre ‘could grind to halt’ over noise

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

LEADING playwright Mike Finn has warned productions at the Belltable could “grind to a halt” unless noise problems caused by a neighbouring garage are solved.

LEADING playwright Mike Finn has warned productions at the Belltable could “grind to a halt” unless noise problems caused by a neighbouring garage are solved.

Mr Finn and representatives of the city’s theatre community held meetings with city manager Kieran Lehane and environmental staff at City Hall this Week after further noise disturbances from businessman Michael Daly’s garage behind the arts centre.

The cast of the community production of Pigtown have been left fuming over the noise of a radio, and a car motor during the play.

And Mr Finn says that because Ireland’s theatre community is so small, the well publicised problems Belltable management are having with Mr Daly are well known - and are putting companies off coming here.

For his part, Mr Daly contends he is entitled to operate from his premises at the times and he wishes - and he never sets out to cause disruption to any production.

“The noise is really discouraging for touring companies who are visiting. Many people are saying they will not be back,” Mr Finn said.

The Belltable Arts Centre has spend €3,000 installing CCTV cameras and noise monitoring devices. And while Mr Finn says these could eventually prove successful, it may be too late.

“I am sure it will be resolved, but the question is when. If it is resolved, the big question is will the Belltable still be there when this happens?” he asked.

Cllr Tom Shortt, who features in Pigtown, made another appeal to Mr Daly to cease working when productions are on: “The perception in the city now is the noise is deliberate. I would ask Mr Daly to stop what he is doing: be a good neighbour. If he has grievances, it should be processed through the normal channels.”