Tuesday, September 10, 2013


And what the hell is this, I hear you ask.

Well, for starters, it's not one of my where is it quiz items.

It is very much a what is this item. I know where it is, I just didn't know what it was.

It is sticking out of the wall of my local library and I had originally been told that it had something to do with the traffic. I came to the erroneous conclusion that it was connected with the traffic lights and possibly feeding traffic frequencies and densities at the lights back to base.

So, when I saw the man from the Council poking at it this morning I decided to ask him and he told me all about it.

The yoke sticking out is a microphone that monitors ambient sound levels and feeds them back to base. It is one of a number of such monitoring stations around the city which are used to check the accuracy of the levels reported for the whole city and published in the Council's annual noisemaps.

He told me, for instance, that the noise level at the interpretive centre on the beach at the bottom of the Causeway is at least as noisy as at the library. So Mother Nature, despite her reserve, is not the quietest in the world.

Below is a detail of the Raheny area from the noisemap for Dublin North Central during the daytime in 2012.

Click on map for a larger image

The road going from left to two thirds up the right is the Howth road. The section shown is from Sybil Hill (left) to Blackbanks (right) where it joins the coast road. The noisier road at the top left is a section of the Malahide Road from the Artane Roundabout (bottom) to the Tonlegee Road (top). And the extreme bottom right of the picture is the bird sanctuary on the coast road at the bottom of Watermill Road.

I have marked the location of the Raheny library on the map (click the map for a larger image). You can get a load of the background on the Council's noisy website and also see the original of the map from which the above detail is taken.

So, shush now!

Dublin City Council is listening.

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