A bird-loving pensioner who had two of her pet cockatiels stolen last month says her faith in humanity has been restored after a kind-hearted North Belfast woman gave her two new birds after reading about the theft in the North Belfast News.

On August 20 thieves broke in to Anne Wright’s aviary at the rear of her Evelyn Gardens home and stole the animals, both of which are over 20 years old.

The 76-year-old retired special needs teacher said she was very attached to the animals and used to bring them to Glenveagh Special School to entertain the children.

Generous Antrim Road woman Eileen Matthews was so moved by the story she decided to give Anne two rare white cockatiels and a cage she had recently bought – free of charge.

“I would like to thank Eileen for her kindness and thoughtfulness,” said Anne, who has been keeping birds for over 25 years.

“She has restored a bit of faith in people that I had lost when the other birds were taken. It proves there are kind people out there.”

She said the two birds, a young male and female, may breed in the spring and if they do she will happily give the new chicks to Eileen.

Eileen, who paid over £100 for the birds and cage, said she was glad to help.

“I bought the birds about three weeks ago but I just kept thinking about Anne’s story so I decided to give the birds to her. It is nice to see someone happy and we have exchanged numbers and we will keep in touch,” she said.