Monthly Archives: March 2015
Already under pressure from TV, radio and print journalists across the country for the standard of football, the GAA received another blow to its image after a raid on Armagh Planetarium found high-tech telescopes and satellite devices pointed directly at various locations in Tyrone including their GAA headquarters in Garvaghey and Sean Cavanagh’s back garden.
Suspicions were raised on Tuesday night after players noticed a ‘hovering star with flashing red lights on it’ during county training which was later confirmed by NASA as an Armagh-made satellite named ArmNav. The 13-acre floating structure was sending images back to the planetarium where Kieran McGeeney and other members of the Armagh management team dissected the information in preparation for a potential clash between the counties later in the Summer.
During the dawn raid, the PSNI astronomical investigation team also found some of the most powerful telescopes on the planet trained on a garden in the The Moy, suspected to be that owned by Tyrone captain Sean Cavanagh. DVDs seized showed hundreds of hours of footage of Cavanagh in his garden doing shimmies and pulling down trees as well as a few mid-winter barbecue sessions.
A Tyrone County Board official told us:
“Right, it has gone too far. This paranoia within the game is destroying us. Defensive tactics look like child’s play compared to the efforts of McGeeney’s back room team. Apparently one of the telescopes was able to see right into Mickey Harte’s kitchen, where he often draw tactics on conflate boxes and stuff.”
The finger of suspicion has fallen on a female Armagh-born employee in the planetarium with strong links to the Moy through marriage. An insider, who wished to remain nameless, confirmed the character in question seemed to work late shifts a lot more since the new year and appeared to be wearing fresh Armagh gear every week.
Election authorities are said to be trawling through the current election register after a raft of unusual names were ratified as eligible voters in the upcoming Fermanagh/South Tyrone election.
The constituency, which sees a unionist pact between the DUP and UUP in 2015, will be a closely contested affair with Michelle Gildernew hoping to hold onto her seat despite the two large Unionist parties pulling together as one.
Civil servants have however alerted authorities to several unusual names on some of the voting cards. In Fivemiletown, 17 names have been identified as suspicious including ‘Rover Quinn‘, ‘Blackie King’, ‘Rufus Pollock’ and simply ‘Fetch‘, suggesting that pet animals have been used for voting purposes.
Election director Paula McCabe warned:
“It’s not just animals. We’ve had Abraham Lincoln, Wolfe Tone McCann, Elvis Maguire, E.T Graham, Jaws Murphy and five Rod Stewarts. If these people think they can dress up as famous figures from history, music or TV and try to vote then they’ve another thing coming.”
The high security follows on from the last election in 2010 when 64 dubious names were registered including Giant Haystacks, Pat the Budgie, Napoleon, Fr Ted and Cecil the Fighting Cock.
Last time out, Gildernew won by four votes with the four ‘Harry Potter‘ voters from Benburb possibly swinging the balance in her favour.
A Strabane motoring enthusiast, tipped by locals to be as good as Jeremy Clarkson in terms of knowledge of cars, has failed to impress BBC producers following a dry run at presenting the show yesterday.
John O’Connell (44) is said to be fuming at the decision, accusing Top Gear officials of not thinking outside the box when it comes to presentational style. BBC bosses however rejected the criticism and reiterated their belief that the presenter cannot simply say “Jaysus boys thon’s tara” for every car he tries out.
Footage leaked from the pilot show sees O’Connell raking about in a new Audi shouting comments like ‘yeehar‘ and ‘shoe til the burd boys, shoe til the burd‘ before getting out of it, kicking the tyres, and turning to the camera, saying ‘Jaysus boys thon’s tara“. The exact same scenario followed when he tested out a new BMW.
O’Connell defended his style:
“Everyone has a catchphrase. If I’d been given a fair deal, everyone would be saying ‘Jaysus boys thon’s tara’ from the playground to business meetings, after a few episodes. BBC are just playing it safe and that’s disappointingly short-sighted from them.”
BBC also released footage of O’Connell using bleeped-out expletives during crucial scenes. One example showed the Strabane man shouting ‘f**k me boys, that’s deadly‘ after doing a handbrake turn in a Ferrari.
O’Connell maintains he will attempt to keep his presenting dream alive by applying for a job on The Sunday Game on RTE as a cover for Joe Brolly who is reportedly eyeing up the X-Factor role.
Following news that the PSNI underspent their annual budget to the value of £14 million, insiders confirmed that a massive Easter party and parade has been commissioned by police headquarters in Dungannon with the The Wolfe Tones reportedly headlining a concert which will round off a five-day session.
Faced with either handing back the money to the government or receiving a reduced budget next year, officials in the police force have voted to blow the money on beer, chocolate and concerts in the run-up to Easter, as well as male and female dancers.
A document leaked to our office catalogues what is planned for the 5-day extravaganza which will be attended by over 4500 police officers on off-duty at various times from April 1st-April 5th.
Purchases already made includes:
- 1390 Yorkie and Smartie easter eggs (large)
- 2950 crates of Coors Lite
- 1460 crates of Bitter
- Easter Sunday concert featuring The Wolfe Tones, Moygashel Flute Band and The Portuguese Ukulele Orchestra
- 6 bouncy castles
- A £300’000 firework display of red, white, blue, green and orange colours.
- 1400 new batons
- 2400 new face shields
- 13 water canons from Mexico
- 54 new hair dryers for speed detection
£1 million has also been set aside for a 4000-strong fancy dress party to be held up on Dungannon Hill for police forces across the world with a strict 1980s dress code enforced and music provided by the Village People Tribute Band from Killyman.
A high-ranking PSNI official added:
“Them folks on the hill will see none of that £14 million – a bit like the Northern Bank money I suppose. There’ll be some sore heads on Monday morning. Any remaining money will be spent on upping the Ardoyne overtime for the lads.”
The SDLP, DUP, Sinn Fein and UUP will all sent representatives to the various functions that week to make sure the money is spent wisely.
The family of a Derrytresk joiner have reassured friends and family that reports of a breakdown are wide of the mark, after the news that One Direction’s Zayn Malik is leaving the band with immediate effect caused confusion between various organisations.
Patsy Fitzgerald (49), who had no previous knowledge of the band, experienced a breakdown just as Stephen Nolan announced the news on Radio Ulster yesterday morning. Fitzgerald phoned his wife in obvious distress, informing her that he didn’t think he could go on any further. Debbie Fitzgerald (48), a One Direction fan who was at the time trying to let the surprising news of her favourite singer’s decision sink in, panicked and immediately phoned the Samaritans who arrived with Fitzgerald within 20 mins on the Annaghmore Road.
“I’d been ignoring the oil light, break light, water light and heating light on the Datsun for months but it finally all packed in this morning. Conked out. I phoned herself to get someone to tow me in but before I knew it a man and a woman arrived and put their arms around me and told me it’d be ok…that these things take time to heal. I just wanted the motor towed to be honest.”
The Samaritans persisted for two and a half hours, trying different tactics to reassure Fitzgerald that he’d get over this eventually and to think of the good things he had in his life.
“I found myself blurting and crying, thinking about the money I’d have to pump into the motor now to fix it. Thank God these Samaritans were about or I’d probably have headed to the club and gambled my sorrows away.”
The confusion worsened after the AA arrived to help Fitzgerald with the 1988 Datsun with the Samaritans angry that he hadn’t told them he was an alcoholic.
A Beragh man, who cites Seamus Heaney and WB Yeats as major influences on his life, was today getting his back slapped after he made a brilliant point on Spotlight last night on the BBC, using standard English.
Hugh Grimes accidentally found himself in the audience for the politics show by taking a wrong turn before the start of a live recording of Mrs Brown’s Boys.
During a heated discussion on budget cuts and austerity measures between all the main parties, Grimes put his hand up for 15 minutes before Noel Thompson ordered the microphone man to go to ‘the gent in the dungarees’.
After clearing his throat for a few seconds, Grimes commented:
“You boys don’t know yiz are born.”
which received a ripple of applause from three men in the back row.
Grimes arrived home to Beragh at 1am to tumultuous cheering and waving of club flags in a crowd estimated to be over 250. Grimes’ mother, Maura, tearfully told us:
“I knew from the moment he was born that he was destined for great things. When I saw him with his hand up on the show last night I was screaming like mad and I feared the BBC would discriminate against him because he hadn’t really dressed up. But he did brilliant. We understood every word.”
Grimes is reportedly doing a signing of DVD copies of the show in the local Centra all weekend and hopes to take his new-found fame a step further by appearing on the Nolan Show next week and vows to tackle the current homophobia issue with similar insightfulness and clarity.
A first pilgrimage to Fatima, north of Lisbon in Portugal, for St Gerard’s Parish in Gortin has been described as an ‘unsuccessful venture’ by parishioners after a rushed booking saw the 50-strong group land in a 2-star hotel in Lisburn for a full week.
The party arrived home last night after a two-hour journey on a Chambers Coach down the M1, disappointed at the overall religious experience although some of the contingent admitted that eating a piri-piri chicken burger at the Bad-Ass Burrito Bar in the centre of the town gave them some flavour of the Portuguese culture.
81-year old Dorothy McCann maintains she will try to take the positives out of the trip:
“At least we got to see the Shaun The Sheep movie at Lisburn Omniplex. It was funny. It didn’t quite heal my cataracts which I’d hoped praying in Fatima would do but all the same I laughed a quare bit and had a lovely pineapple Slush Puppy.”
Pilgrimage organiser Kevin Brennan accepted total blame for the mix-up and but refused any requests for a refund:
“I made the error, yes. I thought staying in Lisbon would be a great experience for the people of Gortin. I did find it surprising at the time when the travel agent said we could take the whole journey by bus. But Lisburn was good too. We took in a tour of Lisburn Methodist Church which was a highlight. It was well worth the money.”
Despite being laden with Euros, the parishioners were able to convert their spending money back into Sterling and spend seven days walking around Easons, Waterstones, Bow Street Mall and join the Aviation Society before travelling back to Gortin with tales galore.
A DVD of the Lisburn pilgrimage will be available on April 1st, retailing at £19.99.
Despite total media saturation in the preceding weeks, reports confirmed that all of Tyrone refused to recognise the celestial phenomenon of the solar eclipse, with 100% of its inhabitants going about their daily business without looking up or even talking about it.
Journalists from BBC, Sky and UTV were said to be disappointed after being despatched to various vantage points in the county only to be chased for ‘meddlin in things that no good will come from’ and with ‘there’s no money in that dung’ ringing in their ears.
Despite worries earlier in the week of possible pagan stirrings, the county proved to be a eclipse-free zone with schools and businesses issuing sanctions against anyone wishing to view the astronomical freak show.
Gareth Kenny, a 9-year old primary school pupil from St Ronan’s in Omagh, was clear as to why his school didn’t participate in the excitement:
“Sure it’s a pile of shite”
Dungannon, whose hill is a prime spot for viewing skyward events, was populated at full eclipse by three women and three dogs, who of whom were mating. When questioned on the lack of recognition of the sun/moon dance, one of the women explained:
“Sure it’s a pile of shite.”
At 9:31 am the clouds parted to show a full view of the 94% eclipse, despite predictions of a clouded non-event. A Sky News 24 reporter in The Moy described how the whole event passed off without recognition:
“This glorious occasion, with lighting considerably dulled and birds retreating in silence as well as a noticeable drop in temperature, went unnoticed in the sleepy hamlet of Moy. I heard one man, who was spitting furiously into a drain, exclaim ‘it’s dark, boys’ before giving a passer-by the 2 fingers.”
Meanwhile, Owen Mulligan confirmed his ‘full moon’ backside baring competition in Mulligan’s Bar on the same day was a raging success.
Accusations Of ‘Inside Job’ As Gerry Adams Finishes Second At Carrickmore Naked Trampolining Competition
A Pomeroy naked trampolinist has had his winner’s cheque withheld after the Carrickmore judge was accused of being a great friend of the winner, whose jumping was described as ‘not that deadly’ by the strong Sinn Fein contingent supporting their party leader Gerry Adams.
Adams, who invented naked trampolining in 2012 and currently holds the Irish, British and Commonwealth titles in the sport, was expected to romp to victory at the Carrickmore event which featured many well known locals including Malachi Cush, Ciaran McClean, Plunkett Donaghy, Michelle Gildernew, Tom Elliot and Lynette Fay. The competition was won by Pomeroy lawyer Jack Kavanagh and adjudicated by Carrickmore veteran Patsy Gormley.
Over £40 was raised for a new coat of paint for the gable wall on the way into the village.
Spectator and naked trampolining enthusiast Deckie Bogue, a Fermanagh journalist and bare-chested midnight-lamping champion, announced his shock at the blatant skulduggery on display:
“Adams was by far the best naked trampolinist there today. He glided gracefully in the cold Carrickmore mist, his twisted torso a sight to behold. Gildernew and Donaghy were good at maintaining a straight back whilst Cush was perhaps hindered what God gave him in abundance as it was flapping all over the place and distracting everyone. But Kavanagh was middlin to say the least. This was a backhander job.”
The SF contingent booed heavily after the decision was announced and burst into a rendition of ‘Something Inside So Strong’. A despondent Adams, who lost his first competition since a defeat in 2013 in East Belfast, tried to remain philosophical after the defeat:
“I’m not going to accuse the Carrickmore/Pomeroy lads of anything. The reality of the situation is if you come to a place like this, you need to jump higher and better as there’s always a chance there’ll be a home-town decision. But I’ll be back. I haven’t gone away y’know. I’m just glad I bate Tom Elliot.”
Winner Kavanagh and judge Gormley were later seen laughing and joking outside the SDLP offices.
Lynette Fay was judged best newcomer after her maiden performance but has been warned about her risky tattoos for future outings.
Political and religious leaders were today said to be on red alert on the eve of a near-total solar eclipse after rumours began circulating that a repeat of the 1999 solar eclipse activities around Brackaville and the greater Coalisland area may be on the cards.
Back then, over 200 residents were lifted by police for public nudity, burning of pagan symbols, shouting at clergy and general wrecking about for the entirety of the eclipse. 45 year old lorry mechanic Kevin Carland made the international headlines when he was videoed panicking at the semi-darkness, removing his clothes and running down the Brackaville Road shouting ‘we’re all going to die’ before ordering two pints of stout in the Canal End Bar and kissing women he secretly liked.
Local Independent Councillor Patricia Maguire spent the day reminding people in Brackaville that what happens tomorrow can be explained by studying astronomy and is not a sign from God:
“People need to calm down. Surely everyone can remember from 16 years ago that it passes over in an hour or so. Every time this happens here, people forget themselves and lose their heads completely. It like as if folk here are just looking for any excuse to strip off and go mad, going right back to 1344.”
Maguire’s plea is likely to fall on deaf ears as shopkeepers in the area reported a spike in soap and Vosene shampoo, suggesting many locals are showering tonight in anticipation of baring all tomorrow. Priests, who often bear the brunt of unwarranted abuse during the eclipse, have been advised to stay indoors and not to look directly at lay people.
Meanwhile, Stormont has confirmed there’ll be no claims processed for a loss in solar power during the eclipse for houses using alternative energy.
Sources close to Tyrone GAA headquarters in Omagh have revealed that the sporting organisation are to offer a radical and controversial suggestion to help ease the current panic over plot space for the deceased.
An emergency meeting this morning, convened after a startling headline in the Irish News this morning over limited graveyard space, resulted in a motion tabled that the GAA in the county employ willing and able recently-deceased Gaels as umpires and on some occasions as linesmen in order to fulfil the minimum requirement for fixtures especially with the imminent threat of strikes from match officials over match-day fees looming large. All umpires, alive or dead, must be between the ages 65 and 80 as the current rule stands.
Our source, who confirmed a doctor was also in attendance to explain the medical side of things, explained how the motion was passed with an overwhelming majority:
“The doctor was was very convincing. He knew his stuff. He says the rigor mortis was perfect for the stance of an umpire and that many supporters wouldn’t be able to tell the difference anyway. The county secretary added that only those who signed a legal contract before death allowing their bodies to be used for posthumous officiating would be considered, and only if they’d paid up the annual membership fee for their club right up until they expired.”
Our source went on to reveal how a committee member suggested the deceased volunteer could use their club colours, continuing their great club volunteer work beyond the grave. When questioned on how scores and wides would be signalled, he explained:
“Well, an electrician from Dromore said he could wire up lights to their coats so if it was a wide the ref would press a button and red lights would flash on the umpire’s coat, with orange lights for a point and green lights for a goal. It seemed pretty straightforward and goes a long way to call the bluff from the upcoming umpire strikers.”
The Church have yet to respond to the offer but reports suggest they’re open to any solution to solve the overcrowding issue. However, the county’s Goalkeeping Union have voiced concerns at how off-putting it might be for goalkeepers, especially for evening games with a sparse crowd in attendance, to have two dead umpires beside him.
A motion to use the expired volunteers as actual referees was narrowly rejected.
A Kildress plumbing supplier this morning announced during Mass that he is thinking of not drinking at all this Tuesday. Fr Buckett, who was pontificating during the Homily at the time, had to chastise the left hand side of the church for laughing out loud at Leo McGirr’s proclamation.
Giggling was still heard during Communion with many in the congregation maintaining McGirr’s head was ‘away with it altogether’ and advised him to get professional help. Publicans and off-licence owners have also moved quickly to play down McGirr’s intentions, claiming he is ‘probably and atheist’ or even worse.
The plumbing merchant, who claims to sell the cheapest compression fittings in Ulster, is adamant he knows what he is talking about:
“People are trying to make it out that I am doting or away with the fairies. I even heard my wife say I must be ‘a devil worshipping hoor’. But surely St Patrick didn’t come to Ireland to get people to drink too much on a particular day of the year. He arrived to straighten out places like Brackaville and Newtownstewart and troublesome reptiles. I’m not touching a drop and will honour our patron saint through religious observation.”
Close friend and reality TV addict John Morgan hopes McGirr will change his mind within the next 48 hours for his own sake:
“Leo is always coming out with statements like this. I remember him saying he wasn’t going to get drunk when his eldest child was born. Or he wasn’t drinking when his youngest made her First Communion. No one takes him seriously now as on both occasions he was flat out on the bar stool for 12 hours like any normal person.”
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church have warned people not to lose the message of St Patrick completely by drinking too much but also reminded followers that although Arthur Guinness may have been a staunch Protestant, they’re all Christians together and that Guinness were great sponsors for the Annual Priests’ Convention in Maynooth.
Following an investigation into long-forgotten by-laws in Tyrone, researchers have announced that Ian Paisley Jnr, MP for North Antrim, is the rightful heir to the Freedom of Coalisland, a title last awarded in 1791 to President George Washington.
In addition, the ancient ruling states that a local farmer with a surname beginning with ‘O’ or ‘Mc’ must supply a donkey for Paisley to ride through the town at his own leisure on Sundays.
And in a final twist, researchers have discovered that anyone who displays any signs of disgruntlement at the award is to be tied to a lamp post in the middle of the town and stoned for three hours.
Local shopkeeper and former footballer Jackie O’Neill told us through gritted teeth:
“This is absolutely splendid news. I can think of no better sight than Paisley on a donkey sailing down the Main Street on a Sunday, maybe popping in for a Choc Pop or a packet of Hula Hoops. You’ll find no argument from me anyway. I’m fine with it,”
before smashing the cup he was drinking tea out of by squeezing it too hard.
Local farmer, Leo McCann, came forward this morning with an offer of a donkey from his extensive range of animals. McCann, who was released under the Good Friday Agreement, maintains he’d be honoured to see Paisley striding around on his ass:
“I just hope he’s OK with the fact that he’ll be on a republican ass. It’s called Rebel and has been dormant for a few years now but as I said to the wife this morning, he hasn’t gone away y’know. He’ll take the big man’s frame no bother.”
Paisley has yet to comment on the award but sources close to the DUP man claim he was delighted at the news and hopes to canter down the Lineside this weekend and pop into Landi’s for their famed sausage supper and a can of Lilt. Unfortunately, he was disappointed to hear the cinema had closed down.
A Strabane solictor, and father of eight, was today said to be literally licking his wounds after innocently suggesting in his local pharmacy that his current ‘man-flu’ was probably worse than any of the childbirths his wife endured.
Several witnesses maintained a line of at least nine angry women lined up to slap 41-year old Killian Kelly on the face, leaving him ‘whimpering like a chastised mutt’ according to one bystander, before almost fainting in pain. He was revived by sucking on a packet of Victory Vs.
Kelly, whose wife gave birth naturally eight times since 2006, was forced to buy vaseline to sooth facial scorch marks after the ordeal, as well as the Lemsip he initially came in for.
One of the slapees, Mrs Duncan (66) from the Donegal Road, confirmed she has no regrets about the punishment dished out:
“What a wee bollocks!”
before stating she’d use a brick the next time he came out with ‘talk like that in a chemist full of women.’.
In an unusual move, The Independent Women of Strabane Society have challenged local townsmen to a pain challenge. By using top of the range pain sensors, a man is to be strapped up to a machine alongside a woman giving birth who will also be measured by the same contraption. The male participant is to receive some measure of pain in order to mirror that of childbirth.
Bookies are offering 2/1 that seven kicks in the testicle area will even up the pain receptors on both participants. So far there have been no volunteers.
School GAA Match Abandoned After All Players Refuse To Cross Halfway In Full-On Double Duvet Tactics
Tactics in modern football were further under scrutiny today after an U14 school’s game between Dungannon and Omagh was blown up on 15 minutes after it became clear that neither side were allowed to cross the half way line by their respective coaches.
The abandonment of the game follows on from the news last week that many under-age managers were using leather straps and branches as threats if their players attacked without prior negotiations.
Describing the game as ‘farcical’ and ‘not blanket but double-duvet defence’, Irish News reporter Kenny Arrow detailed in his report how one player from the Omagh side paid for an innocent indiscretion:
“….On five minutes the Omagh no.14 accidentally stepped over the half way line after receiving a poor fisted pass from his captain. His manager let him know on no uncertain terms that he would be dropped from the panel if it happened again and not to be so cheeky in future. He was subbed immediately.”
Nine kicks were executed during the 15 minutes of play as both teams attempted to score points from their own 45m line, with the ball usually dropping somewhere around their opponent’s 45m line.
Arrow described how the game ended:
“Given their small stature and limited leg power, as well as both managers’ insistence that no one broke ranks, it became obvious to the ref that this was going to end 0-0 to 0-0 so he called for the ball. Both sets of players seemed happy enough to take the draw and a replay is pencilled in for Friday evening.”
An emergency meeting has been hastily arranged tonight at Garvaghey to discuss the standard of football in the county. Attack-minded thinkers have been told to stay away.
A Coalisland baker is standing by his decision not to bake a cake for a Clonoe couple, who are due to tie the knot in May 2016, citing irreparable sporting differences.
Locally known as James the Baker, the 48 year old business man maintains he’s prepared to go to the European Courts to defend his decision not to bake a cake with the iconic Clonoe black and white colours on the icing as well as a figurine on top of Kevin McCabe scoring a point in the All-Ireland final in 1986.
The devastated Clonoe couple, Paul Corr and Mary Quinn, have contacted a local solicitor to take the case as far as it can go. Corr, who once held the national record for hedge jumping, added:
“He’s some boy. Everyone knows James the Baker is the best baker in the land but he has gone down in my estimation now. I know he’s baked cakes for Stewartstown, Kildress, Omagh and even Dungannon couples…but not for his close neighbours in Clonoe? He can take it as gospel that no Clonoe man nor woman will set foot in his damned shop again. See you in court, James, ye Fianna hoor.”
James Tennyson, whose buns have been known to make people cry with happiness such is their deliciousness, remains defiant:
“My da would turn in his grave if he thought I was donning my cakes with the cursed black and white (spits) of Clonoe. I defend my right to bake my cakes on my terms. Feck the O’Rahilly’s. Yeeooo.”
Local politicians have decided to stay well clear of the issue in the run up to the up-coming elections.
WARNING – THIS REPORT MAY CONTAIN BAD LANGUAGE, DEPENDING ON YOUR DISPOSITION
For the second time in two years, a Tyrone farmer has been escorted from the premises of a BBC building after verbally abusing judges in The Voice and tampering with the swinging chairs they sit on before turning around.
Paul Morgan (29), a budding pub-singer from Cappagh, was also involved in an incident during Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 when he kept shouting out scores a split second before the judges announced theirs, confusing the live audience and TV producers alike.
Morgan, who sang ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ in his audition for The Voice, became visibly irate as his song progressed at the fact that none of Tom Jones, Ricky Wilson, Rita Ora or will.i.am looked like turning around to signal their appreciation.
During the end of chorus lyrics:
‘Then like a sinner before the gates of Heaven / I’ll come crawling on back to you.’
he added ‘yiz miserable bastards’ before giving all four contestants, who still had their backs to Morgan, the finger. Just as the music subsided, he added:
“Will yiz turn round yiz horrible c**ts”
which was bleeped out by quick-thinking BBC technicians.
Morgan repeatedly muttered ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ during each judge’s speech about why they didn’t turn around for the Cappagh man before launching a torrent of abuse on Tom Jones for his ‘knicker collection’. He was soon escorted off the premises by five burly security men.
The mid-Tyrone man was later spotted tampering with bolts on the chairs in order to make them permanently stuck, facing away from the contestants so that no one could go through to the next round.
Morgan famously was evicted from the Strictly Come Dancing studios two years ago after annoying an entire audience, at home and in the crowd, by shouting out his scores a millisecond before judges such as Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli called theirs. Many celebrity contestants were left in tears, thinking they had scored a perfect 10 when it was really only a 5 or a 3.
An 88-year old Glenelly man, who claims to be the loneliest man on the planet, revealed that he hasn’t spoken to anyone since 1986 until this interview today.
As I made my may to the quaint ramshackle home of Peader Kearney’s under the shadow of Slieve McCreesh, I couldn’t help but notice how the temperature dramatically dropped the closer we got to the Sperrin Mountains. From a balmy 12 degrees in Plumbridge, we were now negotiating temperatures of minus 14 as the truck carely weaved its way up Kearney’s loanan in the heart of Glenelly.
Although we had arranged the meeting by phone the previous day, we had to knock on his door for 20 minutes before he opened it and greeted my cameraman and I with
‘What the fcuk do ye want?’
I was now face to face with ‘Glenelly Man’. Once inside, I was reminded of the pictures we looked at in our History books at the Christian Brothers’ School in Omagh of old shebeens in West Mayo around the turn of the 19th century. Some sticks were burning in the middle of the bare room as Peader delicately placed himself on a decrepid rocking chair, using a blunt pen knife to cut a small branch into what would surely be a sharp weapon. I asked him what he was doing, knowing full well he was preparing himself for catching some live food later in the day, maybe a salmon or small bear:
“Mind yer own fcukin business and I won’t be makin ye anything to ate either.”
Taking the opportunity to explore his surroundings as he worked on his spear-like killing machine, I couldn’t help but admire the idyllic lifestyle Kearney had embraced – away from electronic devices from mobile phones to microwaves.
A small stream quietly rippled along behind his back yard, its hushed tones in keeping with this little piece of paradise Kearney had embraced as his own. The unmistakeable sound of a corncrake warbled in the distance as rabbits and hares danced in unison on the north Tyrone horizon.
On returning to the house, Kearney was still in the same spot, still chipping away at the piece of wood which now resembled a small but lethal steel-sharp spear. Trying to find out what makes the man tick, I asked him if he missed talking and interacting with others – sharing experiences and deliberating over current affairs.
He looked me straight in the eye, grimaced slightly, scratched his beard and said:
“Shut the dur on the way out.”
As I pulled out of Kearney’s loanan, I knew I’d probably never see this great man again, a man at one with nature and himself. This instinct was confirmed when I saw Peader in the rear view mirror giving me the middle finger and shouting something before firing one of his tiny spears with pin-point accuracy at my tyre, bursting it instantly. I saw him smirk, offer another more modern hand gesture and slam his door shut.
I just drove on, smiling to myself that Peader Kearney had it all.
A Drumquin man’s family is blaming modern society after their son was caught with insurance, tax and MOT certificates, good tyres as well as a full tank of clean diesel.
Jeremy Maguire, a 26 year old joiner with no convictions since 2008, was stopped by police whilst travelling at 34 mph on the Dregish Road at 9pm on Sunday night for a random spot-check.
Onlookers described confusing scenes as police officers were seen nodding their heads in approval while rifling through documents and joking with the driver, at one stage giving a high five to the ex-Drumquin full back soon after the diesel was dipped.
Maguire’s father Pat, who did time for driving a pick-up with no tyres in 1988, admitted he felt ashamed walking around the local Spar this morning:
“People just kept staring or shaking their heads. I bought The Irish News, a pint of semi-skimmed and three apples and was charged £8.33. Everyone just stood there ready to light on me if I questioned the tally so I just paid it in silence and dandered out a broken man. Our Jeremy has always been a bit strange – filling up the windscreen washer regularly with the correct stuff and all.”
Mrs Maguire, who refused to be officially interviewed, blamed modern society on her son’s tendency to stick to the rules and has warned other parents to be careful of the dangers of YouTube and social media.
PSNI confirmed this evening that a car was stopped last night in the Dregish area and given the all-clear following a stringent spot-check including an emissions test.