Category Archives: Stewartstown
Whist Drives across the county are said to be taking too long ever since the beleaguered Donald Trump became President of the United States of America.
Whist, a classic English trick-taking card game which was widely played in Irish clubs and societies until recently, involves the use of the term ‘trump’ which is the suit chosen by the last-dealt card that will beat all other suits regardless of rank. When two cards are played from the trump suit, the higher card wins the trick.
88-year old whist fanatic Geraldine McGuire from Beragh explained:
“Any time the word trump is mentioned now, you have to listen to grunt and tuts and then people start calling him a bollocks and that America is couped and stuff like that. The thing is, we can’t remember taking about it the last time so it just starts all over again when ‘trump’ comes up in the game. Maybe about 40 times a match. We didn’t get the game finished last night and it was 4am.”
A petition is now underway by a group of whist players in Galbally to get the word trump removed from the game and replaced with ‘deadly’, so that the deadly suit beats all other suits.
“We’re not trying to change the world here. Our generation prefer the word ‘trump’ to describe passing wind from your behind and we’re happy to still call it that, so we are.”
Rumours of fights at the Greater Coalisland Weekly Whist Drive have also been attributed to pro and anti Trump supporters from the surrounding area, with Stewartstown being a particular safe-haven for Trump fans.
Government officials have asked locals to ‘think again’ after many were lulled into a false sense of confidence in their physique after the recent spell of good weather, resulting in several arrests.
Children and the elderly in Omagh, Coalisland, Strabane, Cookstown, Dungannon and Carrickmore have been told to cover their eyes or stay indoors after 344 complaints were made to the Nolan Show and 132 to the police regarding the shape of men and some women walking around pavements and scenic walkways since Sunday.
Tyrone Social Standards Committee Chairperson Sheila McMullan admitted the warm spell caught a few people unaware and has promised strict sanctions will be enforced from tomorrow onwards until the sun is higher in the sky near July:
“I understand most people hadn’t planned for a bit of sun in April. But, for the love of God, think twice before the tops come off or the vest tops are employed. You don’t get footballers turning up for a big game in front of thousands not having trained or a stand-up comedian arriving with no jokes. Could these sun-worshippers please think of the elderly? One shock and it’s all over. Also, young children still have nightmares. Please have a bit of wit. Wait until the holidays.”
Community Watchdog groups in all major towns and large hamlets in the county have been given the power to perform a citizen’s arrest on anyone they suspect being out of shape whilst whipping off clothing in broad daylight.
Already there have been three arrests in The Moy, including two brothers who were spotted heading into the Post Office bare-chested and donning ill-fitting 1980s GAA shorts.
Meanwhile, plans to build a beach in Stewartstown have been shot down by locals who complained about the possibility of foreigners arriving and impressing the women.
In the run up to the Oscars, two Hollywood stars who have been nominated for Best Actor have been involved in an ugly social media argument over who should appear on the front cover of this month’s Mid-Ulster Focus magazine.
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) locked horns on Twitter after Tom Hanks suggested it would be a good time for any awardee to appear on the front cover of the latest edition of the mid-Ulster based publication with the Oscars coming up on the 22nd February in California.
Cumberbatch, who made his name as Sherlock Holmes on the BBC, claimed he was a massive fan of Cookstown Sausages and often daydreams of walking along the Coalisland Canal, adding that it would be a dream come true to appear on the front cover of Mid-Ulster Focus and that he was a far out relation of the Corr clan from the area.
Cooper appeared to be alerted by his people of Cumberbatch’s tweet and was quick to retort:
“Away a that a ye Cumberbatch. You wouldn’t know a Cookstown Sausage from a Stewartstown Steak. #chancer.”
before adding three minutes later:
“The Oscars should be held up at Tullyhogue Fort. Such a lovely place. #lovemidulsterfocus #lovemrcorr.”
Disappointingly, the Twitter war descended into a personal slanging match with Cooper calling Cumberbatch ‘Benny Cucumberbitch’ and Cumberbatch retorting repeatedly with the ‘#hangover-was-shite’ hashtag.
At the moment of writing, Mid-Ulster Focus has yet to reveal who they will have on the front cover of their magazine in the run up to the Oscars later in the month, adding that ‘it’ll probably be Mid-Ulster related‘.
You can download a copy of Mid-Ulster Focus for £1 from here – http://midulsterfocus.com/
or click here
The vote on Scottish independence on the 18th September will have massive ramifications on Stewartstown’s future, according to local tradesman Johnny Logan.
The Stewartstown Question, as it is locally known, may finally be resolved if the Scottish people vote yes and successfully make the jump towards a stand-alone nation. Logan, who claims his family can be traced back in Stewartstown to 3000BC, reckons the time is right for his small town to rise above the tyranny of the Irish nation and take its place amongst the superpowers on the planet.
“It’s an itch that just won’t go away”
cryptically revealed Logan, before speeding off in his Datsun to ‘fix a woman’s pipes’ in Tullyhogue. A hour later, a flustered Logan expanded on his theory:
“We’ve always felt we were different from everyone else, even from the Cookstownonians and the Tullyhoggish. We like corned beef. They ate sushi. We like Dallas. They like Eastenders. We still play Kajagoogoo. They’re into The Killers. It’s just a different culture here.”
Foaming at the mouth, Logan began to recite questionable biblical references to The Stewartstown Question:
“In the Book of Red Pat, it says ‘And Ye Will Rise Up And There Will Be Great Joy And Jubilation. And He Will Reveal Himself As President Of The Town Of Tins. And His Name Will Be Logan‘. Well, you can’t get any clearer than that. We’re forming a new country here, make no mistake. It will be nicknamed The Aluminium Curtain.”
Logan confirmed that if passed, The Independent Republic of Stewartstown will have its own currency called the Reddy and national anthem which may be The Heat Is On by Glenn Frey. They will continue to speak English and a bit of Irish.
A series of wine-tasting evenings hosted by the recently-opened The Black Sheep restaurant in Stewartstown may be cancelled, after the first of the events disintegrated into inebriated chaos.
The wine tasting event, where the the guests are expected to take only a sip or two of a range of fine wines, was organised by the Black Sheep restaurant to increase its custom and to introduce new exciting ways to introduce good quality to wine to its clientele.
“Maybe it was a bit much for Stewartstown”, admitted restaurant manager Finnuala Keenan. “We wanted the patrons of the event to really understand and appreciate the finer points of amazing wines. Instead some of them were intent on trying to drink their own weight in Chablis. The clifts”.
In particular, local man Fergal McAleer was pointed out as being particularly poorly behaved.
“It was clear he was wrote aff before he even got there”, complained Keenan. “He spent ten minutes chatting to the grandfather clock in the lounge thinking it was the wine waiter. He was pretending he was some big wine authority, but he was fooling no-one. And his manners were disgusting”.
Keenan explained that McAleer glugged back almost an entire bottle, declaring it was the finest vintage he had ever tasted, before realising he had accidentally been drinking a bottle of table vinegar that had been left out since lunchtime. He allegedly followed this up by taking a long slug of Chiraz, slurring, “I am amused by its impertinence”, before vomiting all over his own legs.
“How dare they criticise my manners”, bristled McAleer after the event. “I’m a big wine man around these parts. I only threw up because it was a dodgy bottle of whatever it was I drinking. Was it red? Maybe it was white. Anyway, I’m as considerate as they come. That’s why I was drinking it straight from the bottle. Trying to save them the washing up on the wine glasses, understand?”
Keenan however insisted that McAleer was far from the only protagonist.
“I was hoping to host an evening of sipping fine wine and informed chat about vineyards and tannins and suchlike. What did I end up with? 16 people singing ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ at the top of their voices. These people just don’t do sipping.”.
The restaurant intends to persevere with similar events but set at a lower standard, with a Buckfast-tasting evening planned for next Friday.
- The controversial plans to bring time forward in the Republic of Ireland have reportedly left Stewartstown residents furious. Retired teacher Johnny Fee, wearing an A-Team jumper, remarked “We’re still trying to catch up with 2014 and now this happens. How will we ever get out of 1983 at this rate?”
- Augher woman Hillary Frank plans to make good the changes to the Republic’s new time by watching the RTE Lotto in Tyrone and then scooting across the border, losing an hour in the process and arriving before the draw has happened in the south, to bet on the magic six numbers.
- Clonoe have decided to put an end to the general downcast mood on show in the area since the senior team bowed out of the Championship by bringing Christmas forward to December 3rd to give people something to look forward to. PP Fr Fay has also promised to make masses shorter and have good looking Eucharistic Ministers in order to raise spirits.
- Omagh teacher Carlito McCabe has been awarded a £3000 grant to go towards his research into why so many Tyrone men are bald by the age of 25. His lab at Queen’s University has already operated on 18 bald Tyrone men with results inconclusive so far though some early signs hinting at midges, eels and brown sauce as possible causes.
- Derrytresk GFC, who cannot represent Tyrone if they win the Junior title this year, are considering finding a way around the ban by changing their name. Early suggestions include Hanna Hill, Fitzgerald Fighting Cocks and Little Italy.
- Galbally have registered their anger at tripadvisor.co.uk after someone was allowed to write ‘Crap. Don’t go near this place. A hellhole’ on the Galbally page, their first ever comment. To add salt to the wound, the comment was made by someone with the username ‘kildresswolfetonesabu’.
- Sion Mills entrepreneur Sammy Gibson has shelved his plans to create ‘Google Underpants’ where you control the computer screen by moving your pants about. Early tests indicated it just looked wrong in places such as libraries and schools.
Scientists last night were said to be dumbfounded and bedazzled at the discovery of old mobile phones at a dig in the area, dating right back to the 1960s.
Authorities were notified about possible important fossils after diggers at a new site on the town came across a pile of massive mobile phones wrapped up in toilet tissue paper. On further inspection, it appears that these mobiles pre-dated the iphone and other smart phones by at least 40 years going by some of the text messages discovered on them.
One such message dates back to the 1969 moon landing and hints at the scepticism around Stewartstown at the time:
Professor Jack Lyons explains:
“This is quite remarkable. It appears that the residents of Stewartstown had invented messaging capabilities long before the superpowers across the globe. Going by the finds, it appears they were using BT as a service provider by hooking up one big phone to an electricity pole as a generator. “
Other examples show a timeline of life in the 80s and 90s in Stewartstown:
Local historian Kitty Fee was coy on the finds:
“Yes I was aware we were ahead of the game at the time. But, it’s something we don’t want dug up, ok? In 1999 we took a decision to destroy all these phones after sexting became rife in the town. Men and women were sending dirty pictures to each other at all hours and the priest was going mad and said he was going to excommunicate us all. It had to stop. Now, move on.”
One of our journalists was able to leak another text to the office which throws light on the sexting debacle that threatened to destabilise the town:
An Italian cyclist, who arrived in Ireland this week to attempt a dry run of the Irish leg of Giro d’Italia later in the year, became the unlucky recipient of Coalisland’s first parking ticket during a shopping trip in the town today.
Giovanni Sherri (28) was told by the warden that his bike was badly parked up against a wall outside Dorman’s Pharmacy and was issued with a £60 on the spot fine as well as a verbal warning about future conduct by warden Joe Quinn from the town himself.
Bystander and local man Kieran Corr (64) saw the whole incident pan out:
“I had just been saying to myself that the bike was badly parked. It had only the handlebar against the wall, instead of both wheels and the seat too. It was an accident waiting to happen. Thank God that traffic warden appeared out of nowhere and saved the day. We in Coalisland pride ourselves on our perfect parking tradition. How would he like it if we went to Italy and made spaghetti out of bits of string? Local customs must be upheld.”
Corr refuted suggestions that a spoof warden was used to get the media off their backs due to their suspiciously clear record. There were also reports of the warden Quinn buying a round of drinks in O’Neill’s later:
“Nonsense. OK, he was a local lad but he has an official yellow jacket, clipboard and ticket book. “
Meanwhile, Sherri admitted he enjoyed his time touring Tyrone and especially liked Stewartstown, describing it as ‘like something from 100 years ago’.
“I even met my far out relatives, the original McSherrys, who emigrated to Italy in the 1600s because they liked ice cream, meatballs, the mafia and fighting lions.”
He later admitted he wouldn’t be back.
By Fr Riddle Lynn (guest journalist from portglenone.wordpress.com)
As a result of the unpleasantness which inevitably arises in the Portglenone area, at the very mention of the topic of Antrim and Derry, we decided to ask our readers to tell us what they felt were the 20 most influential things ever to have come out of County Tyrone.
We received literally some replies, most of which were either unprintable or illegal and one involving a goat which, quite frankly, was not even physically possible. Our Pointless Statistics Team once more got on the job but when they were finished, they put together this table of results in offending order;
20. West Tyrone Constituency Boundary: The relatively new parliamentary area has been cleverly passing itself off as France for some time now resulting in its attracting thousands of tourists expecting to see Eurodisney and The Eiffel Tower. The disappointed pilgrims are forced to make do with an electricity pylon in Urney and Eurospar, Omagh.
19. Cranagh: The village adjudged by National Geographic Magazine as ‘the furthest you can go out of the way before you start coming out the other side’.
18. Paul Brady: The curly, surly ginger, singer/songwriter and professional ‘Bosco’ impersonator who brought us the classic refrain;
I wanna take you to Coalisland
And count the off-licences per man
And in the evening when the sun goes down
We’d rip the ATM from the local filling station
17. Making Pat Spillane Puke: A classic reversal of the normal pattern of Pat Spillane making everyone else hurl their fadge.
16. The Place Name ‘Sandholes’: Deriving from the Old French ‘Sans Houlles’, meaning ‘Without Arse”, the area is credited as the home of the design of cheap supermarket denim which reduces ‘buttock protrusion’ in male wearers over 35 years of age.
15. Splash: The popular Saturday night, light entertainment programme where fading celebrities imitate their own careers by falling unceremoniously from a great height without being touched in an attempt to garner advantage which is scarcely deserved. The format is based on the career of Brian Dooher. (Apart from the great height bit obviously)
14. The Carnteel Road: By an amazing freak of geography, motorists travelling directly from Aughnacloy to Dungannon will pass the end of the Carnteel Road on no less than 14 occasions.
13. The Place Name ‘Orritor’: For the sheer joy of positioning a district which sounds like a body cavity in close proximity to another called ‘Sandholes’.
12. Sir James Cricket: A comedian who has sustained a 40 year career with an act based entirely on a humorous tea-towel which my mother brought back from Westport in 1972. Don’t come here.
11. Benburb Sunday: A day where children up to the age of 12 were rounded up by monks and made to pay to slide down a hill on a carpet of rough hardboard resulting in semi-permanent scarring of skin tissue on the thigh and elbow.
10. Dennis Taylor’s Wiggly Index Finger: Widely regarded as being amongst the finest of the gargantuan-spectacle wearing ball potter’s eleven fingers.
9. Penfold from Dangermouse: No list would be complete without the pint-sized, sidekick, cartoon-moaner and his hilarious catchphrase; “Carrickmore Gaelic Fudball Club”.
8. The Amazing Disappearing Letters ‘T’& ‘W’: Used to such wonderful effect in the pronunciation of places such as ‘Cookson” ‘Stewarson’ and ‘Twincamton’.
7. Eugene McMenamin’s Unfeasibly Black Eyebrows: The Strabane based MLA holds the distinction of having been balancing two ‘Granny Grey Beard’ caterpillars on his forehead since 1984.
6. The Red Hand of Ulster: Yeah, thanks a bunch for that!
5. The Carland Bypass: The wonderful decision to remove the one corner which broke the utter monotony of driving between Cookstown and Dungannon.
4. Eponymously Titled Products which are now Defunct: Tyrone Brick, Tyrone Crystal, Tyrone Power, Tyrone Moderate Alcohol Consumers.
3. Consilio et Prudentia: Although also the names of two Late (possibly ex) (possibly Latex) Nuns from Loretto convent in Omagh, this is actually the irony valve straining motto of the county translating as…wait for it…no I’m serious….”Wisdom & Prudence”.
2. The Untimely Demise of Tyrone Tom’s Red Shorts: The ill-thought out decision to use the Greencastle man’s iconic shorts as an agreed alternative to the Union flag on Belfast City Hall.
And of course topping the list
A 44 year old Brackaville boiler servicer has commenced legal proceedings against a Dungannon opticians after he walked straight into a glass window in the shop where he had just purchased his glasses. Harry Gillis, who has been wearing glasses since he was 7, claims he wasn’t told he had to wait for the lenses to be made, walking off with just the frame on his nose.
“At no time did they say I needed to wait for the lenses bit. I needed new glasses so they told me to pick what I liked from the shelf. After paying for them, the woman walked into the lab so I thought it was deal done and got up with my new specs on. The next thing I know I’m walking straight through a glass partition onto the street, completely shattering the whole window-wall. Everyone laughing made it worse.”
Boiler expert Gillis, who knew he needed new glasses las week after he serviced a neighbour’s dog kennel by mistake, reckons it was a townie v culchie practical joke.
“Them Dungannon townies are always making fun of us country ones calling us munchies and stuff. I think I was set up for their amusement as well as to bump up some business. I’m told the YouTube footage from their CCTV has 1.2 million views already. People forget I could have been hurt. Luckily I walk by kicking out my boots in front of me so they took the bulk of the damage. “
Legal expert Fergus Brogan from Stewartstown gives Gillis a chance of success:
“I have a good record. Last year I successfully sued Hollywood for $300 after a Coagh man claimed he was still having nightmares after watching Jaws 2.”
A 2-second blast of thunder left most of East Tyrone on high alert throughout the night with police reporting 1340 calls from worried homeowners. PSNI officials also admitted they spent a couple of hours driving about looking for the noise before the Met Office in Belfast informed them that the sound was actually thunder.
The blast, which occurred around 10pm last night, was described as something close to the sound of a nuclear bomb according to Dungannon pub-owner Jamesey Sloan:
“I’ve never heard anything like it. There were boys running all over the town screaming and shouting about the war being back on and about heading to the bunkers. Women were crying and wailing, saying rosaries in the middle of the street. It was like a film.”
Meanwhile in Ardboe, thousands of residents got into their boats and rowed for Antrim on the other side of the Lough. Patsy Coney remarked:
“Ghost oh boys it was tara. We thought maybe the Sperrins were falling down or something so we all sailed East. A couple of boys swam it. The clergy were handing out Last Rites all over the joint.”
PSNI spokesman Herr Steinburger admitted there were a few red faces in the force:
“Yes, we got caught up in the whole excitement. We had 400 officers out in jeeps looking for the noise. When you add in the 200 or so vigilantes also out searching for the noise there was chaos on the roads. We thought it came from a poitin barn in Stewartstown but he said he’d made all his Christmas batches months ago.”
BBC Weather confirmed it was just one short blast of thunder and warned locals not to go clean mad again tomorrow when hailstones are predicted.
The world-renowned author J K Rowling is close to purchasing the whole of County Tyrone as a Christmas present to Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane, as a thank you for playing the part of Hagrid the giant, in the Harry Potter series.
The author, estimated to be worth a staggering £10 billion, decided to splash out once she had made the choice between snapping up the County, the new Peter Andre album, or a signed picture of Malachi Cush.
“I’ve always loved Tyrone”, said the author, “I was going to keep it for myself and use it as a sort of garden feature, but I know Robbie will be thrilled to have it instead. But he lives in London, so I’m going to have my people fly it over so it sits somewhere just outside Surrey. I’m sure Tyrone people won’t mind. It is a little island off the east coast of Scotland, isn’t it?”
The purchase, believed to run into a four-figure sum, came as welcome news to cash-strapped Tyrone council management.
“This is mighty”, said local Councillor Enda McMann. “We’re up to our arses in debt and this is a class way of helping out the County. Jaysus, we were nearly having to auction off the Council’s Philomena memorabilia collection. Imagine that? As it is, we’ve had to sell the Council’s fleet of chauffeur-driven Lamborghinis. Yep, it’s that bad. We might have to sell a couple of the yachts next”.
The news was greeted warmly by many residents. Benny Sloan from Caledon said,
“I’ve always been a big Harry Potter fan. Them fillums where he says, ‘Are you feelin’ lucky punk’ and then shoots up the place is pure class. I love Clint Eastwood. If Robbie gets Tyrone, maybe Clint’ll get Armagh”.
However, not everyone was happy. 57-year old Oonagh Trainor from Eglish said,
“This spells disaster. Literally. What if them Dementor boys turn up, eh? Do you know what they are? I’ll tell yiz. They’re among the foulest creatures to walk this earth, that’s what they are. They feed off human happiness and create depression and despair to anyone near them. How would we tell them apart from some of the ones from Stewartstown?”
The purchase of the County is to remain a secret from Coltrane until Christmas Day, during which time Rowling plans to either wrap it in 1,300 square miles of Christmas paper, or alternatively cover it with a gigantic cloak of invisibility.
Scientists in America have confirmed that recents tests show residents of East Tyrone are even more closely related to baboons than what had already been suspected. Professor Kenny Cullen, from the Institution of Biology and Genetics in Boston, spent five months in Ardboe after a year-long stay in Zambia. He is convinced that at around the time of Jesus, there were more baboons on the loughshore than humans.
“Yes, I’m totally convinced now. I enjoyed my time in Ardboe but I could easily have been in the jungles of Zambia and Tanzania. The similarities of the baboon community and everyone from Pomeroy eastwards was remarkably similar. Physically, both sets of males have powerful jaws, thick body hair and sharp teeth. The women on both sides have protruding buttocks which they use to impress the males, especially around Brocagh. That’s only the tip of the iceberg.”
The biological togetherness doesn’t end there. Prof Cullen also noticed a remarkable alikeness for behaviour:
“They both like running about aimlessly in open fields, hunting in packs for food at any time of day and night, eating a lot of fish and grass, and showing aggression by stripping their teeth and screaming or smacking their own lips. In Derrylaughan they beat their chests when not getting served in time in Falls’ shop or pub. It’s quite remarkable.”
Cullen admits that East Tyrone humans have evolved somewhat in order to fit into a more civilised world without shocking visitors from the west or other communities.
“Fortunately, the human variation has modified their behaviour somewhat. For example, the East Tyrone male does not attempt to woo a partner by grooming their target and eating any nits they find on her mane. One Coalisland human tried that at a disco in Cookstown and was met with a swift and painful handbag whelp across his face.”
Professor Cullen is to embark on another 10-years mission to discover the links between West Tyrone locals and wild feral dogs.
Stewartstown locals have admitted they are slightly unnerved by the ‘rakes of boys talking down their sleeves in American accents’ walking about the town this week in the run up the anniversary of JFK’s assassination in 1963. Stewartstown has been on everyone’s lips across the world this week due to their home-town boy and Special Agent William Robert Greer who joined the Secret Service in 1945 having served in the US Navy during the war. He was a trusted servant and acted as a personal bodyguard to both Presidents Truman and Eisenhower before being chosen to drive John F Kennedy through Dallas on 22 November 1963.
The FBI appear to have not just reopened the case against Greer, but are actively pursuing the theory that Stewartstown may have been central to many international incidents over the last century. Some of these include:
- Wall Street Crash
- Faked Moon Landing
- Cuban Missile Crisis
- Elvis Presley
- Watergate Scandal
- In the buff Sammy Wilson’s holiday pictures
An FBI official confirmed they’re taking a ‘no-crap’ stance with Stewartstonians:
“Greer may be an innocent man but the more we learn about his homeplace, the more we’re sure that this may just be the dastardliest place on planet Earth. Just yesterday I heard a man outside the Credit Union saying the whole Kennedy stuff was going to be ‘deadly’. What did he mean? What are these monsters going to carry out? Make no mistake – Stewartstonians are capable of anything in our book.”
So far, the FBI have raided 60 homes looking for incriminating evidence on PCs and under beds. Unfortunately only one computer has been found and it was a Commodore 64 from 1986 in full working order. They’ve also confiscated 120 books, 90 of them a pamphlet on the history of the Stewartstown Pipe Band. The other 30 were Fifty Shades of Grey.
SF councillor Jackie Logan fumed:
“They’re a tarra nuisance with their ‘hey men’ and ‘got any candy lady?’. They’ll find nothing here”
concluded Logan with a wink and a gap-toothed smile.
After five days of intensive observation, housewife eye-candy Dr Brian Cox has headed back to England ‘despondent and bewildered’ after failing to explain how time has developed completely different dimensions in Stewartstown compared to everywhere else in the world.
Speaking from his laboratory in London, Cox revealed a few of the unsolvable conundrums which have left him a broken man:
“They kept this from us at the College of Physics I went to. For example, on the first night I went for a pint in the Roadside Tavern and the bartender said he’s be with me ‘in a minute’. I timed him and he returned to me in 4 mins 33 seconds. In that period he had checked the horse racing and spoke to another punter about Logan and the Under 21s. I just couldn’t work out if I’d just witnessed time travel or not. I couldn’t sleep that night.”
As Cox collected more evidence of a parallel universe in Stewartstown he explained another phenomenon which confirmed that time had different properties in mid-Ulster.
“I wanted to go to Cookstown to buy jeans in the world-famous market and asked a local if I needed to get a bus to there. He said it was ‘only down the road’ and that it was only ‘a locka minutes’. TWO HOURS it took walking and I was near wrote off on the Poplar Hill Road by a boy from Lissan in an Escort. That confirmed to me that ‘time’ as we know it has bypassed Stewartstown.”
Cox is also investigating the possibility that time is also standing still since the 80s after discovering the following telltale signs:
- 80% of 40 year olds are still wearing A-Team sweatshirts
- Every night closing time in pubs is signalled by the playing of ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe
- Many parents collected their children from school on space-hoppers
- ‘I Shot JR’ is spray-painted on most gable walls.
- ‘Big Hair and Mullet’ combo sales in local barbers.
The news that a dog has been togging out for the successful Ardboe minor team has encouraged a flood of other animals to come forward and admit they have been playing football and hurling for years across the county. Beragh, Derrytresk, Urney and Stewartstown are only some of the clubs named today as having used animals in league games down the years and one in a crucial championship match.
A Bilberry goat, who wishes to remain anonymous, revealed he played three league games for Derrytresk in 2011 as the management rested players for important championship games:
“Yes that is true. Against Owen Roes I played corner forward, corner back against Dregish and in the final game I togged out in midfield against Newtownstewart, scoring 0-2. To be honest I felt a bit used. I was under strict instructions not to talk to the opposition or to the press afterwards. They also warned me not to do goaty things like eating the grass or excreting all over the place willy-nilly. I felt like a silly billy.”
At the same time a wolf from Beragh revealed he played an entire season in goals five years ago.
“Yes, I’m glad the Derrytresk goat opened the floodgates. I was goalkeeper for the Beragh Red Knights for 16 league games in 2008 and was also silenced by our tyrannical management team. That was bad enough but the slagging I got in the showers was unbearable. They goaded me so much calling me hairy bollocks and all that I snapped after a game in Brocagh and bit the nose clean off our captain. They left me alone after that but I was never one of the lads.”
Two unrelated donkeys, Sam from Urney and Donal from Stewartstown held a press conference at the donkey sanctuary in Tattyreagh. Donal told the waiting journalists:
“This is only the start. You’ll find a lot more animals coming forward in the coming days. We contacted the GPA but they weren’t interested. We’ve now created the GAA (Gaelic Animal Association) and will look for fair play. I played a championship hurling game for Stewartstown against Dungannon a couple of years ago and afterwards I was used as transport for the chairman and his wife who live in Lissan. It’s just not right.”
The county board is investigating the accusations as well as the rumour that an entire battery of hens lined out for Moortown in a 2007 end-of-season fixture against Aghaloo, losing by a point. The match had attracted mysterious bets from Thailand.
The sprawling village of Stewartstown, where no one has emigrated from or immigrated to since 1979, has decided to flex its international muscle and issue a sort-of nuclear threat to the rest of the world that they’ll be ‘taking no more shit’ from today onwards. Unfortunately nicknamed ‘tintown’, after it was revealed in 1948 that labourers wrap everything in tinfoil from their lunch to their tools, residents have decided that now was the time to reveal the arsenal of weapons they have been stockpiling since 1969 when they struck up a deal with the Russians.
Lord Mayor Cal Coyle announced during a hastily-arranged press conference outside the Credit Union:
“Yes, that’s right lads and lassies. We’re the bucking big boys now. We have shedfuls of Spanish fireworks, caps for Chinese toy guns, French bangers and Brazilian sparklers. Buckets of the stuff. Underground bunkers, hideouts in rural areas – you name it. Let the message be loud and clear – one more online reference to tintown or any other derogatory reference to Stewartstown and this planet is going to experience the Armageddon. Starting with Portugal or New Zealand maybe. We might give Brackaville a rattle first, like as a test drive.”
Flanked by 7 men and 3 women all wearing welding masks as disguise, Coyle was asked what sparked the declaration of war on the world at this particular time:
“I was reading something on boards.ie yesterday regarding weeding lawns and someone said something about ‘Stewartstown a.k.a. Tintown’. That was the straw that broke the donkey’s back. Then there’s them North Koreans, the Pakistanis, the Yanks, the Russians, the Chinese and the Iranis all boasting away about their nuclear capabilities. Well, try counteracting 5000 loop-the-loop fireworks being dropped on you from about 1200 feet. One of our lads recently got a provisional pilot’s licence and we know we can hire a small 2-seater from Newtownards. Just push our buttons one more time. ONE MORE TIME.”
The UN have confirmed they are taking this threat seriously but will wait to see if it’s just a result of nerves before the Intermediate quarter final against Brackaville that has sparked today’s declaration.
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 once-famous Brackaville ghost, who drew millions of people to the area in 2009 after making a few appearances, has announced that unless people start showing her a bit of respect she will pack up and head to Stewartstown who would be crying out for a bit of supernatural shenanigans. ‘Lily’, who says she’s about 200 years young or thereabouts, claims bad manners and general begrudgery has made her life a living hell:
“Ignorant shower of ungrateful living people around here. Yes, they were all over me when the crowds were flocking to the Mullaghmoyle Road after I made a couple of midnight danders outside the house. They couldn’t get enough of me. It was Lily this and Lily that. Newspaper people from England and all. Then I started to hear the grumblings from jealous women up the road who simply didn’t like the thought of their husbands and boyfriends talking about me all the time. Then the men turned on me too in order to placate the women. I’m off. People just drive through me now.”
Lily claims she was also being used as a scapegoat for every misdemeanour in the area from tax evasion to smuggling diesel:
“Yes, that’s correct. Men were being done for non-payment of TV licences, insurance or diesel and in court they’d plead innocence by saying ‘it was the ghost that done it’, claiming I was stealing documents and letters or leaving illegal fuel lying about. The powers-that-be would buy into it for fear of being haunted if they didn’t believe in me. As if I wanted to be at that craic at my age. All I want is a pint in Campbells and a round of golf up the road. I’m 200 for God’s sake.”
Lily claims she may move to Stewartstown before the year is out:
“That is maybe the fresh challenge I need. Sure foreigners don’t even go there. I’d shake that town up.”
A 28 year old former Miss Greencastle caused chaos on the hills of County Mayo at the weekend after driving up one of Ireland’s tallest mountains in a Nissan Cherry.
Susie McGurk, who briefly hit the headlines in August last year after driving all the way to Dublin in first gear in a Datsun Sunny, was eventually stopped by the Mayo’s Mountain Rescue Service which was patrolling Croagh Patrick.
“To be honest, since the handlin’ to Dublin last year, I solved it by driving everywhere in fifth gear”, said the Greencastle woman, “And most of the time it works. But this business about driving from Greencastle to Mayo and then up Croagh Patrick has me really affronted. Especially as I only meant to go to Gortin to get some mince”.
McGurk set out on Monday lunchtime and drove for nearly three hours.
“Aye, looking back on it, for a trip to Centra it did seem a wee bit odd”, admitted the hapless McGurk, “But I just thought it was the roadworks on the Blackbog Road slowing everything up”. McGurk soon found herself driving up a rocky mountain path at a 60-degree angle. “Really, I’ve felt worse going over them speed bumps in Carrickmore. I thought nothing of it. The first thing I knew something was wrong was when I saw all these people walking around in bare feet looking exhausted. I thought I had driven into Stewartstown by mistake. It was only when a goat jumped onto the windscreen that I knew something was wrong. So I took it a bit easier and dropped her down into fourth”.
The mountain rescue workers, dressed in bright orange overalls and hard hats, revealed that McGurk did nothing for cross-county relations when she was eventually stopped. McGurk was alleged to have shouted,
“Are you the guys from The Village People? Get out the feckin’ way ye feckers. The Weakest Link starts at 5 o’clock”, before sliding backwards into a ditch, a sheep, and three hill walkers. “Well, there was something wrong with the stupid car”, said McGurk. “This big pillow burst out of the steering wheel for no reason after I bumped into something. Might have been a bull. What’s that all about?”
McGurk is due to sit her driving test next month.