After three years of rigorous testing and research, boffins at NASA have revealed that they are to run the crucial final tests of their new Mars Rover around the roads in Derrylaughan.
The east Tyrone townland was chosen over other areas such as the Alps and a volcano in Tonga due to the atrocious state of the roads in the area over the last three years which perfectly mimic the mountainous terrain of the Red Planet.
The NI Tourism board have urged loughshore residents to cash in on the visitors from Washington by opening their illegal spare rooms and floors as B&Bs as well as offering local delights such as pollans and home-brew liquor.
Mars Rover director Hank Power revealed that Derrylaughan was always high on their radar:
“This Derrylaughan is like a celestial body in its own right. I believe that the roads are so treacherous that the government are currently considering phasing out automobiles in the area altogether and replacing them with donkeys. It’s perfect for our Rover.”
The NI Roads Service have been quick to claim credit for the decision, citing it was their intention all along to win Derrylaughan the Mars contract by being terrible at fixing the roads in the first place.
Locals remain unconvinced.
Police have arrested a suspect in connection with at least a dozen boxes containing likely pipe band material as well as possession of plans to start a pipe band in the Aughnacloy area.
Cedric Bogue, 46, originally from Fermanagh, was taken into custody on Friday, PSNI Director Chris Right confirmed at a press conference today in Dungannon.
Bogue has been charged with five serious crimes ― intercounty transportation of a bass drone reed, illegal mailing of flyers to promote the band, making threats against members of rival bands, threatening social media communications, and assaulting current and former pipe band judges before they’d even competed. He faces up to 48 years in prison.
Pipe Major of Aghaloo Slashers Pipe Band, Kirk Douglas, is delighted at Bogue’s arrest:
“The last thing Aughnacloy needs is another pipe band. What with fundraising, marching the roads, the dreadful chanter squeals from bad players and unsightly legs, the people of this area have suffered enough. I only play to get away at the weekends.”
Bogue has already admitted to distributing practice chanters and music sheets for tunes such as The Bonnie Lass of Lisrooskey, Cuthbert Donnelly’s Farewell To Emyvale and The Rowan Tree to over a dozen impressionable music-loving youths.
By Aughohilly Schniffles
It has emerged that a special GAA Dubious Results Committee are to investigate allegations of match-fixing following some extremely surprising results in club league games in recent days.
As the league tables are finalised and secure positions become known for next year, it has been rumoured that some clubs have remarkably not been giving 100% in their last game.
A rash of inexplicable wins and draws over the past two weeks have led to an international chair of experts being assembled and called to Garvaghey to investigate. The expert panel consisting of Bruce Grobbelaar, John Higgins and Lance Armstrong were due to be flown to Tyrone today and have apparently been watching video footage of Division One and Two games from last weekend on the plane.
Joe Doyle, a County board insider who does not wish to be named, told us:
“Aye, you get plenty of that at this time of year, so you do…lads throwing points when they are safe…in exchange for free sandwiches the next time the teams meet, or agreeing to stay away from their women at McAleers…”
Evidence understood to be presented to the experts from last weekends games include a dog lining out in full-forward for Killyclogher, Donaghmore and Omagh fielding just 2 a side, and Coalisland Fianna sending out their Ladies team to play Clonoe. The Edendork Bingo Snowball has also been slashed from £6000 to £200 despite there being no recent winners.
The results of the investigation are due out next week, though the chances are you’ll never hear about this again until this time next year.
Home owners in East Tyrone are said to be considering their options after a chilling message was sprayed on a house in Brocagh last night.
Up to 40 youths were reportedly witnessed hanging around the wall all day yesterday dressed up in early Halloween costumes. It appears that they intend on launching a 48-hour door to door trick or treat extravaganza and have warned adults not to even consider giving them fruit as a reward for knocking their door, or they will have their ‘bollix kicked in’.
Peader Quinn (49), who owns the house which was spray-painted on, is under no illusion as to why he was targeted:
“Last year I completely forgot to get sweets. Luckily I’d over a dozen bananas and rationed them out amongst trick or treaters. The next morning my garden was covered in banana peels. It was an obvious message.”
Quinn has advised locals to stay strong and not to give in to the demands of the community’s children.
“What next? Telling parents what they want for Christmas up to £1000? This is the thin end of the wedge.”
Quinn went on to blame Conor McGregor and the GAA for the threat.
Although police are unable to patrol the area, or want to, they have asked anyone getting a kicking to phone their helpline.
We are proud to release our 2018 Hallowe’en Tyrone GAA pumpkin carvings of current and past players. All our carvings were handmade by a group of experts in Quinn’s Corner last night.
You can get one for £9.99 or two for £20, free delivery. Email for details.
A county Tyrone television watcher has thrown the TV series Dr Who into disarray after he worked out that the outer dimensions of the TARDIS in no way matches up to its inner measurements.
Diarmuid Dieselin, who claims to have worked on the finer detail of this explosive revelation for more that five years, has already written to the BBC asking for an apology for 55 years of hoodwinking the audience.
“It’s a disgrace. The box is about nine feet tall, maybe three and a half feet wide and deep. Yet inside the TARDIS there are many rooms and chambers as well as a massive console room. Do they think we are idiots?”
Although the BBC have yet to comment on the news, sources close to the broadcaster have hinted that they might stall the current series to rebuild the TARDIS so that it looks more like a hotel or change the plots completely and just have one small table and two plastic chairs inside it.
Mr Dieselin is currently assessing the supposed speed of the TARDIS which currently traverses the time vortex and can rematerialise in any destination or time. Early indications suggest he’s not pleased with his findings.
An experienced West Tyrone optometrist has confirmed what thousands of spectators have been saying for years; over four-fifths of referees need some form of eye enhancement, with many unable to see anything over ten yards ahead of them.
Although the news has caused some concern for officials, many supporters have developed a new-found respect for the man in the middle, with the realisation that they have been calling some correct decisions during matches even though they hadn’t a notion what was happening.
Referee assessor Paddy Horgan agreed:
“We’re amazed that they get anything right. So, fair play to them. Some refs’ eyesight is that bad that they get into the wrong car after a game. How they make it home is another miracle.
The Tyrone County Board have agreed to charge match-goers an extra pound during next year’s league and championship games which will go towards buying over 3000 pairs of binned National Health glasses for referees in the county in 2019.
Joey Mackle, a Moy entrepreneur, has patented an elastic band which will be attached to the legs of the glasses and wound around the back of the referee’s head. The bands will come in different sizes to cater for different sizes of heads.
Meanwhile, umpires have asked for similar glasses for next year. The county board will ask Mackle to look into making glasses with wipers for umpires who tend to look up a lot more. This can be difficult on rainy days or when there are a lot of birds about.
News that Dennis Taylor was seen heading out of Landi’s this morning with a pastie supper and three tins of Lilt have sparked rumours that the snooker genius may have been a late call up to the Fianna squad for Sunday’s county final against Killyclogher.
The 69-year-old former World Champion played for the Tyrone county minors in the 1960s despite not being able to see the goalposts, the ball nor his feet, and has supposedly been spotted soloing up and down Annagher Hill under the blanket of midnight several times since Sunday.
However, Taylor’s inclusion at recent training sessions has not gone down well with some squad men who have been training all year.
An eyewitness added:
“There’s bad blood alright. Taylor is near 70 afterall and can hardly run. He was brutally shouldered into the wire three time last night. But it looks like he may start top of the left on Sunday and management hope his jovial friendly banter and knowledge of acute angles will see the Fianna over the line.”
Despite pleas by the Coalisland dietician to tone down his diet, Taylor allegedly finished off his Landi’s special by heading into McGlinchey’s for a cowboy supper and a cheesy chip.
Talk that Killyclogher have asked Steve Davis to mind the edge of the square has been rubbished as ‘just stupid talk’ by a friend of Mark Bradley.
Friends close to Joe Mahon maintain he is still refusing to speak about the episode spent around the Ardboe shoreline during the recording of his highly acclaimed Lough Neagh series.
Mahon, who is now reportedly addicted to eels, eating up to seven portions a day, was so shocked by what he saw around East Tyrone that he was unable to communicate with anyone for over three days.
So far, speculation is rife as to what Mahon witnessed with theories ranging from an Ardboe GFC in-house training session to half men-half fish roaming the ramparts. Mahon also apparently received a torrent of verbal abuse from the McMahons of the Washingbay for dropping the ‘Mc’ in his name so he could get a big job in UTV.
Meanwhile, producers of the show have denied that Mahon threatened to ‘poison the whole lough’ if he didn’t get a second series.
A grade three Under 10 friendly game between Naomh Apollo (Drumragh/Killyclogher) and Naomh Creed (Greencastle/Gortin) was abandoned yesterday after over 25 primary school children got involved in headlocks, fly-kicks and uppercuts five minutes after the throw-in.
The referee, James Cullen from Rousky, was taken to A&E in Enniskillen after he passed out due to a rear naked choke by the 9-year-old full forward on the Creed team.
Despite the unprecedented scenes of underage violence, the Tyrone County Board have blamed mobile phones for recording the scenes in the first place:
“It’s a fact that if there were no phones then the brawls wouldn’t happen. I’d never seen videos of violence on a GAA field on a mobile phone before mobiles were invented. So it’s obviously the fault of the phone owners and their proneness to recording stuff.”
Several of the U10s on both sides were questioned by youth leaders after the game, with the majority unaware that mass brawls weren’t a compulsory part of the sport.
14 players from Naomh Apollo also jumped the fence and started kicking their own friends and cousins, with one father set upon by his 8-year-old son. Mr Towell maintains that his son will definitely make it onto the club senior panel within eight years after this show of savagery at such a young age, and maybe even make county.
Tyrone GAA officials have called for calm heads at O’Neill Park in Dungannon this weekend during the latest instalment of the deadly rivalry between near neighbours Coalisland and Edendork.
The appeal comes ahead of the senior semi-final, after a spate of rows broke out along the Coalisland Road this week over the size of their graveyards.
PSNI confirmed a ‘slapping session’ on the Bush Road junction and two ‘hammerings’ in Derryvale yesterday after hordes of Edendork lads arrived in Coalisland with photographic evidence of more than 4000 hidden graves in another adjoining field behind St Malachy’s Church.
The additional 4000 bodies would take Edendork to a figure which would see them overtake Coalisland by some 398 corpses.
Reports suggest that, drunk on pride, the Dork lads set about wrecking the ‘Island, chanting ‘we’ve more dead ones than you‘ and other stuff like that. Unconfirmed reports suggested that a plan to annex Landi’s was halted by authorities and two men wearing Fianna Bainisteoir hi-vis bibs.
Fr Ted Talbot, a Coalisland native now stationed in Uganda and famed graveyard historian, dismisses Edendork’s claims:
“It’s ridiculous. There’s no way the Dork have a bigger graveyard than us. They tried this carry on before an Intermediate quarter-final in the 70s between us when they said their bingo hall was bigger than our Parochial Centre. God forgive me, but they’re full of shite.”
Patrons attending this weekend’s match are advised not to bring any valuables to the ground as a spate of daylight robberies have blighted recent championship games.
In unrelated news, Edendork’s bid to have the oldest living man in Ireland awarded by the Guinness Book of Records was rejected earlier this week as their ruling-committee unsurprisingly decided that a 120 year old is not the same as two 60-year-old Hackett twins.
A Moortown fitter has pledged to fight a £300 on the spot penalty after he was caught wearing a pair of illegal red Diesel jeans on the Battery Road near Derrychrin.
Gerry Quinn (54) admitted being on the road for ten minutes trying to retrieve his trusty dog Clint who had run off after a bitch from across the field.
“I only wear the red Diesels around the farm normally. I know the rules. This was a one-off but it just happened that a jeans dipper was on patrol that day. £300 is very stiff for a first time offence. I’d no time to change into the clear chinos because Clint would have been away with that bitch for days.”
Diesel jeans have come under severe scrutiny recently because of their damaging effect on the environment and on fashion in general in the East Tyrone area. Red Diesel jeans are allowed only on private farmland or at ploughing championships and barn dances at night.
Although Mr Quinn hopes to win this landmark challenge against the Jeans Dippers, it is expected to fail after a similar case was defeated in 2017 when a Brocagh farmer was fined in Dungannon for wearing a checked shirt to the bank with all the buttons unopened apart from the bottom one.
Government officials have admitted that the rise in banana trees popping up around Moygashel and the greater Dungannon area may be linked to the amount of RHI beneficiaries who left their doors open whilst burning pellets by the million.
At the last count, over 20’000 banana trees were spotted in the mid-Ulster area with that number expected to rise over the coming months. With dates from palm trees also on the rise, the Irish economy is set for boom times according to junior DUP official Cedric Cedricson:
“People may be slagging us about the pellets but the amount of jobs we have created by leaving shed doors open is astronomical. Already there are van loads of teenagers making their way to banana fields all over Dungannon and surrounding areas in the evening to earn money as banana pickers. Throw in the booming date industry and we’re the Costa Rica of the northern hemisphere.:
Already there are plans for the 2019 Tyrone GAA county board to accept the bid from Chiquita Bananas to be their jersey sponsor for the forseeable future.
Unfortunately, Armagh apples have pledged a fruit war if the Tyrone banana trade begins to impact on their business plans for the next five years.
The second part of our investigation leads us to numbers 10-15 plus the stiffs.
10. Brian Dooher
Our captain retired a couple of years later after operations to replace both legs, arms and lungs. Dooher soon worked his way up the veterinary scene and made the front page of TIME magazine in 2013 after he became the first person to clone a cow. Unfortunately the cloned animal soon got out of control in West Tyrone, wrecking property and killing over 200 cows elsewhere. Brian is currently on the run from authorities as well as over 30 irked farmers.
11. Martin Penrose
Penrose continued to play minor football right into his mid-30s before an application form for a passport revealed his real age. Penrose went on to star in many sci-fi films including Star Trek and Game of Thrones before returning to Carrickmore to open a gluten-free vegetable shop in the village.
12. Joe McMahon
Joe’s performance in the final of 2008 garnered rave reviews as did the magnificent state of his beard. McMahon’s beard soon became big in demand on TV chat shows and advertising. Despite a £3m offer from Gillette, Joe refused to allow his beard to become the face of the international brand, leading to acrimony between the Omagh man and his facial hair. McMahon won the fight by shaving the beard off against its will but lost the war as women stopped flocking around him in their droves.
13. Tommy McGuigan
Despite a wonderful 2008, Tommy headed back to Ardboe after the game and decided to become a hermit, shunning the celebrations. 10 years of solitude later, McGuigan can sometimes be seen roving the lough shore with a guitar singing songs of lost love and reading poems into himself.
14. Sean Cavanagh
Only recently retired from the county scene, novelist Sean Cavanagh continues to play for his club and enjoys the hurly-burly of the local championship.
15. Colm McCullagh
Despite having to go off early in the final, McCullagh earned his stripes that year after several sterling performances. McCullagh unfortunately became addicted to the Rocky movies post-retirement and in particular Rocky 4. Changing his name to Ivan Drago, Colm can be seen in bare-knuckle fights in fields around Dromore
Stephen O’Neill: O’Neill was last spotted in Croke Park a few weeks ago shaking his head
Kevin Hughes: Hub scored the penultimate point that day and went on to write several books on the score. Hughes almost picked up an All-Ireland for Derrytresk a few years later, playing as a ringer under the false name Ronie O’Neill.
Brian McGuigan: Brian came on late that day after a bad bout of diarrhea from a feed of eels for breakfast that morning which left him weak. McGuigan, ironically, now runs an eel-skin clothing shop in Moortown.
Owen Mulligan: Another late sub, Mulligan moved to London soon after to forge a career as a Tory politician only to be kicked out of the party due to an incident involving suspenders and a then-unknown Teresa May
Colm Cavanagh: Colm continues to ply his trade for the county despite carrying half a team on his shoulders.
10 years ago to the day, Brian Dooher staggered up the steps in Croke Park to lift his second Sam Maguire as captain and Tyrone’s third in all.
Today and tomorrow we ask….Where Are They Now?
- Pascal McConnell
McConnell found life hard away from the lights and razzamatazz of inter-county football. After three years of touring Europe in a camper van, McConnell finally found happiness after enrolling with American wrestling organisation WWE, becoming the Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion as ‘Newtownstewart Nuke Man‘ with his signature poke-in-the-eye move on a beaten Undertaker in Miami in 2014 securing the title.
2. Ryan McMenamin
Ricey turned to God soon after retiring, preaching around the States at the same time as McConnell was decking superstars on the canvas. Ryan finally joined an extreme monastery in Kentucky and after shaving his body hair, took a vow of silence for 3 years. McMenamin returned home in 2017 to become spiritual advisor to the Fermanagh senior team and prays 21 hours a day.
3. Justin McMahon
The Omagh man filled the void of football by becoming a catwalk model for Wrangler Jeans in Soho’s famous Fashion Mile. Justin came into a spot of bother after a bust up with another male model from Essex and is currently doing community service around London teaching school kids how to psychologically crush component in high stakes games.
4. Ryan Mellon
The Moy man, who often glory-hunted in All Ireland Finals, opened a pig-renting shop in Benburb in 2011 for those wanting the animal as a fashion accessory. Getting the idea from a Japanese programme he saw on Sky channel 177, Mellon bought 400 pigs. After renting out only 3 in the first year, Ryan finally opened a butchers.
5. Davy Harte
Harte continued to play football until recently when he scored an own-point after a 55m run through his own defence, leaving supporters worried. The Nephew now advises cat-owners on feline etiquette and behaviour, having kept over 2000 cats in his cat orphanage off the Omagh Road.
6. Conor Gormley
In 2013, a frustrated Gormley started up ‘Pub Bouncers Ltd’, supplying self-trained bouncers to the most notorious pubs in the county. After a successful three years, Conor moved underground and now terrorises street gangs in the Carrickmore and Galbally area on his own, often using his infamous staring technique.
7. Philip Jordan
Jordan now resides in an old people’s home after undergoing his 29th hip operation in under 3 years. Philip, god help him, spends his days telling eye-rolling nurses about his heroic feats on the field and in the RTE studios but has recurring nightmares about being attacked by an angry group of orange-vested men from Lurgan.
8. Collie Holmes
Holmes retired soon after, becoming a private detective in the greater-Armagh area with his trusty sidekick Johnny Watson from Blackwatertown. Despite not solving any crimes, Holmes continues to pursue his latest mission, finding out why Armagh only won the one All Ireland.
9. Enda McGinley
The silver-tongued McGinley never really recovered from his concussion in 2003 and sporadically slips into thinking he’s Graham Norton by appearing on TV and radio three times a week. Enda, who played the remainder of the ’03 final thinking he was an extra in Knight Rider, claims he’s presenting the Eurovision in 2019.
PART 2 TOMORROW
A wife and husband in Donemana will finally get to know what empty nest syndrome feels like.
On Tuesday, Turlough McCann, 29, was ordered by the Omagh District Council to move out of his parents’ house after living there rent free for eight years, despite encouragement to start his own life elsewhere.
Dolores and Peter McCann of 3 Berryhill Rd, sent their son numerous eviction notices and even gave him £3000 to help him find a new place and a 1994 Datsun Sunny.
Despite being taken to court, Turlough refused to take heed of their desperation to see their son make something of himself.
While in court, Turlough refused to directly speak to his parents and argued with the judge for three hours that he was entitled to an additional six months before eviction, citing a legal case he found on the internet that appeared to back his claim.
Judge Devlin reportedly praised Rotondo’s legal argument but sided with his parents and ordered him to move out, calling his demand for six more months “outrageous.”
Turlough fired back, calling the judge’s order “outrageous.”
He plans to appeal the decision
“I’m not causing any bother by living in the house, like,” Turlough said in an interview with The Donemana Observer on Tuesday. “It’s little to no cost to them, and considering how much they’ve harassed me, I think it’s the least that they should be required to do, which is just let me hang here a bit longer and use their hot water, electricity and toilets.”
In filings to Omagh Court, Turlough’s parents sent him five written notices that date back to February, one of which asks him to remove his broken Honda 50cc from their property.
In another note the parents offered him £3000 “so you can find a place to stay” and suggested that for money he could get a job or sell some of his belongings like his stereo and weapons.
“There are jobs available even for those with a poor work history like you,” the letter reads. “Get one — you lazy bollocks!”
Monday 10th September promises to be a momentous day in the history of Tyrone public transport when they launch their new Glider Service to rival the similarly named bus travel system currently changing the face of Belfast this week.
Red Hand Gliders, which will operate in mountainous areas seven days a week and only on windy days elsewhere, performed a dozen dry runs today with seven operators returning alive and well. The five yet to show up are presumed missing after strong gusts blew the lightweight gliders over the Sperrins into Derry territory.
With the Red Hand symbol on their vehicles in the hostile Oak Leaf county, chances of survival are minimal.
Operations manager Paul Quinn reckons up to three thin passengers can fit on the glider at any one time:
“On a very windy day, we calculate that a 3-berth glider could carry as far as 35 miles from a high start, say from Greencastle to Dungannon comfortably. A heavier man from a low altitude start could travel about 5 miles, or from Coalisland to Stewartstown in 50 mins. He might have to restart four or five times.”
Despite the probably tragic teething problems today, operators are expecting a 80% success rate from the service when officially activated on Monday.
Mickey has never lost an All-Ireland Senior Final. He has never lost a Champions’ League, World Snooker or Wimbledon Women’s final either.
Ross Kemp. Kemp is Tyrone’s worst kept secret, this week blatantly seen running from the Ballygawley roundabout to Garvaghey 4 times a day all week. Kemp to patrol the square, allowing Colm to work his magic feet at the right end of the field. Ross is also a big fan of Aidan McCrory and was reportedly star-struck when McCrory introduced himself by bench-pressing for an hour without blinking.
Niall Morgan’s free taking. Now hold on. Before you start being all smarmy and critical about Niall’s free taking percentage converted this year, if he is up there on the Dublin 45 taking a free, that means the Edendork man isn’t back there staring at Kevin McMenamin thundering towards him or facing down a penalty kick, so: Go Niall Go! Morgan also won the snowball at the Edendork Hall bingo last week and bought massive gloves with the takings.
Hugh O’Neill predicted this in 1598. Yes 420 years ago, on a wall in the toilets of a drinking establisment in Dungannon, an 48-year-old Hugh wrote ‘Empires will fall with Skeet on the ball’. It was in very bad English though as he was plastered on mead.
We’re not Mayo
Ulster already said No to 3 in a row. Yes, back in 2008, Ulster said no to Kerry’s 3-in-a-row bid. You may remember the big banner on hill 16, from some of our legendary fans. Although the Dubs are going for 4, our stats man tells us it’s just one more than 3. Now we take it a step further, preparing to ruin the takings at the door at Coppers, and help Sally’s of Omagh, Gervin’s in Coalisland, and Tomney’s in the Moy rake in the ca$h instead.
60% of cars in Tyrone are red and 94% of white lines in Tyrone are white. What better to prove a point than good old hard statistics. Yes, over 60% of all vehicles in the Red Hand County are red (this figure estimated to rise to 70% this week) and almost all the white lines in Tyrone are white, except for the ones that have faded so much they are now invisible.
Mickey slipped the Pope a £10er on Sunday. If you re-watch the Phoenix Park mass from Sunday, and pause it at 36:05, you’ll see the wee red and white Tyrone Fabrications cap, and two crisp new £5 notes getting slipped to a winking Pope Franko. Francis also apparently has big hopes of Tiernan McCann entering the priesthood.
Colm Cavanagh is now the last on-field link to 08. Given Cathal McCarron is not able to play this Sunday, Big Colly is now the final playing link to the winning team of 2008. He is also Tyrone’s last scorer in an All Ireland final although nearly everyone missed it. He also has a brother who reportedly played well that day. And Cavanagh sounds like Canavan. Too coincidental. By the way Cavanagh got his nickname ‘Colly’ from his love of cauliflower dinners in Moy Primary School since he was 7.
There are two Coalisland men on the starting team. Even Nostradamus said this was a long-shot.
Secret footage has emerged from RTE headquarters in Dublin indicating that the national broadcaster will use lookalikes for the banquet dinner should Tyrone pull off the almost impossible and stop Dublin from winning four-in-a-row.
The dry-run, which saw Sean Cavanagh imitating his brother and Philip Jordan donning a red wig to mirror Petey Harte on the night, will allow RTE to keep to the tradition of Michael Lyster interviewing half-lit players around 10pm.
An RTE insider admitted that some of the lookalikes stretch the imagination a bit:
“We sorta ran out of volunteers so Ciaran Whelan is pretending to be Mark Bradley by walking on his knees just. Colm O’Rourke will use his advanced years to imitate the ageing veteran Cathal McCarron and Pat Spillane has agreed to copy Conall McCann by wearing a beehive. “
RTE’s initial idea of filming the banquet through a window of the hotel was shelved after a cameraman suggested that the Tyrone ones might just pull the curtains together.
Meanwhile questions have been raised as to why Sunday’s referee has already booked his seat at the Dublin banquet. When asked, a spokesman for the Refereeing Committee laughed and said ‘come on now, do we have to explain that?’