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Dublin building alarms

Summer 2001 —

It's hard for me to comprehend that Ireland doesn't have a noise-pollution law for the burglar alarms that are constantly sounding from Dublin buildings; or, (if it does) why such a law is not applied.

These are shrill, oscillating tones or a ringing clangor — loud — and they will last for about fifteen minutes. This is an eternity if you're sitting in the adjacent park, or enjoying your one cup of coffee for the day.

There is never any apparent reason for the incidence of the alarm, which is wholly ignored by official and pedestrian Dubliners alike. The alarms raise about as much concern — if even as much — as a car alarm in an American city; but they are about twice to three times as loud — and last forever.

I say they are constantly sounding — this seems like an exaggeration, but I think it's literally true. I believe that at any given time there is at least one building alarm activated in central downtown Dublin.