Irish Bar in Glasgow slams discrimination after 75 noise complaints in two years

Operators of an award-winning Irish bar in the town center have claimed they have been discriminated against because of repeated noise complaints.

Between March 2020 and February 2022, 75 noise complaints were lodged with Glasgow City Council’s Licensing Department against Connolly’s Bar on Bell Street – all by the same ten complainants.

Council officers have visited the site and met with residents on several occasions over the past two years to find amplified noise coming from the premises. But Police Scotland removed the bar from its ‘supervised premises list’ after 64 successful inspections in the same period.

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While tenants of neighboring properties and upstairs apartments say the situation is having a negative impact on their health and well-being, Connolly’s owner Lindsay McIntyre insists residents have not had it not met halfway to address these concerns.

Ms McIntyre says she needs access to these properties to see where the noise is coming from before she can put measures in place to fix the problem. And she said in a report to the head of licensing that there seemed to be a discriminatory aspect to those complaints.

The matter was brought before the licensing commission on Friday afternoon.

Connolly’s legal representative, Archie McIver, said: “The building has been a licensed establishment since 1994 and became Connolly’s Bar in 2019. Connolly’s was awarded the title of Best Irish Bar in Scotland in 2019, 2020 and 2022.

“It was originally a commercial building until the upstairs apartments were installed. The building was not designed for housing.

“There has been an icy relationship between the two parties. Noise is a side effect of city center living. You’re not going to wake up to the sound of sheep grazing outside. I am not saying that people should live in misery, but the two parts must be proportionate.

“I would ask that this matter be pursued so that we can try to access neighboring properties to measure the sound. It seems the residents just don’t want an Irish bar there.

Mr McIver also said Connolly’s had reduced the number of live music events it held, the volume of music and kept tabs on acts, leading to a loss of revenue for the bar.

During the reunion, it was revealed that Connolly’s had breached a notice that ensured the music stopped after 11 p.m.

Councilor Alex Wilson said, “There’s no smoke without fire. We have received statutory notices that would not have happened if there had not been some problem.

‘We issued a cut at 11pm but the music continued until 11.50pm – the requester is not helping here.

“If the complainants are unwilling to come to the table and there might be an ‘element’ preventing this from being resolved. I struggle with the fact that we will have to make a decision without a proper resolution.

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Councilor Bill Butler added: ‘We have to make a decision based on the evidence because this accusation of discrimination appears to be based on impressions.

“We have to reach a stage acceptable to both parties. We need a body of evidence.

The matter was pursued for further investigation.

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