Around 60 middle-aged men from Carrickmore, Galbally, Kildress, Coalisland and Ardboe will make their debuts today in the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, with high expectations of bringing home a rash of medals despite no official training.
The athletes arrived over in a convoy of six white vans yesterday, claiming they purposely avoided the opening ceremony because of the amount of cameras and men in uniform about the arena.
Early practice ironed out a few problems, especially after the majority turned up camouflaged with ferns and brackens from home. Additionally, many of their guns appeared to be covered in turf, as if unearthed just recently.
Jackie ‘eagle-eye’ McDermott (61) from Kildress was disappointed that the categories were not what they expected them to be:
“Yes a few things have annoyed us but we’ll tear away anyway. They said we are not allowed to wear any facial coverings but some of these lads shoot far better with what we now call ‘head-warmers’ on them. But rules are rules I suppose. The dark sunglasses and moustaches will do ok. Sniping doesn’t seem to be a category at all too.”
Unfortunately three men were sent home after early practice this morning for shouting ‘yeeoooo’ and a three-worded saying in Irish every time they hit a target, despite repeated warnings. One of the threesome, Peter Bradley (54) from Ardboe, dejectedly explained:
“Ghost-oh we got thrown out. It was a natural reaction, like, from years ago. I suppose shouting abuse at the English shooters was bad manners. We’ll be back in four years though with a better idea of the format. We haven’t gone away ye know.”
Meanwhile, another shooter, Hugh Devine (49) from Carrickmore, has been sent home for testing positive for homemade brew as well as making animal noises when rival air rifle competitors were aiming.
Against all the odds, Moygashel have successfully applied to become part of the GAA landscape after their club ‘True Blues GFC’ were finally affiliated as an operating GAA club as of July 12th 2014.
Moygashel, who have suffered from unwanted publicity recently, will play their first friendly against Carrickmore on the 11th night, followed by games against Coalisland Fianna, Ardboe O’Donovan Rossa and Galbally Pearses to get them acclimatised to the Tyrone county scene. The move comes after Stormont agreed a multi-million pound investment in new facilities in Moygashel including a floodlit pitch and changing rooms with individual showers.
Manager Wesley Frazer was hopeful of a positive start to life in the GAA arena:
“I know we’d have a reputation for being a bit on the Loyalist/Unionist side of the Ulster political divide but we want True Blues GFC to be the start of folk forgetting these silly tags people place on certain enclaves in the province. We have a few good ballers who are sick of the way soccer is almost now non-contact so we’re going to try our hand at the GAA and get wired into some fenians in a nice friendly way. The Carrickmore game will be explosive. I suppose I shouldn’t use that word.”
True Blues GFC will use the motto Fidelitate et honore, terra et mare which means ‘loyalty and honour on land and sea’ and their crest will have elements of the culture from the area including the Queen’s face, a bonfire and graffiti.
Frazer, who recently served time in Maghaberry for tobacco smuggling, predicts a great 11th night festival and has offered Carrickmore supporters a safe and warm welcome:
“This could be Northern Ireland turning a corner. We’ll provide crisps and mineral for the Carrickmore lads and if they want they can stay on and watch the bonfire, singing and the odd military show of strength.”
There has been a mixed reception in Carrickmore to the news of the upcoming fixture. Captain Cathal Gormley admitted:
“I’m crapping myself, and I’ve been to Ardboe.”
Women across the county are ramping up their shouting techniques as men get ready for a month of doing nothing around the house.
The 2014 World Cup, which kicks off on Thursday, will see all matches played after 5pm, meaning very few man-jobs will be completed around houses after work. Cathy Traynor, an events manager from Cappagh, is confident she is fully prepared for the month ahead:
“Yes, a few of us met up last night to put the finishing touches on our roaring sessions. I learnt a few new phrases like ‘get up off yer feckin arse ye lazy oul balax’ that’ll come in handy around the second week and all the light bulbs need changing.”
Leaflets have been distributed amongst women in Galbally, instructing them on leaving out bins and kicking car tyres to see if they’re OK. Recently elected Independent councillor for Kildress, Leo McHudd, is worried about the local livestock:
“I’m slightly concerned that animals will be left to roam the lands for four weeks. That encourages inter-species breeding and that’s the last thing we need after the half-sheep half-pig fiasco of four years ago. We didn’t know whether to eat or shear the thing.”
Patsy Mackle from Blackwatertown admitted he’s fairly excited at the month ahead:
“I buckin hate soccer but I’ll be glued to the TV. I means I don’t have to lift down boxes from the attic or plumb the kitchen pipes. I do start to smell a bit after a few days but sure I’ll just stick the head out when it’s lashing down.”
Meanwhile, Tyrone have adopted Iran as their team of choice as they also live beside dodgy enough neighbours.
Recent comments by First Minister Peter Robinson have opened a can of worms in the county as pubs, clubs and homes debate who they’d trust to go to the shops for them. Early figures show an extremely low percentage of trustworthiness within the county with no one in Coalisland prepared to admit they’d allow a Brackaville man or woman to go to the shops for them.
Regular mass-goer, and founder of the Christian Ethos In Coalisland group, Maire Lyons was crystal clear with her take on the issue of trust:
“As long as there’s breath in my body, I’d never allow a Brackavillonian to go to the shops for me. Put it like this, if you gave one of them money and a shopping bag and told them to get bread, milk and the papers for you, you’d never see that bag again. Or maybe you would but they’d be wearing it. Themuns are a shower of heathens up there. They’d take the eye out of your head if you stood still long enough. The bible says we’re all God’s children but they must be a different species completely.”
Such views were replicated throughout the county with only 3% of Urney folk trusting Clady locals to do the shopping for them. At the other end of the scale there appeared to be evidence of a love-in between Galbally and Donaghmore with 88% of Galballians trusting their neighbours to go to the Spar for them. Pat McGinn explained:
“Ah I love it when I ask someone from up the road to go to the shop for me for a pound of mince or a packet of sausage rolls. Them Donaghmore ones are wild generous and sometimes you’d look into the bag and they’ve thrown in about £300 worth of food and jewels and stuff. People say Donaghmore is the Kengsinton of Tyrone but I’d not have a bad word said about them. They even throw coppers at us in the pub. Wild kind.”
Meanwhile, an unexpected figure of 76% trustworthiness between Ardboe and Moortown residents was exposed as a fraud after it was revealed both areas have applied for a £30’000 grant to build a ‘Friendship Wall’ between them. Rumours suggest the money will be drank.
New rules introduced by the EU via Stormont will see the village of Fivemiletown in Tyrone renamed Eightkilometretown from next Monday.
Council workers were today hard at work changing signage in and around the town to ensure that the Ulster councils do not fall foul of a new
EU directive designed to ensure consistency and transparency across European members, which includes the standardisation from imperial measures to metric.
Fivemiletown is not the only location in Tyrone affected. Sixmilecross village today similarly becomes Ninekilometrecross, whilst one of the county’s best-known visitor attractions, the Beaghmore Stone Circles, a site of significant archaeological interest, becomes the Beaghmore Kilo Circles. Retail outlets are also affected, with Poundland in Dungannon’s Scotch Street changing to Gramland from next week.
Other plans which may be introduced over the next twelve months include driving on the right hand side of the road, horsemeat being sold throughout the county, again, and compulsory three-hour siestas on any day the sun comes out.
Local Tyrone councillor Enda McMann confirmed the changes:
“It makes sense. Sort of. If we’re trying to encourage Johnny Foreigner to come and visit the county we don’t want him all confused with the inches and the miles and driving on the wrong side of the road and suchlike. We want him thinking it’s just an extension of his own country. That’s why this time next year places like Cappagh and Galbally will have pavement cafes, street artists, and a branch of Harrods. A bit like Donaghmore really”.
“Imagine walking through Greencastle up to your arse in Michelin-starred restaurants. That’s what it’ll be like. And the Garvaghey complex will probably get bulldozed and turned into a big marina with million pound yachts and pedalo boats and things. Yep, we’re going the whole nine yards. Sorry, metres”.
As part of the re-naming programme, all possible racial references will be removed to ensure that no-one can take the slightest offence, with plans already under way for the River Blackwater to be re-named the River-Of-Non-Defined-Origin-Water from October.
Kildress Independent Movement’s Paddy Conway has been ordered to re-think his campaign slogan after parents complained of children copying the language used on his local election posters.
The motto in question – “Vote Conway. Sure The Rest Of Them Are Slippery Fcukers Anyway” – has been displayed on telephone poles and lamp posts since last Tuesday as Conway stands for the first time for his new Kildress Independence Movement which seeks to see Kildress stand alone as a separate county in Ulster in two years.
Local primary school teacher Grace McMinn maintains young children are mimicking the unfortunately choice of words:
“Yes, just yesterday I was teaching the children about World War II and at the end I asked the class what they knew about Adolf Hitler. A young lad from up the road put his hand up and said he was a ‘slippery fcuker’. Then I was out supervising the children at lunch time and I heard hundreds of ‘slippery fcukers’ being yelled out, even girls playing hop scotch. Conway must take these posters down now.”
Paddy Conway (48) who pledges to free Kildress by 2016 from the Tyrone jurisdiction, is adamant the posters will remain:
“Listen I tell it how it is. I’ll even go into these schools and repeat my message. Everyone knows they are a shower of slippery fcukers. Believe me, I could have said worse. Up Kildress.”
Conway went on to spell out his vision for the area:
“By 2016 we’ll be County Kildress with our own currency which might or might not be bramble bushes or blackberries. We’ll have zero tolerance for asylum seekers from Galbally or Greencastle and our army will be renowned for one of the most brutal in Europe, kicking the dung out of anyone littering or parking erratically. Up Kildress.”
Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff has denied he has responded by changing his slogan to ‘Vote For Me, Or Else…..”
In a move which has been described as ‘draconian’ and ‘pure mad’, Stormont officials have moved to ban anyone from photo-bombing in county Tyrone.
Photo-bombing, the modern phenomenon of unexpectedly dropping in behind someone being photographed, has been on the rise in the county ever since mobile phones replaced Polaroid instant cameras in 2008 as the most popular camera device in homes.
A government insider informed us today:
“Photo-bombing is a throwback to the bad old days. Our many communities don’t need this and that’s why from today anyone caught photo-bombing will be gathered up in unmarked jeeps and interned indefinitely. We want these people off the streets and Tyrone is a good place to start off as there seems to be a rash of photo-bombers all over that land. Ireland says NO to photo-bombers. We might need to re-word the Good Friday Agreement just.”
Initial reports gathered from Twitter and Facebook suggests there have already been three photo-bombers arrested – in Ardboe, Galbally and Loughmacrory, sparking outrage and spontaneous bonfires in all three regions. Galbally tourism director Jill Maguire is adamant there will be resistance to the government’s latest initiative. Using a voice-warp microphone she told us:
“Them boys sitting up in Belfast are out of order. I can’t believe Martin McGuinness has sanctioned this move, and him a serial photo-bomber at football matches and christenings. We’re sending this message out loud and clear – we will not be moved. We’ll be photo-bombing like mad tonight all over the county.”
Although rumours of a continuity photo-bombing group forming in Brocagh are wide of the mark, there has been a rash of digital cameras and balaclavas bought in Dungannon, Cookstown and Omagh today in an obvious show of defiance. PSNI have drafted in 40 UN troops to help monitor the situation. A county holds its breath.
A Cabragh entrepreneur has struck it rich after his range of women’s perfumes have sent mens’ pulses racing across rural parts of Ireland since its release last weekend. The product, named ‘Juice’, has rocketed off the shelves in locations such as Keady, Granard, Clonmel, Westport, Lisnaskea, Crossmaglen and Trillick, clocking up 20’000 sales in under two days.
Paddy Rea, who appeared on Dragon’s Den last year but was unsuccessful in convincing millionaires to invest in his idea for a spade-come-shovel called a ‘spovel’, has already splashed out on Easter clothes and a new set of duvets for the house. The ex log-chopper also expressed a desire to expand his product worldwide and make burger-flavoured perfume in America and computer-scented cologne in Japan.
“For years I knew that women who smelt of oil and petrol sent men weak at the knees around these parts. I used to court a girl from Galbally and she’d be up to her eyeballs in fully synthetic car-lube. I had a hard time keeping her and eventually lost her to a farmer from Fintona who owned 12 acres. This is a logical next step. There are plenty of women out there wondering what the missing ingredient is when it comes to holding on to a much sought after Tyrone man. Now I have the answer.”
Rea admits he is surprised at the national appeal of his product but promises to stay true to his roots and build his factory near Dungannon:
“The women in South Armagh are drowning in this product. It’s amazing. Men can hardly work for running after women. I heard that Crossmaglen Rangers have urged their female supporters to wear ordinary perfume to games as it was distracting their players. Unfortunately more urban teams from the likes of Omagh and Cookstown are paying their women to wear it so it sends their country opponents crazy. I don’t mind either way. More dough for my office on the Dungannon Road.”
‘Juice‘ is on sale in most reputable supermarkets, starting at £19.99.
A recent report into the On The Runs (OTRs) in Ireland has confirmed that of the 177’000 inhabitants in Tyrone, almost 100’000 are on the run from something or somewhere. This startling revelation has thrown the Civil Service into chaos as they attempt to examine each case individually, originally thinking they were dealing with only 200 cases.
Chief civil servant Valerie McMahon listed a few of the reasons for the rather large tally of OTRs in the county:
“This is a bit of a nightmare. We asked around Galbally and Moortown for information on who was on the run and nearly every household had a couple of OTRs. In one lane in Galbally, there were 16 on the run from the TV licence man, 12 on the run from their wives, one on the run from buying a round and another dozen on the run from their drunken antics at recent weddings. And that was just the men. We met a woman from Cappagh on the run from her sister after leaving on a pair of straighteners and burning a hole in her Frankie Goes To Hollywood sweatshirt. Categorising these is going to be a logistical hell.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is said to be livid at the suggestion that those on the run from stealing Choc Pops from a local garage in Pomeroy is to be given the same category of offence for those on the run from sticking up Union Jacks in Carrickmore. An insider told us he pleaded for the downgrading of ice lolly thieves:
“Marty went clean mad at Peter Robinson when it was revealed that an on the run Choc Pop burglar would receive a category 4 OTR status, the same as the two fellows from Newmills who put up three Union Jacks outside the toilets in Carrickmore. He says that the deadly summer we had last year left men and women fierce hot and that the ice lolly makers were cashing in on climate change, especially in Pomeroy with it being so high up and all. He didn’t go as far as condone the theft of Choc Pops but intimated that a blind eye should be turned, especially if the OTR is over 70.”
Meanwhile, a traffic warden who nearly gave a ticket to a vehicle in Coalisland last week and went on the run after being spotted licking his pencil by locals, has been told his OTR status will be quashed if he returns to his home in Banbridge.
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’.