An alarming form of torture

A form of torture banned by the Human Rights Commission was still being applied in Lurgan, a number of residents claimed in 1977.

The ‘torture’ was the continuous ringing of burglar alarm bells outside banks, shops and factories around the town

And it was being blamed for driving office workers up the walls in daytime, waking sleeping residents at night-time and disrupting police work.

Once the alarms were set off, accidentally or otherwise, they continued to sound for hours at a time.

One Annesborough resident told how he had to endure 30 hours of torture when an alarm was triggered at a factory.

The bell began ringing at 12.30pm on Saturday afternoon and was still ringing at 10pm the following night.

An irritated High Street officer worker suggested the systems could be designed so that they rang for only a few minutes before becoming a flashing warning light.