Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Hillsborough bells to be silenced at night


AFTER 230 years, the award-winning Church bells in Hillsborough will no longer ring 24 hours a day. Following noise complaints from local residents to Lisburn Council's Environmental Health Department, it was decided to introduce a night silencer for the bells at St. Malachi's Parish Church from 10pm until 7am. A statement released to parishioners last Sunday said, "As many Parishioners are aware, complaints have been made by residents of the village both to our Church and to Lisburn City Council Environmental Health Department about the noise of our bells at night. Following discussions with Council officials and

after investigations by specialist church bell engineers, the Select Vestry has decided to have a night silencer unit installed in order to silence the bells and the clock chimes between 10pm and 7am.

"It is hoped that Parishioners will understand that this action has had to be taken in view of present day environmental health requirements regarding noise pollution."

Councillors discussed the issue at this week's monthly council meeting and are hoping to resolve the issue. Councillor Basil McCrea said, "The sound of the church bells heard throughout the village is an age old tradition which has brought joy and a sense of community to people for over 230 years. It is unfortunate

therefore that those now living close to the church find the level of noise to be so uncomfortable that they feel the need to make a complaint.

"It may seem unreasonable that an activity which has added colour and character to the village for many years should suddenly be called into question, but the law does not take such factors into account. Every avenue must be explored in an attempt to find a solution to this difficult situation."

Alderman Paul Porter said, "I hope extreme measures don't have to be brought in. I would ask the three individuals who made the complaint to reconsider. The council are working with groups in the area and hopefully we can resolve the issue."

Ulster Star