Looking back... Carnmoney man involved in dramatic rescue at Carrick Castle

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A Carnmoney man dramatically rescued two children from a ledge at the rear of Carrick Castle in the spring of 1968.

A report of the incident in the East Antrim Times suggested that the pair, boys aged nine and 11 from Carrickfergus, had been trying to find a toy when they got cut off by the rising tide.

They were spotted by castle guide Jack McIlwaine, who reported large breakers in the sea around the fortress, lashing rain and a strong wind.

Mr McIlwaine said: “I heard some faint cries for help. I looked out the archers’ window and there were two boys hanging on to a piece of rope just outside the window between the tower and the castle wall perched on a steep sloping ledge.”

Carnmoney man William Gregg, a boatman at Carrick Harbour, tied himself to a rope and was lowered down the 40ft castle wall by police.

He tied the boys to the end of the rope and they were winched to safety, escaping injury.

The 32-year-old potato merchant, from Carnview Park, had been visiting Carrick with his children.

He said: “I was down pumping out my boat in Carrick Harbour with my two sons when I saw a policeman running around the rocks.

“I asked what was wrong and he told me that there were a couple of boys stranded on the rocks.

“I said I would go down on a rope and get them up. I never thought about the wind and waves. All I thought about was getting them up over the castle wall.”

William went on to say that he and his family had been involved in a sea drama previously when his motor cruiser had capsized off Muck Island, near Islandmagee.