Category Archives: Glenelly
Director Rian Johnson has refused to confirm or deny that some of the scenes for the upcoming instalment of the Star Wars series may be filmed in Balix Hill near Plumbridge despite rumours that the new film will be named ‘Star Wars 8 – The Battle of the Balixes’.
Balix, sometimes named Belix or Ballix, has long been touted as the perfect location for a Star Wars film such is the out-of-this-world atmosphere and the remarkable number of natural C-P3O and Chewbacca look-a-likes in the area.
Set designer Harry Devlin is confident that the Star Wars production van will be pulling into Plumbridge within a month:
“We need to get in there now before the holiday season begins and the throngs of tourists start to flood The Plum, Cranagh and Glenelly. We’ve already done a few runs to the area and are pleased to see hundreds of natural Chewbaccas to choose from at short notice, from both sexes. And in Balix Hill we have the ideal location for inter-galactic battles.”
This is not the first time that Balix Hill has captured the imagination of the world’s top film directors. In 1966, Sergio Leone apparently filmed over 400 hours of footage in the area for his masterpiece The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. He admitted years later that he was forced to abandon filming and head to Rome and Madrid after failing to find anyone to play The Good despite hundreds of the other two roles readily available in the area.
Clint Eastwood however fell in love with the area and is often spotted during the winter months roaming about Glencoppogagh on his own with his trusty dog, Dog.
To tumultuous applause and four wolf whistles, Greencastle man Dermie Devlins won his home club’s talent contest for the ninth consecutive year with his ‘Deadly Stare’ act which sees him stare at the judges for 4 minutes solid without blinking.
Despite stiff competition from a man from Plumbridge who can spin on his backside using a broom handle for manoeuvring and a woman with a moustache from Glenelly, Devlins took 98% of the vote from the audience in attendance, a new record despite no change in his act since his first victory in 2007.
Chief judge Jilly Kincon explained the result:
“Everyone knew who the class act in the field was. Devlins’ Deadly Stare really is deadly. He just stares like, for 4 minutes and doesn’t blink at all. It’s like a goat or the devil himself. Staring is not something any Tom, Dick or Harry can do. Well Dermie can.”
A small protest outside the clubrooms caused some disruption around midnight when friends and family of the Kildress entry refused to allow cars to leave until the judges were replaced and a new competition held. Their man, Kieran Molloy, who sang ‘Do You Want Yer Oul Lobby Washed Down‘ in Ulster Scots, received no votes.
Traffic was eventually allowed past when organisers agreed to buy a round for all Kildress supporters at the show.
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.
Following the news earlier in the week that both Tyrone Tribulations journalists were at large and on the run from the PSNI’s lie-eradicating team, authorities confirmed that the writers were finally tracked down in a shed in Glenelly, arrested and charged.
Hiding behind a cow, both men gave themselves up without much resistance apart from a bucket of water which was thrown in the direction of one of the officers. The Facebook campaign to show support for the outlawed journalists failed to garner much support with only 13 likes picked up in four days, two of which were from the men themselves.
A solicitor for the pair was unable to present any sober form of defence as a kangaroo court in Omagh found the men guilty of 189 lies over the course of two years. They received a 6-month sentence which is to be carried out in a field in Tattyreagh cutting up rocks for the county’s three stonemasons. Other conditions include no access to laptops or electronic devices in that time period and any postings on the Tyrone Tribulations website will result in the stiffer penalty of moving to a field in Loughmacrory.
Speaking from his cell, Gombeen admitted:
“It was good oul craic, these last couple of years. But, and this is a lesson to the children, your past catches up with you. We wouldn’t call it lies – more like being relaxed with the truth. But sure the site will still be there for anyone to browse over the 200 stories if they’re that bored out of their skulls.”
Shengas McGlumphie was unable to comment as he had already been placed in solitary confinement for writing a story on the walls of his cell about a Moortown man who unsuccessfully travelled to Africa to pick up the $45 million fortune a mysterious e-mailer told him he’d been left by a relation he didn’t know existed, before being eaten by a tribe of Ardboe settlers in Nigeria.
The final family yet to receive a grant have announced that a £3000 cheque arrived this morning for the upkeep of a badger sanctuary in their garden. This news means that every family in Tyrone have now received a grant for something in the last ten years, ranging from ‘keeping an eye on Lough Neagh for invaders’ to ‘looking after the Strabane Christmas Tree’.
Economic sceptic Professor Harry Brown maintains this handing out of money for anything has to stop.
“I thought I’d seen it all until I met Paddy Grant from Brocagh last week. He told me he’d received a grant for being a Grant. Then there was Mary Shackleton up near Glenelly who pocketed £5000 for speaking three words in Irish every day – ‘tá mé anseo’ (I am here). She’s originally from Plymouth in England and lives alone apart from a wild cat that visits. That’s just madness.”
Professor Brown appears to be in the minority though as several awardees came forward this morning to defend their funding. Noel McGrinn from Dromore explained:
“The professor should learn to wind his neck in and maybe research a wee bit as to why these grants are handed out. For example, I get £1500 a year for making sure I preserve a small patch of grass around my back that a local holy woman claims St Patrick urinated on during his travels across Tyrone. There were no toilets in those days so her ‘vision’ might actually be true. I think that’s money well spent by the Department of Granting and we’re preserving a small bit of Ulster culture.”
The highest award this year was for Drummurrer handy man Terence McNeill who received £30’000 for pacifying local roosters and hens by singing soothing lullabys like Humpty Dumpty and Three Blind Mice.
One of Tyrone’s most cherished songs has come under attack from other villages desperate to put their own mark in the music world.
The village of Pomeroy is facing increasing resentment that not only do they have their own special Diamond, but they also have their own song, renowned throughout the world. Other villages are now promoting songs about their villages and townlands, including the mournful ballad, ‘The Street Signs of Plumbridge’, a song about unrequited love and clear, unambiguous traffic signage.
Mickey Daly of Derbrough Road in Plumbridge told us,
“That Pomeroy song’s mince. What’s so special about their mountains, eh? Sure, do we not have a whole clatter of them in Tyrone? That’s why we’re promoting ‘The Street Signs of Plumbridge’. It’s an instant classic”.
He went on,
“It’s about a pair of two young star-crossed dreamers who meet by the river in Plumbridge for a romantic tryst, surrounded by
roads with excellent traffic calming measures. Once this gets out the recording studios’ll be fighting off Nathan and Malachi and Andrea and all that lot with a sharp stick. This is going to be the next ‘Fields of Athenry’”.
Daly said that an extract of two of the verses of the song relate to the timeless dance of young love, yet set in a modern and contemporary
We met upon Glenelly bridge where cars reduce their power
They’re not allow’d to travel more than twenty miles an hour.
With stars above I begged for love, your embrace I did beseech
You updated Facebook, texted friends and soft did slur your speech.
With golden hair and winsome glance, your gentle form divine
You kiss’d me whilst the curlews sang beneath the Give Way sign.
My eyes did close in sweet delight when your lips on mine did linger
And only open’d in surprise at where you’d put your finger.
The final verse reflects on the sorrow of loneliness and of unreciprocated desire: –
We parted by the traffic lights and true I shed a tear
I’d had my heart so pierced with love, you’d had four cans of beer.
You captivated all my heart, my soul you did bewitch
Tho’ none can hold a candle to the street signs of Plumbridge.
Rumours surfaced last night that Hugo Duncan may have agreed to record another new local song, entitled, ‘The Pawn Shops of Strabane’.
The thieving community across the county last night said it was in crisis as the ever-increasing demands of health and safety tookits toll on the criminal fraternity.
Gang leaders claim that they are getting so many compensation claims in from gang members who have injured themselves that they have no alternative but to insist on taking adequate health and safety measures.
“It’s tara boys”, said Kieran, a crook from Fintona. “In the olden days you could steal a whole lock of cattle in a couple of hours and still be in time for last orders. Now I’m not allowed to do it unless I’ve done a two-week course in feckin’ animal husbandry. What’s that all about? It’s almost enough to force you into an honest living”.
But master-thieves were quick to point out they were merely reacting to changes in society. Bill Fagin, the head villain of a gang of thieves from ‘somewhere near the Dooish mountain’, said,
“It’s not our fault. It’s the claims culture. I’m getting demands for compensation left, right and centre. I’ve one boy who’s claiming five grand for having made him ‘allergic to the dark’, and another claiming the same amount after the eejit swallowed nearly a litre of red diesel when he was siphoning it out of a digger near Glenelly, and had to have his stomach pumped. That’s why we now give them manual handling training on how to lift a stolen plasma TV. They might hurt their backs and make a claim. Some handlin’. Literally”.
He went on,
“We can’t have them boys stumbling about in the dark on a remote farm in Killyman or somewhere when they’re trying to steal a lorry. They might bump into something and injure themselves. That’s why they need to wear the hi-viz jackets. And put up floodlighting. Or even better, come back and do it in the daylight. Safety first boys, safety first”.
But most thieves have condemned the actions as being over the top, and for compromising their chances of a clean getaway.
“We had one boy breaking in through the first floor window of a factory in Lissan last week”, confided Hugh, a swindler from Tattyreagh. “But he took so long filling out his ‘Working at Height’ form and putting up scaffolding that he got caught. Jaysus, in the good old days we just climbed up the drainpipe”.
Fully-qualified thief Declan from Plumbridge, was resigned to the changes.
“Aye, I suppose now I’m all trained up I won’t injure myself. I was breaking and entering into a big house in Donaghmore last month and although the risk assessments took over an hour to complete, at least I knew I’d be safe”,
he said, before being led back to his prison cell to complete a two-year sentence.
Secret documents filed in a filing cabinet in Derrylaughan have revealed that The Washingbay Restoration Committee have commenced discussions aimed at increasing tourism in East Tyrone. One of the most adventurous plans is to create a nudist beach down at the Washingbay, behind the Kevin Barry’s football field.
A committee member who wishes to remain nameless but goes by the name ‘Kennedy’ explained the thinking:
“Years ago, thousands would descend on these shores during the summer from faraway places like France, Bulgaria, America and Glenelly. Then the clergy started shouting about the fumbling going on at night in the cars as romantic couples courted to the backdrop of eels and pollans dancing in the Lough. Before long, the weeds had grown up and the potholes were ruining the lawnmowers. We want to restore the bay to its former beauty with a bit of a twist. Buck naked bathing.”
The first of its kind in Ireland, customers must abide by two rules:
- NO LOOKING AT OTHER PEOPLE FOR MORE THAN FIVE SECONDS
- NO SCRATCHING
Kennedy maintains this initiative could propel the county into the 21st century:
“If you go to America or Sweden, there bes people with nothing on them walking into bars and shops and stuff and no one bats an eyelid. If this goes ahead, Tyrone will be mentioned in the same breath as Los Angeles or Sydney. We just need to get the weeds cut down and drain the lough a little to create a bit more room around the edges. And import sand and perhaps use some of those big heaters you find in beer gardens.”
The approximate cost of a nudist beach runs into £400’000 but Kennedy confirmed he has a promise of half a million pounds from a few local businessmen, clergy and turf dealers if this proposal gets the green light.
A man from Glenelly yesterday announced that a painting he drew at the weekend will go to auction with a reserve price of £100 million.
The announcement comes only days after a painting by Irish-born painter Francis Bacon was sold for a record-breaking £89m just last week.
“Them Dubliners have always been a bunch of chancers”, declared Malkie McArdle, an unemployed rain maker, who only took up painting at the beginning of October. “He painted this half-arsed picter of a man or a spoon or a tree or something. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details. A bit like that fecker’s painting in fact. Anyway, he stuck a hefty price on it and some eedjit went and paid it. I thought to myself, I could do that. So I have done”.
His piece of art, entitled, ‘Sausages At Rest’, depicts a value-pack of a dozen Cookstown sausages which he found at the back of the fridge.
“There was this boy years ago who done a picter of tomato soup or baked beans or something, and he got a lock of pounds for it too”, said McArdle. “So why not sausages? This is a one-off. Them sausages is all
eaten up so it can never be re-created. That’s why it’s so expensive”.
The painting was created using a mixture of engine oil, crayons, mud, and some Tayto crisps which accidentally fell onto the canvass.
“The famous artists like Rembrandt and Van Gogh and the one that was the policeman were always using oils and the like, so I did the same”, said a proud McArdle. “I had a wee can of two-stroke sitting in the shed that I use for the lawnmower. It all went a bit runny and if I’m being honest the whole yolk looks a bit shit, but that’s not the point. Some boy in Florida or Paris or Americay or somewhere’ll pay big money for that. I’m just sitting back and waiting for the call. Deadly”.
McArdle is adamant that the £100 million asking price is firmly non- negotiable, although he has said privately that he would consider settling for £5 or another pack of sausages.
The recent spike in petrol and diesel costs have witnessed new and mostly unsuccessful ways to travel from A to B in the county. Just last week, our cameras witnessed one man from Coalisland spend £120 filling his Datsun Sunny before pushing his motor into Roughan Lough in disgust. Jackie Carr, a 70 year old plasterer, almost made his way to do a job in Donaghmore later in the day using an inventive mode of transport:
“I’m not spending any more of my dole/work money on petrol but I’m too old to walk any distance. So I got an old ironing board and tied two hungry labradors to the front of it. I then asked my grandson to run ahead of the dogs with a couple of raw rump steaks hanging out of his back pockets whilst I sat on the ironing board. We got as far as Newmills before the dogs caught up with the lad and near ate the arse clane off him. To be honest the ironing board was in bad shape by then anyway. The sparks were annoying motorists behind. Back to the drawing board for me.”
Other unsuccessful attempts to avoid the rising cost of fuel saw a teacher from Augher jump the whole distance to Fivemiletown until exhaustion set in halfway down Clogher Main Street and a sales rep from Glenelly float in a bucket down the Glenelly River to his office in Plumbridge before being capsized by a big shoal of salmon.
The rising number of horses parked outside the Ulster Herald offices in Omagh suggests all is not lost. One journalists, nicknamed ‘McSherry’, said he’s never felt freer:
“I rent a mare from a boy in Stewartstown and it’s working out rightly. There’s no better feeling than galloping through Pomeroy and Carrickmore with the wind in yer hair and my laptop flung over me shoulder, sticking two fingers up at the motorists and their dear diesel. Picking up the manure is a bit of a handlin but sure it’s swings and roundabouts. I think it’s a horse anyway.”
The Glenelly Rockin By The River Festival organisers have reminded punters that they won’t be trigger-shy if things cut up rough during the Nathan Carter concert and have especially warned women who may let excitement get the better of them. Having watched with interest the goings-on in Belfast at the weekend, Glenelly officials were quick to ask for a loan of one of the water cannons but added a sinister warning:
“Let us assure you, we’ll be testing this yoke to its capacity. And it’ll not just be water coming out of it if people don’t behave.”
Organisers have drawn up a list of potential troublemakers, topped by women from Plumbridge who have a reputation for going ‘buck mad’ when they hear country music.
“Yes, it is true that Plumbridge women are high on our radar, especially after they wrecked the hall during Hugo’s charity concert last summer. Any sign of wrecking during Carter’s concert and they’ll be getting the hose on them. Even if we think we don’t like the look of someone they’ll be sent 60ft into the air without warning. We’ll show these PSNI ones how it’s done.”
The use of dye in the water has not been ruled out as well as throwing in a distinctive odour.
“The Chinese wouldn’t be behind the door when it comes to using dye. We’ll be spraying pink at drunken lads. Also, a fertiliser will be added if Carter is inundated with women’s knickers. Tam Jones emailed us to say he wished he’d done a concert in Glenelly if that had been the policy back in his day.”
Organisers have added that there’s almost a 99% chance of the water cannon being deployed during the More Power To Your Elbow concert on Saturday, simply to give the locals a “much-needed wash” for Mass the next day. Shower gel will be added.
A self-help group for men with wives and girlfriends who participate in the practice known as ‘zumba’ have referred the matter to the PSNI in growing concern that they have no idea what it actually is. The hurriedly-formed ‘Glenelly Action Against Zumba-Mentalists’ spoke to the police after consulting neighbours, colleagues, and reading stuff off the internet.
“There’s no doubt about it, something’s going on”, claimed an anxious husband whose wife he said was a zumba addict. “My wife is lost to thon zumba classes. They’ve brainwashed her. They’ve stripped her of every penny she earns. Well, £2.50 a week anyway. And she comes back all red in the face and a bit sweaty-lookin’, like she’s got something to hide”.
“I’m devastated. They’ve taken my girl away”, added a stricken boyfriend of another zumba-ist, “for 1½ hours every week on a Tuesday and Thursday. I’m struggling to cope”, he admitted. “It’s definitely a religious cult. Or a secret society. Or maybe naked pagan dancing and the like. I don’t know. Is it drugs?”
“It’s to do with special cooking classes so they can feed menfolk food that make them do their every bidding” said another. “I used to hate cabbage and bacon and now I can’t get enough of the muck. What’s that about? And apparently there are squats involved”, he added ominously, “and lunges. Thon zumba hoors need watching”.
“It’s a growing disease” agreed another worried man. “My missus succumbed to it a month ago. Now I can’t even get a hot dinner without her rushin’ off with thon bunch of wemin. What next? Limbo dancing to country music, or some such? These are dark days for the county, dark days. If it’s exercise they want, what’s wrong with a slip jig or brooming the yard?”
The PSNI in Dungannon confirmed they had received an approach from an unintelligible group of men who had made a number of incoherent remarks without any foundation whatsoever.
Meantime, local priest Father Joseph Hannigan got in on the act warning his flock last Sunday that anyone caught doing ‘deadly hip gyrations and stuff’ would rot at the very gates of hell with Beelzebub himself breathing fire upon them. Aerobics however were fine.
Following the retirement of Alex Ferguson, coupled with Man Utd’s search for a new manager, Kirk McConnell was devastated to find out his application form was completely overlooked as it now appears that another high profile manager in England will get the job. McConnell, who specialises in fixing carpets with loose thread, has led his Newtownstewart U12 side to three massive victories this year in his first year of management, defeating Owen Roes by 61 points, Strabane by 33 points and Glenelly by a walkover as the opposition didn’t field. After Ferguson’s announcement, the lads in the Abercorn Arms convinced McConnell that he should throw in an application form and helped him write it there and then at around midnight. Kirk is at a loss to explain his rejection:
“If I’m being honest I’m a bit pissed off like. They didn’t even send a letter to say I was unsuccessful. I’d written it out with the lads and used red pen and ruler for the headlines and a black pen for the information. For example, I covered areas such as Favourite TV shows, Favourite Foods, Funniest Memory, Best Game I Watched, My Favourite Player and Any Other Business. It covered the front and back of an A4 paper. What’s their problem like? I’d say none of them have ever tried taking a team up to Strabane on a Saturday morning to play a side with three women in full forward, far bigger than the rest of us. And I don’t even know the rules.”
In an effort to appease McConnell, Man Utd issued a statement today thanking McConnell for his application form but felt that he fell down on two accounts. In a letter signed by the American owner Mr Glazer, the club spelt out their concerns:
“Firstly, we heard about the 61 point win over Owen Roes. You didn’t tell us that nine of the Roes side were actually under the age of seven. Also, our intelligence reports informed us that the referee gave you a couple of dodgy decisions and no wonder as we believe he’s your chairman. Secondly, the application form was covered in beer stains and some of the spellings were atrocious. For example, it’s Sir Alex Ferguson, not Salax Ferkson. We wish you well in the future and hope Newtownstewart U12s lift the title.”
Leo Parry, manager of the Newtownstewart Spar, was also unsuccessful. Meanwhile, McConnell has sent a copy to Everton.
Nine-year-old Sean Davidson from Brocagh will tomorrow attempt to walk to school from his house, approximately 150 yards, in a bold move which has gathered criticism and admiration in equal measures within the community. The last known child to walk to school in Tyrone – Peter Campbell from Glenelly – will be there to offer support and guidance as well pose for photos before and after the event with the brave Davidson. His mother, Mary, said that although she was apprehensive, she supported her son in what she described as ‘the journey of a lifetime’.
‘We were watching Frank Mitchell’s Weather Watchers and he’s predicting patchy rain and a stiff breeze for tomorrow. I hope it’s not abandoned. We are a four car family and decided we had to make a difference for the environment’s sake, and Sean came up with the walk to school idea. Other parents claimed we’re clean mad as a child shouldn’t be walking these days what with their wee chubby legs and possibility of swallowing midges. I hope our wee soldier will do us proud and make history.”
Sean will have the back up of his father following behind in his 2012 Land Rover Evoque in case of emergencies and he will be equipped with an iPad, Sat Nav, a self-erecting tent and a rucksack packed with crisps, minerals and Mars Bars. The principal of Brocagh PS confirmed they’ll be lining the last 20 yards of the route to offer moral support but was also aware of the pitfalls young Davidson may encounter:
‘Donnelly’s collie up the road barks like mad and sticks his nose through the fence as you pass and there’s quite a nasty incline for a couple of metres just before he arrives at the crossing with the lollipop lady. I only hope his new trainers hold out. You never know, this could be the beginnings of an Olympic medal winner for Brocagh’
The Brocagh Obesity Awareness Clinic claim this is only the start of a new mindset in the area and hope it will increase interest in their 100 metre sponsored walk next month.
Following on from yesterday’s news that Greencastle had tabled a motion at the Tyrone Congress that the Sperrins be moved from their present location, it has emerged that they have received vociferous backing from Kildress, Gortin and Donemana. In an added twist to the sensational developments, Glenelly, Strabane and Plumbridge have promised to fight tooth and nail to keep the mountain range exactly where it is for varying reasons. Donemana’s Richard O’Neill explains the stance of the four pro-removal townlands:
“Yousins in the rest of the county don’t know what it’s like to wake up til this giant thing towering over you everyday like big mad parent. Every buckin day. And what it is? A big hape of moss and bogland – useless to man and beast. They talk about the beauty of Mullaghcarn Mountain. It’d be damn well beautiful to me if it was sitting in Benburb or Trillick. And it’s freezing here. The sun can’t get at us. Sure you only have to look at the complexion of us indigenous peoples stretching the whole way across to Lissan. You’d think we’d been in solitary confinement all our lives with the gaunt skin and bags under the eyes. There’s so much we can’t see here – Portrush, the Aurora Borealis and the North Pole. It’s just not fair and another thing – there’s no drying at all here if the wind is coming from the north. That gigantic useless lump of turf blocks the whole thing. We’re calling on the Tyrone Sperrin Society to consider moving the range to the south west of the county of maybe abroad to Portygal or Egypt.”
Glenelly’s tourism spokesman, Eddie Parton, refutes the claims of the foursome:
“Listen, if them mountain glipes from Kildress hadn’t cut down all the trees 6000 years ago then it’d be a thing of beauty. They’ve greedily bogged the land out with their incessant burning of things. They’re always burning things down there. The Sperrins are crucial to tourism around these parts. Hikers usually try to go up them only to find it’s too wet and soggy and just freewheel down to here or to The Plum to buy coats and flasks and things. The Sperrins are here to stay I say. What about that lovely song concerning Slieve Gallion Brae:
My name is Joe McGarvey as you might understand
I come from Derryginnet and I own a farm of land
Are there better lyrics on the planet than that opener?”
The four protagonists have been slow to distance themselves from a telephoned threat from a group calling themselves the Strabane Slashers to the tourism board warning that if the vote doesn’t go in favour of the removalists, they’ll blow the mountain range up anyway. Richard O’Neill added:
“We do not condone the use of explosives to rid ourselves of this monstrosity but let’s not get carried away. There’s worse things in the world than a couple of lads from Strabane blowing up the Sperrins.”
The Tyrone tourism board are to make a decision next week. They will also try to ask the Sperrins themselves by listening to the ground with a cocked ear.
Brocagh Spring Festival
Saturday 5th (12pm) sees the annual Brocagh Spring Festival, a pagan celebration dating back thousands of years when the first settlers in Ireland headed up to Brocagh for a rake about. This year, famous Brocagh exports including Tom McGurk (RTE), Gerry Davidson (finished third in a 3-mile race in Liverpool during the 80s) and ex-president Mary Robinson (passed through Brocagh by mistake in 1991) will be there to sign autographs and smile in photos. Other activities conclude ‘blind man’s bluff in the buff‘, “staring competitions” and “drink a gallon of cider and score from the 45m line“. Festivities conclude with the traditional dance between two self-confessed virgins between the ages of 20 and 30. Organisers have announced that Kitty O’Neill is now 31 so a new woman must come forward.
Loughmacrory Baby-Jumping Competition
This controversial event is probably in its last year as the European Courts are closing in. All babies taking part win a week’s supply of Farley Rusks. Last year’s record of 8 babies is the target for competitors Larry Penrose (above), Hillary Lily and Dan Barr. First jump 11am.
Ardboe Fish-Swallowing Festival
The first year for this weekend extravaganza, the fish-loving community in Ardboe have come up with a unique way to celebrate their talents by holding a fish-swallowing competition with the unique take that the fish must still be alive. No one really knows how this will work at all but it’s sure to attract massive crowds to the loughshore at 3pm Sunday for the eel section.
Gortin-Glen Nude Bathing
The famous Gortin Glen Forest Park hosts their nude-bathing evening this Sunday. Men and women from as far as Glenelly will take part in the hope that the magical Gortin waters will cure all warts and other things like that. Come along to cheer on the bare bathers from 7pm.
The Glenelly Boxing By The River Fight Night, originally staged at the Mellon Country Hotel last weekend, is still raging on as four bouts have yet to witness a knock-out or retirement. Eight boxers from Glenelly, Gortin, Newtownstewart and Strabane have completed a total of 3022 rounds of fighting at the time of writing. The longest fight, involving Sheerin and McGlinchey, has just surpassed the 1000 rounds mark with ‘Give Em Hell’ McGlinchey finally showing signs of tiring today, day 12. Referee Leon McCaul insists it’s only a matter of time before Sheerin hits the canvas:
“You have to admire these lads. Sheerin had an advantage a couple of days ago when McGlinchey experienced a bit of a cold but a good sleep on Wednesday night saw ‘The Red Devil’ in fine fettle at the sound of the bell at 9am this morning. We normally call it quits at 7pm so the lads can go home, watch the soaps and refuel for the following day. I don’t think Sheerin will last that long today. He has only the one tooth left and has been blinded by the swelling since Sunday. It’s only one clean uppercut away.”
Other bouts have been less civilised. The McAnena fight has spilled onto fields in the surrounding area with members of both families taking welts out of each other on a daily basis as the main fight edges towards its conclusion. Local politician, Gary McVeigh, says the madness must stop:
“Ah come on now lads. What does it matter who wins now? McGinchey’s face is resembling his arse at this stage, and that’s not a sight women and children need to see. Tim Harney’s fight (round 886) is just a hugging match. It’s like the slow-set at Sense. Harney’s tongue is hanging out, for the love of God. This isn’t great for Glenelly’s image atall and our bid to host the paralympics in 2022.”
PaddyPower has suspended betting on the four remaining bouts after unconfirmed rumours suggest McGlinchey might take a dive in round 1011.
Following the shock resignation of Pope Benedict today, Carrickmore PP Fr Colman Gormley (69) has gone on the offensive immediately with a series of twitter statements advocating the appointment of a Pope from the Carmen for the first time since Catholicism was invented thousands of years ago. Despite there having been no Irish Popes since St Peter got the first gig, Fr Gormley says that this should be no impediment to the drive for a Carrickmore Pope to shake up the whole Vatican movement.
“It’s about time, to be honest. We’ve had a black President of America, women prime ministers, a TV show called The Manageress in the 90s, Tyrone beating Kerry, men wearing skirts….why not a Carmen pope? Take me for example. I’m in my prime. I love pizza and at the sports day I travelled around the field standing up through the sunroof of the brother’s Mini Cooper, waving at the crowd. OK, it’d be a bit of a culture shock living in Rome but don’t forget, I did a stint in Loughmacrory in the 70s. I have big ideas too: twitter-style masses in 120 words or fewer; good looking Eucharistic Ministers; electro-dance homily music; altar boy reality shows where they are voted off by doing an average mass etc. I’m hoping to get a clipboard with pages for people to sign my petition.”
The Vatican refused to comment on Fr Gormley’s chances but did indicate that they were already in advanced negotiations with a young priest from Tattyreagh.
“It is Vatican policy not to comment on these things but Fr John Donnelly from Tattyreagh is at the top of his game. He did Stations of the Cross last year up in Glenelly in over two hours. That’s unavoidably impressive,” a member of the Holy See told us over the phone.
The Catholic Church have yet to rule out a Pope-Off mass competition at Edendork this weekend between Gormley and your man from Clonoe.
GLENELLY. Former captain Joseph McCullagh becomes the first man to leave Glenelly for pastures new. There will be a going-away do in the community hall with music supplied by the Plumbridge Brass Band and Joseph’s uncle, Mattie McCullagh, who’s singing songs from the musicals. Festivities start 8pm tomorrow. Come along and see Joseph off in style before his long trek to Bundoran.
MOY. 13th Annual Camel Wrestling Event. A little known fact is that the only two camels in Ireland kept as pets both live in the Moy. This remarkable coincidence has lent itself to a yearly wrestling competition held between both even-toed ungulates. With 6 wins apiece this year’s fight promises to be a real humdinger. Ice cream made from camel milk will be provided for children. First bell rings at 7pm tonight.
TATTYREAGH. Annual bath for brides and grooms-to-be. Come along and witness the bathing of soon-to-be newlyweds in the Ballynahatty Water. Tradition in Tattyreagh dictates that all weddings in the area take place in November. At the end of October, all couples intending to tie the knot that year bathe in the freezing waters as relatives gather and clap. No showers are to take place between then and the wedding. That’s why the women hold flowers, to disguise the odour. First dipping at 11am Sunday.
STEWARTSTOWN. 100th Gurning Competition. Famous for its natural gurners, this year’s Stewartstown gala promises to be special as the centenary gurning weekend gets underway today outside the bank at 2pm. With competitions for all age groups and genders as usual, organisers have opened to competition to pets and livestock. Dan McCann is aiming for the ‘Most Miserable Bollocks’ title for the 5th consecutive year.
Metal set of drawers. Stood the test of time. Sleeps six children. Great for big traditional family. DREGISH
Collection of old people. Retirement home fire-sale. No real bother apart from wiping and scraping. DUNGANNON
Cheap Divorces! End the misery today! OMAGH
Home-made portable toilet. Great for attending GAA or soccer games or going to a march. Serviced recently. GLENELLY
Have you had a heart attack or died? We can help. Cardiac Discussion Group. ARDBOE
Freshly cut Christmas Trees. Can be delivered by December 28th. Local produce. FINTONA
Part-time head-lice puller. Great with children. BROCAGH
Turkey for sale. Only partially eaten. Wasn’t stuffed. STRABANE
Donkey with a red cowboy hat on. Answers to Hetty. Do not look direct in eye. EDENDORK