People in Omagh, Co Tyrone, and surrounding areas have raised concerns about an unexplained "hum" that’s being heard throughout the area, particularly at night.
The noise, which some have claimed is keeping them awake at night, has prompted Fermanagh and Omagh District Council to launch an investigation.
"Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Environmental Health Officers are investigating reports of a humming noise in Omagh town but due to the wide area where the sound has been reported it is difficult to pinpoint the exact source(s)," the Council said in a statement today, Wednesday, November 15.
"Officers are currently investigating the use of specialist equipment, or procurement of a specialist company, to assist in detecting the source of the noise."
John Boyle, a local senior councillor, admitted to RTÉ that the issue would "not be an easy one to crack."
Several culprits are being investigated, including air conditioning units and power lines.
The matter was first raised in the Council by Alliance MP Stephen Donnelly. He told Radio Foyle on Tuesday: “I appreciate that whenever a story like this is kind of draped in mystery and intrigue that it can very easily become a subject of trivialization.
“But certainly, from people I speak to, they are very concerned about the ability that they have to make sure they get a good night’s sleep.
“These things, whenever they are prolonged and continue, they can have a real impact on people’s quality of life.
“From our perspective, we want to make sure that whenever people are raising concerns about these kind of issues, that they are being addressed in a proactive way and certainly trying to play a constructive role in making sure that this investigation from the council actually does lead to postivie results.”
Donnelly continued: “So far, council staff have been present on the ground in Omagh and they have confirmed that there is a legitimate problem and that it does apply to a number of different areas.
“The difficulty at this stage, and this is why the Council has investigated, taken on additional specialist equipment, is that it’s not possible at this exact stage to pinpoint the source of it or indeed whether this potentially a case of multiple sources that are providing the problem."
I was on Radio Foyle earlier today speaking about the recent noise pollution in Omagh and the action I have been pushing for locally to try and establish facts and secure resolution to this problem👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/xwxCKaaxZc— Cllr Stephen Donnelly (@SteveDonnelly95) November 14, 2023
Local people in Omagh told RTÉ News on Wednesday that the unexplained hum can typically be heard at night.
"I just assume it's the factory over there. I don't think there's anything really spooky going on," one person said with a laugh.
Another person speculated that the sound might be coming from a thrasher.
Emmet McElhatton of the Ulster Herald newspaper said that the hum is the buzz of the town.
"People are baffled," McElhatton said, "for the time being we don't really know what it is."