TWO elderly Maralin men paid a high price for falling ill in 1977.
They lost their cottage home in the County Down village.
The 56 year old man had been forced into hospital by a stroke while his 84 year old father was being nursed back to health by relatives.
It meant that they were away from their cottage for several months.
Vandals and thieves systematically robbed and wrecked rooms, taking or destroying all personal items and furniture.
They forced their way into the house through the front door. They smashed the windows and then proceeded to ransack the place over a number of weeks.
Nothing was left unturned and everything, including the kitchen sink, was either damaged or stolen.
And what the thieves did not want was left scattered on the floor.
The two men thought the world of their home where they had been happy for 50 years.
Said the 84 year old: “They couldn’t take away our memories of the place. They took practically everything else, I’m told, but we remember how it was.”