Monthly Archives: May 2013
Dungannon & South Tyrone Council have appointed a man from Windmill into the recently-created post of Communications Director to improve the contact between the Council and the community.
“We needed someone who can clearly articulate some of the initiatives and decisions of the Council, and translate them across the community in a straightforward and coherent way”, said Council spokesperson Marie Hagan. “Someone says the Windmill are straight-talking people, so we’ve appointed Kevin Boyle instead”.
Boyle, who will be based in Omagh, said,
“It’s quare news hi. I’m deadly good with gathering the words and stuff and putting them together, spaking the English with getting it across and the like. And what Tyrone really needs is someone who can be spaking about putting everything down using the opinions and people and all thon. You know like, ghost-oh. Up the Winemill. Fuck it.”
However, Boyle so far has not made a successful start in the role.
“He was told to advise the local press that BMW are possibly going to invest in a multi-million pound parts warehouse in Eglish” said Hagan. “All good positive stuff. But he somehow went and told the papers that the village was getting its own whorehouse, one of the biggest in Europe, creating over 200 jobs. He made a right hames of it. And you should have seen the deluge of job applications we got”.
Boyle is currently tasked with explaining the controversial reasoning behind the recent deferment in the decision to build the Aughnacloy to Derry A5 road extension.
“That’s an easy one”, said Boyle. “The people who bes deciding to do it have stopped going ahead with it so the road’s not got started yet at the minute. Not the road that’s already there because that’s already there and you be on it but the big road they said they were going to build but now they’re not, although they might. It’s the money and everything. And the fields and sheep and stuff. So that’s the situation there”.
Contemplating his tenure so far, Boyle said,
“I do sometimes get a bit mixed up, but I’m determined. It’s all about saying to people and giving the message really in a way that’s clearly speakable so that everybody knows the ideas straight away. I suppose it’s a gift”.
The theft of a child’s scrambler from a field in Brocagh will create unprecedented scenes in Dungannon court as a cow is to stand witness in a last attempt by the vehicle’s owner to nail the burglar. After fourteen days of stalemate, the prosecution is to wheel in a 4 year old Charolais cow tomorrow who may have been a witness to the theft of the 50cc scrambler, given to young Paddy McGroarty at Christmas. Paddy’s father, Johnny, explains:
“We’ve spent a fortune trying to get the man who stole my lad’s scrambler. We were about to give up as he had every alibi in the book. It wasn’t until I thought of Maggie the Charolais. She was definitely in the field when it was stolen. I reckon that if we line up three men as suspects, she’ll react when she sees the thief. That’s what I’m hoping anyway. I’n not sure what she’ll do – maybe moo or nod her head. She’s a smart cookie.”
In order to impress the judges, McGroarty has had a special suit fitted for the cow so that she’ll not look odd in the court room.
“These cases are sometimes judged on the smallest of details. We want Maggie to look respectable and the type of cow you could trust. The only thing I’m worried about is her toilet habits. Like, if I went up to give evidence and then crapped on the floor, I’d not be taken seriously. I’m not sure how I’ll deal with that issue. Maybe plug her up for a couple of hours. I’ll need to think about this.”
The defendant, Leo Corr from Lisnastraine, called the latest move ‘deadly stupid’ as he maintains he was wearing sunglasses when he stole the scrambler and that’s there’s no way Maggie will remember him.
A man from Augher has applied for an advanced software engineering degree at Queen’s University in Belfast after having learned how to ‘cut and paste’ on a basic computer skills course at Dungannon Public Library.
“There’s no stopping me now, boys!” said an enthusiastic Hugh McSorley, 23, an unemployed decorator from outside the village. “I’ve been on the ‘Understanding My Computer’ course at the library every Wednesday morning for three weeks and I kid you not it’s taught me a lock of things. This cuttin and pasting is amazing. I thought I already knew about pasting because I’m a decorator by trade. But nope, instead of typing out all the words and sentences and stuff you just move the mouse yoke over the bit you want to copy, press a few buttons, and that’s the job done. You might think it sounds complicated, and it is. Very”.
The intensive 3-year course at the Belfast University covers software construction, theory and algorithms, functional programming, and systems architecture. McSorley so far has also learned how to save a document, how to print, and how to use the Caps Lock. “If you want to learn how to put something from wee letters into thon big letters, come and talk to me. You won’t believe your eyes”, exclaimed McSorley.
“We’re keen to encourage people’s passion, but we’re really not sure he’s ready” said an un-named source at Dungannon Library. “Last Wednesday we were teaching the class how to access the Task Manager and Hugh said that pressing ‘Ctrl Alt Delete’ at the same time was “feckin’ impossible” and that holding down three keys at once was “ridiculous unless you’re a buckin’ six-fingered freak”. He also spent an entire afternoon copying and pasting the phrase ‘deadly wemen’ onto 50 pages on a Word document, and then pressed the print button. And he usually starts sniggering every time we talk about ‘inserting an item or ‘increasing the size of a column’. He’s really quite disruptive”.
McSorley is adamant he has the skills already to survive at Queen’s:
“Listen”, said an aggressive McSorley, “What do I want with a task manager? I’ve a wee piece of paper here with all the tasks I need to manage. Look: ‘Sign on. Buy mince. Watch Loose Women. Register for computer course’. Task manager my arse. As soon as I get my degree I’m going to write a programme for space ships that will let them go into hyperspace and get to other planets really fast. I already know all about hyperlinks, so I’m halfway there. Name one other man or woman from Augher who can do what I do? Them Clogher ones still think a PC drives a Landrover”.
This coming Wednesday the library course will cover how to change words into italics.
A veterinary surgeon has billed a Dungannon belt-maker £100 for thinking about his dog after spotting it outside its owner’s house whilst out for a Sunday drive. In another example of the astronomical costs dished out by vets in recent years, Paddy Morgan says he had no choice but to pay the bill in case he needs him in the future to see to his ten gerbils. Morgan was still seething this morning at the unexpected charge:
“I couldn’t believe it. The vet phoned me this morning and asked if I owned a black and white collie with in-turned eyes. I said I did and he told me than I owed him £100 then. I was no less shocked when he told me why. He says he stopped his motor and stared at my wee Benny and thought he could do with a good wash. That was it. £100 for that thought. This is just mad, like.”
Vets have always held a high position in Tyrone due to how smart they probably are because the loads of letters after their name. In recent years, the average cost of going to see a vet has risen from £30 in 1999 to £380 in 2013. Morgan though says he is willing to cough up the money as he will probably need the vet’s expertise down the line.
“It’s a bit of an inconvenience alright but he has me by the knackers. My gerbils are always getting flus, consumption and the measles so I can’t fall out with him. There’s a vet in Coalisland but I heard he charged an old woman £4000 for petting the stress out of her worried cat even though the woman hadn’t thought there was anything wrong with the cat. It’s a double edged sword. I just hope and pray he doesn’t think any more about my dog.”
The Dungannon vet was unavailable for comment as he was too busy curing a frowning budgie by playing it ‘Sounds of Whales and Other Mammals’ from a CD he got from Nutt’s Corner.
The worrying problem of pensioner biscuit addiction worsened yesterday in the County when three octogenarians from Cappagh were arrested for manufacturing substitute custard creams and trying to sell them in the Pomeroy Diamond. It is believed that the pensioners were trying to make home-made biscuits using custard powder, milk and two small rectangular pieces of cardboard.
“The price of custard creams is now up to 75p for 400 grams, and that has created a thriving black market” said Chief Inspector John Quinn of the PSNI, which has set up a dedicated ‘Custard Cream Team’ to deal with the problem. “The addiction is a growing problem in Tyrone. Walk round Stewartstown on a Saturday morning and you can hardly move for the used teabags lying about. It’s disgusting. People are scared of going out of their house for fear of being accosted by a wrinkly pestering them for a ‘couple of biccies’. The street price for sandwich biscuits has gone crazy, with a single chocolate bourbon costing as much as 7 pence on some street corners in East Tyrone”.
Quinn also warned of a growing scam across the County, “where pensioners ask if they can ‘just pop in for a wee cup of tae in ma hand’ and as soon as the unwitting neighbour’s back is turned they’re getting tore into the biscuit box like a demon possessed”.
“I started experimenting with biscuits when I got into my 70s” said Kitty Clarke, a biscuit taker from Cabragh. “At first I just took them recreationally when I was down the Killeeshil Community Centre on a Wednesday morning at the sewing bee, maybe the odd fig roll or malted milk. But by the time I was 75 I was into the heavy stuff like chocolate bourbons, custard creams, even jammy dodgers. They say crystal meth rots your teeth? Try troughing your way through six packets if iced gems without so much as a cup of tea. I feel so ashamed. Last week I got into a fight with old Tommy Crawford from Castlecaulfield, because I had got hold of his ginger nuts and wouldn’t let go. We’re fine now, but only because he insisted I gave him a chocolate finger”.
In a desperate effort to curb the problem Dungannon Hospital has started administering substitute custard creams in the form of garibaldis and digestives. The hospital also has a detox programme, gradually weaning the pensioners onto hobnobs, to rich tea biscuits and finally onto a plain piece of Ryvita bread.
Readers affected by this article should contact any branch of Biscuits Anonymous.
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 BBC documentary on economic hardships in Ireland has uncovered a previously hidden phenomenon surrounding the eating habits of youngsters going to Brocagh, Aughamullan and Kingsisland schools. The TV show initially wanted to focus on emigration in the area after it emerged that the entire Derrytresk football team are moving to the States soon. However, they soon discovered, by accident, that primary and some secondary school children are being reared on turf in order to beat the recession’s effect in the east of the county. Executive producer Scunthorpe Kilpatrick was taken aback by the discovery:
“We knew something was up when we filmed a few homes going about their normal daily routines. At lunch time, the majority of families appeared to be boiling large industrial pots of what looked like a mixture of moss and turf, slapping it on to plates. After eating, I noticed the children had really black teeth for a while. When we asked what it was they were eating, they passed it off as ‘pate’ which turned out in standard English to be ‘peat’. They were stewing it, boiling it, frying it, baking it, toasting it and sometimes just snacking on it raw. They seemed quite happy.”
It wasn’t until they filmed the children in school that they became aware of the dependance on the natural commodity.
“Even though there were plenty of options in the canteens like lasagne, Haribos or burgers, the children seemed to prefer the turf sandwiches. It appears that what initially seemed like an effort to cut costs is now a staple diet by choice. It’s quite remarkable. I’ve seen children dander out up the ramparts, sit down and chew away on the banks. It’s like a real-life Willy Wonka story.”
Local historian, Felix Hughes, claims it’s the circle of life:
“Every 100 years ago, people down this way rediscover the delicacy that is lowland turf. This usually lasts for about 10 years or so until they go too far and start drinking the water in the ditches and someone gets an awful dose of the skitter. But that’s another five years away in this cycle.”
Hughes was quick to point out that the turf is for local consumption only and that anyone seen trying to eat the turf from foreign places like Coagh, Eskra or Portugal will be shot from a distance with an air rifle.
Clonoe Parish officials are presently debating the motion to allow full cousins to marry in order to supplement the priests’ income which has dwindled in recent years. The radical step, harking back to the last days of inter-cousin marriages during the mid-80s, will have to be ratified in the Vatican before implemented at the end of the month. One of the priests, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us of his plight:
“Ah, we’re finding it tough to be honest. I’ve recently moved in to a new house that was built for me and it’s a really hard to heat what with the amount of rooms and all. My maid is always complaining about her frocks being a bit out of season so the extra dough would not go to waste. Marriages in Clonoe have been a scarce ever since the ban on the cousins a few years ago. And those who do tie the knot have been a bit stingy due to the recession. I married a couple from Derrylaughan last weekend and they gave me £20 just. I had to throw the altar boys a few Maltesers so I could keep the money. It’s tara altogether.”
Parishoners have warmly welcomed the news and predicted a much more harmonious atmosphere in the area if the motion is passed. Tommy O’Neill, a 51-year old carpenter from Dernagh, agreed with the idea:
“This would be deadly news. An awful lot of us would be related here anyway and there have been some real awkward moments since the ban came in years ago. I remember chatting this girl up down at Tessie’s and we were getting on brilliant. I was about to take her up to the Washingbay when we worked out that our fathers were brothers. That’s just one example. If the motion is passed, I can see marriages multiplying tenfold in the parish. My aunt’s 80th birthday party next month might be great craic if this goes ahead. There’ll be some courtin amongst the more desperate cousins.”
The unnamed priest says that whilst full-cousin weddings will be welcomed, it will come at a cost. Fees will range from £100-£2000 depending on how much they look like each other.
Gaels throughout the county have reacted with shock to the news that Windmill GFC are on the verge of reforming and might even take up the hurling too this time. The East Tyrone outfit disbanded some time in the early 80s after a series of misdeameanours on and off the field left them unable to put out a side at any level every week. Fears that the club may reform surfaced last week when sons of ex-players were spotting running around a field for an hour, stopping only to rugby tackle haystacks or shoulder into makeshift walls. Moortown stalwart Paddy Quinn made no bones about what this means for Tyrone GAA:
“I never thought this day would come. I remember as a kid being told stories about the Big Bad Wolf, The Troll Under the Bridge and the Windmill Full Back. That was the category they were placed in. I only played the once against the Windmill in 1977 and lost my complete bottom set of teeth, and I was a sub who didn’t get on. This is bad news for the supposed hard men in the county. They’ll be whimpering in their sleep over the summer.”
The Tyrone referees’ Society have met already to reassure each other that ‘things will be alright’ according to retired umpire Gary Coyle from Stewartstown:
“One of my last matches refereeing was a game between Urney and Windmill back in 1980. Played down at the shore, Urney faced the intimidating sight of the Windmill side eating raw meat as a warm-up to the backdrop of men wrestling salmon and trout on the Lough. I sounded the final whistle with Urney a point ahead and left the pitch, slowly walking backwards, pointing a gun at the furious Windmill contingent. Unfortunately, I was hit over the head by an elderly supporter wielding an umbrella and woke up in Cookstown, stripped bare, with my hands superglued to my head. We need to be prepared this time.”
Windmill’s new chairman, Vinny ‘Cut throat’ Dawson, says they will not be forgetting their roots:
“They said they’ll give us a go at division three next year. If I was the Brocagh chairman, I’d pull them out. We have long memories here and can vivdly recall the day they overturned the Maxi belonging to our manager back in 1982 down at their place. Long memories.”
Their first friendly is pencilled in for August 21st against a Maghaberry Prison GAA Select.
Tyrone’s first safari park opened last weekend to much controversy about the lack of animals on display and mistreatment of some of the creatures. The 150 acre ‘Lion Thrills in Sion Mills’ Safari Park, which opened just a week ago, is based in Sion Mills close to Strabane, just off the Melmount Road. It is described on the website as being:
‘set in the lush savannah of the Tyrone grasslands where animals are free to roam in their natural habitat, bordered by the meandering Mourne River, the metropolis of Sion Mills, and the Strabane sewage works’.
There have however been numerous complaints from visitors.
“It’s a rip-off”, declared father-of-two Ronan Gormley of Coagh. “We drove about for nearly two hours and saw nothing other than some rabbits and a horse. Call that a safari park? It’s just a big field”.
The heavily promoted ‘Tyrone Zebra’ in particular brought severe criticism, which was described in the zoo’s literature as ‘A slightly rotund breed of zebra having distinctive elliptical or circular black and white markings unlike the striped pattern of its African cousin’.
“It was a fecking cow” said an irate Gormley. “Anyone could see that. Tyrone Zebra my arse. The park was bare”.
Owner and manager Malachy Mullan was quick to defend the park:
“What do you expect? By the time the tourists get here the animals are taking shelter from the sweltering heat of the midday Strabane sun. Too hot and bright for them in May, see? If people want to see the animals they should come back when it’s pitch black”.
Mary McCausland of Fintona was not convinced.
“The so-called ‘big cat’ looked an awful lot like a fat labrador with a big orange woolly scarf round its neck. It didn’t look happy. And anyone can buy an ostrich from that farm near Loughmacrory. It looked ill. It’s a disgrace”.
Mullan vigorously defended his record in the treatment of animals.
“I don’t mistreat animals. I’ve been donating to sick animals for years. I love the critters. They’re my life” said the adamant park-keeper, who also owns the Donaghmore slaughterhouse.
Doubt has also been cast over some of the creatures advertised, which include a white rhino, a ‘rare breed of dodo’ and a dragon.
Mullan also later admitted that the ‘sick animals’ he donated to were predominantly horses that he backed without success at Paddy Power in Strabane.
Brackaville pensioner, Hillary Kelly, tonight confirmed she can find no cure for her fascination and deepening obsession with the Dungiven GAA analyst, Joe Brolly. The 81-year old, a former Miss Wrangler Jeans 1955 at Corr Hall in Clonoe, admitted she sends RTE five letters a day addressed to the former Derry county player filled with poems and items from her underwear drawer. Kelly, who never married and still holds out that her big day might yet be around the corner, maintains they’re keeping the letters from Brolly as ‘he’d find me hard to resist’ if he read her poems:
“I sort of fell in love with the little imp around 1993 when he pranced around the fields of Ireland like a tiny ballet dancer with boots on. I remember swooning in the crowd when he blew kisses, delusionally believing they were aimed at me. Although I was 61 then, I could still put one of my legs behind my head – a party piece I’d do up at Campbell’s pub on Friday nights.”
Kelly went on to explain her infatuation with the bespectacled barrister:
“I have plastered three bedrooms now with images of my love, from magazines, newspapers and secret photos I’ve taken of him out shopping and stuff. How could anyone not adore the way he crunches his face up when thinking about a question, like a wee inquisitive otter or mink? OK, he may have gone grey a bit and lost the tussled black mop that hung majestically from his scalp as a player, like one of those Victorian dreamboats on any BBC adaption of a Bronte book. He should be called Joseph Lewesbottom or something. Sigh.”
This is not the first time Hillary has fallen for a TV star. In 1988 she was warned by Gardai about stalking Derek Davis and Gay Byrne at the same time. Kelly claims this is different:
“I can’t see me giving up on Brolly. How he makes me laugh. I’d just love to sit on his knee with a cup of tea. In fact, that was the first line of the best poem I sent him last night, along with the briefs I wore all last week.”
Locals claim she’s a harmless craytur but would tackle any fellow if he looked at her sideways. Meanwhile, RTE have refused to comment on the story although an insider tells us the panel are well aware of the lady, with O’Rourke and Spillane a bit peeved off they haven’t received anything.
A man from Seskinore has become the first in the county to complete the Rubik’s Cube, some 28 years after being given the puzzle as a Christmas present. John Joe O’Hagan, 45, an unemployed chicken chaser from Millbridge Road, finally acomplished it on Sunday evening, after having spent an average of two hours a day on the puzzle for almost three decades.
“I’m wile pleased” said a delighted John Joe. “That buckin’ thing has been the bane of my life but once I started it was difficult to put down. Someone bought me a book on how to do it but I thought that would be cheating. And besides, what the feck does ‘L2 D2 R2’ mean? It sounds like a robot out of Star Wars”.
O’Hagan got the Cube for his Christmas in 1984 from his parents when he was 16 years old, along with an Etch-a-Sketch, a space hopper, and pair of moon boots. Friends and family said he became withdrawn and alienated from society as he tackled the difficult poser. With its 6 coloured sides, 21 pieces and 54 outer surfaces, the cube is capable of producing 43 billion different permutations. It is thought that O’Hagan probably tried most of them at least twice on his quest to conquer the puzzle. His father, John Joe Snr, said,
“To be honest, JJ’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. I remember when he first got the Cube it took him three weeks to get it out of the packaging then another six to find out that the sides turned. Being totally colour blind probably hasn’t helped either”.
However, Tyrone’s very own mathematical marvel is not resting on his laurels, and intends to have another go.
“I hope I can get my record down from 10,372 days. It’s the fastest in Tyrone but I think I can do it faster, maybe even the fastest anywhere”, said O’Hagan. The current world record is 7 seconds.
When asked how he managed it so quickly, a modest Jon Joe said,
“I just thought a bit differently about how to go about doing it and when I did that, bang, I immediately cracked it about 4 years later”.
O’Hagan finally managed to solve the puzzle after he found out how to pull it apart and put it back together again.
“Who ever heard of Denmark, like? They can stick their tin whistle up their hole.” B McElduff, Carrickmore
“Them leather trousers lost it. The lad could hardly move. His lad could hardly move. He should’ve thrown some shapes.” M Gildernew, Aghaloo
“See next year. I’m going to enter and during the last bar I’ll turn around, drop my trousers and have ‘Up Yours Europe’ tattooed on my buttocks. That’ll learn them.” F McGuigan, Ardboe
“Trappatoni OUT!” P Canavan, Ballygawley
“I’ve more buckin points on my licence.” G Cavlan, Dungannon
“That girl didn’t even have any shoes and still won. Embarrassing. We need to send a tramp out next year.” P Donaghy, Moy
“Them boys with the bodhrans should’ve worn shirts. And not played bodhrans.” P Begley, Pomeroy
“One point from the UK? No more Mr Kipling for me.” M Cush, Donaghmore
“We’d still drink them under the table. But they won’t have a Eurovision for that, will they?” J Devlin, Gortin
“The lorry-top parade has been cancelled because of ….poor visibility. Yes, the weather is cat.” Strabane Council
“His teeth were too white. People didn’t believe he was Irish. And the tan? Come on, like.” M O’Neill, Clonoe
“We need to send out Bono, all greased up like, playing the accordion and maybe the girls from Betwitched leaping about him singing about the Sean Quinn thing.” R McMenamin, Dromore
DREGISH PENSIONER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AS A SUPPORTER
A 71 year old former pillow-fluffer from Dregish has announced he is stepping down as a supporter of the club after 67 years of travelling the county following the Pearse Ogs. Jake O’Farrell has decided to hang up his scarf, following in the recent footsteps of Alex Ferguson and David Beckham. Although Dregish Pearse Ogs were formed in in 1968, O’Farrell says he can remember another team from that area but cannot recall what they were called.
“I just thought the time was right. I take with me many highs like the time we bate Brocagh down at their field, on and off the pitch. The lows are part of it all too and the day we couldn’t field a team for the charity match against the Dublin 1995 side in front of 3000 people down in our field was a bit of an embarrassment. But, I’ll be able to put my feet up by the fire on a Sunday now and not give a buck about the Pearse Ogs. I considered taking a year out and then coming back maybe as a Drumquin supporter but we’ll see. I’d like to thank the club for the displays they put on over the last 67 years in the junior. I’ll not be going up to Castlederg on Sunday. I’m now unattached.”
DERRYTRESK CRISPS AND MINERAL VENTURE ‘A DISASTER’
Derrytresk have pulled the plug on an innovative business venture as it was revealed that they sold only one glass of mineral and no crisps at their home game last week. In an effort to bring extra money into the coffers, Seamie Devlin came up with the idea of setting up a table on the high rampart facing the road with boxes of crisps and a few bottles of mineral to be poured into plastic cups. Chairman Iggy Fitzgerald says enough is enough:
“Total disaster. We spent £16 buying that table and sold one drink. The big problem was that you have to jump a 6-foot ditch to get across to the rampart. Only one man made it. Twelve children had to be pulled out. Mrs Campbell’s dress was ruined though it gave the lads a bit of an eyeful. The second problem was making it back. Our only buyer, Patsy Dooher from Aughabrack, couldn’t get back over the ditch so he had to do a four-mile walked up through Annaghmore and missed the rest of the game and his lift home. All for a glass of brown mineral at £1.”
PHILIP JORDAN, RICEY MCMENAMIN AND HUB HUGHES TO GET SPECIAL MATCH PRIVELEGES
With a combined age of over 100, ex county players Jordan, Hughes and McMenamin are to be given special protection by referees to ease fears of broken hips, arthritis and failing senses. The new rules state that if one of these players receives the ball, opponents are to stand off for five seconds to allow the ageing trio to find their bearings and face the right direction. County chairman Aeneas McLoughlin told us:
“We remember wee Peter’s last few games. It was a bit embarrassing when the ball would come to him and he’d just be staring into space, rambling. His teammates would’ve been calling for the ball but sure he could hardly hear a thing. We’re not going to let our elderly ex-county men shuffle off into the wilderness like that. Last week, Ricey got sent off for taking a nap. The ref had no choice and acted quickly in case it developed into stage two. Last week I heard Jordan, who’s injured, spent the entire game watching the Moy’s warm-up pitch even though no one was on it apart from a couple of cats. Hub keeps complaining about the weather and knitting during a lull in play. These new rules will help ease their journey into the light.”
Newlyweds Paul and Julia Brannigan have put Tattyreagh on the map after making it through to the TV stages of the X-Factor auditions singing a song they made up in the taxi on the way over to the show. Scribbled on the back of a packet of sweetie cigarettes, “Tattyreagh – You Don’t Have A Picture-house But You’re Deadly To Me’ wooed the judges so much that Simon Cowell is considering visiting the townland before the end of the month. Paul said it’s a dream come through:
“To be honest, we were going to sing “Islands In The Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Then, with a few shots in us, we thought feck it and wrote a song there and then in the taxi about the homeland. We’ve since lost the piece of cardboard it was on but we managed to include stuff like the scrap metal yard, sheep farming and the bath-doctor. It was hard rhyming something with bath-doctor so we pretended there was a Costcutters and that was near enough. We sang it to the tune of Raglan Road, cupping our ears and all, but they didn’t seem to notice.”
All four judges sent them through with Louis Walsh saying that Tattyreagh is the new New Orleans and that they were his favourite. Gary Barlow criticised the lengthy song title but maintained the heart-breaking line “The Quiggery Waters won’t run through us/But we don’t kick up a fuss” won him over and praised the couple for looking so clean and upright for not having a river. Simon Cowell added:
“This will be up there with Africa by Toto or London’s Burning by The Clash. Tattyreagh seems so exotic. “We normally go to Darcy’s Coal merchants/And after to the HalfWay House for a lock of pints” might not be an exact rhyme but it’ll be on the tip of the tongue of every 15-year old next week. Dannii Minogue was crying and she wasn’t even judging. We WILL build a picture-house for these people”
The Brannigans say they’ll definitely sing Islands In The Stream in the TV auditions unless they “start on the shots again and make up a song about the road to Fintona and the bastard tractors that houl everyone up.”
A bunch of psychologists have today released a 4000-page document confirming what people in Stewartstown and Kildress have believed for years – Cookstown is still stuck in the 1980s in terms of fashion, music and general culture. The startling diagnosis comes in the aftermath of a huge Dallas party in the Glenavon at the weekend when over 3000 revellers came dressed as JR, Bobby and Sue Ellen, i.e. just in their normal clothes. Kirk Kilpatrick from the Drum Road wasn’t surprised:
“No big news really. Sure you only have to dander in to the market on a Saturday and you’ll hear ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet blaring out of the tape decks in their Datsuns down the main street. I go to the Greenvale on a Saturday night and it’s hard to get near the bar at all with the forest of perms and mullets all over the joint. That’s if you didn’t get an eye taken out with the shoulder pads. An awful lot of the lads hanging around the corners have moustaches like Magnum PI trying to chat up women with luminous leg-warmers and fingerless gloves. They make us Kildressians look hip.”
Cookstown mayor Jenny Mulgrew maintains the verdict is nothing to be ashamed of:
“So what? People say the 80s were the best decade what with Rocky 4 and the Rubik’s Cube. Them people in The Rock or Tullyhogue might think they’re ‘with it’ with their mobile phones and cars with 5 gears but put it like this, we still have to find out who shot JR, whether ET gets home or not and if big Art will lead Tyrone to the promised land. Some effin excitement ahead of us.”
Eoin Mulligan is to be approached about bring the town into the 90s by running a few raves at his pub.
It emerged this morning that the last child still believing in ‘The Man’ in Loughmacrory has given up the ghost on the fictional disciplinarian, leaving parents to think of new ways to keep tabs on their children.
Seamus Campbell, a five year old terror from the Ballybrack Road, told his mother this morning to ‘bring it on, big girl’ after she threatened him with ‘The Man’ if he didn’t get his uniform on quickly.
A visibly shaken Mary Campbell confirmed the worst:
“We were aware that our Seamus was the last child in The Lough to still believe in The Man. This is a sad day for the area. The Man was a brilliant psychological tactic to employ over the years. The restaurant here was a peace haven as children sat timidly in case ‘The Man’ would come and shout at them. Bedtime wasn’t a bother as ‘The Man’ would find out and be cross. It was deadly easy raring young uns. I myself lived in fear of The Man anywhere I went, especially at Mass. If I spoke at all, I was told that ‘The Man’ would drag me out by the hair and kick me around the field. Did me no harm.”
It appears that the lack of belief in ‘The Man’ arrived in Loughmacrory around the time that Peter Barry, aged six at the time, was told that ‘The Man’ would give him a clip around the ear if he didn’t stop throwing white bonbons at the Santa during the Christmas Show in the clubrooms. When the rebellious Barry refused to stop and the fictional ‘Man’ never appeared, other youngsters began to cop on to the fact that possibly The Man didn’t exist at all. They all began pelting Santa with Wine Gums.
“Myself and the husband will have to think of something new now. Loughmacrory has gone to the dogs with children running amok at night breaking things and shouting. They’ve no fear now at all. I’ve threatened them with ‘Daddy’ but my four year old just laughed and fired a tuna sandwich at his head. The country’s couped.”
The Loughmacrory Parents’ Association are thinking of hiring some shadowy foreign actor, preferably unshaven with a big scar on his face, to walk around the roads with a scowl on his face, pretending to be The Man. 98% of children in Tattyreagh still believe in ‘The Man’.
Evidence has come to light that CCEA, AQA and other examination boards may have marked down Tyrone students as far back as 1955 because of the particular dialect from the various regions within the county. News of this blatant discrimination was leaked after a Tyrone teacher was accepted onto a GCSE marking team for the first time since education began. English teacher Mr Peter McKay from Gortin was sampling an exam answer with other teachers from England when it became clear he was letting certain words and phrases go which would otherwise be deemed a fail by the vast majority of markers.
“I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was marking a piece of Romeo and Juliet coursework and the student, who seemed to be from a Dungannon school, wrote ‘Romeo is a bit of a gope who should’ve shut his bake. Their going out with each other was completely banjaxed from the start as it looks like Juliet’s head was cut. I think Romeo couldn’t be scundered with her, like”. I gave that full marks whilst these women from Manchester gave it 0%. The alarm bells were ringing.”
McKay says things got worse when they moved onto the essay about describing your favourite day:
“This boy from Omagh wrote a deadly piece about bringing in the hay before the rain last year. I gave it 98%. I remember some of it clearly. “My oul lad said it’d be tarra if we didn’t get her lifted. I was acting the clift and yarnin and buckin about with our boy. ‘Wheest’ says he. ‘Stop acting the ganches yous two’. Our boy then started lashing rings around him after that feed of scallions and with the snatters tripping me I had to give her 90. It was some handlin. Our boy is some bollocks.” Now, you tell me what’s wrong with that. The Manchester ones gave it 2%. Pure discrimination. We nearly cut the lining out of each other.”
The examination boards are to backdate results since ’55 and any Tyrone native who sat English as an O Level of GSCE will receive a new result, two grades higher.
Plans are underway to build London Heathrow Airport’s controversial third runway on the site of the beleaguered Linen Green in Moygashel. Proposals for the controversial third runway at Heathrow have reached deadlock in recent years with the current government accused of kicking the issue into the long grass, whilst closer to home the upmarket Linen Green retail outlet in Moygashel, Tyrone, has been put up for sale in recent weeks after its owner was declared bankrupt.
‘Every way you look at it, this makes perfect sense,” said local entrepreneur, property owner and part-time fantasist Declan Corrigan, who is leading the initiative. “Them London planning boys need to look outside the box a bit. They want a third runway at Heathrow but there’s not enough space and the campaigners don’t like it. They should look a wee bit further afield. Like Moygashel”.
Corrigan explained the plans for the audacious proposal.
“We’ll turn some of the empty Linen Green shops into a huge petrol station for the jumbo jets to roll up to, nice and easy. And it won’t need a terminal building because there’s a big Spar Shop round the corner. It even sells hummus which would cater for the foreign types”.
Corrigan went on to outline his plans for the runway itself.
“Everyone’s into the environment these days, so we make use of what we’ve already got. Them airyplanes will taxi out down the Mullybrannon Road to the A4 and they can take off and land on the dual carriageway. To keep it safe, we’ll have a man with a flag to stop cars during take-off and landing. Once we’ve knocked out a few of the bridges that’s the job done. And if they need a long runway for Concorde and the like we’ll give them one. 40 miles of it all the way down to Belfast”.
Suggestions that the 300 miles between Moygashel and London might be further than passengers would like, Corrigan retorted,
“Jaysus, Ryanair play that game all the time and it doesn’t stop them. And anyway, if for some mad reason they’re desperate to get to London, we’ll bus them down to Belfast City Airport and they can catch a plane from there”.
Opponents of the plans have already raised concerns regarding potential noise and air pollution in the local area. Corrigan said,
“People have to stop being selfish with all this ‘not-in-my-back-yard’ stuff. They should think about the money this could bring into the Tyrone economy, that’s what they should be doing. Besides, I live in Coalisland, so as long as the runway’s nowhere near there it won’t affect me”.
A Brocagh woman today told of her near-panic of going almost an entire day without getting a text from anyone. 24 year old Teresa Monteith, an accounts clerk from Ballybeg Road, admitted:
“I normally get one from my boyfriend by the time I’ve got to work about that evening’s dinner but nothing arrived, although we usually have bacon and cabbage on a Wednesday so I didn’t think much of it. But then I usually get a couple from my mum as well which are mostly about my da and his toilet troubles, but the phone just sat there in front of my desk, doing nothing. And Shona at work sometimes sends me a couple of texts even though she sits across from me but that’s so we can talk about Patricia and her stupid trousers without her knowing”.
After having decided at 11.30am just to ignore the phone for the rest of the day because she was so busy, Monteith finally succumbed after lunch and checked her ‘Manage Connections’ settings before eventually sending a text to herself entitled ‘Test’ to satisfy herself that the service was working. She subsequently consoled herself by going onto Facebook for 45 minutes and ‘liking’ several posts, including one from her sister-in-law wearing a sombrero and holding a vuvuzela, and another from her friend Clare which said how much she liked Nathan Turner’s new haircut.
Teresa then spent another hour typing in the names of people she went to school with to see if she could find anything of interest about them on the internet, and a further 15 minutes googling her own name.
After promising herself at 3.45pm that she wouldn’t be the first to send someone else a text, she received one at 4.10pm from her partner Eric, after she sent him a text that said ‘y havent u textd me?’, followed by a sad smiley face icon.