Category Archives: Lough Neagh
The construction of a bridge between Ardboe and Aldergrove have been given the go-ahead, sparking a row over the naming of the structure to be opened in 2020.
The £400m venture, partially funded by businessmen on both sides of the lough, will span 11 miles and involve negotiations with major airlines regarding how they can fly over and sometimes under the construction.
However, discussions became heated last night over the naming of the bridge with the Ardboe contingent demanding it should be called ‘The Frank McGuigan Way’ whilst businessmen in Antrim only prepared to invest if it is named ‘Orange Bridge’.
One of the brain-childs of the bridge, Philomena Forbes, explained the idea:
“It will be magnificent, perhaps the first manmade structure visible from the moon. It will be 11 miles across and speed limits will be around 60mph going up to 90mph around the middle bit. There are also plans to build an Apple Green Service Station on it somewhere and there will be no pedestrians, fishermen, cyclists and cops allowed on it.”
Unfortunately due to a scarcity of materials, the bridge will only go one way, from west to east, with people having to drive around the lough to get back to Tyrone.
Asked whether she had thought of possible environmental issues regarding the disturbance of fish and stuff, Forbes just laughed and said “like who eats eels any more.”
With Skywatchers preparing for the latest “supermoon” as Earth’s satellite makes its closest approach since 1948, Tyrone Tribulations got out and about its people to find out how this astronomical phenomenon will affect them and what they made of it in general:
“Pile of shite” – JOHN QUINN, MOORTOWN
“The hell do I care” – MARIE BRENNAN, EDENDORK
“What are you really sellin?” – DAN MCGURK, DUNGANNON
“Sammy Wilson in the fields again, only bigger and better?” – B MCELDUFF, CARRICKMORE
“Balls” – SISTER FRANCES CAVANAGH, EGLISH
“Have you even checked the sky, ye walt. It’s lashing. Typical Ireland, can’t even organise a full moon.” – ALAN DONNELLY, STRABANE
“That’s just one of Hub Hughes’ attempts finally coming back to earth.” – E MULLIGAN, COOKSTOWN
“Still shite, stop asking me.” – JOHN QUINN, MOORTOWN
“Is it a protestant moon or a catholic one?” – A FOSTER, TRILLICK
“Right enough, quare hairy women around Brocagh this last week” – JAMES MCGURK, BROCAGH
“Super, my hole” – FR FAY, CLONOE
The various current O’Neill family nicknames within the county are to be phased out and replaced with sub-clan names based on general physical characteristics.
The O’Neill Lineage and Genealogy Society have agreed that many of the current nicknames are either outdated or clouded in mystery as to their origin. They are to be re-classified on the 1st of October, categorised by location. O’Neill households are to receive official documentation within a fortnight, adding that there will be no appeal procedure for any disgruntled recipients.
The following list summarises the main changes:
O’Neills from Omagh, Plumbridge, Strabane, Dromore, Gortin and Fintona and any towns and villages west of these: The big-boned O’Neills. These O’Neills have a remarkably consistent characteristic across all families – they all have large behinds. We considered calling these clans ‘The Big-Arsed O’Neills‘ but considered that to be too crude for general consumption.
O’Neills from Carrickmore, Pomeroy, Greencastle, Galbally, Aughnacloy, Ballygawley and surrounding area: The Long-Nosed O’Neills. This breed have long, pointy faces and a matching oblong noses which makes them excellent tax-collectors or traffic wardens.
O’Neills from Dungannon, Donaghmore, Brackaville, Cookstown and Coalisland: The Square-Headed O’Neills. The O’Neills from this area have distinctive square heads, often causing difficult childbirths for O’Neill mothers. They are not to be confused with the oblong O’Neills just west of this area.
O’Neills from Ardboe, Moortown, Clonoe Parish, Moy: The Yellow O’Neills. These clans have a natural tanning during the summer, often caused by their tendency to sunbathe at the Lough shore. However, over the winter, their skin turns a remarkable yellow colour and are often wrongly diagnosed with jaundice despite being perfectly healthy. We considered naming them the Banana O’Neills but that threw up too many opportunities for people to poke fun at.
Any other O’Neills not covered by the above areas are to contact the O’Neill Society for re-classification as well as providing a photo for the same purpose.
An East Tyrone school has been accused of applying Draconian tactics after it emerged that black puddings were the latest cause of hyperactivity in children according to a report someone read in a magazine in Canada.
Kiltytresk P.S. reportedly searched the bags of all 200 pupils in their large rural school for the foodstuff after their Board of Governors banned the traditional blood sausage from their premises. A local journalist confirmed that over 40 pupils were caught with black puddings hidden in the lining of their school bags with some pupils stuffing it down their socks in a ploy to evade detection.
Headmaster Leo Pope confirmed there will be no backing down from their new ruling:
“In recent weeks we’d eliminated chocolate, fizzy drinks and crisps from our school menu but the children are still running amok. It wasn’t until one of the staff mentioned they’d read an article in a magazine in Toronto about 30 years ago which criticised the endorphins released by the pork blood, encouraging young people to squeal and jump like pigs, that we realised we’d been sitting on a time bomb here.”
A recent survey in the Kiltytresk townland showed that, on average, over 89% of children under the age of 16 eat up to ten black puddings a day.
“We’ve promised to set up black pudding help lines and courses for people weaning off the substance, especially at that age. A lot of people in East Tyrone are dependent on black puddings, far more than they’d care to let on.”
PSNI officials have warned underground black pudding vendors outside the school that they’ll shoot on sight.
Despite positive feedback from their exclusive firework-inspired business launch outdoor dinner last year, the Lough Neagh Dolphin-Watchers Tour Firm (LNDWTF or WTF for short) have announced an annual loss of 600% or £800’000, with the company ceasing trade immediately.
WTF also confirmed their office mysteriously went on fire just before the announcement and are waiting the outcome of a ‘big claim’ because of the suspected arson, with the finger firmly pointed at the Shark-Watchers’ Society at Toome.
WTF’s CEO Patrick McCabe admitted the take-up on the whole dolphin experience was rather disappointing:
“Everyone loves dolphins we thought. Well, apparently in East Tyrone they don’t. We never even had one customer since the website booking mechanism went live on 25th May 2014. We thought maybe it was bad Internet connections or something but after canvassing outside chapels in recent Sundays we now realise there’s no appetite for dolphins around here. The eels have it sown up.”
WTF’s European Union grant of £1m does not have to be repaid as a recently publicised loop-hole exempts EU funded businesses from paying the money back if they have been in existence for over 12 months.
McCabe maintains there is no money to pay back anyway:
“The £1m is well gone. We had to install glass bottoms in our boats as well as loads of hi-vis jackets in case we fell in. It’s just a big pity people aren’t into dolphins around here. The Lough Neagh species exhibits a falcate dorsal fin, a prominent beak, strong social bonds and is very acrobatic and capable of great bursts of speed in the water. This species frequently rides the bow wave of our tour boat in Hawaii. They just seem to be more shy here. Maybe they’re afraid of the whales.”
When asked for photographic evidence of the Lough Neagh dolphin, McCabe momentarily showed us a picture of something floating in the lough in the distance, probably the stump of a tree or something.
US intelligence officials, who this week released more than 100 documents seized four years ago in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, revealed he possessed a fascination with Tyrone GAA as well as reading works by Islamist thinkers but also English language books by authors like Noam Chomsky and Bob Woodward.
The news of the secret Red-Hand library stash comes in the wake of over 200 complaints made to PSNI officials by locals regarding the amount of men in suits with American accents walking around Tyrone whilst talking up their sleeves.
The US Photo Agency leaked a picture of his library which showed copies of ‘The History of Dromore GFC’, ‘The GAA in Tyrone’, ‘Ryan McMenamin – Baring My Teeth’, ‘This Secret History of Lough Neagh’ and ‘Malachi Cush – The Sweet Sound of Success’.
Speaking to a limited press gathering, US Marshall Nelson Power added:
“As well as dozens of cuttings from newspapers and magazines, again largely about al-Qaida, supplementing the more academic reading, Bin Laden appeared to have been fixated with Tyrone people and what drives them to success. We’re looking into this ourselves as we were expecting an extensive Derry collection, especially from around Maghera and Dungiven, or even South Armagh.”
Unconfirmed Rumours have emerged since claiming Bin Laden kept a Tyrone jersey from 2003 under his bed which had the WJ Dolan lettering well worn suggesting he has used it a lot, maybe for kick-arounds outside his compound during quiet periods.
A video also shows Bin Laden laughing and roaring at his small TV which appears to be showing Datsun Donaghy’s ‘How I Won The Sam Maguire’.
As NI’s political leaders rejoice in the signing of a new agreement, a well-read man from Kildress has urged people to read the small print carefully before giving the document the green light, a document which includes restrictions on wearing turned-up jeans in daylight and playing Garth Brooks music in public.
Paudie McCleen (51) also had specific reservations about plans to rise the water level of Lough Neagh which will see Brocagh, Derrylaughan and Derrytresk eventually submerged in 12 feet of water, proposals to see the other half of Ballinderry returned to Tyrone, schemes to bore into the Sperrins and build caves for ‘Jobseekers Allowance and Customs and Excise officials’ and the possible renaming of many towns and villages across the county to make them more romantic or continental.
McCleen had a word of warning for residents in the Rock who are to be renamed ‘Brewer’s Droop’ and the Moy who will now be known as ‘Little Armagh’.
“Not a lot of consultation here. And if these proposals are to see the light of day, then it’s bye-bye to the loughshore townlands as we know it with the artificial rising of the water. Falls’ Pub will be a luxurious watering hole for eels. It’s really disappointing too what with the mouth-watering Derrylaughan/Derrytresk derby clash on the horizon next year.”
Other alterations will see no Tyrone flags in county border flashpoint areas such as Trillick, Castlederg and Cookstown, the banning of turned up jeans in daylight and the ruling against the playing of Garth Brooks songs in public from March-October.
“I’m also concerned about Ballinderry being returned to its rightful county. The Ballylifford townland ones have been a part of Derry for so long now and will have developed Derry customs and behaviour. It could take years of re-education to get them ready for the civilised world.”
The Stormont House Agreement also sees heavy sanctions for anyone slagging Fermanagh ones.
Despite sound-bites from the government to quell fears of a new breed of testicle-eating trouts and eels stalking Lough Neagh, swimmers and bathers along the western coastline of the lough confirmed they are still a real threat, and may be getting hungrier.
Two male swimmers from Derrylaughan, who every Saturday morning religiously partake in a short swim out to Coney Island and back to shake off hangovers, reported three attacks from three different breeds of fish during their 30-minute paddle. Kevin Barry, a 28-year old fencer, told us:
“I think that’ll be the last time I go for a dip in the lough until the problem is sorted. There’s no enjoyment when you’re constantly worried you’ll return to shore with mutilated knackers. I’ve never seen eels behave like that before, and I know my eels.”
Sunbather Harry Quinn (58) from Moortown was astonished at the attack he experienced whilst laying on a towel on the beach at the Battery. Wearing a tight-fitting pair of Moortown St Malachy’s shorts from his playing days in the early 80s, Quinn had to retreat to the pub after an unprovoked assault on Saturday:
“Ghost oh, I was just nodding off on the towel and before I know it a couple of Dollaghan were yanking the shorts off me and them 10 feet out of water. I barely managed to bate them off with a rolled up Irish News but not before on of the trout took a nick from one of my yokes.”
Local scientist Paddy Hughes maintains the new culinary tastes are a result of “global warming or the solar rays or something like that” and has warned male swimmers and fishermen to wear body armour or metal trunks for a few years “until the fish move on to China or somewhere like that”.
After only one week in operation, the Lough Neagh Speedgoat Company have closed due to multiple unforeseen difficulties.
The initiative, which received backing from the European Funding Association, suffered immediate teething problems when Gregory, their flagship goat, refused to enter the water due to the extremely cold temperature of the lough. Company CEO, Janet Donnelly, admitted it’s back to the drawing board for Lough Neagh money making ideas:
“We honestly thought the idea of speedgoats would see people flock to Lough Neagh from afar a field as Colombia or Sudan. It turns out goats aren’t deadly swimmers. We did managed to find one named Graham who didn’t mind the water that much but didn’t really move much. In fact, he just floated there looking a bit confused.”
The Lough Neagh Speedgoat Company called it a day after their three water-friendly goats found themselves constantly brawling with the lough’s natural residents such as eels, minks, pollan and midges.
“It wasn’t going to make much money. Children were sort of afraid of the whole concept and they were our target audience. Patsy Cush thought his ride was class but he was a lone voice and he has always been easily amused. The money is still there though so we’ll get thinking about new business ventures on the lough.”
Brocagh Primary School have recently run a competition for ideas on how to improve tourism on the lough. Suggestions have included:
- floating competitions
- dragon boat racing
- underwater rugby
- aqua aerobics
- reality show on water about fishing with phone votes and stuff