A Galbally teacher has become the first Galballian to join a real gym after signing up to a special offer of £300 a year exclusive membership to the Cookstown Phoenix, and promptly celebrated her decision by treating herself to a Bumper Jumbo Sausage Supper at the mobile van on the road to Omagh.
Henrietta McGirr, a 32 year old teacher of Latin and Dance, took the momentous step after seeing a girl on the TV who ‘looked deadly‘ after joining a gym in America and lost three stone in two years and generally felt ‘awesome‘. After an extensive search, McGirr plumped for the Cookstown Phoenix Complex after its deal was splashed across the Tyrone Courier last week.
“My family said I was mad joining a gym but someone has to do it. They were saying these gym owners pump you full of steroids and make you lift stuff like furniture and bricks so that they can build extensions onto their premises. Well, there’s only one way to find out. People can be so suspicious around these parts.”
McGirr’s father, an ex-professional walker, maintains Henrietta has been hoodwinked:
“Codology. Everyone knows these gym people brainwash you by using magic mirrors that make you look heftier than you are and then when you’re bent over lifting something they run up behind you an inject horse adrenaline into you and then you’re hooked. We’re hoping she’ll wean off it somehow.”
Henrietta remains defiant and whilst wolfing down a sausage surprise in her Ford Focus on the hard shoulder she told us:
“I’m determined to show Galbally that these gyms are legit things. I’ve no interest in following the traditional fitness routine here of lifting dogs and running down the road. Sure even if I just use the showers there it’s £300 well spent in my book”
39 towns and villages in Tyrone have agreed to boycott potatoes “for the foreseeable future” after thousands of complaints about how they’re being treated in restaurants and cafes across the county since the 1990s. Customers have finally had enough of being offered continental dishes from baked potatoes to potato wedges when all they ask for is a plate of spuds.
Eskra farmer, Mike Kelly (71), explained their annoyance:
“You go out for a feed of spuds and the waiter rhymes off a rake of fancy dishes like roast potatoes or some other la-de-da stuff like that. What does a man have to do to get a slap of pitters? People are watching them food TV shows like Mastermind Chef or Can’t Dine With Me and now think they’re deadly at the cookin. Not a spud will be bought in this county til people get back to basics.”
Ballygawley restaurant owner John Lally admits this is the nuclear option they never anticipated:
“We’re banjaxed now. If we want to get a Michelin Star for our establishments, or even a half decent review in the local paper, we have to offer dishes that outsiders or experts eat like garlic spuds or potato soup. But our bread and butter daily clientele are giving us some savage abuse every day now. Last week our most loyal customer threatened to burn the joint down because we weren’t doing ‘plain spuds on a plate and nothing else’. What a county!”
The first ‘Save Our Spud’ rally takes place on Wednesday night in Galbally with organisers promising ‘a slap of floury balls’ for all attendees.
Meanwhile, the Garvaghey bobsleigh announced they plan to enter the 2018 Winter Olympics and are training flat out up at the new GAA complex which retains a sub-zero temperature 12 months a year.
Following reports of players frozen on the spot and goalkeepers needing two days of defrosting, Tyrone GAA officials announced that they’re to build a massive wall around their GAA facilities in Garvaghey – potentially becoming one of only a few manmade objects visible from space.
Complaints were made by gaels across the county that the new state-of-the-art complex outside Ballygawley was quite possibly the coldest place on the planet, rivalling Alaska, Russia and the Antarctic. An U16 player from Drumragh claims to have stalled mid-air fielding a kick-out and was only thawed into coming down to earth by several team-mates rubbing at his legs furiously.
County official Kieran McNelis informed us:
“Yes, we’re looking for a contractor to oversee the building of a massive quarter mile high wall around the entire complex to keep out the wind-chill from September til April. Only last week we had the terrible situation of an Owen Roes goalkeeper who, during a lull in play, decided to lick the ice off a goalpost and got his tongue stuck to it. Until the warm water arrived he had shipped in 4 goals. We feel that a massive wall would slow down the effects of global warming.”
Seven linesmen were also hospitalised with stiffness and the inability to let their flag go due to early signs of rigor mortis. McNelis added:
“There was also the unfair advantage afforded to Pomeroy and Galbally lads and lassies who revelled in the cold conditions, having acclimatised to mountain life over 1000s of years. Last week Mickey Harte nearly picked the whole Galbally side to play Derry before the penny dropped about the conditions.”
The building of The Great Wall of Garvaghey will commence in September 2014 and finishes in 2020 with Club Tyrone members having the choice of building half of it or doing the cement mixing.
A Cappagh woman took matters into her own hands when she faced accusations of being ‘genteel’ and ‘ladylike’ from some of her friends.
38-year old Dervla McComish, a tractor mechanic from Cappagh, was accused of ‘behaving like a lady’, when she was spotted sticking her small finger up as she was drinking a pint of Carlsberg Super Strength in Tally’s Bar in Galbally on Friday night.
“I was affronted”, growled McComish. “I’ve not been that offended since my sister accused me of being ‘a bit feminine’ in 2006. Jaysus, I nearly bit her head off. Probably would have done if I had any teeth left. Can’t go around with a reputation like that”.
“Aw, they’re taking the haun out of her”, said brother-in-law Gary McCaffrey. “The last thing big Dervla is is ladylike. How anyone could look her in the eye and say something like that would be impossible. Partly because she’s got a lazy eye. Hard to know which one to look at”.
McComish was also accused of eating with her mouth closed, saying ‘please’ when ordering drinks at the bar, and trying to stifle her own farts.
McComish decided to prove her lack of womanliness by climbing into a neighbouring field and punching an unsuspecting cow in the middle of its face.
“You should have seen the poor thing”, said onlooker Mattie Cullen. “Went down like a sack of spuds. And the rest of the herd didn’t fancy their chances either going by all the dung in the field. Honestly, you don’t want to bump into Dervla McComish on a dark night. Come to think of it, you don’t want to bump into her in broad daylight either”.
On the way back into the pub McComish sought to dispel any remaining doubt as to her lack of femininity by head butting a skip.
McComish last wore a dress for the Ulster Young Mechanics Dinner in 1996, when she was described as looking ‘like Hugo in drag’, a comment that she was secretly pleased about as she had always had a thing for ‘cuddly wee singing men’.
The case of the Tyrone tractor-seat sniffer remains unsolved after two farmers in the Pomeroy area confirmed their own CCTV footage revealed a hooded elderly man sniffing the seats of a Massey Ferguson 231 diesel and 1992 Ford New Holland respectively late on Sunday night, half a mile apart.
This brings the total spottings to 188 since last summer, covering a wide area from Moortown in the extreme east of the county to Donemana near the Donegal border. The most recent victim, Kieran Grimes, admits he froze on the spot when he saw the shadowy figure sniffing away at the seat in the yard:
“I wasn’t convinced he existed until that moment I set eyes on him. I was thinking the other 100 or so farmers were taking the hand out of me. But it’s true bejaysus. He had a crooked back and was wearing a big dirty duffle coat and boiler suit bottoms and a wooly hat. Worst of all I could hear the sniffs. Big sniffs. I just froze. And he slipped away into the mist.”
PSNI say this is consistent with the other 187 sightings and warn farmers not to approach him. They quote the example of a Galbally vigilante farmer who ran at the phantom sniffer:
“Peader Tally made the mistake of confronting him before Christmas and regretted his bravery. The sniffer, described as probably in his 70s and with mad red eyes, pulled out a piece of blue piping and skelped Tally all about the legs. This man is dangerous. We’ll work something out.”
Local psychiatrist Marjorie Mullan maintains this is not a few phenomenon and that most farmers are addicted to the smell of tractor seats but usually keep to their own.
Gales of up to 90mph, horizontal sleet and frosty conditions have been sweeping the county like never before, but appears to have had no impact on the choice of dress-wear in Galbally according to local fashion gurus, unlike Kildress.
Galbally parish priest Fr Donnelly has called on the men to hold firm despite the inclement weather:
“We Galballions have the reputation for being the hardest men in Ireland. Our young lads have a proud tradition to uphold and it brought a tear to my eye yesterday to see three young lads sitting on the bridge wall wearing shorts and a vest, despite the hurricane-fuelled hailstorm pounding down on top of them. They’re doing their ancestors proud.”
Youtube videos of Galballions going about their daily business wearing short tshirts and flip flops whilst the heavens lashed down on them have already reached four million viewers from countries as far as Sudan and Fiji. Fr Donnelly added:
“See, them Kildress ones think they’re hard but I’ve seen lads from there wearing gloves. Gloves! What next, a hat? They’ll be the laughing stock down at Tally’s.”
Despite the threat of sub-sero temperatures in the coming days, Fr Donnelly issued a veiled threat to any lad who thinks of going down the glove route:
“Religious excommunication and expulsion from the area is my recommendation for any fellow seen wearing long sleeves or even acknowledging the cold by rubbing hands and saying ‘brrrr’.”
Meanwhile, Kildress officials have explained that the wearing of gloves by two 14-yr olds was a one-off and that both boys have been severely reprimanded.
Coalisland has been described as being like ‘some mad village in Russia or somewhere’ by visiting South American politicians on a fact-finding mission funded by the UN. The East Tyrone village has been the latest stop-off venue for Argentinian finance minister Sergio Maradona and his team who have almost completed their findings on how to squeeze as much money out of its citizens as possible.
Maradona, who claims to have roots in Galbally, told us:
“The system they have here in Coalisland is fantastic. Local business people know how much you’re mad for the drink here so they’ve put an off-licence at the back of every establishment. Genius stuff. You can go into the butchers for a ham shank and a bottle of champagne, into the barbers for a short back and sides and order a bottle of single malt on the way out. We can learn a lot from this town.”
The ultra-religious South Americans have no qualms about taking this initiative even further and exploiting the locals back home by putting off-licences in the back of churches:
“I’m surprised Coalisland hasn’t taken this step already. We’re going to make a little Coalisland in Buenos Aries and exploit everyone’s weaknesses, even the religious. You could have a full mass and then nip in behind the vestry for a six-pack or a bottle of Pinot Grigio.”
Meanwhile Coalisland PP Fr McCann has said he’s proud they’re the only establishment in Coalisland without an off-licence at the back but has not ruled out building one in 2014.
“We’re making enough money as it is. But we’re waiting for a nod from the Vatican to squeeze the last penny out of Coalisland.”
Management at Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council fear an epidemic of sick workers following news last week that the council staff have an absenteeism rate amongst the highest in the 26 Councils in the North.
Head Councillor Liam O’Donoghue said,
“This has to stop. We’re far too lenient with staff with some of the daft excuses they’re coming up with. I fully intend to deal with the situation, firmly and decisively, just as soon as I get back to work after I bit my tongue last week. It’s really sore you know. I was off on Friday and I could scarcely concentrate on watching the entire Godfather trilogy. It was that bad. Ouch”.
Staff however have protested that the absences are legitimate, and that the Council should be more supportive.
Brian Guthrie, a red tape winder from Caledon said,
“I know I was off all day yesterday, but I tried to get out of bed and my duvet wouldn’t let me. It’s the truth. People think that they climb into bed and the duvet warms them up. Mine doesn’t. It’s the other buckin way around. It’s me that heats the duvet up, and the damn thing knows it full well. It would only let me go once the central heating came on. Narra escape boys, narra escape”.
Marty Murdock, from Galbally, was also off sick at the beginning of this week.
“I couldn’t face going to work on Monday. Jaysus, I had the tara sweats and my head was pounding. I won’t go into the detail but I was in trouble at both ends. I was in Tally’s for a few hours the night before and I think it might have been a bad salted peanut or something. That must have been it, because I didn’t eat anything else. Or I don’t think I did. To be honest I can’t remember a thing”.
Joe McSorley, a scribe from Edendork also had a sorry tale of woe.
“Killeeshil lost to Emyvale on Saturday night at the Junior Championship Final. Do you know how hard that can be to recover from? I couldn’t face it. No wonder I was off on Monday and Tuesday. It would be even worse if I was a fan or I actually liked football”.
Other reasons for staff not turning up at work include life-threatening paper cuts, sore hair, getting lost on the way to work, not being able to decide what to wear, and being kept captive inside their house by a swarm of midges.
A visiting American has upset a number of people after allegedly making remarks about residents of the county.
Randy Beckerson from Wisconsin, America, was visiting Clogher to conduct some family research, and is believed to have made some passing comments about the favoured activities of residents in Tyrone.
“How dare he accuse us of being obsessed with cars, stealin’ fuel, and the weather”, said 38-year old Tommy Boyce from Trillick as he furtively siphoned 300 litres of fuel out of an oil tank on the Killyfuddy Road. “That’s a racial slur that is. And he never so much as mentioned bacon, diffin’, lickin’ plates, or the price of a bale of hay. Jaysus, there’s nothing like a nice piece of crispy bacon. Anyway, if he wants to come over here with his hamburgers and his loud clothes and his milkshakes and his, ‘Hey y’all’ and ‘Howdy pardner’, then that’s up to him. But we’d never stereotype Americans like he’s done with us. It’s a disgrace”.
Carla Gervin from near Garvahey agreed.
“He’s made us out to be a bunch of culchies from the hills, like the Flintstones or something”, she said, struggling to control two pigs that she had tucked under each arm. “And he was deadly rude as well. I asked him if he had any string I could use to tie up the pigs because I forgot to bring some, and he told me I should get a fanny pack. Jaysus, I was only askin’. There’s no need for that sort of language”.
Beckerson however appeared puzzled by the furore.
“Most of them Ty-rone folks are just peachy. I was in a lil’ diner in Clocker that had a speakeasy out back, and I was getting on just swell with the fellers. But then I ordered up a whiskey and the bartender dude told me that the Bushmills was ‘Deadly’. Well of course I reckoned if it was gonna be poisonous I’d take a raincheck, so I ordered Bell’s instead, and then he said ‘Grand’. A grand? I ain’t gonna pay no jackass a thousand bucks for no shot of whiskey. So he got all uppity and suddenly he shoved my ass onto the sidewalk. Enough already. And I ain’t been doing no stereotyping. These sorts of things don’t exist”,
he said, before spitting an enormous wad of tobacco into a spittoon.
Beckerson caused further consternation last night when he popped into Costcutters in Galbally to buy some gum, where he greeted the shop assistant with a cheerful, ‘Hey, I’m Randy’.
Ross Kemp, the award winning investigative journalist famous for “Ross Kemp: In Afghanistan” and “Ross Kemp: The Middle East” has admitted he faces his toughest assignment yet when he attempts to infiltrate the Galbally underworld of diesel and poitin.
Kemp made it clear that he expects a frosty reception but is determined to crack what he calls ‘the most dangerous place in Europe’ or something like that.
“Listen, I’ve done all the war torn areas on this planet but wherever I went people would always mock me and ask why I haven’t been to Galbally. Even one of the Taliban boys had a picture of the Galbally football team in his car. It’s an itch I need to scratch and it’s happening next year. Galbally, I’m coming for you.”
In a show of defiance, three Galbally boys sitting on a stone wall ‘keeping watch’ told us where they think Kemp can jump:
“If a boy from Eastenders thinks he can come over here and clean up the place, he’s going to be sorry lad heading back over the Irish Sea, probably with a bottle of strawberry poitin in his back pocket.”
“This is just David Attenborough all over again. He came over here in the 80s to study us for the BBC. He ended up in Tally’s the whole week on the pure stuff and driving around on the ‘home-brew fuel’ as we call it. The program was never made. It’ll be the same with this Grant Mitchell boy- we’ll have him slamming down the craytur and shouting ‘yahooooo’ at Cappagh wemen by midweek. I hope he brings his ma Peggy for the craic.”
Meanwhile Cappagh brothers Brian and Mark Hurl have released their song aiming for an Ireland Christmas No.1 called ‘These Are A Few Of My Hatefulist Things’, made famous by Julie Andrews but with a Cappagh slant. As a teaser, they have released their opening lines:
Checkpoints on corners with long diesel dippers
Cleaning the clubhouse and using paint strippers
Wemen on tables when Gareth Brooks sings
These are a few of my hatefulist things
Paddy Power is offering 1000-1.
A parish priest has made an impassioned plea to parishioners to stop trying to duck out early from Sunday mass, after a man in his 40s was caught dressing up as a 3-year old child so that he could sit in the crying chapel and leave early.
“Matters have gone beyond a joke”, complained Father Sean O’Leary of The Church of St Thomas, in Tullyhogue. “The most dangerous place in Tyrone is thon chapel car park after mass on a Sunday morning. I’ve seen pensioners sprinting for their cars who thirty minutes before could scarcely get their arses up off the pew to come up for communion. What’s the world coming to? Sunday’s sermon was one of the best I’ve done, all about Christian existentialism and the undecidability of faith. I totally nailed it, so people can’t complain that it wasn’t a riveting listen. And if they think I’m going to do all the exciting stuff on ecumenical theology, they can think on”.
Local man Eugene Moody, a 42-year old bird’s nest maker, admitted trying to pass himself off as a toddler.
“It’s all very well for Father O’Leary to go bangin’ on about the mystery of God and sucklike, but I had a slurry tank to clean. I thought the easiest way was to go into the crying chapel and then nip out early. What’s wrong with that? It was all goin’ fine, except I had had a skinful the night before at Tally’s in Galbally and my stomach was like one of thon lava lamps yolks from the 70s.By the time I came back from communion I was sweating like a horse and so help me God I vomited all over my romper suit. Jaysus, you should have seen the looks I was getting. At least I caught most of it in my bonnet. And then five minutes later did this weean next to me not go and do exactly the same thing, and nobody batted an eyelid. Explain that”.
Father O’Leary has since promised those parishioners who stay until the end of next Sunday’s mass that he will ‘have a wee word with the Lord about a lock of extra salvation’.
County Tyrone’s newest radio station, Tyrone FM, got off to an uncertain start on Saturday after some prominent guests failed to show up.
Tyrone FM, which broadcasts on 189 Long Wave, received mixed feedback from those who bothered tuning in for the first broadcast on Saturday evening. Radio station owner, manager, broadcaster, presenter and DJ Duncan Hughes, said,
“We started off contacting the biggest names in showbiz, hoping we’d get at least one or two of them along. Philomena couldn’t make it, and neither could Mick Jagger, Madonna, or Bowie. By the time we got all the way through the list we ended up with Eoghan Quigg’s hairdresser which was a bit disappointing. And even she wanted twenty quid”.
Hughes was particularly disappointed about the no-show of one of Ireland’s biggest names.
“We faxed Bono on the Facebook and the Slabber and we didn’t get so much as a peep. I wanted him to do one of their big songs. Something like ‘Radio Gaga’ would have been perfect. Nothing. Who does think he is, a superstar or something? Next single of his isn’t getting played on this station. That’ll learn him”.
Listener Julie Bogue, an apple-corer from Aughabrack, said,
“Without being too unkind, it was dung from start to finish. It was advertised in the Dungannon Observer as a ‘mixture of repartee, music, and the very best in Tyrone banter’. All we got was Hughes complaining about the price of mince and the roadworks on the Ballygawley line”.
Standards fell even further when, in a seemingly desperate attempt to fill air time, Hughes turned up the volume on the TV in the studio and broadcast ‘Winning Streak’ for nearly an hour, followed by an old video recording of ‘George & Mildred’ from 1978.
‘I need to look at the format again”, admitted Hughes. “The on-air ‘Spot the Ball’ was maybe a bit misjudged and the radio version on ‘Galbally On Ice’ was a touch ambitious. Still, I don’t deserve the poundin’ I’ve taken. I’ll show them feckers. Ah’m tellin’ ye, I’m going to be one of the biggest names since Dave Lee Travis. He finished on the radio years ago and even today his name’s still on everyone’s lips. I’m going to be like that”, said a defiant Hughes.
Broadcasting continues this evening with the first airing of the equally disappointing Carrickmore’s song for the final ‘Carmen Chameleon’, the whole of which we can exclusively reveal below.
Carmen Carmen Carmen Carmen Carmen Chameleon
We score the goals, we score the goals
Penrose from Aghyaran and big Oz between the sticks
White, gold and green; white, gold and green
ARDBOE: Horse for sale. Looks like a big pony. £400 ono.
URNEY: Have viagra. Need any wemen between 20-70.
KILDRESS: 1988 Porsche, red. Tinted windows. Doesn’t start. £300
DERRYTRESK: Solid pine cabinet. Glass windows. A few cat scratches but the cat was executed. £90
MOY: Unwanted turkey for sale. Perfect for Christmas. Only partially eaten. £30
DRUMRAGH: 2006 Seat Ibiza 1.2, blue. Only 80’000 miles. £3000. Not for sale.
OMAGH: 2002 Hitachi self-cleaning oven. Needs a good clean. £100
BROCAGH: 3 year old Jack Russell. Fine with children. Great poet. £40
KILLYCLOGHER: Lost – black cat with white face and paws. Completely deaf. Answers to Sadie. Big reward.
BALLYGAWLEY: Dyson vacuum cleaner. Like new. Not needed. £200 or £160.
GALBALLY: 7 foot Christmas tree and lights. Beat the queues. Self-collect. Lights not included. £30
AUGHER: Weeding dress. Used once. £700
ROCK: Mixing bowl set designed to please a cook with round bottom for efficient beating. £8
CLONOE: Wanted. Man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.
The Northern Ireland Education Authority have moved to raise the spirits of locals after the recent rainy weather by releasing some of the more surreal answers given to GSCE questions by a selection of Tyrone pupils.
Listed below are some of the answers:
Q. What is the correct name for a row of houses in Carrickmore joined together.
A. Terrorist Housing.
Q. What food was laid on for the Last Supper?
A. Probably black puddin and cabbage. It didn’t say.
Q. A new fashion business is opening in Omagh. Is Omagh a prime location for such a business?
A. No. Omagh people aren’t fashionable.
Q. As the crow flies, how many miles are there between Coalisland and Omagh?
A. With the new road, you don’t need a crow now.
Q. Can a man reproduce with only one testicle?
A. Can’t see it. Be hard to pull a woman in Sally’s.
Q. What is a female moth?
A. A myth
Q. Give an example of Intensive Farming in Loughmacrory?
A. It’s when oul McNabb won’t take a day off..
Q. Give an example of a wholesaler in Coalisland
A. It’s when Landi’s give you a whole fish instead of a shrimp.
Q. What do Mahatma Gandhi and Hugo Duncan have in common?
A. Unusual names.
Q. You live in Galbally. Name the 4 seasons.
A. Vinegar, salt, brown sauce and mustard.
Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink in the Torrent river?
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutant like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.
Q: Explain Global Warming
A: A load of bollocks says my daddy.
Q. What happened in Ireland in 1798?
A. Kerry won the All-Ireland, probably.
Q. Name five animals you would see wild in Brocagh
A. Four badgers and a mink
Q. Why would a telecommunicatons mast be bad for health in Killeeshil?
A. You might walk into it.
Q. How can you avoid flooding around Lough Neagh?
A. By placing a few big dames in it.
Q. If the traffic lights in Urney show red, what do you do?
A. Phone the police. Someone stole traffic lights.
Locals were left in confusion on Saturday afternoon at the Cappagh Summer Show after the gurning competition was accidentally won by a woman who had intended to the enter the ‘Miss Cappagh 2013’ contest.
It is thought that the judging process became confused after several of the judges had participated in the ‘Poitin Supplier of the Year’ competition, a hotly-contested category featuring different substances made variously of potatoes, barley, and water.
Clearly worse-for-wear head judge, local car-wash team leader Thomas McIlhenny, said,
“Ah sure, we had had a whole clatter of pints before the day started and the craytur on top. It was all a bit bewildering to be honest. This big lassie came up onto the stage, carrying plenty of timber. It did seem a bit odd her going in for the gurning wearing a swimsuit and talking about how she wanted nothing more than world peace and the new Nathan Carter album, but then I thought nothing of it. To be honest I had trouble seeing straight by that time. Then she started pulling all them grotesque faces like she was havin’ a fit. It was enough to bring the poitin back up. I thought she was a class act, mad for the gurning like. By the time we realised the mistake, it was too late. And we didn’t want to make a fuss. You know what Cappagh’s like. We’ve always been a really tolerant bunch”.
Fortunately, there will be no appeal:
“I was initially confused then surprised then shocked then a bit confused again”, said 26 year old winner Sinead Boyle from through a horse’s collar. “I’m happy now though. The prize for the gurning was a 10-second trolley dash down the biscuit aisle of Costcutter’s in Galbally, so I’m really pleased. I wasn’t really sure about entering the beauty competition anyway after I got my two front teeth kicked out by a heifer last year, but my ma persuaded me to go in for it”.
“She did great so she did”, said delighted mother Mary, a part-time cushion fluffer from Corlea Road. “Wee Sinead’s got a lazy eye and I think she must’ve went up onto the wrong stage. Still, she did us proud. We’ve enough Gypsy Creams to last us a year”.
In what is believed to be a further blunder by the judges, the beauty contest was eventually won by a 1982 light-blue Massey Ferguson MF82 tractor.
An initiative by Galbally Civil Council to sober up the locals for a full month has witnessed varying degrees of success. Whilst random lane-brawling has seen a decrease in incidents, the side effects of a much soberer community have been devastating. The self-styled ‘King of Galbally’ Pat Tally (50) offered an insight into life in Galbally over the last month:
“It hasn’t been great, personally. After about three days of sobriety, the wife was sufficiently dried out to take a good look at me. It dawned on her that I looked a bit like that elephant man boy. Whilst intoxicated she must’ve thought I was Galbally’s answer to Robert Redford, and we’ve been married 28 years. She won’t even look at me now without either laughing or retching. It’s cat altogether. I wish she’d take a charge at it so we could get back to marital ignorance.”
Housewife Roisin Murphy (29) revealed other crippling side effects of sobriety in the area:
“Before the hubby sobered up, he was a great handyman. Plumbing, wiring, hammering – he could do it all. Now he cannot even dig a hole. He’s a useless lump. It seems that the stout gave him some sort of super-powers. Others are saying the same. Galbally’s falling down around us as the men are now reading books and writing oul stupid love poems. This sober craic is a disaster around here. The cattle are learning to milk each other, that’s how bad the neglect is”.
Some residents have welcomed the period of sobriety. Johnny Nugent (44) says he’s a changed man:
“Jaysus, I’m a new man. This morning I made toast and tea for the whole family. I never thought I could do that a month ago. I shower nearly every other day and the wife and I have had some deadly kissing sessions. In the past I’d have headed out the door to the site without spakin a word, with three half’uns already in me. Flip, I mightn’t drink again.”
The ‘Sober for July’ experiment ends on Wednesday
An experienced labourer and expert hole-digger has expressed his disappointment after receiving his marching orders for continually bringing less traditional fillings for his lunch time sandwiches. Fergal Coyne, 44, claims his ability to think outside the box has cost him his job:
“I’ve been working on sites since I was 15 and recently got sick of eating corned beef and ham sandwiches day in-day out. We’re currently adding a beer garden to the back of the Credit Union and I thought I would spice up my lunch break by bringing in smoked salmon and egg mayo fillings for a granary breaded effort. Well, the looks I got when I explained what it was. One lad from Galbally said ‘your type is not wanted around here’ as he got tore into his apple and chocolate Club bar. I ignored him but then his mate came over and kicked the sandwich clean out of my hand.”
Undeterred, Coyne returned next morning with a mango and cashew filling but was met with an even frostier reception.
“I was digging a great hole and I spotted two boys from Pomeroy going through my stuff. By the time I went over they had smeared ‘stop being a bollocks’ on the gable wall with my filling. It was disheartening. I phoned the Builders’ Union that night to come in and observe the discrimination the next day”.
The Stewartstown Builders’ Union were on site in the morning and witnessed events first hand:
“Yes, we saw what the problem was. Fergal arrived this morning with pita bread filled with beef and vegetables. We were shocked and felt quite angry, almost aggressive, towards him. For decades we’ve been eating the traditional four ham sandwiches, tin of Fanta, apple, Club biscuit and maybe a banana. We’ve no time for this fancy dan American stuff. So we fecked him off the site and told him he’ll never get another job digging holes in Stewartstown again. We’ll also pay out compensation to the other workers for stress related illnesses.”
Coyne is considering moving to Donaghmore.
Tyrone officials have scotched rumours that a Galbally 65-year old is to be a surprise inclusion in tomorrow’s team v Donegal, going as far as to say it was “pure balls”. The story that had been doing the rounds in Galbally and Kildress since the start of the week is that Danny Murphy had been called up to the panel because of his ‘long-kicking’ and ‘high-catching’ as well as being ‘crafty’. Murphy himself appears to have done little to rubbish the rumours by raising his eyebrows and saying ‘you never know’ whilst pretending to jog short distances around his garden. Local hedge-cutter, Tom Loughran, still thinks there’s something in it:
“Listen, there’s no smoke without fire. Danny was a deadly footballer in his day and once scored 0-4 from play against Drumragh in 1979, in their field! People say he scored 0-3 with his right leg and headed one over. It’s the stuff of legend around here and he’s never had to buy a pint since, and him a tee-totaller. I’d say Mickey Harte has been a bit worried about the young lads in his panel and has asked Danny to dig him out. I saw him at the sports day last year and he still has a deadly kick on him. There was a stray buck cat annoying people and he ran over and booted it over the pavillion. Wemen swooned.”
Tyrone officials though have played down the rumour and told us to “catch ourselves on” calling the rumour “the biggest pile of dung they’d ever heard”.
“Pure balls. Why the hell would Mickey draft in a 65-year old from Galbally and there’s Mugsy fixing fences with his togs on raring to go? Anyway, Danny’s blind in one eye and has a bad limp. This is just stupid. I’m putting the phone down.”
Danny has refused to confirm whether he’ll be running out onto the Ballybofey turf, simply telling us “when the seagulls follow the boat, it’s because they’d be thinking it’s the right way to go.”
A local man remains hopeful that he has an opportunity to date a fairly attractive restaurant waitress who served him during a meal, with whom he shared his self-confessed ‘deadly banter’. Plunkett Keown, an unemployed fitter from Galbally, was dining at the popular Viceroy Restaurant in Dungannon on Wednesday night with his sister and brother-in-law, to celebrate Keown’s 27th birthday.
“There was this nice wee piece working the tables, all dolled up in the waitress uniform. To be honest she looked like she’d lie down in nettles for it, so I fancied my chances straight away. I decided to give her some of the famous Keown patter. I like my steak rare so when she asks how I want it I says, “Just wipe its arse and throw it on the plate!”
Mighty! She just stood there and said, “Chips and veg?” So I go straight in again with another beauty, and says “Just chips – I’m on a diet!” bang, just like that. She just wrote it down but I can tell she’s dying to burst out laughing. Later when she came round to take the drinks order I says “I’ll have another Guinness. All this drinkin’s thirsty work!” Even the next table were looking round to see who had come out with that belter. Jaysus, sometimes even I don’t know where they come from. ‘I’m on a diet’! Lethal craic hi!”
Keown tried at various times to catch the waitress’s eye without success.
“She had a face like a pishmire but I could tell it was all an act. She came over to ask if everything with the meal was okay but my mouth was so full of food all I could do was shout “Mighty”, and spray my sister in the face with cheesy garlic bread”.
Plunkett again missed his chance to impress the young woman when she returned to clear the table, to find him licking his plate.
“Wemin like men with a big appetite though. She was probably impressed. And that whiskey sauce was deadly. It’s a shame I spilt so much of it over my dungarees”.
Keown saw another opportunity to make an impression when ordering the dessert.
“This one never fails. I says “I’ll have the strawberry cheesecake – the strawberries are one of my five portions a day!”Jaysus, I was laughing so hard I nearly vomited. I could hardly breathe. By this time everyone’s looking round, obviously loving it. She didn’t laugh but I think she’s probably one of them cool types that’s cracking up on the inside. That’s what it seemed like to me anyway”.
Reflecting on the evening Keown said, “I’m surprised she never asked for my number. I think she’s playing it slow. It doesn’t matter. And anyway, I don’t have a phone”. Keown is currently single and has not had a girlfriend since 2001.
Washingbay Road, Coalisland
This excellent 7 bedroom detached two storey dwelling with missing double garage is located on the hiving Washingbay Road, approximately half a mile from the busy lights of Coalisland and far enough from Stewartstown. There is the option to purchase an additional 2 acres of unrelated black-turfed bogland in Derrylaughan. The property is in close proximity of both Coalisland and Clonoe GAA pitches, multi-denominational churches with Fr Benny’s sermons a local must-do experience, Landi’s, Springisland carvery, the former sandpit I think and scenic routes rambling across the ramparts to Derrytresk to find the bag-wielding woman, South Tyrone Hospital for plasters, Dr McKenna’s surgery and the Brackaville 9-hole deluxe Golf Course. The property needs some renovation and will undoubtedly attract a huge amount of interest and would make an excellent family home for people from Brocagh or the Windmill.
Offers over £175,000
Neagh’s Edge, Ardboe
Bright and spacious, needs window panes and roof, this detached family home offers excellent accommodation with panoramic views over the Lough. The property offers excellent family accommodation with four well proportioned walls and all the outside toilet you want. A master bedroom en-suite has yet to be completed as no one knows what that is. Viewing is essential to fully appreciate this magnificent home and the surrounding views and privacy. Local phrase book ‘Ghost-Oh’ will help non-local buyers. Shouts from the Battery Bar usually dies down at midnight, as soon as the first bare-knuckler hits the deck. Please use a face-netting device to ward off midges on viewing. Comes with free fishing rod.
Offers over £80’000
Merchanstown Road, Loughmacrory
This superb detached 4 bedroom bungalow is situated approximately 1 mile from the Village of Loughmacrory and 12 feet into the air, supported by stilts. Internally the property is finished to a very high standard and most be viewed to be fully appreciated. Great parking facilities. Burglar-proof and a great deterrent to boys selling tickets for Omagh GAA. The recent million-pound sports deal in Loughmacrory will see this property turn to gold-dust as a rental opportunity for Ethiopian long-distance runners, Canadian curlers and the like. Get on the Loughmacrory market NOW!
Offers over £45’000
Sessiadonaghy Road, Galbally
This generous 1 acre site has unrestricted planning permission and is located on the Sessiadonaghy road, approximately 4 miles from the village of Donaghmore, far enough to avoid tuts of middle-class displeasure. Needs to be viewed internally if possible to understand the character that once existed in this ex-brothel amidst rural Galbally. Local priest is nearly sure this once-haunted dwelling is now clean. The fallen tree is optional.
Offers over £30 or E50