Monthly Archives: January 2013
In a bold attempt to rid the area of its teak-tough and uncompromising representation, Carrickmore officials project that their new initiatives will see tourism rise at least by 500% over the twelve months. Locals have long lamented the lack of visitors to the Carrickmore high street, a phenomenon explained away by the harrowing perception of people in the area created by rival parishes and certain sections of the media. It is claimed that 1956 was the last time anyone from outside the townland married into the traditional Carrickmore families of the Gormleys, McCallans, Munroes and Dalys. Businesses have suffered as people fear of having to deal with the now mythical ferocious women and men from the village.
In a bold move, Carrickmore officials have unveiled their new strip – an all-pink number with frilly lacings around the collars – to be worn by the senior side in league and championship in 2013. Buying into the whole “connotations of colours” philosophy, club offical Gab Gormley maintains it could be the making of Carrickmore as a community:
“Well, to be honest, something needed to be done. The Carmen was turning into the wild west, where folk feared to travel. I emailed Gok Wan for suggestions and he didn’t reply. So I asked a boy from down the road who knows about colours and stuff and he filled me in about this idea. I was a bit skeptical at first but thought ‘what the hell’. There was a bit of a mini-rebellion when I announced it at training last night and, understandably, the clubrooms were thrashed by angry players. My car was also set alight by a few senior lads who should’ve known better, but no matter. As soon as they see the men and wemen from other places coming here for a pint or a loaf of bread then they’ll know they played their part in changing the future of this great place. We will soon be building skyscrapers and hoarding asylum seekers. People will see Carrickmore as progressive and in touch with their feminine qualities.”
Carrickmore will play rivals Dromore in a friendly next month in what could be a testing first outing. A high profile inter-county defensive player, who does not wish to be named, was furious at the announcement:
Holy buckin Jaysus, we’ll be laughed out of it in places like Derrylaughan and Killyclogher. Pink, like. Any other colour maybe. The renowned green and gold will be no more. I can’t see how this will bring in tourists. We might get some kind of knitting convention or gay pride march in Carrickmore but that’s the best case scenario. They’ve made a hames of this. I can’t see Mickey Harte picking lads who play in pink.
Officials say they haven’t shelved plans of forcing all Carrickmore people to attend night classes in “the art of nose-blowing and coughing up stuff in public”.
Tyrone Tribulations were delighted to be granted an exclusive interview with Seamie ‘The Red Boy’ McCloy, an independent candidate for the Mid-Ulster seat, from Galbally.
WHAT MAKES YOU AN IDEAL CANDIDATE FOR MID-ULSTER?
Well, lucksee, I’ve been living in Mid-Ulster since I was born. I know all the roads. Manys a night I walked every road on my way home from Clubland or Dormans or even the Cohannon Inn after a night on the tear. I know every pothole and sheuk. Molloy might be a Tyrone man but sure he spent half his time helping them Fermanagh ones. I’ll not be doing anything of the sort. I’m a pure bred Tyrone man.
BUT YOUR CONSTITUENCY COVERS DERRY?
What? Does it? Well, if I’m elected we’ll be seeing about that. And we’ll be taking all of Ballinderry back too. That’s not to say I don’t want them Derry wans not to vote for me. Far from it. Get me in and you get your Derry back for yourselves. Tyrone and Derry have no business mixing with each other. McGuinness was cute about that. He took over when Tyrone were going well and pretended we were all the one. Not any more. A vote for me is a vote for independence.
SO WHAT IS YOUR MANIFESTO?
What kind of question is that? I’ve nothing to hide.
SORRY, YOU MISUNDERSTAND ME. A MANIFESTO IS A DECLARATION OF INTENTIONS IF YOU’RE EVER VOTED IN.
So what are you saying? I’m not intending on anything. I’m open and transparent. You hacks are slippery wee bastards.
OK. IF YOU ARE VOTED IN, WHAT CHANGES WILL YOU MAKE?
That’s more like it. Well, I’ve already told you about the geographical changes. Secondly, I will lower taxes on alcohol, smoking as well as offering financial relief for those caught doing the double or mixing fuel or things like that. They’re the real issues in Mid-Ulster/New Tyrone. I’ll also be asking for permission to stop cops who are stopping cars looking to dip. Turn the tables on them so to speak. Like a new B Special gang under my control. We’ll police the police.
YOU DO REALISE YOU CANNOT LOWER TAXES? ONLY WESTMINSTER OR STORMONT CAN AFFECT THAT.
That’s what you think. Vote for me. Vote for change. Vote for standing up to the man.
OK. DO YOU THINK YOU CAN PULL IN ENOUGH VOTES TO OUST MOLLOY, MCGLONE AND FRAZER?
Them boys wouldn’t have the balls to attempt what I’m going to achieve if I get in. I’m proposing an extra day at the weekend, possibly moving Thursday between Friday and Saturday. The working week will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then Friday. Mondays will also move between Tuesday and Wednesday once a month to give a four-day weekend of Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. You’d get some work done around the house that weekend and still have time for a game or two and a slap of pints. I’ll also be taking five minutes off the journey from Dungannon to Coalisland by allowing buses to fly down the Coalisland Road towards the Bush at any speed they want. I’m thinking of redesigning the graveyards in the constituency by adding spooky music at night in order to attract horror film producers etc. I’ve loads of great ideas like this boy. A tax on red-haired people and priests who take more than forty minutes for a mass.
WHAT ABOUT THE FLAGS ISSUE?
Pressed concrete flags don’t bother me. They’re great for hopscotch for the childer. Anyone tripping on flags just needs to watch where they’re walking.
HAVE YOU A CAMPAIGN MOTTO AND GAMEPLAN?
I’m going to give the people of Mid-Ulster an American-style experience. I’ll be using women in bikinis picked at random from the Dungannon swimming pool to flank me on road tours, probably in the Toyota Corolla shouting at Shinners or Stoops. I’m inviting Molloy to a head-to-head bare-knuckle boxing match down at the Washingbay to raise money for a badger crematorium in Stewartstown, powered by coal bought up at Cappers at Tamnamore. My motto is, “Vote McCloy X. He’ll buck it into them.”
The entire staff of an unnamed newspaper with offices based in Omagh are facing the axe after a rebel investigative journalist uncovered a culture of hiding from the boss whilst on duty. The renegade hack, a former employee of the newspaper group in question, managed to collate video and photographic evidence of the mass skiving which will form the basis of an exclusive documentary that will be aired on mainstream TV next summer.
“Finally got the bastards,” Deckie Brogan told us, “but I wasn’t aware at the extent of it all. I caught a Stewartstown employee, laden with awards and all, and he was hiding out in the boiler house behind the car park with a mattress, pillow and mini-TV with freeview. The owners thought he was out sourcing stories on farming. He was getting them on the Internet the night before. Then there was a boy from Beragh who was hiding behind a skip in the town when he was meant to be at football matches getting reports. He’d set an alarm to go off about fifteen minutes before the the end of the working day, check the scores on Twitter and go back to the offices looking foundered for effect. It was widespread.”
Fermanagh man Brogan will also relate the story of a Derry journalist who insisted on wearing dark glasses supposedly because of the glare of the screen. He simply slept with his hands on the keyboard. An Armagh employee, who was meant to be sourcing articles on fashion trends, would leave the office at half nine, check into the Silver Berch Hotel and read the Ulster Tatler for a few hours. One of the journalists who was caught redhanded admitted:
“Ah Jeepers, I’m done for now. It’s a sad state of affairs that a private sector worker can’t hide but that’s a sign of the times. I might as well get another job that I can do a bit of skiving in. Teaching maybe.”
The newspaper are asking readers to text in their choice as to who should be sacked first. Texts cost £2.
A Brackaville couple have set a Guinness World Record after a non-stop arguing session lasting nine days, breaking the previous record set in Brazillia in 1985. Felix and Marjorie McAlinden began arguing two weeks ago after Felix’s failure to bring home wheaten bread from the shops in Coalisland for the second time in a month. In a straw that broke the camel’s back, neighbours maintain that Marjorie let rip on Felix with an outpouring of grief encompassing incidents as far back as their honeymoon in Omeath 15 years ago. Next door neighbour, Gerry Turtle, says he heard the whole thing from the beginning.
“Before the wheaten incident, they seemed like the ideal couple. It was all smiles and hand-holding – something you don’t see a lot of in East Tyrone to be honest. Then, when Felix brought back the milk and firelighters but no wheaten, all hell broke loose. The walls are thin here. I could hear her tapping the table and then quietly, at first, saying “you good for nothing oul bollocks. That’s twice since Christmas. Wheaten f**kin bread. Milk, firelighters and wheaten f**kin bread.” It went on in that vein all night. It was savage stuff altogether, much worse than that couple in Fr Ted.”
The Brackaville community have welcomed the news, claiming one over Coalisland whose only world record was in 1982 when a young lad was judged to look the most like Shakin Stevens. Avid walker Pauline Herron told us:
“You should see the looks of the ‘Island ones. They won’t even talk to us now just because the McAlindens have put Brackaville on the world map. Shakin Stevens knows where he can shove it.”
Having been told by the Guinness company that they were now the record holders, the McAlindens ignored the accolade and continued to argue about Facebook and the fact that Marjorie keeps making Felix look at pictures of babies he doesn’t know.
Chaotic scenes outside parliament buildings at Stormont this morning are being pinned on a group of Moy pensioners who boarded the 8:20 bus to Belfast in order to protest against proposed government taxes on shortbread. A visiting American delegate told CNN he just witnessed the ‘most savage group of elderly people he has ever encountered’ after being caught up in the crossfire as walking sticks, colostomy bags, false teeth and commodes were hurled at politicans from all parties as they made their way to work. Chad Hogan told CNN:
“Aw men, this was epic. I heard a group of yahooing elderly people coming up over the mound. Some were using motorized vehicles to help mobility, travelling at speeds of up to 7mph. They got up as far as the parliament front door before hurling all sorts of archaic instruments at anyone they saw who wore a suit or frock. Urine crashed against the vehicle carrying the First Minister. Awesome. They weren’t streetwise down-town pensioners either. These were real country hicks. They must’ve been aged between 77-90 and I’m told they were wearing Tyrone or Moy vests. One female threw a bag of boiled sweets and a ham sandwich at an SDLP delegation. You know what, they won me over. Lower taxes on shortbread, dudes.”
The First Minister and his Deputy are currently locked in a cupboard just inside the foyer after the Moy terror gang stormed the building, looking for a nice cup of tea and a Rich Tea after their long journey from the Moy. Robinson and McGuinness are said to be contemplating staying in there for the forseeable future or until a few of the rioting elderly keel over. 86-year old Moy woman Henrietta Jordan says they’re going nowhere:
“This is part of a systematic attack on the elderly in and around the Moy. Take shortbread out of our daily lives and all we have is Hugo during the week and Gay Byrne on a Sunday. We’re not in much of a rush home as the bingo isn’t til Wednesday. We will get what we want as soon as one of us remembers why we are here again. You’re a nice young man. What’s my name?”
The PSNI are said to be attempting to lure the aged Moy protesters out of the buildings with the prospect of scones, Christmas cake and a copy of the Ireland’s Own.
With the news that the Old Cross of Ardboe is failing to pull in the tourist numbers it managed twenty years ago, the loughshore village received a potential boost when a local taxidermist, Larry Devlin, claimed late last night to a taxi driver standing outside the Battery Bar that he saw the face of Brian McGuigan in a pint of stout he bought shortly after midnight.
Devlin, who had just sobered up before offering an interview this morning, says his only regret is that no one else was in the bar drinking at the time whilst the barman was too busy counting the money he found down the sides of the seats.
“I couldn’t believe it boyso. I was having one for the road before I headed back to face herself and intended taking my time over it. I looked down at my pint, contemplating moving into the water-filter business when I saw it as clear as day. Young McGuigan was staring back at me from the head of the pint. Ghost-oh I thought. I went to take a picture of it but fumbled my phone into the pint itself, ruining the apparition as well as the mobile. But it was definitely him. Same snout and all. I’m not sure what this means. I phoned the priest there and he says he’ll get back to me when he works out a sound economic initiative, whatever that means.”
Not everyone has bought the story it appears, especially those from the long-suffering neighbouring parish. Moortown tourism officer Malachy Coney claims it’s a ruthless attempt to keep the Moortown people ‘down’, especially after the recent worrying figures on the Old Cross.
“Cute hoors. That old cross has been raking it in for Ardboe for decades now but it was drying up. We were the poor cousins down the road. Isn’t it a bit of a coincidence for the face of Brian McGuigan to appear in a pint of stout the same day of the report? And what the hell does that mean anyway? Them boys will find a way to make money from this. Mark my words. Bastards. Always one step ahead of us. We’ll have to put our ‘Moortown Strange Sounds‘ idea on hold. There’s a man up the Aneter Road who has been hearing odd noises from his pipes upstairs and we were hoping to base a ghost tour around this. We can’t compete with something semi-religious like this.”
Brian McGuigan has yet to comment on his apparition.
The sleepy Tyrone village of the Rock was plunged into mayhem last night when rival gangs from Pomeroy and Cookstown clashed on a rampart just off the Rockdale Road.
Cudgels, shillelaghs and wet sods of turf were said to have been employed to settle a long-standing argument over the comical merit of the award-winning sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys.
With Pomeroy fiercely in the no-camp, they faced stiff opposition from Cookstown locals who have recently started up a Mrs Brown Appreciation Society. Some were said to have attended the pre-arranged brawl dressed in the same garb as Mrs Brown herself. Eye-witness reports state that the Pomeroy nay-sayers came out slightly on top but that analysis is sternly denied by Cookstown Mrs Brown Society chairperson Jay Sheehy:
“1-0 til us I thought. Mrs Brown is the best comedy since Jasper Carrot. Them Pomeroy ones are so serious. Like, when was the last time you went there to see a pantomime? Their local primary school did a version of Schindler’s List for Christmas. Like for Jaysus sake. There were parents throwing up. This fighting has to stop and that will only be achieved when they lighten up a bit.”
The Pomeroy squad remained unrepentant:
“We fairly laid into them, boys,” claimed Fran Grimes. “I’ve seen funnier month’s minds that that shower of shite they call Mrs Brown’ Boys. I’m ashamed to be Irish so I am. It’s nearly worse than The Hole in the Wall Gang. Nearly. Seriously like, it’s Fr Ted in drag. Pre-historic lump of dung: Man with dress says ‘feck’; Drunken audience piss themselves laughing; repeat for half an hour. A friend of mine started to watch it, regretted it, couldn’t find the remote so attempted to burn his own house down. This is only the beginning too. The Glenavon and Greenvale are going to cut up rough this weekend over it. And that’s not a real audience I think. Just a pile of turkeys or something. “
Although the PSNI were aware of the arranged brawl, the decided to let the fight go ahead for ‘a bit of craic in the Rock’.
Tensions were rising throughout the day as the Galbally Roads Council buildings came under attack from a snowballing mob after pictures on Facebook showed a gritter in force outside their offices in the early hours of the morning. Galbally Roads Council have consistently stated they haven’t had any grit-salt since they ran out during the sharp frost in 1984 and that they’d sold the gritter itself fifteen years ago to some boy in Latvia. They also claim that the next shipment of salt is not expected until 2018. However, clear images displayed an old decrepit gritter spraying salt ‘like mad’ around the front car park of the Council offices. The local PP, Fr Gary Sheehan, was unimpressed:
“What a shower of wankers! We’ve been driving on glass for 28 years now in the winter because them lads said the salt had run out and the next batch was to be a fair few years away. That’s OK. I can accept that. But the pictures taken last night by a few revellers coming home from the Galbally Arms tell a different story. It’s clear now that them wretched tramps have been gritting their own premises and probably around their own houses using the same gritter that was apparently tearing up Latvia. I’m going to snowball the bollocks off them.”
The Galbally Roads Council vehemently deny the existence of the original gritter and initially contented that the lads were making stuff up or blattered out of their heads. When presented with the photographic evidence, chairman Kevin Molloy took a different stance:
“Ah Jays, that could be anywhere. Sure there’s another place called Galbally in Limerick. That might be their offices. Even if it is our building, that could well be some kind of ghostly apparition from the previous gritter than was here or some kind of time warp thing caused by the solar flares or the Internet photoshopping or something. The divil a bit of it. Sure where’s the gritter now then?”
A mass gritter-hunt has begun in the townland with hundreds of Galballians combing the fields and barns for the phantom gritter. The Facebook page which revealed the initial image has been inundated with comments with the majority just simply stating ‘bastards’.
In an initiative to counteract the crippling boredom in Killeeshil, the Townland Committee have passed ambitious plans to build an art gallery down at Tullyallen by the start of the summer . Although the idea of a polo pitch was firm favourite to get the nod, a last minute plea by the Killeeshil Drawing Group appears to have swung the balance in favour of the gallery, sparking a mixed response in the townland and neighbouring Cabragh. Paddy King, a middle-class stamp-collector, welcomed the news:
“Splendid! At last Killeeshil can take its place at the top table with areas like Donaghmore, Bangor and Abu Dhabi. We in Killeeshil have always considered ourselves aliens in the Tyrone environment. The best selling paper in the Spar is the Financial Times and a boy down the road got his kitchen featured in the Ulster Tatler. We shouldn’t be here really. I personally can’t wait to rub noses with the greats of Irish artistry, boys like Yeats and Francis Bacon, if they’re still alive. Additionally, it gives us something to do beyond tea parties and blood sports. We tried attending a few GAA matches and add a bit of class to the sporting reputation in the area by introducing Gregorian chants during a lull in play and post-match spreads of Bolivian cocktails and taglietelli bolognaise, served with a green side salad dressed with a baslamic dressing. The peasants laughed at us. Hurrah for the Townland Committee!”
Others, though, did not take kindly to the announcement, with most resentment dripping from the mouths of Cabragh residents. Johnny Wreh, a welder from the townland, told us:
“Oul sickeners. They’ll all be standing there in their scarves and jumpers spouting shite about drawings, thinking they look deadly. What the feck would Hub Hughes know about Picasso?”
Dungannon has pledged to up the ante themselves by erecting the Dungannon Dome where Wellworths used to be. Already there is talk of using it for night classes for the ‘Bettering Oneself Campaign’ with courses running such as ‘Big Words’, ‘Casual Racism’ and ‘Dining Etiquette’.
Neutral mediators were this morning attempting to repair the damage caused by an internal rift over the sock/stockings issue which has blighted the Tyrone senior county squad since the start of the year. Tempers were said to have exceeded boiling point last night when nine players turned up to training allegedly wearing the new sock/stockings imported from a warehouse in Bangladesh. Calling themselves ‘The Nylon Nine’, spokesperson Cathal McCarron is adamant they will not back down on this:
“Yousins don’t know what it’s like. We’re running about a field in the depths of winter with a t-shirt, shorts and rolled up socks whilst yousins all sit with your coats and hats on, drinking team and all. In Casement last week I couldn’t feel my legs half way through the warm-up. They won’t let us wear tracksuit bottoms or hats but there’s nothing in the rulebook about these new stockings from Bangladesh. I’ve been wearing them to training at Dromore for a couple of years now and even Ricey eventually bought into them. He calls them suspenders but on the box it says socks/stockings. It’s time Mickey and the backroom lads moved with the times. Tony Donnelly has been wearing long-johns since I joined the panel. It’s one rule for them and none for us. We’ll be wearing them in Armagh this Sunday. Mark my words.”
Harte has set in place contingency plans this weekend to counteract the possibility of the Nylon Nine turning up kitted out in their new attire for the Fermanagh game. A backroom member, who wished to remain anonymous, told us:
“Holy ghost lads, they’re suspenders. SUSPENDERS! Can you imagine the goading they’ll be getting from them Fermanagh lads who spend their entire lives walking about in the rain wearing Frankie Goes To Hollywood or TheA-Team t-shirts without a complaint. We’ll be laughed out of Armagh. There’ll be some noise coming out of our changing room tomorrow if they go ahead with the threat. You’ll hear the slaps. There’s a rake of lads from Urney and Dregish who’ll take their places.”
Fermanagh manager Peter Canavan has refused to comment but an Erne insider claims the former Tyrone captain nearly wet himself thinking about it this morning.
Lance Armstrong, the multi Tour de France champion and confessed drug cheat, told Oprah Winfrey during one of the breaks on her show that his main reason for throwing all sorts of dope into his blood stream was to dull the pain of seeing Carrickmore winning a rake of O’Neill Cups since 1995. A self-confessed Killyclogher fan, Armstrong admitted that he only stumbled across the athletic boost the drugs gave him after going out for a ride soon after the Carmen beat Moortown in the 1995 final. A secret camera caught the following conversation whilst the two American heavyweights tore into a pot of tea and digestive biscuits:
“Ah Oprah, it was some handlin. All I wanted to do was to kill the abject depression I was feeling when the news would filter through that Carrickmore had lifted another county title. And this was the pre-Block Gormley days even. I used to down a bottle of Powers but soon hit the harder stuff like EPO and blood transfusions – anything to take my mind off them hoors celebrating well into the night thinking they were deadly, like. It was only when I went out for a spin on the Grifter that I experienced the advantage that stuff gave me. When they beat Killyclogher in the ’99 final I bucked the whole lot into me and hey presto, the Tour de France was a doddle. It was a double-edged sword, Winfrey.”
Killyclogher’s defeat of Errigal in ’03 saw a dip in Armstrong’s form and he soon announced his retirement from professional cycling due to the lack of need for the dope. A double for the Carmen in ’04 and ’05 changed everything.
“Just when I thought I’d gotten away with it all and Killyclogher were top dogs, didn’t St Colmcille’s lift the next two. That set me back and I was transfusing anything that was humanly possible. Even shite. I was off the wagon big time and hence lifted another two Tours. Only for that double I’d never have been caught. That wee Brian Gormley bollocks has brought me here, Oprah.”
Winfrey seemed uninterested and just told him he should never underestimate the Carmen and that she was a bit of a Trillick woman herself.
GALBALLY – World Goat Dung Spitting Championships
This weekend sees the much-anticipated World Goat Dung Spitting Championships return to Ireland after a ten year lapse. Galbally will host the main senior event with Yayo Mbachi from Senegal hoping to retain the title he won in Bolivia last year. Local competitor Gareth Loughran will make his debut having practised spitting hard balls of goat dung all Christmas out his back.
PLUMBRIDGE – Mass Destruction Therapy Weekend
Come along to The Plum on Saturday to witness or even take part in the mass destruction therapy session on the banks of the Glenelly River. Anyone who is feeling stressed out and has a doctor’s note can bring along old TVs, cars and loose windows and smash them to smithereens without fear of being committed. Organisers ask that you bring your own jack-hammer or crowbar. Women are asked not to curse like last year.
OMAGH – Sauna Endurance Competition
Following last year’s near fatal but magnificent record victory, GAA referee Martin Stafford will be aiming to consolidate his position as Tyrone’s top sauna endurance specialist on Sunday at the Silver Spoon Hotel. Stiff competition this year comes from Caledon’s Mary ‘Wrinkle’ Quinn whose preparation has been so intense she now looks like an deflated accordion.
GREENCASTLE – Tyrone Tom Returns
Tom McDermott, once the most famous man from Tyrone in 2000, relives his best TV moments on stage this weekend when he acts out his Big Brother highlights with a few of his mates and a lock of sisters on the back of a lorry. Be sure to get a front row seat as Tom re-enacts the day he walked in, the day he walked out and riding a stationary bicycle for food. Plans for the infamous tight-shorted ‘massage scene’ will only be fulfilled during the late night X-Rated performance on Saturday, weather permitting.
Following the recent horse-meat debacle crippling Ireland’s taste buds, it has been revealed that local East Tyrone supermarkets and corner shops have withdrawn Brocagh badger-burgers from the shelves following rumours that there was possibly a taste of skunk off their produce in a few houses around Mountjoy. Despite being a staple diet in the Brocagh area since first accidentally consumed at the Washingbay Sports in 1955, the loughshore locals have intimated that they’re prepared to eat other exotic foods like spaghetti bolognese or cottage pie until they can be sure they’re eating 100% badger. One of the Mountjoy victims, Jessie Dorman, is of no doubt that the badger-burger he bought was a bit off:
“For fifty years I’ve had at least one badger-burger a day with a slap of spuds and banes. I know my badgers. It was my father who was the first man to taste the delicious badger meat after winning the wellie-throwing competition at the Washingbay Sports fifty-seven years ago. His last throw was so high it landed on a wild badger in the adjacent field, knocking its lights out. Afraid of the reaction to the murder, he ate the badger on the spot to hide the evidence only to discover its succulent quality. Within a couple of years his badger restaurant down by the Castlebay Centre was the envy of London and Paris. Stewed, grilled, baked, boiled or fried – people couldn’t get enough of it. This recent contamination is disastrous news. I’m not sure what a skunk tastes like but it definitely tasted a bit skunky.”
Despite there never having been a sighting of a wild skunk in Ireland, Dorman says there’s a good chance it escaped from Belfast Zoo and went up the M1, turning off at Tamnamore – perhaps explaining the bad smell up around Falls’ Bar. Local politician Susan McAvoy has urged locals not to panic or get tore into the drink but to try other foods like chicken or pork for a while until they have extinguished the last skunk from Brocagh or even find one.
The famous Ardboe Bull, who services up to 1400 cows in the village on a yearly basis, has reportedly shown signs that he may now be gay, throwing the livelihoods of hundreds in the area into disarray. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Don Juan DeMarco’, the Red Angus had been valued at over £3m such is his handsome, wide muzzle, stunning scrotal circumference and solid square frame. His reputation was so impressive that cattle used to break out of other farms and make their way to Don for the service. However, recent developments have stunned the farming community who have lived off Don’s impressive exploits since 2006. His owner, Kieran McGuigan, is of no doubt that his bull’s whoring and touring days are about to change dramatically.
“To be honest, I saw it coming. Last year I caught him a few times servicing cattle whilst staring at John McCallion’s bull across the rampart. I told the lads down the pub that it was as if he was winking at the other bull. They ridiculed me but we’ll see who’s doing the ridiculing now when their cattle remain unserviced for the foreseeable future. It’s an awful blow to Ardboe. I’m not saying I’m homophobic. Some even say this could be the making of Ardboe. I’m all on for individual expression but, let’s be honest, this is an awful kick in the balls. Why couldn’t he have waited til he was done with the servicing? I’d be happy enough for him to see out the rest of his days in the company of McCallion’s bull who we all know is gay. They could’ve had a blissful retirement staring into the sunset together. There’ll be tough times in Ardboe now I’ll tell ye”
Worried locals have refused to give up hope and that spirit was exemplified in Hugh McConville’s approach:
“Ghost-oh! I need Don firing on all cylinders or I’m bankrupt. I went out today and bought Lionel Richie’s greatest hits. Let’s see if the oul hoor can resist my cattle with ‘Hello’ or ‘Three Times A Lady’ blasting out in the background. Works for me after a feed in the Battery.”
Ardboe holds its breath.
Tensions were electric in Coalisland at the tail end of the week after it emerged that local stage expert Jim Farrell was overlooked in the Academy Award nominations for 2013 for best actor. Despite coming up against competition from Daniel Day Lewis and Denzel Washington, Farrell was convinced that his portrayal of ‘Dinger Campbell’ in Dig Her Up (the story of an ex-UDR man who settles in Coalisland and convinces the locals to dig up the rich coal resting under Annagher leading to great riches for the town but succumbs to a bout of consumption which was lying dormant in the pits since the 1920s) was enough to at least earn a nomination never mind lift the damn thing itself.
“Ah what do you expect from them Yanks. They’ve never wanted a Coalisland man about the place. My father used to tell me about his father who was headhunted by Hollywood producers ever since his take on Jesus in the Primate Dixon’s nativity play reached global news. They flew him over to Amerikay but as soon as they heard his accent he was ostracised. And these were the days of silent movies. Same with me. The Tyrone Times said my performance was ‘unusual, unforgettable and jaw-dropping‘. The Ulster Herald said, ‘his performance was fine – I could hardly tell he had a stutter at all.’ What more does the Academy want? Just because I haven’t checked into an addiction clinic or had follicles from my bollocks transferred to my head shouldn’t exclude me from getting recognition from the world’s theatrical critics. Bastards the lot of them.”
Supporters of Farrell’s work have said they’ll block the road from Coalisland to Dungannon tonight in protest, probably for a lock of minutes around midnight. On a brighter note, Farrell has promised to make his debut as a leading actress in June when he plays ‘Susie McIntyre’ in Balls To That (a young Edendork girl decides to spend her summer holidays in Downings instead of Bundoran and has a romance with a billiard-playing ex-priest) which will screen in Aughnacloy, Beragh and Newmills.
A well-meaning Loughmacrory pensioner, Johnny McGee (72), has finally patched up marital differences after a misjudged Christmas gift left the McGee household a frosty abode for the guts of two weeks around the festive period. McGee, a retired bus driver, thought he would surprise his heavy-set wife Kitty (71) with a pair of thigh-length leather boots after he received a torrent of abuse last year for buying her a pound of mince and a hairbrush.
“You just can win with her. OK, I understand the hurt and pain I caused last year with the mince and comb thing. I thought it was practical but apparently a woman wants something that makes her feel good. Well, I was browsing through some shops in Omagh and thought they were quare warm-looking boots. At her age she needs to retain as much warmth as possible in the winter months. I thought the stud design was a bit classy. Apparently not. It was a quiet Christmas dinner I can tell you. She just slapped a few spuds on my plate and sat in the corner drinking gin til December 28th.”
Kitty, who has been battling a cake addiction since the age of 19, saw the situation differently:
“He is a dirty oul bastard. Keep me warm, my arse. Ever since he got the Internet he has been making all kinds of suggestions. In the summer he bought me a thin polo-neck and short plaided skirt. I don’t know what he’s looking at on that computer but we’re in our 70s for Jaysus sake. Leather-studded knee-length boots? I’m 16 stone. It’d be some sight trotting out to the Centra in those. I’d be the talk of Loughmacrory. The £200 refund came in handy. I bought a good commode and chewing tobacco.”
An Omagh Ann Summers staff member did admit she thought it was a bit odd to see Johnny in that shop at that age and really unusual for a punter to ask her to try them on first, which she did.
A recent survey carried out by the Matt Talbot Research Centre in Omagh has discovered that the staff at the Cookstown CU are the most likely workforce in the county to get completely blattered every weekend and every other day during the week. The infamous Strabane Bikers – ‘The Pissed Off Bastards of Bridge Street’ – are the most teetotal grouping, closely followed by the ‘Eskra Eucharistic Ministry Society’.
The news that the Credit Union in Cookstown came out top in the survey came as no surprise to customers who commented on the outlet’s reluctance to give out any loans at all on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays due to severe hangovers.
“Ah sure I’m not surprised one bit,” Seamie Sheehey told us. “Everyone knows that you haven’t a hope in hell of getting even a tenner on a Wednesday. They’d be awkward and call your bluff. You’d be asking for a lock of pound to ‘do the kitchen’ and they’d be saying ‘sure I was in your kitchen last week and there’s nothing wrong with it’. Yet on Thursday they’ll hand out a grand even if you only needed a ton to pay the parking fines. It’s a lottery, especially if they’ve been on two day benders. My mother asked for £2000 for a holiday in Portygal and even though she had £1500 savings in it, they told her it’d be more in her line to go to mass more often than to be galavanting around Faro.”
In second place were the clergy in Pomeroy who consume more wine in a year than the whole Basque region in northern Spain.
An unfortunate toilet stop before the end of work saw a Derrylaughan tiler, Kirby McGrath, stuck in the upstairs bathroom of a neighbour’s house well into the late evening. McGrath was repairing a leaking sink and was about to red up at 5:30 after a full day’s work with the problem solved before disaster struck. The leak, caused by faulty sealant used by a young lad from the Windmill a couple of years ago, had been troubling the McMahon household for a few weeks. Leo McMahon takes up the story:
“Thon cowboy from the Windmill seemed to have just used superglue and painted white over it. The bathroom had been steadily flooding since Hallowe’en. I knew Kirby was the best tiler in Derrylaughan so I had no hesitation in getting him in to fix the seal. He arrived, as expected, just after nine and set to work, promising to grout a few tiles as well which had given way recently. I arrived back at five to find out how much I owed him and didn’t McGrath have it mended and was tidying up, such is his perfection. I was a bit surprised to hear him still tramping about upstairs at six o’clock though. I told the wife to dish the dinner out anyway. Half six came and there was still this commotion upstairs. I put it down to Kirby perhaps finding a few more loose tiles.”
The McMahon family became alarmed when eight o’clock came and passed and the same futtering about was heard above them.
“It was getting beyond a joke to be honest and I was concerned for Kirby’s wife and young family who were probably waiting for him to return with bread for the table. Time was money for me too. At a quarter to nine I was about to head upstairs to see what the problem was, only to be met with Kirby bounding down telling me he was finally finished. I gave him the money he initially asked for as well as the extra time added on. He speedily ran out which I found a bit odd as he’s usually a talkative lad. It was only after inspecting the job that it became obvious what the delay was. Thon hoor Kirby had made a last minute toilet stop at half five and sure wouldn’t the thing not flush. He must’ve spent three hours flushing that toilet to get rid of it. The toilet roll was piled up beyond the rim of the basin. The dirty bastard left some mess and smell, and charged me for it. Then didn’t the toilet flood.”
McGrath refused to take responsibility for the incident but did admit he had a big feed of black pudding that morning before he left the house.
A new reality TV show is to be launched in Benburb later in the year as part of the Benburb Sunday celebrations. Filmed entirely in the area, the show is set to follow three families around for 24 hours a day for ten weeks, called ‘Wreckin About’. Despite initial apathy towards the idea amongst the locals, the Dutch TV company BSE managed to convince three families in the area to take part in the programme which will record their every second on camera, be it at work, home or just wandering about the fields. The first to sign up were the Glackans, one of the quietest families in the area. Gertie Glackan explained their decision:
“Ah sure isn’t it great. They did a trial run last week and all went well. I was afraid there wouldn’t be much happening in the house or Benburb itself and people would turn off the TV in their droves. But you just don’t realise the dramas that happens week in week out. Didn’t the top shower start leaking. It was some handlin. The cameras were up like a shot and filmed the drip. Then a tiler from the Moy turned up to give a quote to fix it. He said £120 all in – £85 for the labour and £35 for the sealant. Well didn’t my Patsy go clean mad and called him all the fleecing bastards of the day and a typical Moy thieving bollocks. It was very dramatic. I pretended to cry to add to the whole atmosphere. Them Dutch ones were loving it.”
The identity of the two other families remain a mystery at the minute but speculation is rife that the Martins, the blow-ins from Eglish who encounter bad manners from locals on a daily basis, have signed up to the project. Last year there was a bit of a scandal when Leo Martin was called ‘an oul woman’ by the Benburb Church cleaner after he turned up for service wearing a jumper tied around his shoulders.
The show will air in July.