Noise Pollution Complaint Reporting

Local authorities may investigate complaints about excessive noise.

What is considered a Noise Complaint?

Environmental noise means unwanted or harmful outdoor sound created by human activities.

Noise can generally be regarded as a “nuisance” if it is so loud, so repeated, of such pitch or of such duration that it causes annoyance to people.

Noise nuisance is categorised as being either a “private” nuisance or a “public” nuisance.

“Private nuisance” would apply where the noise in question is considered to be interfering with an individual’s enjoyment and use of their property.

“Public nuisance” would apply where there is a threat to the health and/or comfort of the public/community as a whole.

How do I resolve a Noise Complaint?

If you are affected by noise nuisance you should first raise the matter directly with the person or body responsible for creating the noise. However, it is accepted that this may not always be possible or lead to a resolution. In those circumstances, affected parties may contact Carlow County Council to make a complaint.

Complaints about noise nuisance should be made directly to Carlow County Council’s Environment Section by phone 059 913 6231 or by email

When reporting a noise complaint please ensure you provide the maximum amount of detail possible including times, dates, location, and origin of the noise.

What Types of Noise are not dealt with by the Environment Section?

While the Environment section may be the first point of contact for noise complaints, not all noise issues are dealt with by the Environment Section. Some noise complaints will be referred to other sections of Carlow County Council to be dealt with.

  • Traffic & Transport Noise: complaints in relation to traffic and transport related noise will be referred to the Roads Section.
  • Planning Enforcement: relating noise issues will be dealt with by the Enforcement staff in the Planning Section.
  • Local Authority Rental Properties: noise relating to properties rented by Local Authority will be referred to the Housing Section.

Anonymous Noise Complaints

Carlow County Council will not investigate or pursue noise-nuisance complaints which are received anonymously. This includes complaints that are made where no contact details such as a phone number or where no address / location of the noise nuisance has been provided. This is due to the inherent difficulty in identifying and assessing the impact of noise in such circumstances.

Public Noise Complaints

Carlow County Council will investigate and, where warranted and feasible, will pursue action up to and including enforcement action in relation to all such complaints.

Private Noise Complaints

There are two main types of private noise complaints:

  • Commercial Noise Complaints – Noise from a commercial or industrial premises, music from a bar etc. will be investigated by Carlow County Council where the noise is deemed as significant and may potentially become a threat to the wider community. Where it is deemed warranted and feasible, Carlow County Council  may pursue action up to and including enforcement action.
  • Domestic Noise Complaints – Carlow County Council will not pursue enforcement action in relation to domestic noise complaints (such as house parties, loud music etc. Domestic noise complaints are considered a civil dispute and should be resolved by the parties involved. If the parties involved cannot resolve the issue any individual can make a complaint through the District Courts and seek an order to deal with the noise nuisance.

Contact the Carlow Court Office by clicking here.

Private Rented Accommodation

Noises created by residents in private rented accommodation, for example students, the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 imposes minimum statutory obligations on landlords and tenants of private residential tenancies. Tenant obligations under the Act include an obligation not to engage, or allow visitors to engage, in anti-social behaviour which is defined as including persistent noise that interferes with the peaceful occupation of other dwellings in the neighbourhood. The Act also imposes an obligation on landlords to enforce the tenant obligations. There is provision in the Act for third parties who are adversely affected by a failure on the part of a landlord to enforce tenant obligations to refer a complaint to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) in accordance with the procedures in the Act. Since December 2004 all privately rented properties must be registered with the PRTB. Begin by checking if a property is registered by contacting the PRTB.

How does the Environment Section Determine if a Noise is a Nuisance?

In determining whether noise is a nuisance, a number of factors are taken into consideration including whether it is substantial and/or unreasonable, and the locality, duration, frequency, and time of the noise.

Priority will be given to the investigation of those complaints which are deemed high priority, i.e., those that may cause the greatest impact. All other complaints will be dealt with in order of receipt.

In the event that Carlow County Council decide not to pursue enforcement action in relation to noise nuisance complaints any person(s) affected may consider taking court action themselves as provided for under The Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992.

Guide to the Noise Regulations issued by the Department of Climate Action & Environment can be useful to those needing assistance and outlines the steps open to you under the law and District Courts when you are experiencing nuisance caused by noise.

Does the Council deal with Excessive Barking Complaints?

Carlow County Council does not deal with Excessive Barking complaints. However excessive barking which causes a nuisance to any person is an offence and can be dealt with in district court.  Section 25 of the Control of Dogs Act, 1986 deals with nuisance by barking dogs.

The first thing to try is to speak to the dog owner in a good-neighbourly manner and let them know how the barking affects you. They may not have realised what is happening.

If this approach fails a complaint about excessive barking can be made by you to the District Court.

To do this you must first inform the dog owner in writing of your intention to make a complaint to the district court using the form below.

Contact the Carlow Court Office by clicking here.

What Other Types of Noise will Carlow County Council Not Investigate?

EPA Licenced Facilities – Where the noise source originated from a premises which is licenced by an outside agency such as the EPA, you should refer the complaint to the relevant authority.

Aircraft Noise - The Irish Aviation Authority is responsible for dealing with noise from aircraft and drones.

For more information on Noise complaints please contact the Environment Section by phone 059 913 6231 or by email