Northern Ireland's oldest woman dies aged 109

Northern Ireland's oldest woman dies aged 109

THE oldest woman in Northern Ireland has died at 109 years of age.

Ellie Lawther died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Saturday after suffering a short illness.

A former seamstress, Ellie was born in 1909, before Ireland was partitioned and at a time when women didn’t have the right to vote.

She received nine birthday cards from the Queen and numerous medals from Irish presidents.

She had three children, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren with her late husband Harold who had previously worked for the Belfast Telegraph.

For the last 24 years, Ellie has been a resident of St Finnian’s House on the Cregagh Road, close to east Belfast where she had spent her an entire life.

The Belfast Telegraph attended her 108th birthday party at the home in March of last year, where she was sharing jokes and memories of her early years.

Her son Frederick told the Belfast Telegraph that both the family and carers at the home were left heartbroken by the loss.

He said: “We knew she was on her way out but she did very well. She was like the house mascot at St Finnian’s and everybody loved her.

“I was there just after it happened and they were absolutely choked with emotion, they were all very attached to her.

“She would share so many memories from her past – like going down to see the troop ships leaving Belfast and her cousin coming back wounded from the war.

“She remembered when Belfast had jaunting cars in the days before trams and everything was electrified.

“She spoke about being evacuated during the war years out to Drumaghlis near Ballynahinch with her whole family circle and coming back to Belfast after the Blitz.”

The funeral will take place tomorrow at 12pm in Roselawn Crematorium in Belfast.