Condemned house collapsed on elderly Islandmagee woman

An elderly woman who refused to leave her Islandmagee home, which had been condemned, became trapped when it collapsed in May 1965.

The occupant had been offered alternative accommodation in a housing estate in the village, but she refused saying that she was “happy and comforable” and would remain in her cottage.

However, when workmen began to clear ground for a new road, the foundations of the old property gave way and the front wall fell in.

The pensioner was pulled to safety through a window by a neighbouring farmer.

He said: “I was at the scene when the house began to collapse. The workmen had called on the woman to come out but she stayed put.

“When the roof began to go, I went in and got her out a window. She could easily have been killed.”

Foreman Kenny McCullough, from Doagh, said: “We were digging a trench and levelling ground just outside when the wall started to go.

“The cottage is only built on sand, with no proper foundations.”

With the help of neighbours, the householder was able to gather her belongings and went to stay the night with friends.