Category Archives: Eskra
Pub and shop owners in the county have urged people to stop giving off about Alexa after it emerged that over 1000 households in the county returned their Amazon Echo devices due to its inability to understand locals and vice versa.
In one extreme example, a man in his 40s from Eskra was witnessed kicking the device around his garden at 3pm on Christmas Day after it failed to understand “Alex, play the one ‘Mon Boy Light Thon Fire’ by that band The Durs” after 200 requests to do so.
Electronics expert Roger McGinnity from Omagh offered advice for locals who have yet to return their device:
“Alexa isn’t programmed to understand the subtleties of the Tyrone dialect. Asking it ‘is it coul the day?’ will confused the system and result in annoyance on both sides. My advice is to think of what you want to ask and have a dictionary nearby and mouth out the words that way. It’s still a useful device.”
The Amazon data team revealed that the most asked questions to Alexa in the county on Christmas Day were: ‘Alexa, will Trone win the All-Ireland the year?’ and ‘Alexa, are the cops nearby atall?’
Meanwhile a 43-year old man from Ardboe has proposed to the machine, surrounded by family and friends. Although Alexa was non-committal, a service will go ahead on New Year’s Eve, the first of its kind in the county.
By Aughoughilley Schniffles
A confidential document made its way to our offices this morning, detailing a comprehensive plan on how Tyrone could beat Dublin in the league last week.
The ‘5-Steps-To-Heaven’ memo explains how much detail goes into even the smallest of percentages when it comes to winning games at county level. Although unsigned, it is accepted that the plan is the result of many high-profile figures associated with the county team contributing to the cause.
It reads as follows:
- Drop a pile of euros and cents around the ground. This will keep the Hill 16 supporters busy collecting the coins well into the first half as they’ll already be late watching the Liverpool/Spurs game. This could be worth up to THREE POINTS on the scoreboard.
- Drop a flier to all Tyrone houses during the week. On it give these orders to annex the Hill: Pretend to be a Dub. We estimate there might be a million people in Tyrone as well as exiled. Get everyone to go to Begleys, buy a new Dublin jersey and a lighter. Simply wear it over your Red Hand one and act like a heroin addict when they check your ticket at the Hill 16 turnstiles. Once you are in you can burn it with the lighter you got at Begleys- and fill the Hill singing stuff like Philomena’s classic “Who’s Gonna stop Canavan?” (replacing Cavanagh for Canavan) or “Come on Tyrone, You’re On Your Own”
- Bring out a Brian O’Driscoll lookalike beforehand to warm up. That’ll confuse the Dubs. There’s a boy in Eskra who looks like him under lights.
- Maybe it’s time to unfreeze Brian Dooher from the cryo tank now instead of the planned the 50th anniversary year of the opening of the Garvaghy complex in 2063?
- Bring in a big bollocks of a bus to show how much richer we are than the Dubs.
Unfortunately, all plans were not enough to stop the Dublin juggernaut, with the last resort, the bus, being too big to get into Croke Park, resulting in the players having to walk all the way from Quinns. It apparently took a lot out of Cavanagh who made the last 400 yards in a wheelchair.
A Ballycairn Tiergan bull has become the first victim of new draconian cattle laws which forbids various shows of indecency ranging from rampant defecation in public to open displays of romance.
The new ruling, introduced by the DUP’s Pastor William McGrin who retained his position last year as Minister for Standards and Decency, has come under fire in recent weeks for being obsolete as no beast had been convicted since its introduction.
However, PSNI officials confirmed that at 3:45pm today, a bull from Eskra was arrested for mounting three cows in the space of two hours in a field beside the local primary school.
Chief Constable Patrick Talbot confirmed:
“Today we received reports of a Tiergan bull indulging in lewd behaviour in full view of 150 schoolchildren as well as several elderly teachers who were treated for shock. On arrival, the bull continued to show no sign of control and continued to trouble the cows who just seemed to be interested in the grass. He also brazenly dunged when arrested.”
The constable revealed that Barry the bull continued to show complete disregard for authority by defecating all over the police van as well as in the incident room where he refused to answer any questions and wrecked the table.
“This is just the start. Some of the behaviour in the fields is almost worse than the scenes outside Sallys or Strabane on a Saturday night. We’ll take no prisoners. There will be many more Barrys, mark my words.”
A new Cattle Finishing School has been set up in Garvaghey to help worried farmers train their livestock to behave in a more refined manner.
Mickey Harte, who pioneered bringing on old injured players in the second half as well as maintaining an immaculate semi-shaven demeanour for over a decade, has thought outside the box once more by forcing all squad members to read reams of W.B. Yeats’ poetry to get inside the mind of the average Sligo man and look for possible weaknesses.
County officials have moved to deny that the poetry will be used to sledge the Yeatsmen next weekend by saying it was shite and stuff like that. DJ Cuthbert added:
“Sure everyone knows Yeats was class, apart from the oul womany period he went through writing love words to the Gonne woman but sure every man has his faults.”
Early reports suggest Colm Cavanagh is struggling with Yeats’ mystical period but has taken to “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” with locals overhearing the midfielder rapping some of the lines, particularly:
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
with many feeling this hinted at a personal longing Colm has for returning to a full forward slot or maybe for a house in Benburb.
A Tyrone Tribulations spy who attended tonight’s training session at a secret bunker in Eskra, reported seeing Harte in full headmaster’s gown shouting at Mattie Donnelly who was unable to recite past the third line of Easter 1916 much to the mirth of McCurry and McAliskey.
Our reporter also described how Sean Cavanagh kept shaking his head and looking at his watch.
Prominent historians have warned that, unless a strenuous breeding programme and grant-incentive scheme is put into place immediately, many of the ancient O’Neill clans will die out within the next 100 years.
The study was commissioned by Des O’Neill who has been working to reunite many O’Neills across the planet in order to piece together the history of the famous Ulster dynasty since the Flight of the Earls in 1607.
Des, of the ‘Well-Hung’ O’Neills, has applied for a breeding grant but also lamented the obliteration of his own clan:
“The Well-Hung O’Neills were an important sept back in the 1500s. Back then the chief would hire a few of the Well-Hungs to entertain visitors from Spain and France, especially their women folk. I think I’m the last Well-Hung O’Neill in Tyrone and maybe the world. I’m still under 50 and a single man so there’s hope for me yet. I’m just putting those facts out there. Under 50, single and a Well-Hung O’Neill.”
John O’Neill of the ‘Lazy-Arsed’ O’Neills, near Brocagh, has also warned the O’Neill Society that he is the last of the Lazy-Arsed sept unless a local woman takes a chance on him before he slips into dotage.
“I’m 71 but there’s a wee bit of energy in me yet. I was one of seven brothers but none of us could be bothered wooing and courting women, preferring to just sit about and watch Glenroe. But I hear there’s a grant for this and if preserving the Lazy-Arsed clan means I have to shower a couple of times and buy a flower or two, then it’ll be worth it.”
Hugh O’Neill, of the ‘Fat-Gut’ O’Neills near Eskra, maintains they’re the strongest line of the ancient family with over 200 in their numbers and growing every year but maintained the grant money should stave off complacency.
Meanwhile, the Quinns, McCanns, McLaughlins, Donnellys, Campbells and Taggarts have also applied for grants.
Following the news that Hunky Dorys have decided not to renew their sponsorship deal with Tyrone GAA, Eskra firm Dick Welding Limited have emerged as firm favourites to take over the sponsorship but have braced themselves for a backlash amongst players and religious groups.
The firm, which was established in 1988 by Dick McMinn, also confirmed that due to limited space on the jerseys they will have to drop the Ltd bit and simply have ‘Dick Welding’ emblazoned on the front.
A current senior player and ex-minor star from Ardboe who did not wish to be named told us:
“There’s no way I’m taking to the field in a Tyrone jersey with Dick Welding on the front of it. Imagine the slagging around Ardboe. I’d nearly transfer to Derry before wearing that. If was hard enough wearing Hunky Dory whilst getting hammered down in Kerry.”
Dick Welding Ltd have also faced opposition from church leaders despite doing the welding on altar rails throughout the county since 2001. Fr Norny from Cappagh added:
“It’s bad enough with the whole Rose of Tralee stuff and then all them music videos with women wearing nothing and shaking themselves. Dick Welding sends out all the wrong vibes to young ones, like some kind of stuff you’d find in 50 Shades of Grey or them late night channels from 901-959, although 902 and 903 seem to be a bit tamer.”
Tyrone GAA officials confirmed they are seriously considering another offer from an international company. The rumour mill suggests it is ‘After Eights’ but with Tyrone’s failure to get past the last eight this year they are concerned that other counties will poke fun at this, so they may take up Dick Welding instead.
Up to nine pensioners have been told to leave an estate in Tyrone after wild around-the-clock bashes kept neighbours up all night for the last three weeks.
The retired gang, who moved in a month ago and have a combined age of 603, have been accused of blasting out loud music at all hours, including Neil Diamond classics mixed with a rave soundtrack. They were also reported for chucking empty beer bottles at passers-by under the cover of darkness as well as drinking lager from the can during broad daylight in the driveway.
Local neighbourhood watch chairman, Patsy Donnelly, reckoned enough is enough:
“Listen, I like old people but you have to draw a line somewhere. Every morning on my way to work you’d see all these pensioners crashed out sleeping on the lawn or over fences. They are not really setting a good example to our younger generation. It appears to me that they are simply drinking their pension money. It’s a disgrace and they’re not wanted here in Eskra.”
A PSNI spokesman confirmed there have been over 42 complaints made about the elderly trouble-makers, with the majority of claims being made about mass brawling in the house between themselves, often spilling over onto the front garden. Noise decibel levels have also been assessed and despite over a dozen warnings, the sounds of Perry Como and Frank Sinatra have increased in volume.
The house-owner, known simply as Boozy Betty (68), maintains it is another example of discrimination against the elderly:
“This is a load of bollocks. We’re doing nothing wrong. Listen, we haven’t long left so give us a bit of leeway,”
she told us before passing out on the pavement.
The pensioners were last seen heading towards Killeeshil.
39 towns and villages in Tyrone have agreed to boycott potatoes “for the foreseeable future” after thousands of complaints about how they’re being treated in restaurants and cafes across the county since the 1990s. Customers have finally had enough of being offered continental dishes from baked potatoes to potato wedges when all they ask for is a plate of spuds.
Eskra farmer, Mike Kelly (71), explained their annoyance:
“You go out for a feed of spuds and the waiter rhymes off a rake of fancy dishes like roast potatoes or some other la-de-da stuff like that. What does a man have to do to get a slap of pitters? People are watching them food TV shows like Mastermind Chef or Can’t Dine With Me and now think they’re deadly at the cookin. Not a spud will be bought in this county til people get back to basics.”
Ballygawley restaurant owner John Lally admits this is the nuclear option they never anticipated:
“We’re banjaxed now. If we want to get a Michelin Star for our establishments, or even a half decent review in the local paper, we have to offer dishes that outsiders or experts eat like garlic spuds or potato soup. But our bread and butter daily clientele are giving us some savage abuse every day now. Last week our most loyal customer threatened to burn the joint down because we weren’t doing ‘plain spuds on a plate and nothing else’. What a county!”
The first ‘Save Our Spud’ rally takes place on Wednesday night in Galbally with organisers promising ‘a slap of floury balls’ for all attendees.
Meanwhile, the Garvaghey bobsleigh announced they plan to enter the 2018 Winter Olympics and are training flat out up at the new GAA complex which retains a sub-zero temperature 12 months a year.
An Eskra entrepreneur has told friends that he’ll probably be the richest man in Ireland this time next year after revealing plans to launch his new business venture called ‘BagFace’. Tommy McNabb (56) will open the doors of his showroom to the public on Monday morning in the village and has told customers to expect long queues:
“I got the idea from watching my wife play Scrabble on the computer. She got a good word, ‘trunks’ I think, and someone sent her a smiley face back. Emoticons you call them. Instead of writing well done, you expressed yourself through this face thing. I thought, Jaysus sure that could work in the real world. So I made 5000 different faces on brown paper bags with every emotion possible from ‘happy’ to ‘slightly nervous’. BagFace is the future, boys.”
McNabb went on to explain when you could use these paper bags:
“Anywhere! I wouldn’t be a deadly boy for smiling at all and at weddings I get told off by the wife and photographers. Now I can whip out a happy BagFace, stick it on, and everyone’s a winner. Funerals – maybe you feel alright but now you can stick on a weepy face. During boring speeches – stick on an ‘interested’ BagFace or ‘intellectual’ BagFace and all the while you’re sleeping your head off underneath.”
Rather than rest on his laurels, McNabb has plans to expand his empire:
“If BagFace makes millions early on, I’ll move into the dating scene. Say, for example, a woman is a bit bored with her husband. Maybe he’s not shaving and developing wrinkles and a belly. Now, she can stick a celebrity BagFace onto him so that when they’re kissing or other stuff, she can pretend it’s George Clooney or Brad Pitt. Or whatever takes your fancy, even Stephen Nolan. This could save marriages. I can make these on demand. I am also thinking of regional BagFaces, so maybe you want your partner to look like someone from Ardboe…hey presto.”
Bags are priced at £39.99 with dearer ones such as ‘mildly amused but secretly fuming’ costing £49.99.
Following last Thursday’s news of a Loughmacrory A Level student being discovered with 3 A* grades, three more men across the county have been found with similar qualifications in their GCSEs. Police authorities have placed the county on alert level ‘Amber’, and have warned residents to brace themselves for the discovery of further smart arsed lads.
DI Sean Robertson of the PSNI said,
“We’re not sure if they’re all part of a cell, or a ‘brain cell’ as we’re calling it. At present the evidence points to this being true, as they all appear to have a fondness for Dickens and a common understanding of simultaneous equations. It’s a sad day for the county. Who’d have thought there might have been a brain cell around these parts? We’ve always had intelligent women but smart Tyrone boys were a thing for fantasy books”.
56 year old Deirdre McConnell, a part-time chapel-attender from Eskra, was a neighbour of one of the accused men, 16 year old Desmond Coyle.
“Sure, Dessie always kept himself to himself. Quiet wee lad growing up. I remember hearing talk that he was a prodigy, that he could use a knife and fork by the time he was twelve and put on his own socks at fifteen, but people say things in spite. I suppose looking back the writing was on the wall by that stage. There were rumours that he was once caught with a girlie magazine with ‘Wuthering Heights’ hidden inside. It makes me feel sick”.
Inspection of Coyle’s home last night discovered several incriminating documents under his bed, including the Ulster Herald, three copies of The Economist, and an old edition of ‘Juno and the Paycock’. A geometry set and a dictionary were found at the homes of one of the other men. It is alleged that Coyle fully intended to use the grades to attempt to better himself, either in Belfast or possibly England.
Authorities are also investigating the sale of a scientific calculator in Omagh to see whether there may be a connection to the four men.
Meanwhile, a girl in Derrytresk who achieved what has been described as a ‘rake of A* grades’ is to have a rampart named after her.
It has emerged today that 3 in every 5 children in Tyrone today have nightmares about Joe Brolly, ranging from demonic chases across ramparts to receiving severe criticism of their drawings at school. ‘Brollymares’ have been on the rise this week after last Saturday’s torrent of abuse on everything red handed by the bespectacled U12 manager. Gortin GFC have set up a hotline for anyone suffering from Brollymares whilst local pharmacies in Beragh have reported an increased demand for strong sleeping medicine.
A 12-year-old fisherman from Ardboe told us:
“Jaysus boys it’s tara. Ghost oh like, I dreamt last night that he was my headmaster and he was dishing out all sorts of lines and slaps for wee things like blinking too often or sneezing. He kept saying pupils in Derry were smarter. It was like Simon Cowell only multiply that by probably a million. I dread sleeping now in case I have another Brollymare.”
Eskra woman Jenny McGarrell explained the catastrophic effects of the recent epidemic:
“You’d think every house in the area had the bubonic plague or something. I stood outside last night around 3am and the screams could be heard from every house at 5 mins intervals. Children are just traumatised with the whole shenanigans”.
Doctors have issued instructions for worried parents to read traditional horror stories like Dracula at night to their children to take their minds off the dastardly Dungiven demon.
Meanwhile there were angry scenes in Brackaville last night after a lifetime ban was placed on Brolly from ever setting foot in the parish by the village council. Local businessman Ray Campbell has offered £10’000 for the first person to catch Joe on Brackaville territory. An Icelandic exchange student who looked a bit like Brolly was released this morning having been held and tortured for three hours. His inability to speak or understand English finally stood in his favour.
McDonald’s in Tattyreagh today confirmed the introduction of a new range of super-super-sized portions of some of their most popular lines specifically designed for the residents of Tyrone, after a survey showed that what people really wanted were bigger portions of cholesterol.
“Our customers in Tattyreagh simply wanted more. They kept complaining that the portions weren’t satisfying their appetites. Ordinary big plates of food weren’t hitting the mark. What they really want is feckin’ enormous piles of food. They just can’t get enough”, said 16 year old restaurant manager Sean Moore.
Saturday saw the introduction of a ‘Skip of Chips’, and a ‘Lorryload of Onion Rings’, both of which were warmly welcomed by residents.
“Mighty”, said 32-stone man Sidney Clarke, who had travelled from Cabragh to be one of the first to order the new ‘Trough of Baked Beans’. “If you ask thon boys to Sumo-Size your order they’ll do it”, said Clarke through a mouthful of Quadruple Cheeseburger and Diet Coke. “You can almost feel your arteries hardening with every bite. You simply can’t go wrong”.
Other diners at the popular fast food restaurant enjoyed a ‘Bathful of Pop Tarts’ whilst children were invited to try the new ‘Gallon of Milkshake’, a mouth-watering bucket of strawberry-flavoured cola milkshake.
“I’m lovin’ it!” joked mother-of-three Nuala Morgan from Eskra, “And so are the kids. We brought them here last night and we didn’t hear a word from them for the whole meal. In fact, they were quiet for the entire night. And most of today come to think of it. Still, it only cost £2.20 to feed the four of us, so I’m not complaining”.
Later this month Tattyreagh regulars can look forward to ordering a ‘Ditch of Coleslaw’. All of the items in the new range cost 39p.
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.
The residents of Augher and Clogher are to meet tonight to celebrate putting the past behind them and ending centuries of rivalry, taunting and name-calling.
“We’re finally putting to bed all those old-fashioned notions that we don’t get on”, said Michael Lagan from Derrycloony Road in Augher.” It’s just fiction, out of date and untrue, spread about by eejits with nothing else to do. Personally I can’t wait to meet up tonight with the Clogher folks. Even the odd looking ones. It’s going to be great. And even better if they can stop banging on about their Cathedral. Jaysus”.
The ‘Putting the Past Behind Us’ community gathering this evening will take place in the relatively neutral venue of the Eskra Community Centre. The original title was to be ‘The Augher & Clogher Get-Togogher’ but the two groups were unable to agree on whether it was ‘Augher & Clogher’ or ‘Clogher & Augher’.
“Sure, it doesn’t matter does it?” said Joanne McElhatton of Fintona Road in Clogher. “What matters is having mutual respect for one another. And Augher people are no longer a shower of savages. Not that they ever were of course. Well, some people might say that but not me. Definitely not. That would be an insult”.
Augher inhabitants expecting to attend the event this evening were equally magnanimous.
“Name-calling is a thing of the past”, said Michelle McVeigh of Irish Street in Augher. “Both villages are coming together in a show of strength and solidarity, and I salute the tolerance of Clogher village. It can’t be easy when you’ve lived in a cave for most of your life”. She continued, “It’s simply not true that we don’t get on. This display of unity will show the world that we’re just one big family. They’re a unique bunch Clogher, and to be fair they’ve never allowed delusions of their own adequacy to hold them back. They can hardly be held responsible for looking like victims of an industrial accident can they? It’ll be great craic hi”.
McElhatton agreed. “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a great show of commitment that the Augher crowd are willing to get out of the village and travel to Eskra. That’s a long way to walk wearing clogs”.
Proceedings starts at 7.30pm. Police are expected to be in attendance.
An Eglish Pioneer, John McGleenan, has reportedly smashed his lenten promise in style and is currently ‘worse than ever’ at the cursing, according to his son who has decided to move to Cappagh. McGleenan had lasted over a week without a bad word emanating from his mouth until he heard the result from the Ulster Senior League match between his beloved Eglish and Magherafelt. A former reserve player and waterboy from 1986-1999, ‘Feckin’ John, as he’s called in the area, is a passionate and ardent St Patrick’s supporter but had recently been told to stop his match-going following a high blood pressure reading last month. Enda McGleenan, his 26-year old son and playing member of the senior team, knew his father’s lenten vow of a period of 40-days without cursing was about to end when he got home after the game.
“Ah as soon as the final whistle went I knew it was all over. In normal circumstances a draw in a friendly game with Magherafelt would be seen as acceptable progress, but not when my da’s concerned. He loses the bap completely if we don’t win. Last year we lost to Derrytresk and he locked me in the attic for five hours and burned down the outhouse. We thought the lent cursing thing would help him to curb his temper but it was simply a simmering volcano waiting to explode. 10 days of abstinence erupted yesterday. I muttered “9-all draw” when he asked. He simply set down his knife and fork and walked out to the yard. The next thing I saw was the dog yelping and hurtling through the spring Eglish sky, followed by a string of expletives I’d never even heard of. What is a ‘bollocksing shower of a hoor of a Derry bollocks’ anyway? Made no sense”
Reports suggest that McGleenan went on a rampage for the rest of the day, cursing vehemently at any passers-by regarding land, horse-meat, the Brits, Free-Staters, Europeans, the weather and spuds. 93-year-old Maisie Gildernew near fainted after hearing rude words she’d last come across when the Yank soldiers stopped off at the Brantry in 1942.
A recent survey carried out by the Matt Talbot Research Centre in Omagh has discovered that the staff at the Cookstown CU are the most likely workforce in the county to get completely blattered every weekend and every other day during the week. The infamous Strabane Bikers – ‘The Pissed Off Bastards of Bridge Street’ – are the most teetotal grouping, closely followed by the ‘Eskra Eucharistic Ministry Society’.
The news that the Credit Union in Cookstown came out top in the survey came as no surprise to customers who commented on the outlet’s reluctance to give out any loans at all on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays due to severe hangovers.
“Ah sure I’m not surprised one bit,” Seamie Sheehey told us. “Everyone knows that you haven’t a hope in hell of getting even a tenner on a Wednesday. They’d be awkward and call your bluff. You’d be asking for a lock of pound to ‘do the kitchen’ and they’d be saying ‘sure I was in your kitchen last week and there’s nothing wrong with it’. Yet on Thursday they’ll hand out a grand even if you only needed a ton to pay the parking fines. It’s a lottery, especially if they’ve been on two day benders. My mother asked for £2000 for a holiday in Portygal and even though she had £1500 savings in it, they told her it’d be more in her line to go to mass more often than to be galavanting around Faro.”
In second place were the clergy in Pomeroy who consume more wine in a year than the whole Basque region in northern Spain.
One of Cookstown’s most colourful characters, Anton McCaffrey, almost single-handedly ruined the Fr Rock’s finest day when he caused ‘untold distress’ to Eskra mothers during his face-painting service at the Intermediate final. McCaffrey admitted he’d had a skinful before the game down at Mulligan’s but believed he was still half-sensible enough to bring joy and mirth to the youngsters who attended the replayed decider. Setting up his stall at the far side of the Healy Park goals, well away from the majority of stewards, McCaffrey charged the children £5 for a face-painting of their choice, or £7.50 for the face and a packet of crisps. One Eskra mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, was shocked when her little Johnny returned to his seat:
“I knew something was up when I escorted Johnny over to the face-painting table. The artist was slumped over and appeared to be throwing up lightly under the table, cursing the weather. I also spotted a bottle of spirits which I initially thought was for cleaning purposes. When my lad returned, the stadium erupted into uncontrollable laughter. Johnny had asked for the face of Batman. What he got was simply thick black paint completely covering his head, back and front. All you could see were his big white eyes. He even painted his tongue black. He looked nothing like Batman. I paid £5 for this.”
As other children slowly emerged back from the stall, the damage was unfolding. Young girls who had asked for a pussy-cat faces came back as grotesque devil-like creatures. One elderly supporter needed cardiac resuscitation after being tapped on the shoulder by a young boy painted as a grim reaper. He’d also been given a scythe. After a dozen children returned as demonic terrors or with just an X across their face, a now extremely intoxicated McCaffrey had resorted to just brushing a single thick stroke across the child’s face, in black mostly, before chasing them away with his strong Cookstown brogue ringing in their ears such as ‘now feck away off back til Eskra.’
Tyrone GAA reps are looking into it.