"The Hum" Is Keeping Omagh Residents Awake At Night
Wednesday 15th, November 2023
Ireland Report / Story
Officials in County Tyrone are looking at calling in noise specialists to locate a mysterious humming noise that is keeping Omagh residents awake at night.

Omagh residents have been reporting hearing a low level hum or buzzing noise for the past several weeks.

Noise officers have been sent out to investigate the issue but have been unable to identify the source of the noise.

Senior official at Fermanagh and Omagh council John Boyle told a recent meeting the issue would "not be an easy one to crack".

He said existing equipment was not sensitive enough to find the source and they would either have to buy new equipment or employ a specialist contractor.

Among the potential culprits being investigated are air-conditioning units or power lines. The council has been in contact with the company responsible for electricity distribution.

The issue was first raised by Alliance councillor Stephen Donnelly, as he said he has received multiple reports from a wide area of the town. Councillor Donnelly said the noise had led to a "significant degree of discomfort" for residents".

Councillor Donnelly went on to say he appreciated that it could be difficult to find the source given "the potential for multiple sources".

Mr Boyle told councillors that if the source could be identified the council had powers to issue enforcement notices but he said before that could happen the council would have to be very sure if it had found the right source.

Low level noise disturbances like this have become a global phenomenon in recent decades with reports all over the world, it has become known simply as "The Hum".

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Councillor Donnelly said people characterised it as being a persistent buzz or hum sometimes accompanied by a sense of vibration.

"For some people, it's something that they've gotten used to."

"For some people, they haven't heard it, but for a considerable number of people, it's something that's providing a disturbance that is giving real cause for concern."

It seems to happen at night time and mostly around 10pm until midnight, Councillor Donnelly added.

"It possibly is because of the fact that around that time traffic tends to be at its lowest point and it then becomes a bit more audible and tangible, but that seems to be the issue."

Councillor Donnelly said that he started to receive complaints about the noise in late October 2023.

"We initially thought that it was limited to the southeast at the time."

"But as time went by and people started to engage with me, it became clear that it was something that was affecting the entirety of the town, and the possibility is that it is seasonal.

"It's possibly related to weather, but I think the honest point at this stage is that we don't know the actual origin and we have to be able to try and establish the facts first before we can secure a solution."

Councillor Donnelly has said that additional specialist equipment will be required to further investigate the source of the noise.

"I requested that the council investigate the matter a number of weeks ago and following that investigation they've confirmed that there is a legitimate issue, particularly in the Coolnagard area of the terrain."

"From that point, they've not been able to identify the actual source or potential sources of the noise."

"But they have confirmed that it is there and from this point going forward, they're going to have to procure additional specialist equipment to be able to properly zone in and identify where the noise is coming from."

Councillor Donnelly responded to some suggestions that UFOs were involved in the noise being heard by residents, he went on to say,
"I appreciate that whenever a story like this is draped in mystery and intrigue, it can be quite fun to kind of entertain different theories."

"But the thing that I always say to people is, don't trust the conspiracy theories."

"What is a fun problem will undoubtedly have a very boring explanation in time. And I have no doubt that this will be the same."
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