Gortin Robin Hood Remains A Mystery
The identity of a man who robs visitors to Gortin to give back to the people of his village is still clouded in secrecy after a lucrative Christmas period saw locals experiencing their most plentiful and affluent festive celebrations since the area was founded in 1788 by a Portuguese explorer. Gortin, which depends on tourism from outsiders who come to stare at the locals, has a history of highwaymen that preyed on stray travellers to Omagh who’d get lost after buying nails or corn from the capital town. One such rogue, Gerty Keenan, was so admired that John Wayne was reported to have tracked him down and advised him, “If you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow”.
The current outlaw, who wears a Simon Cowell novelty mask, green outfit and ginger wig, appears to do his best work in and around the forest. One such victim, Sally Prendergast from Newtownstewart, described her ordeal when she was robbed on Christmas Eve:
“I was taking the children to Gortin as it was a wet day and they said they wanted to look at the people down there. So, as a special treat, I took them up the road in the Renault Scenic only to be accosted by a mask-wearing midget who danced from foot to foot shouting ‘stand and deliver yiz hoors’. I threw him a lock of pounds and a few of them toys you get from McDonalds Happy Meals. He ran off yahooing. It was a great experience for the kids and they cannot wait to write about it when they get back to school.”
Locals have turned a blind eye to the masked villain as he left all households a gift on their doorsteps this Christmas from his loot: ragged scarves, broken car seats, ash trays, toy cameras that squirt but are missing the plug, out of date tax disks etc. Local PP Fr McCullagh said that although he was not condoning the mysterious rapscallion, it wasn’t as if he was slaughtering folk.