The previous owner of the Donegal Pub located on the street Nou de la Rambla in the center of Barcelona, has been sentenced to 5 and a half years in prison for excessive noise.

The unprecedented sentence is based on the accusation that the pub owner Maria del Carmen Ahijado installed unauthorized music equipment in her bar and played music above the 30DB limit. Neighbours also expressed complaints about shouting and singing, with one of the plaintiffs claiming to have had to seek treatment for anxiety, depression and insomnia.

This is not the first case where a bar owner has been sentenced to prison in Barcelona over noise complaints. The bar owner of 242 on the Entença street received a four years prison sentence. Fact is Barcelona’s nightlife has been slowly sliding downhill over the past five years when the government decided to start clamping down on establishments offering “live music”.

In the past five years, emblematic nightlife venues such as the over 100-year-old club La Paloma was shut down as well as Cibeles in Gracia and over 20-year-old bar Mas i Mas. With a total of over 500 nightlife venues ordered to shut for good Barcelona has lost a big chunk of it’s entertainment appeal.