Belfast Telegraph

No scoundrels will force me out, says defiant Gertie (91) after rural Tyrone home targeted by burglar

The burglary took place at a property on Mullaghfad Road near Fivemiletown
The burglary took place at a property on Mullaghfad Road near Fivemiletown
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

A 91-year-old woman has vowed to stay put in her isolated Co Tyrone home despite being burgled for a second time.

Gertie Primrose from Mullaghfad Road in Cooneen, three miles outside Fivemiletown, was targeted last Friday when a man ransacked her home and stole cash from her bedroom.

Ms Primrose was standing in her kitchen at around 12.30pm when she heard a noise.

When she turned around she saw the thief running past her and out of the house.

While the pensioner was unhurt, she was left shaken.

"I was out feeding the chickens in the back yard and I think that's when he got into the house and started ransacking the place," she said.

"I never heard a thing until I was working away at the kitchen sink.

"I thought I heard something behind me. When I looked around I saw the man running out of the house.

"He had been through the place by that stage and left an awful mess behind.

"He only went into my bedroom, so it must have been someone who knew the house or had been watching me.

"It all happened so quickly - he was in and out of the house in seconds."

Ms Primrose's home was previously targeted 19 years ago when two thugs broke in late at night and held her down before making off with a small amount of money.

Despite the latest attack, the defiant pensioner is determined to remain living at her home of over 70 years, 48 of which she has spent on her own.

She admitted she was upset but stressed she was by no means afraid following the incident.

"This is my home and I don't intend on letting any scoundrels put me out of it," she said.

"This kind of thing shouldn't be happening in this day and age, but I don't plan on being a prisoner in my own home. You have to get on with life."

Ulster Unionist councillor Victor Warrington said locals had been been shocked. "People are disgusted by what has happened to this lady, who is very well-known in the local community," he said.

"This 91-year-old is trying to live independently and I have no doubt that she will battle on."

Police appealed for anyone with information on the burglary to come forward.

Detective Sergeant Keith Monaghan asked anyone who noticed any suspicious activity or vehicles in the area to contact detectives in Omagh.

"We would also like to speak to the driver of a small grey car that was seen in the area because they may have information that could assist them with our enquiries," he added.

Police can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 634 of March 29.

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