Monthly Archives: December 2014
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 2,300,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 99 days for that many people to see it.
NI State Papers Reveal Devious Plan To Stop Tyrone ’86 All-Ireland Win. McCrea To Air Strike Carrickmore on Hang Glider.
The declassified NI State Papers for 1985/86 have sent shock waves throughout the county as it confirmed Unionist politicians funded Kerry’s training camps in the run up to the All-Ireland Final in 1986.
The papers also revealed the possibility of an aerial bombardment of Carrickmore, Galbally, Cappagh and Coalisland in a plane personally piloted by Willie McCrea and his dog ‘Butcher’.
The £3.2m UUP funding released for Kerry’s preparations for the 1986 final, which they won by eight points, enabled the Munster champions to come strong towards the end of the game, overcoming a seven point deficit early in the second half. A Tyrone insider from 1986 remarked:
“This explains everything. When Kerry ran out on to the field it was noticeable how tanned they were, so they were obviously in Portugal or Africa or something, running on fancy running machines. The Unionists just did not want to see us happy. Also, when Kevin McCabe’s penalty went over the bar I thought there was an unnatural gust of wind just at the moment he kicked it. Some satellite signal no doubt.”
The papers also revealed a request made by Willie McCrea to the Queen of England at the time to personally launch air strikes on republican hotspots using his recently required pilot’s licence and a motorised hang-glider with enough room for Butcher, his trusty dog.
McCrea’s appeal was rejected after what the Defence Secretary called ‘serious consideration’ with reservations about the effect of slingshotting rotten fruit and vegetables would have on the targeted communities proving too strong to ignore.
McCrea ignored their advice but had to abandon an attempt on Greencastle in 1987 when his glider got stuck in the Sperrins 30 seconds after take-off, with Buster visibly stressed and barking loudly.
In a bid to recognise The Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus which from 1568 to 1960 was called “The Circumcision of the Lord and the Octave of the Nativity” and celebrated on the 1st January, over 5000 Tyrone men have agreed to be circumcised on that day with many opting for public ceremonies.
Although the Church have distanced themselves from the event, many theologians have backed the initiative as an honourable attempt to overturn the decision of Pope John XXIII’s in 1960 who renamed the day by omitting any reference to circumcision.
One volunteer from Cappagh, Pat Rice (61), maintains he is a little bit nervous but reckons it sends a message out to today’s youth that Christianity is still alive and well in mid-Ulster:
“I admit I’ve had a few sleepless nights thinking about it, especially as ours is being carried out in the middle of the local football field on the back of a lorry. But the organisers promise the crowd will be told to stay behind the fence and there is a ban on zooming devices such as cameras or binoculars. I’ll throw a few half’uns into me first and it’ll be dead on.”
The largest group appears to be in Ardboe with over 900 men agreeing to the circumcision. Gardener Leo Tomney agrees that it sends out a positive message:
“Young ones nowadays have lost their way. They’d rather stay in the house on their computers instead of going to Devotions or doing a stint at the Missions. By showing them that we’re proud of our faith and are willing to undergo open-air surgery, maybe it’ll turn a few back to the light. I’ve a new pair of jeans and all for the big day.”
200 nurses will be on standby throughout the day.
Shop owners have been urged to remind shoppers that their premises will be open again in a couple of days after police were called to the Spar in Brackville due to a violent brawl over the last tin of Family Circle Delux Edition biscuits.
The incident occurred hours after three brothers in Tattyreagh were cautioned for fighting over a case of Shloer in Omagh earlier in the day. Government officials have called on all retail outlets to remind shoppers that goods will be available for purchase in under 48 hours and that there was no word of an apocalypse or extreme weather conditions for the foreseeable future.
The Brackaville brawl occurred after two neighbours spotted the final tin of Family Circle sitting in the middle of an aisle with a big £4.99 sign dangling over them. Shopper Brian Carland witnessed the clash:
“It was like a scene out of a Clint Eastwood film. The two women were equ-distance from the tin and descended on their prize like rockets. Next, all you could see were hair clips and bras flying all over the shop as they tore strips off each other. The odd thing was that both trollies were full of cakes and biscuits and stuff. Them Family Circle must be good.”
Police warned both women regarding future behaviour and reminded one of the perpetrators that she’d already bought two normal boxes of Family Circle as well as a 5-pack of Ginger Nuts.
Meanwhile a family of four in Fintona are said to be distraught after only managing to secure a 20lb turkey, as their appetites are far bigger now than last year. They are willing to accept generous food parcels.
As NI’s political leaders rejoice in the signing of a new agreement, a well-read man from Kildress has urged people to read the small print carefully before giving the document the green light, a document which includes restrictions on wearing turned-up jeans in daylight and playing Garth Brooks music in public.
Paudie McCleen (51) also had specific reservations about plans to rise the water level of Lough Neagh which will see Brocagh, Derrylaughan and Derrytresk eventually submerged in 12 feet of water, proposals to see the other half of Ballinderry returned to Tyrone, schemes to bore into the Sperrins and build caves for ‘Jobseekers Allowance and Customs and Excise officials’ and the possible renaming of many towns and villages across the county to make them more romantic or continental.
McCleen had a word of warning for residents in the Rock who are to be renamed ‘Brewer’s Droop’ and the Moy who will now be known as ‘Little Armagh’.
“Not a lot of consultation here. And if these proposals are to see the light of day, then it’s bye-bye to the loughshore townlands as we know it with the artificial rising of the water. Falls’ Pub will be a luxurious watering hole for eels. It’s really disappointing too what with the mouth-watering Derrylaughan/Derrytresk derby clash on the horizon next year.”
Other alterations will see no Tyrone flags in county border flashpoint areas such as Trillick, Castlederg and Cookstown, the banning of turned up jeans in daylight and the ruling against the playing of Garth Brooks songs in public from March-October.
“I’m also concerned about Ballinderry being returned to its rightful county. The Ballylifford townland ones have been a part of Derry for so long now and will have developed Derry customs and behaviour. It could take years of re-education to get them ready for the civilised world.”
The Stormont House Agreement also sees heavy sanctions for anyone slagging Fermanagh ones.
The mood in Coalisland has been described as ‘joyous’ and ‘celebratory’ after news filtered through of Elton John’s marriage to his long-term partner David Furnish.
Locals also confirmed that a delegation from the town flew over to Berkshire, England to celebrate Elton’s big day by singing songs outside his mansion and to give him a gift from the people in the town – £3o worth of vouchers to be spent in Frank McGirr’s clothing and accessories store before May 2015.
The Elton John/Coalisland affiliation has been an open secret for years now after Elton revealed his song ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’ was about the time he watched Coalisland Fianna GFC lose to Aghyaran in the 1981 Intermediate Final. Local historian and big Elton fan Ronnie McSherry added:
“Yes, Elton was gutted that day Aghyaran beat us. He was a big fan of the Blues and so combined his feeling of despondency with his love for the Fianna and came up with ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’ which we play before the start of every home game as well at the end of dances at the weekends. We love the man here. We wish Elton and David all the best.”
McSherry’s views were not widely held as a large proportion of the town’s prolific gay community admitted to feeling insanely jealous and singing ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ over and over. Tensions were said to be high this afternoon as members of the town’s hetrosexual community taunted them with renditions of ‘I Wanna Kiss The Bride’ outside the off-licence.
Local priest Fr Lyons has appealed for calm between the two factions but admitted that Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.
Meanwhile, the road between Coalisland and Stewartstown has now reopened after the sighting of a ghost was confirmed as an on-the-run returning home for Christmas week.
Multi-lingual stove-fitter Terence McNeill from Drummurrer has been labelled a modern day Santa Claus after he treated a Dungannon bar to a round of drinks after finding out during his lunch in McFinn’s Pub that he’d won £5 on the Euromillion Lottery.
McNeill, who has been nominated for Tyrone Man of the Year because of the gesture, maintains anyone else would have done the same:
“I was just overcome with emotion. There was just myself and another lad in the bar at the time so I bought a Coke and he wanted a Sprite Zero. I got £3.20 change as well so I was able to bring home 6 packets of McCoy’s Beef Crisps for the wife and kids. I’m just that sort of guy. My da always says you can’t take your money to the grave.”
Dungannon Lord Mayor Arthur McGuinness reckons the story of McNeill’s generosity will be spoken about for years to come and might even rival that of the nativity itself:
“For a man from Drummurrer to come to Dungannon and fit stoves is great in itself. For a man to come from Drummurrer and spend his Euromillion winnings in a bar in Dungannon is just something that warms your heart. There’ll be a film about this yet.”
Although McNeill appreciates the good wishes as well as his nomination for Man of the Year, he added that anyone else attempting to tap him up will be shot.
His winning numbers were 1, 2 and 4.
A recently re-elected Tyrone GAA committee member responsible for the financial management within the county has been spotted walking around The Moy brazenly wearing a fur coat as well as more finger rings than he’d usually wear.
Ralf McKeogh, who also holds the record for the most wides in one game at U16 level, has denied any misconduct and maintains he has the receipts for all recent purchases to match the money taken from his own personal account, however he was smirking at the time.
Local sceptics, including his old U16 manager Harry Donaghy, remain doubtful:
“It was the same last year. A week after the Tyrone County Convention he was spotted in a pub in Belfast wearing a crown. Or maybe it was in the Crown Pub. I can’t remember but what I definitely recall is all those wides against Brocagh back in 1991.”
McKeogh’s uncle Patsy, who was the first man to swim the River Blackwater from start to finish, also remains unconvinced about his wealthy nephew:
“He always seems to buy the smallest presents at Christmas. This is the classic sign of a miserably wealthy man. And he’s always laughing when you ask him about the county’s financial state, saying things like ‘we’re getting it tight’ but winking at the same time. I’d put nothing past that man.”
McKeogh refused to comment but was last seen asking a young lad from Charlemont to go buy him the biggest turkey from the local butchers.
A hard-hitting door-to-door survey has confirmed that most prolific Facebookers’ lives are not as spectacularly perfect as previously portrayed, with many admitting they didn’t think the photo of their mate was ‘stunning’ despite categorically stating it was.
The survey, which was commission by Cynics Ireland, tailed over 400 Facebook users for three months by monitoring where users ‘checked in’ and sending a member out to confirm whether or not the poster was, indeed, having ‘a ball’. The study confirmed that a significant majority of posts which claimed ‘great times, great friends’ actually involved the supposed revellers talking quietly in corners, showing each other how many people liked or commented on their status update.
The most startling finding concerned the use of the adjective ‘stunning’ in the Facebook comments section. Under severe interrogation, an anonymous Facebooker told us:
“I’ll be honest. I only write ‘stunning’ in case I post a photo of meself soon after. You’d like to think they’d return the compliment so that I, in turn, can be all pleased with myself. The last ‘stunning’ I wrote was a blatant lie. It was the worst I’d seen our Mary look actually.”
79% of Facebookers also admitted to posting an obscure message about their supposed bad mood in order to receive at least three ‘U OK HUN?’ messages to make them appear mysterious and deep thinking. An Omagh Facebooker admitted:
“I have a whole jotter of cryptic updates such as ‘never again’ or ‘some people just don’t deserve my friendship’ just to get a bit of sympathy going or to keep myself talked about. It never fails to encourage a couple of ‘U OK’ or ‘Stay strong honey’ replies, especially if I don’t explain myself. Great for the oul self-esteem.”
Meanwhile, the study revealed Facebookers, on average, can’t stand the sight of 68% of their friends despite liking 91% of their comments.
Kevin Donnellan (55), who married his partner after 18 months of romancing, arrived home from work on his first day back at Hoody’s Pub only to find his new bride on her second bottle of vodka with her false teeth sitting on the table beside her, singing sorrowful songs about emigration to America.
“Not only did I not know she drank, I wasn’t aware she didn’t have her own teeth. None of them. But she’s a deadly singer.”
Donnellan revealed it took more than 15 minutes for confirmation that the woman swaying on his settee was the woman he’d married a week ago.
“I noticed a scar she has on her shoulder from when she was bitten there by a mink when fishing near Drumragh in the 70s. I can’t believe I didn’t know she had false teeth. To be fair, I wouldn’t be deadly into the kissing but looking back now I remember hearing a constant clacking sound every time we were at the matinee in the cinema.”
The genial barman also believed his wife was a tee-totaler but also admits he rarely saw his wife-to-be after 6pm since they started courting:
“She told me she’d be deadly tired at 5pm so I’d leave her home and pick her up the next day around 1pm and right enough she always had dark sunglasses on her. I urge all lads to spend a few days with their wives before taking the plunge. You need to have a good look at her first thing in the morning.”
Donnellan has yet to decide whether or not to give up on the marriage at this early stage, adding that she still looked rightly with her teeth out for a 53 year old and if he could get her onto the whiskey it could be something they could share whilst singing about old rebellions and risings.
Mary Devlin, who had to re-sit her driving test this year after banging into half a dozen motors on her way to collect her grandson from school, maintains she noticed a few bad habits the Formula One World Champion has developed over the last few years:
“For starters, he’s always driving over the kerb. But that’s maybe a result of breaking too late before corners and stuff. Then sure he’s always taking breaks for a minute or two every half an hour or so. How this man won that trophy last night amazes me. Looksee, I can drive to Belfast without stopping at all.”
Devlin did not hold back on other sporting high achievers:
“I hear people going on about this Rory McIlroy and how he should have won it. This is a man who walks slowly around a field in a jumper and chinos hitting a ball with a stick maybe 70 times over 4 hours. And don’t get me started about people riding bikes. I’ve been riding since I was 17.”
Meanwhile, Devlin wanted to reiterate that she is not related to the Greencastle woman who accidentally drove up Croagh Patrick or the Greencastle woman who drove to Dublin in first gear. (click on links)
10am: COUL – Edendork amateur production of Frozen, featuring classics such as ‘Do You Want To Build An Extension Around The Back’ and ‘Let Her Go, Ye Boy Ye’
12pm: POINTLESS – fly-on-the-wall documentary following Peter Canavan around Ballygawley as he tries to grow hair by eating more fruit
4pm: GAME OF THRONES – Reality show as language experts tour towns and villages trying to get locals to pronounce their county as Tyrone and not Throne
6pm: WOULD I LIE TO YOU? – Live debate as shady business men try to convince us that mining the Sperrins is great fun and fracking is even better
9.45pm: CINDERELLA – Reality TV series continues as a Moortown woman returns to the Glenavon disco with all her brothers one week after her shoe was stolen, to find the culprit
11pm: OPEN ALL HOURS – Comedy as seasoned Tessie’s drinkers relive the best nights and fights in Dorman’s shebeen at Clonoe crossroads
9am: TOP GEAR – Light entertainment show as a Trillick entrepreneur reveals the secrets behind his ‘alternative fuel’ business as well as his thriving DVD sideline
11am: UP – Emotional documentary of Derrytresk’s promotion season
1pm: SKYFALL – Historical drama as Stewartstown residents remember the first time they saw snow coming down
3:30pm: THE GREAT ESCAPE – Thiller as Malachi Cush plays a traffic warden who was accidentally stationed in Coalisland only to be met with stern resistance
5pm: – HERBIE GOES BANANAS – Story of Omagh man Herbie Kelly who put £300 on Tyrone to beat Armagh last July
7:30pm: – PHILOMENA – Autobiographical drama as Scarlett Johansson plays Philomena Begley in the story of her astronomical rise out of Pomeroy to international acclaim
10pm: – CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND – Thriller as the bru man visits houses in Augher, Clogher and Fivemiletown
The organisers of ‘Santa Comes To The Island’ have admitted they should have given the event a bit more thought after Santa was forced to leave under cover around the back of the hall.
Pat Quinn, a joiner who was asked to play Santa at short notice, turned up in a red Brackaville GFC coat buttoned to the top and sporting his trademark thick black handlebar moustache. To add to the visual disappointment, organisers forgot to put together presents for the children and had to resort to lifting things around the hall to present as gifts including used bulbs, screwdrivers, Allen keys, foldable seats and old newspapers.
Mother of 6, Patricia Lyons, maintains it might take a long time for her children to get over this:
“I paid £8 per child and all they got was a small used bowling mat, masking tape, a spanner, yesterday’s Irish News, a bottle of Lucozade already open and a stick – all presented by Pat Quinn. Even the children were saying ‘Well Pat’ when sat on his knee, and him with the black moustache from ear to ear and the Brackaville coat on him. A complete farce. He didn’t even say ‘ho ho ho’ .”
Organisers managed to get ‘Santa’ away from the baying crowd by turning off the lights for three minutes, throwing the hall into a mass of screams and crying children. Quinn was bundled into a blue Ford Ka and was last seen speeding up the Brackaville Road with his £500 appearance fee on the passenger seat.
Despite initially telling parents that their children were just spoilt, organisers announced they will refund any unhappy customers with free mineral tomorrow if they call between the hours of 7am and 8am.
Following the welcome news that Tyrone GAA will be spearheaded by the brilliant Roisin Jordan, the first female chairperson of a county board in Ireland since its inception in 1884, Tyrone men have been finally consigned to the dung-heap after years of narrowly avoiding the label of being ‘good for nothing’.
Government statistics revealed that in the early part of 2014: 93% of teachers in the county were women as well as 79% of politicians including the high profile and successful Michelle O’Neill and Michelle Gildernew. 81% of county businesses had female CEOs or figureheads, 73% of GPs were women, 69% of dentists and 85% of farmers also female.
Long-time Tyrone man Cathal Corr admitted living in the county was ‘a bit scary’ but added it was only a matter of time before women took the reins in almost every facet of everyday life:
“Let’s be honest. They’ve been smarter for years. We could only hold them back through skulduggery for so long. Now with fair play and all that stuff we’ve been exposed for what we really are – good for feck all. I’m trying the rack my brains here looking for an example of something we’re better at and there’s nothing. Yesterday I was driving through Augher and I saw a pregnant woman with three sheep on her shoulders whipping a cow whilst talking on the phone to the Credit Union. Her husband was sitting behind her in the mud eating a turnip.”
Rumours that Jordan’s first move will be to order Mickey Harte to play 2-3 women in the full back line for Tyrone in the McKenna Cup have been dismissed as pure speculation.
Meanwhile, Omagh Technical College have asked that men need not apply for any courses next year unless they can prove they can write neatly without passing wind or can desist from scratching themselves whilst looking out the window at the same time.
A delighted Loughshore pensioner has described his elation at find a parking space in the newly revamped Dungannon Square after circling for 4 hours solid on Wednesday morning.
Philly O’Neill, who visits Dungannon weekly to collect his pension but last claimed a parking space in August, claimed he almost passed out with excitement and needed to rest for half an hour, taking up half of his allocated parking time. Sipping celebratory champagne, he told us:
“It was a great feeling. For four months I’ve circled and failed, returning home with nothing but an empty tank. In October I nearly got a space but was told to ‘move on to feck’ by a woman who was standing in it holding a hammer, waiting for her friend I think. I’d racked up nearly £3000 in pension money so it was a great bonus to get it all at once.”
O’Neill’s stroke of luck follows a series of negative publicity over the new town square layout, with hundreds of non-shoppers flocking to Dungannon on foot to watch motorists battle with the new lights system and parking arrangements. Local confection store owner Leo Morgan revealed he sells 400 units of popcorn a week to pedestrians who make their way to the town to view the carnage:
“It’s like a freak show. People are circling for hours, getting more irate and dangerously dizzy. In all the manic confusion, drivers begin stopping at lights that don’t exist and driving through those that do. We counted an average of seven fist fights a day and a man fired a gun last week at someone who waiting for someone to reverse out of a space. I even saw two sisters batter a man of the Church with spanners and wrenches. Deadly crack altogether.”
Shoppers have responded to the news that shop owners are parking in the best spaces by driving over their cars using planks and monster truck wheels.
Educational authorities are to meet later this week to discuss an incident in a West Tyrone school after a 6-year old Strabane boy won Pupil of the Week certificate for his comprehension skills.
The Board will discuss whether or not to ratify ‘bollix’ as an acceptable addition to the Tyrone vernacular within the classroom, with many parents happy to see the term given official status.
The incident in question occurred after the P2 class at St Phillip’s Primary School in Strabane were given the Humpty Dumpty song lyrics, followed by the question ‘What do you think of Humpty Dumpty now?’
P2 teacher Master John McElhinihan is adamant he did the right thing in rewarding ‘he’s an oul bollix‘ with the full six marks out of six:
“I read and reread it and couldn’t find fault in the young lad’s answer. If Humpty Dumpty was sitting on a wall and couldn’t even manage that successfully, then he deserves all the abuse he gets. Young Johnny was just saying what we’ve always been thinking over the years. There’s a good chance the men and horses thought the same and didn’t try too hard to fix him back to his previous self.”
The Humpty Dumpty incident follows hot on the heels of Sinn Fein’s Michelle Gildernew’s use of the same word recently, which was largely accepted as an excellent and accurate example of how to use it. Master McElhinihan added:
“Gildernew gave the word a bit of gravitas with her celebrity status. Everybody is using it now and even Fr Frances used it at Mass on Sunday to describe the divil. The only contentious issue is the spelling of it. That’s why the educational authorities need to meet as soon as possible to sort the whole issue out.”
However, GAA authorities are reportedly livid after Clonoe GAA club’s annual award ceremony included a ‘Bollix of the Year’ trophy.
Standards of painting and decorating in Tyrone are said to be at an all-time low after the Dept of Education’s recent publication of vocational exam results.
Despite a rise in applicants for the course, Professor Jemmy Hanna maintains the level of competency is shockingly poor:
“Yes, it’s cat altogether. Cutting in was always a hard skill but young lads now don’t even get close to passing it. I was monitoring a lad from Brackaville last week who was painting a 14 x 14 ceiling and his cutting in was that bad it was impossible to know where the wall ended and the ceiling started. He then produced a packet of baby wipes to rectify the error and made a hames of it. Salvador Dali I called him.”
Prof Hanna also lamented the lazy attitude to the tools of work from today’s apprentices:
“On numerous occasions I’ve witnessed trainee painters forgetting to do basic duties in terms of looking after their brushes and rollers after a day’s work. This morning a boy from Killeeshil resumed his duties from last night with a rock hard brush. He more or less painted a wall with a stick.”
Meanwhile, the plumbing course at the college has again seen record numbers applying for a place after it was revealed that plumbers are now more desirable than firemen amongst Tyrone women, according to a poll in today’s Sunday Independent.
Mary Jordan, a 33-year old from the Moy, agreed:
“A man with a spanner in his hand covered in boiler dust just sends me mad.”
Minor skirmishes have been breaking out all over East Tyrone following the introduction of two more bins, a brown and a yellow one, to add to the black, blue and orange bins already in use in most households. Several bin men admitted they don’t feel safe as house-owners wait behind hedges and trees in order to pounce if their bin is not collected whether it was meant to be or not.
The Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council have also come under criticism for the recent series of bins introduced which, when added to the under-the-sink bins, means all homes have 9 different bins with varying shades of colours.
Housewife Peggy Muldoon from Aughamullan explained:
“You’d nearly be happy with no bin at all. We were told not to put the stuff we’d normally put in the black into the black bin but put it in the brown bin. Now we have to put things you can’t eat into the black bin. But, like, I don’t eat teabags and I put them in the black bin yet the man refused to collect it as his bin x-ray machine said it could see a tea bag in my black bin. He says it goes in the orange bin and not the brown bin because you can’t eat it but you can suck it. The black bin is for hard things you can’t consume or nappies. Sheer madness.”
The new yellow bin as been added to homes for ‘things that you can bend but not eat, suck or break’. The blue bin is now to be used for newspapers and magazines, as long as neither exceed 78 pages when they can be placed in the black bin.
Added to the five outdoor bins, four bins (or caddies) have been given to households to place under the sink – blue, orange, green and purple. Muldoon added:
“Six people on our road had kitchen extensions in order to cater for the four under-the-sink bins. The purple one is the most confusing as it is for meat that doesn’t from from animals with four limbs. My mother is on 4 Prozac a day in case she puts out the wrong bin as the bin men have been getting angrier if the wrong bin is left out. They kicked the shit out of my brother last week for putting a pig’s trotter in the blue bin.”
Brackaville punters have a more intricate situation with two more bins for animal and human excrement.