Plans to grant Ballygawley’s famous Hill ‘listed’ status have been unveiled by Mid-Ulster Council. Just like the town’s eponymous roundabout (world famous to generations of Belfast ones evacuating on The Twelfth) Ballygawley Hill is synonymous with local memories and folklore.
According to respected local hill-watcher Dennis Dunlop,
“The Hill was formed in 400 AD when The Romans were building a slide, but they stopped to take pints so it never got finished.”
When strange and unknown people come to town, the Hill immediately becomes pivotal to their experience. Without even asking for directions we were warmly told, “The Protestant chapel is up the Hill, turn left and straight on down ‘til you come to it.”
The Hill also forms part of the sexy ‘Swingers Corner’, where plenty a buck drives up to Gormley’s Bar, swings her round and heads straight back down again.
Soapbox racing, diffing and cruising often take place on the road of the Hill itself. However, the cherished surface can become quite greasy in the rain. This means, like manys a good Ballygawley woman, conditions are always slippery.
It’s perhaps most infamous for the 2006 ‘Battle of Ballygawley’, when a load of Galbally lads fell out of a bus, rolled down the Hill and bate into Centra. Ejected from the school formal, all they wanted was crisps, toilet roll and “a feckin after-party”.
Despite being full of old people, no one in Ballygawley can ever claim to be over the hill – with many local people admitting they haven’t actually been beyond the top of it. Rumour has it that it leads to some strange and backward dystopia called Carrickmore, but according to Dennis, “that place sounds pretty shite so no one bothers goin’ ”.
by Lee Turavod
The NAMMMTMP-OI (National association of Masseurs, Masseuses, Massage Therapists and Physios of Ireland) are this afternoon up in arms at the announcement of the imminent installation of neck-brace vending machines into the foyers of churches across Tyrone.
Church-goers pump an estimated 13 million pounds into the local economy paying for treatments due to the vast array of neck injuries which are simply part and parcel of the church-going experience.
Jimmy-Joe McElhatton, joint 22 time and still reigning ‘All-Ireland Mass Attendance’ (avg. 376 per annum) and ‘Wake Attendance’ (298 per annum) Champion, better known across the land as ‘The White-Waker’ due to his deathly pallor and motto: “I stay up with the body – anybody – anywhere”, and for handing out trays of Silk Cut Red wherever he goes, “The Lord’s Bine”, welcomed the introduction of the braces:
“Sure jaysus it’s tara altogether… me neck’s broke looking around to see who’s most failed, making a mental note of who hasn’t shown up and forcing myself to not look round and up to the faces of those singing in the galleries”.
When this reporter asked why he isn’t a priest, where he could just face the congregation and scan, stare and scrutinise to his heart’s content, Jimmy-Joe had to splash holy water around his porcelain temples and go for a “wee lie-down”. Hours later he told me how he’d been forced to walk away from Maynooth after 3 weeks after
“smashing the ligaments right out a me neck twisting it round to check if I’d left the tabernacle door ajar”.
NAMMMTMP-OI members will be picketing outside mass from this weekend. Neck braces will be available to hire for two pounds per hour. Correct change required.
Community leaders in Coalisland have called for calm after it emerged that a well-known cafe in Coalisland added beans to their morning fry this morning, resulting in a 200-strong brawl at the roundabout between pro-bean and anti-bean gangs.
Landi’s, where diners travel to from all over Ireland to experience its suppers, maintain the beans are here to stay despite the ongoing riot which is still simmering in pockets around the town, as well as being a non-optional item on the dish.
Anti-bean gang leader Tommy Quinn is adamant that they will succeed in getting the new item removed from the menu:
“It’s a disgrace. I know for a fact that this is to placate the Dungannon ones who we all know are into their beans. But what about us, the loyal local fry-eaters? Beans will never be a staple ingredient of a fry in Coalisland for as long as I’m about. This is worse than the day they added the tomato.”
Three brothers from Brackaville were told to leave the premises at 10am after they demanded a fry with no beans. Despite being warned five times that the beans were a new non-optional item on the menu, they refused to order anything else and proceeded to fire opened ketchup sachets around the room, one of which ruined Fr Toner’s collar.
Seven arrests were made in Annagher after a pro-bean gang from the area defaced a road sign with the message ‘beans are deadly’.
Greencastle Man Vows To Try Pancake-Making Again Next Year After Kitchen Wrecked For Third Year Running
An adventurous Greencastle entrepreneur claims he will not be deterred from giving his family a pancake breakfast on Shrove Tuesday next year after he ravaged his kitchen for the third year running.
Describing his pancakes as ‘a bit crispy to be fair’, Diarmuid O’Devlin maintains he is not far off from producing the finished product despite causing over £20’000 worth of damage to their state-of-the-art kitchen area:
“It’s just a matter of timing. Last year I put too many eggs into the pan and that seemed to start a bit of a fire which was eventually extinguished somewhere near the Gortin Glens. This year I got slightly distracted by a rerun of a good Knight Rider episode and the pancakes were a bit burnt, as well as the front part of the house.”
Luckily, the NI Fire Brigade West Tyrone Division hired over 40 part-time fire fighters for today due to the expected rise in previously kitchen-shy men striving to impress family members with their pancake-making skills, especially the day before Valentine’s Day this year.
Meanwhile a family in Omagh spent most of the morning eating their breakfast from the tops of ladders after all six pancakes made by local footballer Joey McMahon ended up stuck on the roof during an attempt to impress with his pancake-flipping skills. Mrs McMahon was later admitted to hospital with neck strain.
A 32-year-old plumber from The Moy has described his three hours of sobriety as ‘hell on earth’ after he went until 1pm without a pint for the first time since their epic intermediate win in Croke Park last Saturday.
Denzil Currie, who played on the Moy U14 side which defeated Derrylaughan in a Feis final in Blackwatertown in 2000, admitted what he saw wasn’t something he was prepared to deal with just yet:
“Bins overflowing….women shouting….unmilked cattle…it was like something from a zombie movie. I even saw Colm Cavanagh on top of Tomney’s roof making Tarzan sounds in broad daylight. Mickey will be raging. It’s pure carnage here and there’s no sign of it stopping. This All-Ireland will kill us..”
Church leaders have appealed for the 23 lapsed pioneers to return to the fold before it’s too late. Former teetotaler Kelly Mackle broke the record for the most pints of stout consumed during an episode of Pointless for three consecutive days this week, whilst Sean Cavanagh was last seen trying to dummy solo with a cabbage the whole way to Benburb on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, Derrylaughan seniors have vowed to ‘kick the shite’ out of the Moy when they meet in the senior division in 2018 to take them down a peg or two and exact revenge for that 2000 U14 loss.
The Clampers’ Association of Tyrone (CAT) are this evening said to be distraught after a 400% rise in bolt cutter sales since last week in stores all over the county.
Although the high-profile nature of Gerry Kelly’s skirmish with a clamp in Belfast is being blamed for the spike in figures, CAT spokesman Malachy Tally insisted it’s not a time to be pointing fingers:
“I’ve seen children as young as four walking about with bolt cutters trying to break into playgrounds long after closing hours, and pensioners forcing their way past locked doors into churches for some extra praying. It’s getting out of hand and we call on all rationally minded people to intervene when they see someone loitering with intent with a pair of cutters over their back.”
Meanwhile, the price of bolt cutters have rocketed since the weekend, with a Coalisland firm already in the process of setting up a crytpo-currency ICO start-up to raise funds to mass produce wire and bolt cutting devices.
Finally, an anti-clamp bolt-cutting cult in Strabane, known as the Clampets, have issued a statement, reminding people that they were not behind the recent damage done to a fence surrounding the Clady chicken farm which resulted in 70’000 chickens, some headless, running wild and clucking around the village from midnight last night til 6pm today.
Fr Vivian Sheeran, the controversial Cappagh priest who was thrown out of the Vatican last year for drinking 3 bottles of red wine and telling the Pope he was a ganch, has managed to irk the whole of Armagh by claiming God was comparing the Orchard County to forbidden fruit.
In a 2-hour long sermon in his home parish, Fr Sheeran maintained that God was hinting at Adam and Eve to stay away from Armagh, represented by a tree in the story, but when they did eat the apples they ventured into the county and were damned to hell for eternity.
Parishoner Henry Quinn (77) agreed with the priest’s interpretation:
“It seems plausible enough. My own grandfather mistakenly wandered into Blackwatertown and was beset with health problems thereafter. He died 2 years after that, ironically choking on an apple.”
According to listeners, Sheeran went on to claim that 2002, the year Armagh lifted the All Ireland, was a precursor to the apocalypse and mankind was only saved when God himself lifted the trophy the following year.
Meanwhile, next weekend Fr Sheeran will become the first priest in the world to marry a man to his pet dog, ‘Bubbles’, in a lavish ceremony outside the Rock.
Tyrone county officials have admitted to being stretched this week after scrambling to prepare the Healy Park away dressing room to meet the demands of multiple All-Ireland champions and multi-millionaires Dublin.
The Boys in Blue, who thrashed Tyrone last August in between holidays to Dubai and Kinsale, arrive by private jet in Omagh on Saturday night for the second round of fixtures in the National League.
A leaked A4 sheet of paper revealed the extent of the Dublin management’s expectations when visiting county grounds:
– Heated benches
– Unlimited supply of unfiltered Dublin water
– personalised hangers with each player’s initials on them
– newspapers from across the world including the Financial Times
– soothing classical music and strictly no country music
– No member of the public within a 400 year radius
– Framed picture of Bertie Ahern
– 73 degree fahrenheit exactly
– a ping-pong table
– a large urn containing noodles and jellied eel
– two smartly dressed hostesses from Omagh
– a temporary runway for landing and taking off
A Tyrone GAA sources added:
“We’ve been able to meet most of the demands but a few towards the end are proving problematic. We need to get this right or Dublin could throw us out of the Association altogether.”
If all else fails, the Gortin Road will be cordoned off as a temporary landing strip for the Jackeen players.
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.”
Despite rumours to the contrary, a pair of socks given as a Christmas present to a father of four just outside Omagh are still in operation despite approaching the end of January.
Retailers in the county confirmed that over 6900 pairs of socks were bought in the county in the run up to the festive period. It was thought that only 3450 single socks remained after the 25th of January until a man was spotted, and eventually approached, in the Spar in Tattyreagh wearing a matching pair of Game of Thrones socks.
John McCabe, who was out buying wheaten bread and a packet of Fruit Pastilles, admitted:
“It’s a pure fluke. I thought one of them was an A-Team one I’ve had since 1986 but it does now appear that I have two of the same kind. Who’d have thought that? I’m urging other men not to give up hope.”
Meanwhile, a survey has revealed that the long month after Christmas has left many families eating things at the back of their cupboards despite warning from health officials. A mother in Cookstown this morning admitted to friends in the hairdressers that she fed the whole family pickled cockles from a small jar for dinner all week.
Corporate GAA has dripped its way down into grassroots level after it emerged that Derrytresk are to trial a new hospitality package for people wanting to watch their home games in this year’s intermediate league.
The 8-match deal, which will see teams such as Cookstown and Kildress visit the ground, will cost interested punters £400 or £60 per match which will include:
- Free entry to the game
- 50% off crisps and mineral in the first half
- 30p off beer and spirits
- a pre-match tour of the area including the chapel grotto and the River Blackwater
- Prime seats on the rampart
- free entry to cock-fights that weekend
- find the guns in the moss and win a fiver
- 2 JCB rides before and after a game
- Meet the captain for a drink after the game
A spokesman for the club added:
“We need to make it clear that this point that the package does not include a free ticket for the half time draw. That must be purchased separately.”
Meanwhile, Killyman GFC are looking into a similar package for their club as soon as they can find something to include in it.
A local community leader has labelled today a ‘great day for Moygashel’ after it emerged that the American president Donal Trump did not include them in his ‘shithole’ locations across the world.
The south Tyrone village, which comes from the old Irish for ‘town of the graffiti’, is preparing to launch a 2-day street party in what is being hailed as a ‘new era for area’ by Get Them Oul Til Fook (GTOTF) leader Henrietta Harlot:
“We’ve had a series of bad press over the years due to dubious posters and spray paintings and stuff but this is wonderful news. For a man of that power and prestige to not include us in a list of shitholes is like Christmas all over again. This is just the start of a new era for Moygashel.”
Not all residents agreed with GTOTF’s sentiments with graffiti having already emerged in the village this morning stating ‘We Exist Ye Trumpy Bastid’.
Meanwhile, a decision to start a collection to erect a statue in the village of Trump in honour of his statement regarding shitholes is to be debated today in the carpark of the Dungannon Independent Methodist Church.
A gang of about 12 Ardboe women, who peak through their venetian blinds at other members of their community going about their daily business and posting it online, have upped their reign of terror by setting up a blog whistle-blowing on people who are getting Jobseekers’ Allowance whilst working locally.
The notorious group also vowed to expose alledged under the counter deals, people driving whilst texting and general gulpin behaviour on their multiple social media sites by purchasing more venetian blinds for other minor rooms in their houses to look through.
Polly Coyle, the notorious Head of Operations for the Peakys, added:
“This is a new period of expansion for us. Ghost-oh, but the price of the venetian blinds is killing us though. And plasters too. A few of our women have sliced their fingers on these new razor-blade blinds. Our order of the Peaky Blinders will have to change to softer-edged ones.”
To date, the Peakys have waged war on communist Moortownians, Ballinderry unionists and pledged to sort out the Brocagh mafia before the year is out.
Meanwhile, a suspect crystal meth lab in Lissan which was raided on Monday has been deemed a false alarm. A local school teacher and his ex pupil were released after it emerged the lab was simply an elaborate poitin-making operation which is still legal in the village.
County On High Alert As Four Pomeroy Men Named In Starting 15, Fulfilling Revelations 13:11 Prophecy
Religious leaders have appealed for calm after it emerged that four Pomeroy players have been named in the Tyrone senior starting team to play Antrim in the McKenna Cup in Armagh tonight.
Although manager Mickey Harte has been known to make last minute changes, he is coming under acute pressure to bench at least one of them by doomsday merchants within the county.
Panic was widespread last night when Pastor Evan McGenical from Greencastle announced that in the Book of Relevations there is a reference to the ‘four horned men from the mountain that’s just a hill’ and how they would ‘come forth and massacre the men from the city’, a prelude to the Second Coming himself.
Pastor Genical added:
“I know Mickey isn’t one for the Revelations but he surely sees the warning signs. I know nothing about GAA and gaelic football but even I think it’s unusual to have even one Pomeroy man on the squad, never mind four of them starting. This could be the end for Tyrone in general.”
Sources have confirmed that Armagh ground staff are considering heightening the Red Hand fear by playing the music to The Omen when Tyrone make their way onto the field tonight.
Documents found in the attic of a house in Brackaville have suggested that Joe Brolly has been a Sir since 1993, according to a Brackaville club committee man who bought the new abode at an auction in Cookstown.
The piece of paper, written to Brolly by Anthony Tohill in early 1994, is now on show behind a glass case in the clubrooms despite Conor Grimes asking for it to be put into a filing cabinet.
Basil Gillis remarked:
“It’s quite obvious that Tohill was in on this. He started the letter ‘Dear Joe Brolly sir, ……’ and uses ‘sir’ loads of times in many sentences. It’s clear that Tohill didn’t know where to put the ‘sir’ with him being from Swatragh and all but it’s there in black and white.”
Although Gillis is unwilling to publish his findings yet, he is convinced that most of the Derry 1993 All-Ireland winning team were knighted after he stumbled upon a 20-year reunion video and most of them were calling each other ‘sir’ all night although it sounded more like ‘sur’.
“I’m just not surprised at all. I’ve seen a few of them Derry lads walking straight into restaurants or chippies and getting served straight away which we all know is a perk of being knighted by the Queen of England.”
Tyrone Tribulations can confirm that they overheard a sideline meeting between Damien Cassidy and Damien Barton at a Tyrone club match last year and they both addressed each other with the moniker ‘sir’, albeit at the end of the sentences.
Pub and shop owners in the county have urged people to stop giving off about Alexa after it emerged that over 1000 households in the county returned their Amazon Echo devices due to its inability to understand locals and vice versa.
In one extreme example, a man in his 40s from Eskra was witnessed kicking the device around his garden at 3pm on Christmas Day after it failed to understand “Alex, play the one ‘Mon Boy Light Thon Fire’ by that band The Durs” after 200 requests to do so.
Electronics expert Roger McGinnity from Omagh offered advice for locals who have yet to return their device:
“Alexa isn’t programmed to understand the subtleties of the Tyrone dialect. Asking it ‘is it coul the day?’ will confused the system and result in annoyance on both sides. My advice is to think of what you want to ask and have a dictionary nearby and mouth out the words that way. It’s still a useful device.”
The Amazon data team revealed that the most asked questions to Alexa in the county on Christmas Day were: ‘Alexa, will Trone win the All-Ireland the year?’ and ‘Alexa, are the cops nearby atall?’
Meanwhile a 43-year old man from Ardboe has proposed to the machine, surrounded by family and friends. Although Alexa was non-committal, a service will go ahead on New Year’s Eve, the first of its kind in the county.
By Aughoughilley Schniffles
News of an annual report from Strava, a website and mobile app that allows you to track cycling and running speeds and which revealed that Omagh has the fastest runners in the whole of Scotland, Wales, England and the North of Ireland, has alarmed Canadian based gold mining company Dalradian Resources – the firm seeking to extract Gold deposits from the Sperrin Mountains.
According to Dalradian, the Sperrins holds more than four million ounces of gold, with an unnamed representative adding:
“Most of the pure stuff lies in Tyrone, with the lower grade shite in the Derry parts – but to be honest we are mostly concerned that each of those potential employees who sent us their CVs are world-class sprinters. It hardly fills a gold mining company with confidence, given the security issues we face on a daily basis world-wide with workers trying to sneak out the stuff in increasingly cunning ways.”
Pete “Legs” MacDougal, a former mining engineer in the silver mines in Stirling, Scotland, confirmed it’s a trend he’s seen before:
“In ‘98/‘99, Stirling had the fastest runners in the whole of the UK. It was no coincidence either that they were queueing up for the mining work, with one a week on average legging it past security while flashing a smile of a solid gold front row teeth. From the stories I’ve heard of Tyrone people, I wouldn’t put it past them Omagh folks to have been doing sprint drills for years just waiting on the mining project to get the green light”
Both Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy have been spotted in Sallys recently, watching YouTube videos on how to fill golf balls with gold. It is understood a syndicate of as yet unnamed individuals are planning on constructing a giant washing machine with a magnet in the back, so that McIlroy can train them how to drive gold filled golf balls 350 yards out over any potential security fences.
In unrelated news Spandau Ballet are due to play Sallys night club this St Stephen’s night- with Gold VIP tickets priced at £3.50 each. All proceeds go to a good Claus.
A top Omagh literary historian, Dr John McGarvey, has concluded that Charles Dickens got his inspiration for A Christmas Carol after being forced to holiday in Ballyjamesduff with his parents in 1839 for a whole week.
Poring over Dickens’ diaries from that time, Dr McGarvey is adamant that the character of Scrooge could be based on over 40 different men he encountered during his stay in the 1966/67 Irish Tidy Towns Winner location.
“A few times Dickens, who was only a teenager at the time, wrote about local men as ‘the most wretched and miserable humans to walk this entire land’ and wrote of a man who liked to sit around the fire on a cold winter’s night and if it was really bad, he’d even light it.”
Nailing down who the character of Scrooge was seemed to be an impossible task though McGarvey is looking into the possibility of it being a certain ‘Hugh Reilly’ of whom it was said he was so tight that he would only breathe in and would check under his bed in the morning to see if he’d lost any sleep.
Adding strength to McGarvey’s claim, the word ‘humbug’ is a close relation to the local Cavan gaelic word ‘hámbeag’ which means ‘tight’.
“I’m leaning towards the idea that Scrooge was based on Hugh Reilly. It was said that Reilly once found a discarded pair of manmade crutches, went home and broke his son’s leg so he could use them.”
Experts are currently tabling possible reasons as to why painters from Tyrone are the worst at cutting-in in the northern hemisphere, according to a survey conducted by the World Painters’ and Decorators’ Association.
To make matters worse, it appears that their near neighbours and fierce rivals, Derry painters, are the world’s best cutting-in merchants according to their findings.
Professor Donald Plum from Massachusetts claims to have found a list of three possible reasons after a detailed study within the county last week.
“On my travels around the county, I established that over 70% of painters were shaking. I’m not quite sure what the official diagnosis is but to my knowledge it usually indicates one of three things: they’re either hungover, worried about something or just plain gulpins. The last prognosis there doesn’t make sense as the Derry ones are worse gulpins.”
Off-licence sales in Derry match or better Tyrone’s, leaving the possible solution that Tyrone painters are worried about something as the most likely scenario.
“What they’re actually worried about we need to find out. But they’re making a pure hames of walls and ceilings all over the county. This morning, a painter from Brocagh just had to paint a child’s bedroom wall but left the ceiling looking like the Sistine Chapel, it was that bad. And he was shaking like mad.”
Possible reasons for the shaking include Jobseekers’ Allowance officials lurking about, the after-effects of the heavy Dublin defeat in August and leaving their wives at home.
Meanwhile Derry milkmen also came out top of the class for job satisfaction, especially those working in Tyrone. There may be a link between both findings today.