Families left homeless – 1989
THREE Loughmacrory families have had to be re-housed following a fire which swept through their homes at Loughmacrory Park completely destroying one house and causing severe damage to two adjacent dwellings.
One of those whose home was engulfed in the blaze described how the fire began in the middle of the three houses and swept, with terrifying rapidity, through the three homes.
The local woman said that at about 4.30pm, she had been at home with her two grandchildren.
“A mobile bakery van was stopped outside and I sent my grand-daughter out to get some buns. A minute or two later the breadman came rushing into my house and told me that the house next door was on fire and that my house was about to catch.”
The woman said that when she got outside she saw that a neighbour who lived next door with her husband and four children, had also been out at the breadvan. “She had to go back into her home to get one of her children who was still inside.
“A short time after everyone was safely outside we heard a loud ‘whoosh’ from inside the house and ball of flame shot out.
“The television was thrown out through a window, across the street and you would have thought that a bomb had exploded.”
A third house which was damaged in the blaze and all three families have been offered alternative accommodation by the Housing Executive.
In all, four fire tenders, from Omagh, Pomeroy, Cookstown and Fintona, were in attendance at the scene.
Quarry accident – 1964
TWO men received severe facial injuries at Moffatt’s lime quarry near Drumquin when some detonators accidentally exploded.
The men were rushed to Tyrone County Hospital at Omagh and then to Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry, where throughout the afternoon surgeons performed emergency operations on their eyes.
The two men were standing side by side at a bench in the mechanic’s shop when the blast occurred. One was stringing detonators in preparation for blasting at the quarry and the other was working at a grindstone.
The explosion shattered two windows in the building and blew a hole in the metal bench.
It occurred almost un-noticed to other quarrymen for whom explosions are an every-day occurrence and it was only when the two men staggered from the shop with their faces blackened and clothes tattered, that the alarm was raised.
RAIL CLOSURE ‘WILL COST VOTES’
A DEPUTATION representing all the major railway centres in Co Tyrone is to seek a meeting with the Northern Premier, Captain Terence O’Neill, and with the Minister of Home Affairs, W Craig, as part of a campaign to save the railways and halt any further contemplated closures.
This was decided at a meeting in Omagh which was attended by businessmen and public representatives from Counties Tyrone, Fermanagh and Derry.
The deputation is to warn unionist candidates in any forthcoming election that unless the Portadown-Derry line is kept open it will lose them votes.
Ireland to maintain neutral – 1939
THE following is the text of a statement made by Mr de Valera to a special representative of the Press Association: “It is the desire of the Irish people and the Irish Government to keep our nation out of war.
“The aim of the Government policy is to maintain and preserve our neutrality in the event of war. The best way and the only way to secure our aims is to put ourselves in the best possible position to defend ourselves so that none can hope to attack us or violate our territory with impunity.
“We know, of course, that should an attack come from a Power other than Great Britain, Great Britain, in her own interests must help us to repel it.”
Mr de Valera said also that the Irish Government had not entered into any commitments with Great Britain: His Government were free to follow any course that Irish interests might dictate.
PROTESTANT EMPLOYEES STRIKE
ABOUT 30 Protestant employees of the Northern Ireland Farmers’ Bacon Factory, Cookstown, came out on strike, refusing to work alongside two Catholic employees whom they suspected of republicanism.
The men were later persuaded to return to work by Rowley Elliott MP, who is a director of this firm. He told them that if they did not go back to work they would be dismissed. Also that the two Catholic men were absolutely innocent.
The two young men in question had been taken to the police barracks for examination in connection with an incriminating document found in the factory which turned out to be a hoax.
Omagh boy missing – 1914
THE four-year-old son of James Nixon, bootmaker, Campsie Avenue, has been missing since Monday evening.
It appears that during the afternoon the little lad, whose name was Joseph, had been playing with some other children in an old disused forge, the back of which leads to the river, which is separated from the forge by a sloping, grassy bank.
The lad, it is supposed, went through the back door of the forge, and fell into the river, the current at this particular spot being a very fast one.
The first intelligence of the affair was learned when some of the lad’s playmates returned home and said he had fallen into the river.
A search party was organised, and a boat was procured from which the river adjacent to the place was dragged.
The dragging operations were continued until darkness set in, but no trace of the missing boy could be found.
On Tuesday morning Constable Blair, assisted by a willing band of helpers, and with the aid of a boat, proceeded to drag the river in the vicinity of Lisanelly, and about a quarter of a mile from the spot where the boy was supposed to have fallen in his cap was found by one of the searchers, and the boy’s father, who assisted in the search, took possession of the cap.
The party dragged the river for a considerable distance but up to the present their efforts have been unavailing, and much sympathy is felt for the boy’s bereaved parents.