One of Cork city’s most stylish hotels is to switch off a beam of light emanating from its city centre location after midnight, following a concerted online campaign by some local residents.
Hotel management of The Dean Hotel in Horgan’s Quay has taken account of a stream of negative online reviews, after local campaigners raised awareness of the spotlight, arising from a thread on reddit.com. The hotel received negative reviews on Google, complaining that the beam was causing light pollution. These reviews have since been removed.
One member of the public wrote that he is a “casual star gazer and ever since the Dean started blasting their light into the sky, I can no longer see shooting stars.”
The Dean Hotel said they are working with residents to resolve the issue and will turn off the lights after 12 midnight.
“It became apparent last weekend that a group of people were unhappy with the lights that shine up from The Dean,” said a spokesperson.
“Having read through some of the comments online, and having reached out to some of these people to discuss the matter in more detail, there are some very valid points that we are happy to address.
Cork city Green Party Cllr Oliver Moran said he had a regular stream of residents in contact with him about the beam of light from the Dean Hotel.
“The kind of issues residents are raising are about the intrusiveness of it across the north side, as well as broader problems of light pollution,” he said.
"Issues like this can affect people both directly, if a beam is visually obtrusive, and indirectly. That appears to be this case here, depending on weather conditions. There are also very valid broader concerns too, including energy use.
"I've contacted both the hotel and senior officials about it. The hotel committed last year to addressing the issue in response to complaints. If it cannot be resolved now then I think it would be best just to switch it off for all of these reasons,” added Mr Moran.
Bernie Connolly of the Cork Environmental Forum (CEF) welcomed the hotel’s response but said it could have acted sooner.
Complaints began in 2021, and advice had been given that the light could be shaded rather being directed into the sky, disturbing people’s sleep. The light is reflected more so on cloudy nights.
“They didn’t do anything so the campaign on reddit has finally got a result,” said Ms Connolly.
“I think the lights could be turned off. Why do they need to be on at all? Twelve o’clock might be okay in the middle of July and August when it’s light until 11pm, but it’s dark at 4pm on a winter’s evening. That’s a lot of light up into the night sky.”
Ms Connolly said more offices in Cork city centre could turn off their lights at night, saving energy. Light pollution should be considered in future planning application decisions, she said.