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DEAD END; Coffin protest at St Patrick's Day parade over live music ban at pub.


AN angry publican is ditching the traditional green, white and gold frivolity of Birmingham's St Patrick's Day Parade - for a coffin and hearse.

And John Tighe will also carry a banner proclaiming the Death of Music in Digbeth after the city council banned live bands from his boozer, The Spotted Dog. The macabre demonstration will take place during the annual street parade next Sunday which could attract up to 100,000 revellers.

The protest comes after a noise abatement order was issued against Mr Tighe by Birmingham City Council, following complaints from residents of the newly built Abacus apartments nearby.

The boozer is now barred from hosting live bands or even playing recorded music inside the premises or in its beer garden - where parties have been held for over 20 years.

But Mr Tighe says the ban could ruin his business and damage the Irish Quarter's vibrant entertainment district.

He said: "We've been playing live music in The Spotted Dog for years and it's ridiculous that a few complaints from a few of the newer residents have stopped us.

"If we can't have music in our garden, what hope is there for the rest of the pubs in the area?"

The city council has received three complaints from residents at the Abacus apartments. Yet others living in the plush complex have set up an on-line petition backing The Spotted Dog.

Mr Tighe will appeal against the noise abatement notice in May, yet fears an independent report has stacked the cards against him.

He says a noise surveyor reported that he could hear live music coming from The Spotted Dog beer garden.

But Mr Tighe claims he has 200 witnesses from Birmingham Opera Company who can dispute the allegations - as they were in the pub on the night in question.

Birmingham's annual St Patrick's Day parade is the third biggest in the world after New York and Dublin.

Crowds line a two-mile route through the city to welcome fancy floats featuring Irish dancing schools, county associations and sports fans.

Work on a pounds 95 million landmark development is due to start in the Digbeth area in December and is expected to create 800 jobs.

Irish-based developer the Naus Group will build 658 apartments in a project that will transform a 4.5 acre site at High Street Deritend.

The scheme will also incorporate shops, offices, bars, restaurants and new public squares.


ANGRY: John Tighe next to The Spotted Dog pub; CELEBRATION: the St Patrick's Day Parade
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Mar 9, 2008
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