Monthly Archives: June 2014

Coalisland Silver Band Drafted In After Armagh Brawl

Coalisland drummers practice

Coalisland drummers practice

The Ulster Council have confirmed that for the potentially fiery Monaghan/Tyrone game they’re considering replacing St Michael’s Enniskillen Band with the infamous Coalisland Silver Band whose drummers are known for their fighting skills and general ‘taking no crap’ appearance.

The move comes after Armagh and Cavan players brawled just as the young Enniskillen band prepared to launch into The Boys of the County Armagh for the pre-match parade. A flag dispute has been identified as the reason for the punch-up but body language experts agreed that a few heavy hitters along the back line of drummers would solve any future disagreements.

Marching band fanatic Frank Hurson from Pomeroy explained:

“It is an old tactic we have used up in Pomeroy for decades. If there was a chance of things kicking off between two rivals, we’d (Pomeroy Pipe Band) have replaced our whole rear drummer line with the drummers from the Coalisland Silver Band. Rumour has it they were much sought after in Uruguay and Chile during the 1960s when their club football pre-match parades were riddled with mass brawls and maimings.”

Ardboe octogenarian Felix Quinn reminded authorities of the importance of a muscular drumming corp. Remembering the Battle of the Battery in 1971 when Moortown and Ardboe players fought for four hours after a musical difference during the parade, he warned:

“It’s vital the Ulster Council act now. In ’71 the Moortown lads objected to our flute band playing ‘Mary, The Moortown Harlet’ around the field even though it was a favourite around our parts. They charged at the drum lads at the back but we had infiltrated the musicians with our toughest reserves. Bloodbath. The Coalisland Silver Band are ideal for these Monaghan mountain men.”

Meanwhile, rumours persist that Mickey Harte will make a few fringe players camp out overnight in Clones in order to secure the outside line during the parade. He has denied meeting with Ardoyne protestors to ask for tips.

 

Barack Obama Wades In On Debate Over Dungannon Square Parking

Dungannon Square, last week

Dungannon Square, last week

shengasBY SHENGAS MCGLUMPHIE

Following his comments over Scottish independence last week, the President of the United States made some astonishing remarks regarding the recent re-configuration of the parking and road layout in Dungannon Square.

Speaking on NBC television, Barack Obama fumed,

“There is a democratic process in place in Tyrone and what they do to Dungannon Square is up to the people who live there. But from the outside, anyone can see that a two-way system going up to the library flanked by only 27 parking spaces is sheer lunacy. What’s going on? Is Barry McElduff still a counsellor?”

He went on,

“And how is The Beast supposed to get parked outside The Fort in Scotch Street for a quick pint of the black stuff after the match when there’s nowhere to park? And by The Beast I mean my big car, not Michelle”, he added hurriedly. “She’s great at parking”.

The President went on to explain his interest not just in the future sovereignty of Scotland but also the potential late afternoon traffic congestion in a small provincial town in Northern Ireland.

“Folks don’t realise I have family background in Tyrone”, he explained. “The popular myth is that I’m from Moneygall which is why I went there in 2011, but actually I have some Tyrone blood too. I just pretended to come from Moneygall because the FBI were too scared to take me to Greencastle. To use a local expression, they said that turning up there could be a ‘right handling’, the likes of which they had never seen before. And don’t forget some of these guys were in Vietnam”.

Obama explained how his cover was nearly blown last time he visited Dungannon in cognito.

“I was wearing my usual disguise as a Kildress man and popped into the library to take some books back. Well of course, thinking it through there’s not many Kildress men who are into reading about Egytian poetry, so the librarian new that something was up. Well, it was either that or the 26 security men that were sitting in the children’s section pretending to read The Gruffalo”.

President has privately vowed to support ‘regime change’ in Dungannon and failing that might just ‘nuke the hell out of it’.

Gortin Bachelor Stole Election Posters For Home Use

Plenty of choice for women

Plenty of choice for women

The mystery of a dozen election posters of West Tyrone Independent Roisin Fogarty, which mysteriously went missing during the recent campaign, was finally solved yesterday when Gortin bachelor Jim Keenan (44) returned the stolen items to the politician’s office.

Keenan, once voted Gortin’s Most Eligible Bachelor in a two-way tie with 81-year old uncle Paddy Keenan, admitted he used the posters as a source of comfort and was ‘practising for a wife down the line’.

The twelve posters were strategically placed in various rooms and positions including watching TV, ironing, arguing, drinking wine, in the shower and on the treadmill amongst other places. The Gortin mechanic super-glued the posters to mop sticks he bought at a market years ago, sometimes adorning the sticks with dresses and outfits his grandmother left behind. Keenan explained his theft:

“Roisin would be the sort of woman I’d be after. Smart, cross, big arms and red-haired. I thought I’d get a bit of practice in before I go looking for a real woman. Any room I turned she was there, evening hoovering on the stairs. We had some deadly craic telling stories but she’s feisty enough too and gave me some rollicking after rolling home late a few nights from Mossey’s.”

Close friend and fellow single woman-hunter Harry King admitted he considered stealing a few posters as well but could only find a couple of DUP men still up:

“It was a brilliant idea. I’d come around for cup of tea and there’d be Roisin washing away at the dishes or when I went to the toilet she’d be in the shower though she was horribly soggy after a few days there. The only problem was when you’d met the real Roisin on the street and thank her for the soda bread this morning and she’d give you a quare look. That’s the thin line between reality and fiction.”

Gortin Community Group are currently counselling Keenan.

World Cup Widows Prepare For Month Of Shouting Matches

Typical World Cup scene across the county

Typical World Cup scene across the county

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.

Tyrone Man Queued For 12 Hours In Fog For Postponed GAA Game

McGaharan on his way to the game

McGaharan on his way to the game

A Tyrone man has admitted he queued for 12 hours outside a GAA ground in Donegal in heavy fog in February this year, unaware that the game had been cancelled earlier in the day.

Tommy McGaharan, an 81-year old Sligo native but living in Tyrone for 60 years, was finally made aware of the postponement when a late-night reveller recognised him from standing in the same spot 5 hours earlier on his way to the pub.

McGaharan explained why he came forward now, four months after the debacle:

“I just don’t want this happening to anyone else. I eventually completely thawed out just a couple of weeks ago so I’m fit to talk about the ordeal now.”

The East Tyrone resident explained how he drove 120 miles through freezing fog for the McKenna Cup fixture, setting out at 5am and averaging 25-30mph in his Morris Minor before reaching Ballybofey a few minutes before throw-in at 2pm.

“My motor doesn’t have a radio so I wasn’t aware of the postponing. I did think it odd that I was the only one queuing up outside the turnstile but sure these McKenna Cup games can attract small crowds at that time of the year.”

McGaharan now recalls receiving strange looks from passers-by as he stared intently at the turnstile for it to open:

“After a few hours I did start to have doubts but just thought maybe I’d gotten the throw-in time wrong. It wasn’t until 2am in pitch dark and at temperatures of -9 that a young fellow staggered my direction and told me to catch myself on and that the game had been rescheduled for the following Wednesday.”

The unlucky McGaharan’s weekend was further ruined when he checked in to a bed and breakfast at 3am only to sleep in and miss the breakfast completely.

Tyrone Tourism Board Accused Of Outrageous Deceit Over Beheaded Icon

Hughes, age 14?

Hughes, age 14?

The newly formed Tyrone Tourism Board have come under serious fire after it emerged they hoodwinked the entire country into visiting two memorials for Omagh medical guru, and inventor of the hypodermic syringe, Peader Hughes who they seem to claim was beheaded twice.

Hughes, who was beheaded by the Queen of England in 1710, is said to have stumbled across the syringe idea after messing about with voodoo amongst the picturesque ramparts near his home in what is now Omagh town centre. The 27 year old was beheaded and impaled on a spike in Omagh for inventing the syringe three years before the English were due to invent it.

Last year, the Tyrone Tourism Board (TTB) put his preserved head on display inside Omagh Library near the history section and subsequently put another of his heads on display, supposedly when he was 14, outside Strabane Town Hall in April of this year.

Local historian Danny O’Donnell was first to question the displays:

“I knew something wasn’t right but couldn’t put my finger on it. I’d visited both sites numerous times over the last two months and it just wasn’t sitting comfortably for me. Then it dawned on my wife, how the hell could you have beheaded a person twice, once at 14 and again at 27? It’s a money making racket and at £12.99 a visit, they made their money alright. The queues for the 14-year-old head was about half a mile long.”

TTB chairman Kieran Nelis admits they didn’t purposely attempt to deceive the public and vowed to removed the fake head as soon as they can get a van to take it away:

“I want to assure the public that this was not an attempt to make money from people. Someone approached us months ago and said he had the head of Peader Hughes when he was 14, who was beheaded Red Hugh  O’Donnell from Dunfanghy for stealing cattle from his land. It was a perfect likening for the head of Peader when he was 27 so you can understand our error. We now realise it was an impossible scenario and will refund any punters who visited the younger head if they can provide a receipt.”

PSNI investigations into the younger head are pointing in the direction of a fancy dress shop in Belfast who make false heads for Halloween.

GAA Team’s Goodwill Gesture Falls Flat In Eglish

7159403222_163c72644c_zInspired by the story of a senior panel from Donegal club Naomh Columba who stopped to help a man turn his turf in Galway at the weekend, Ballygawley outfit Errigal Ciaran attempted a similar gesture whilst driving through Eglish on the way back from a game in The Moy yesterday.

Unfortunately, the attempted act of kindness which involved digging up 300 kilos of potatoes the size of grapes and 600 pallets of unripe strawberries, has left Eglish farmer Phonsie Jordan thousands of pounds in the red.

Clubman Johnny Bradley admitted:

“We’ve cocked up, yes. We thought it would be great PR for the club after we saw the Donegal lads do the same with the turf. We’ve a lot of students on the team and they haven’t really seen fields with spuds or strawberries in them so they aren’t to blame. We just ripped everything up and waited for the farmer to get back, with smiles on our faces. When he lifted that gun we fairly moved. In fact, some lads ran more in that thirty seconds than in the game against The Moy, going by the GPS trackers still on them.”

Jordan, who has been producing high quality produce for 50 years, fumed:

“Shower of do-gooders. Some of them spuds were as small as peanuts. How did it not dawn on them? And green strawberries….holy Jaysus.”

The Ballygawley outfit have vowed to make up for the innocent error by offering their services as scarecrows over the summer for the Eglish entrepreneur, starting with the defenders in July.

Lough Neagh’s ‘Speedgoat’ Business Folds

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Patsy Cush and Graham the goat on his maiden ride

After only one week in operation, the Lough Neagh Speedgoat Company have closed due to multiple unforeseen difficulties.

The initiative, which received backing from the European Funding Association, suffered immediate teething problems when Gregory, their flagship goat, refused to enter the water due to the extremely cold temperature of the lough. Company CEO, Janet Donnelly, admitted it’s back to the drawing board for Lough Neagh money making ideas:

“We honestly thought the idea of speedgoats would see people flock to Lough Neagh from afar a field as Colombia or Sudan. It turns out goats aren’t deadly swimmers. We did managed to find one named Graham who didn’t mind the water that much but didn’t really move much. In fact, he just floated there looking a bit confused.”

The Lough Neagh Speedgoat Company called it a day after their three water-friendly goats found themselves constantly brawling with the lough’s natural residents such as eels, minks, pollan and midges.

“It wasn’t going to make much money. Children were sort of afraid of the whole concept and they were our target audience. Patsy Cush thought his ride was class but he was a lone voice and he has always been easily amused. The money is still there though so we’ll get thinking about new business ventures on the lough.”

Brocagh Primary School have recently run a competition for ideas on how to improve tourism on the lough. Suggestions have included:

  • floating competitions
  • dragon boat racing
  • underwater rugby
  • aqua aerobics
  • reality show on water about fishing with phone votes and stuff

 

Clonoe Waspkeeper Still Waiting For Wasps To Produce Jam

Carson, yesterday

Carson, yesterday

shengasBY SHENGAS MCGLUMPHIE

A Clonoe man who set up his own business over a year ago is hoping that 2014 is the year he finds success.

33-year old Dylan Carson, from Washingbay Road in Clonoe, set up a wasp-keeping business last April against the advice of family, friends, neighbours, botanists, colleagues and passers-by in the street. The entrepreneur was adamant that the insects would be producing ‘jam by the hive-load’ in a matter of weeks.

“Waspkeeping is the new beekeeping”, said a confident Carson. “Read the papers and they’ll tell you bees is on the way out. They’re the same as the dinosaurs, expect smaller and buzzier. That’s why I got ahead of the game and got some wasps. I don’t think I did it right last year which is why they didn’t lay any jam. But I’m older and wiser this year, and I’m feeding them fresh strawberries and apricots. Not long now boys, not long now”,

he said, eagerly rubbing his hands together.

Carson admitted that the project had had ‘a few minor teething problems’, including an incident when he got stung over 200 times after accidentally sitting on one of the nests, and then finding out he was allergic to wasp stings.

“Aye, that’s one of things you learn as a waspkeeper that you don’t really realise. Wasps can sting a wee bit. Jaysus, that was some month in hospital. My arse was all swolled up like a balloon. Not having a proper waspkeeper’s costume was what did it. I just used an old balaclava and a pair of gardening gloves. Some handlin’ wasps”.

Challenged about the merits of keeping wasps, Carson was forthright in his explanation.

“Wasps? What’s wrong with keeping wasps? There’s stranger things that people are keeping and no-one bats an eyelid, like books, or houses. Or goals. It’s just a matter of understanding the wasps, see?” he said. “A lot of wasps have got anger management problems, but really when you get to know them they’re friendly craters. All that’s needed is a bit of tender loving care. They’re nice wee things”, he said as he slammed a wasp against the window with a rolled up Dungannon Observer. “Apart from that one”.

If successful, Carson plans to offer his services to others by becoming a wasp whisperer. He had a previous business which failed in 2012, when he discovered that moths were unable to produce marmalade.

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