Clonoe Altar Boy Rang Bell At Wrong Time. Priest Furious.
A primary five altar boy making his much anticipated debut at Saturday night mass last weekend maintains he was set-up by more experienced altar boys, probably the P7 lad, after he rang the bell during a period of silent reflection. Fr Lenny McGee, a short-tempered clergyman from outside the county, reacted badly to the mistiming youngster but has since forgiven the boy’s momentary lapse. Johnny Harbinson is adamant he was set up:
“To be honest, I was a bit green about it. My da had been an altar boy of fine repute and uncles would tell me he had the steadiest hand in the country for holding the plate under chins like they used to at communion. I had a lot to live up to and the pressure maybe got to me. One of the other lads handed me the stick for hitting the bell and I do remember thinking it wasn’t how I thought it would look like. There was no soft head on it – just a bit of lead.”
Young Harbinson went on to explain the moment he realised he’d been hoaxed:
“The bigger lad said he’d wink when it was time to hit the bell and to wallop it with the deadliest force I could muster. I heard the priest say ‘bow down your heads in silence and pray for forgiveness’ early on in the mass as he sat down on a seat to reflect. I looked at the p7 boy, he winked, so I hit the bell with the stick of lead with the most might I had in me. The noise was earth-shattering and I could see the elderly cradle their heads with the squealing from their hearing aids. A window shattered at the back. The ambulance was called to see to a couple of OAPs with weak valves. My lasting memory was a visibly-shocked Fr McGee shouting ‘Holy Jaysus’ with a scowl on him like nothing I’d seen before.”
Harbinson has been ‘rested’ this week but is expected to make a second appearance at the start of May.