This case was referred to the CLM Mediation Service by the Courts Service of Ireland and related to a neighbour dispute about noise levels. One party was operating a dog kennels and behaviour training business from their home and the other party believed that the increased noise levels were unacceptable. They believed that the other party was ignoring their continued requests to reduce the level of noise. The person who was the subject of the complaint was of the opinion that the other party was complaining unnecessarily. The conflict escalated to arguments, threats and the subsequent issuing of court proceedings. By the time the parties engaged in mediation, their relationship had deteriorated the point where they were refusing to communicate with each other.
CLM Northside’s Input
The parties were advised by the Court to attend mediation during the course of legal proceedings. A CLM Mediator met with both parties separately in order to explain the process of mediation and to discuss the necessary involvement by each party in that process. Both parties agreed to participate in mediation. The line of communication was thus re-opened and by attending mediation sessions, the parties were able to voice their concerns regarding the various issues causing conflict. One party acknowledged that some noise was necessary due to the specific training being carried out and both parties were able to discuss the impact the conflict was having on each of them and on the wider community.
Through the assistance of CLM’s Mediation Service, the parties designed a plan in respect of future communication between the parties. The plan set out ways of communicating more clearly and reminded the parties of the importance of showing respect for each other in circumstances where problems occur. They also agreed to acknowledge and be cognisant of each other’s work schedules. This case shows clearly the solutions based nature of mediation and emphasises the benefits of a non-adversarial method of resolving disputes.