An Ardboe octogenarian reportedly spent today winking at people who know him around Ardboe after it emerged he bought his 82 year old wife, originally from Ballinderry, 2 tickets to see Jamie Dornan’s latest steamy movie ‘50 Shades Darker’ as well as a bag of oysters for Valentine’s Day next week.
John Joe Donnelly (84) admitted he is aiming to make up for last year’s gift of a pair of thigh-length leather boots and handcuffs which left the former O’Donovan Rossa player sleeping in the shed until the middle of March.
“A few of the lads in the pub said she’ll go mad for this film. Apparently it’s about a boy who is great at using baling twine around the house and wife hits him the odd slap when he starts acting the bollocks. To me it could just as well have been set in Ardboe. And she likes shellfish so the 120g of oysters will be well-received.”
Donnelly still maintains last year’s boots were a complete misunderstanding and would have proved to be fantastic footwear for dunging out the yard all year around, if she’d given them the chance and not taken the wrong meaning from the gesture.
“I can’t see how this year’s double gift could go wrong. A wholesome country tale in the pictures and a pile of molluscs. There’s no double meaning there. And the handcuffs last year were just a novelty joke thing from a cracker.”
Donnelly was later seen winking at other men in the shop and rubbing his hands with his tongue hanging out.
Police were called to an East Tyrone drinking establishment after several punters became embroiled in a brawl over a comment made by a regular customer.
Eyewitnesses claim several chairs were smashed over heads in scenes which one drinker said resembled ‘some old bar-room brawl you’d see in the pictures with John Wayne in it‘. The incident escalated after local general expert Leo Lyons claimed that ‘there was a quare stretch in the evenings already’ which was vehemently disputed by three fellow drinkers at the Nally Stand bar in the centre of the town.
An American tourist, Hank Power, who is in the town researching his roots, described the scene:
“A man with a beard stretched back and claimed ‘there’s a quare stretch in the evenings’ to which another man with a beard told him to ‘stop talking pure bollocks’. It sort of took off from there and even the barman broke a bottle of stout over a third man who also had a beard and seemed to be from a distant land called ‘Brack-a-ville’. Even women were swinging handbags.”
Police confirmed that the brawl spilled outside onto the roundabout and fighting numbers were doubled in size when drivers heard what they were arguing about.
Scenes finally settled after the priest was called for and asked to confirm whether or not there was a quare stretch in the evenings. After some thought he declared that there wasn’t a quare stretch really, which appeared to end the riotous scenes apart from another man with a beard who threw a packet of half-eaten KP Salty Nuts at Fr Fay’s vestments as he walked back to his carriage.
Dublin, who extended their unbeaten run to 30 games after a win over Cavan in the Allianz League opener, are said to be spooked at the news that Owen Mulligan may return to face the champions on Saturday night in Croke Park.
Mulligan, who has reportedly shed 3 stone by running up and down Cookstown Main Street during the middle of the night, memorably tortured the capital’s team in 2005 over two games including a goal which some describe the greatest they’ve seen in the famed headquarter turf. His 1-7 in the replay cemented the Cookstown man as Dublin’s nemesis that year.
A Dublin backroom member told a reporter this evening:
“This is a spanner in the works. We know we can handle this current Tyrone crop but Mulligan is a different species altogether. Paddy Christie told me recently he still wakes up in cold sweats about that goal. Coman Goggins took to sleepwalking straight after that game. And if Mugsy has shed three stone he’ll be hungry.”
Dublin’s 30-game unbeaten record in league and championship, going right back to March 1st, 2015, sees them as odds-on favourites for Saturday night’s clash despite Mulligan’s imminent arrival. Taking advantage of the bookie’s odds of 2/1, dozens of Cookstown punters have lumped on Tyrone due to their hero’s physical conditioning. Close friend and chronic gambler John Datsun explained:
“It’s like Rocky 4. Owen is going to kick that big Russian’s arse, or Jack McCaffrey as we know him as in Ireland. You should see Mugsy carrying in 6 kegs at the one time into the bar. He’s a pure beast right now and he hasn’t eaten in weeks. He’s gonna ate the leg clean off Michael Darragh MacAuley.”
Mulligan is also reportedly sporting a new look which will remain under wraps until he runs out onto the pitch, if this story is true at all.
Darren McCurry is apparently unhappy at the prospect of being benched in favour of the former All-Star, with the Edendork sharpshooter cryptically tweeting ‘what a load of bollocks #nevergoback #yourepastit #sticktopullinpints’
A leading trichologist from France has completed a detailed three-year research mission into the extremely high prevalence of baldness in Tyrone and believes he has found the reason with a reported 99% accuracy.
Baldness has long been a marked feature of masculinity within the county much to the annoyance of young red-hand bachelors hoping for a romantic clinch at the end of a night in Sally’s or the Greenvale. Now, with the help of Professor Blanc from Strasbourg, the source of the problem appears to be the amount of lignite (brown coal) under the county, especially in the east.
Moortown man and baldy since the age of 20, Padraig Quinn (44), admitted the news has come as a source of relief:
“At last we can say we’re real Tyrone men now. I’m sick and tired of being called Bald the Builder, cueball, bald eagle, shiny dome, melon head, The Shining, peeled onion, scraped grape and the like. And that’s just my parents. The abuse in the pubs and clubs is crippling. All we need to do now is dig up this lignite and we’ll save future Tyronians from the same fate I experienced.”
The excavation of lignite in Tyrone has been a contentious issue since the mid-80s but may now receive public backing for the first time. Lignite emits a gas which attacks the male chromosome responsible for follicle growth.
High profile Tyrone baldies such as Chris Lawn and Peter Canavan helped to restore confidence in eggheads from the bushes but this news may encourage fellow Kojaks to hold their potato up proudly high this week.
As thousands of St Brigid’s Crosses were being made in schools and homes across the country today, an esteemed Omagh historian has confirmed that Brigid was indeed extremely cross and maybe persistently grumpy all the time, even moreso than your average woman in Tyrone today.
Reportedly born in Louth around 453, a young Brigid was said to be a cryey baby due to never-ending teething problems which, locals maintained, never really went away throughout her later life. Omagh historian Luke Graham added:
“I’ve spoken to a few people whose ancestors remembered Brigid and they confirmed that she was fairly crabbed most of the time due to teeth problems amongst other things. She also turned water into beer for visiting clergy and maybe suffered from hangover symptoms. But she was definitely very cross, with warnings often given out to worshippers that ‘Brigid’s cross today’ before she performed a mass.”
Brigid’s mood worsened after being sent to Kildare to start up a convent, a place she reportedly called ‘the arsehole of nowhere’, despite hinting that she’d prefer the bright lights of Dublin or Belfast. Rumours also persist today that she wasn’t hopeful of Kildare competing for the Sam Maguire in the near future, even though GAA was still 1800 years away from forming.
Graham this morning revealed a startling and little-known fact about the great saint:
“Brigid used to make these boomerang things out of rushes and fire them at her pupils if they misbehaved. They’d take the eye out of your head. Pure lethal. When the rumour went around that ‘Brigid’s cross today’, you were sure to see the woman herself arrive with a creelful of rushes under her arm, gurning.”
Brigid once visited Dungannon but didn’t like it.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire, who attended the McKenna Cup gaelic football final in Newry, is said to have mastered the mid-Ulster vernacular after spending only two hours in the company of GAA aficionados.
Despite a drab, one-sided game, Brokenshire appears to have come away from the fixture all the richer from the experience and was even heard to say to his taxi-driver this morning ‘two hands for f**k sake‘ when his driver attempted to steer with one hand.
His advisor and former Conservative back-bencher, Tim Battleford, admitted he was shocked at how quickly Brokenshire has embraced his new surroundings, especially after last night’s attendance in Newry at the Tyrone/Derry final:
“We were watching the tennis this morning and he just jumped out of his seat and shouted at the umpire ‘away a that a ye referee ye bollocks’. The umpire hadn’t done anything wrong. Then when we were driving to the airport he saw a lollipop man stopping traffic and he shouted out the window ‘Hi linesman, are your f**king eyes painted on?”
Later, at Aldergrove airport, Brokenshire reportedly became irate at the length of time it was taking to get his satchel through security and was heard to roar “Let it in ta f**k wud ye“, a phrase he supposedly heard someone in the crowd shout at Colm Cavanagh as Ronan O’Neill made another fruitless run in the full forward line.
Brokenshire was also spotted chatting up his cousin this morning, probably another after-effect from the McKenna final.
In a case described as a first of its kind, a Clonoe mechanic has filed for divorce after admitting to falling in love with a scarecrow he sees every day on his way home from work on the Washingbay Road.
Julius Doris, known locally as ‘Caesar’, listed irreconcilable differences for his decision as well as listing a plethora of qualities the scarecrow ‘Clonoe Claire’ possesses which he claims are ideal in his vision of a perfect woman.
Doris explained to waiting press outside Dorman’s Shop:
“Claire is just lethal. She has a stare on her that would break any man in Castlereagh. Rain, hail or shine she’s out there chasing birds and stuff with a strong back on her and that bit of leg, or straw, showing in that ragged dress of hers. She’s a dream.”
Doris went on to describe how he had to move on her quickly as he’d spotted other men mostly from Coalisland and Derrytresk leering at her from the roadside on slowed down tractors.
Close friends of Doris’ admitted to being slightly surprised at the news but revealed their own fondness for the scarecrow which was erected to prevent crows from attacking two drills of strawberries in a field near the crossroads.
An anonymous admirer added:
She has something about her that your average local Clonoe woman doesn’t have. Maybe it’s her optimistic demeanour. You never get the feeling she’s going to ate the head off you for looking at her. I can see why Doris left the wife.”
With no children from his previous marriage, Doris is hoping to start a family with Claire with the help of some ground-breaking work from fertility scientists which they haven’t started working on yet or even know about. He claims he doesn’t really mind if his offspring are scarecrows or Dorises.
The brother of West Tyrone DUP member William Nathan has admitted to burning a wood pellet boiler in his living room but claims he thought it was just one of them substitute fire things his wife always threatened to get in.
Sammy Nathan (55) was discovered to have a burner in his house after neighbours became suspicious of the constant red faces of the Nathan family on leaving their house at any time of the day. On arrival at his house near Omagh, inspectors were told by Nathan that the immense feeling of warmth around the house was probably down to it being on a hill and therefore closer to the sun.
On further investigation, over 15 tonnes of wood pellets was discovered in an outhouse which Nathan claimed he believed were ‘cuttings from some kind of woodwork project the wife was doing’. He added:
“Seriously, like. I thought it was one of them substitute fire things that oul people have in their houses. She always talked about having one so I never batted an eyelid when it appeared one day. I honestly didn’t know it was making us £500’000 a year. And them pellets, she’s always making rocking chairs and I just thought it was the shavings. Dead serious like.”
The recent RHI investigation has revealed that Tyrone is the warmest county in Ireland, 2 degrees higher than the national average and rising. Earlier in the month, a heavy snowfall caused consternation after the flakes melted before they hit the ground.
Meanwhile, stove fitter Terence McNeill from Drummurrer is set to be questioned over the 8000 boilers he fitted in 2015.
By Aughoughilley Schniffles
A Coalisland woman, who traveled to New York to bring her sister two new Calor gas bottles, has caused outrage by causing a 5-hour traffic tailback across the city.
The bra enthusiast pulled up alongside the world-famous Naked Cowboy for an autograph, mistaking him for Garth Brooks and parked her uninsured and MOT free 1994 NJI registration Transit van in the middle of America’s busiest zebra crossing.
By the time traffic police arrived, the woman had become visibly agitated at the cowboy shouting “what’s wrong with Croke Park, you clown?” And “I’ll stick that guitar up yer hole. So I will.”
NYPD Officers, clearly baffled at her actions were forced to call in help from former RUC officers who worked in Coalisland. It was decided a troubles-style controlled explosion would be the best course of action, which they undertook late last night. They are still waiting for the two calor gas bottles to return to Earth.
The woman is believed to have seen a picture of the city scape while drinking a pint of milk in the Yankee Star grill, deciding she would take the gas canisters to her sister the week before Christmas after she was fed up listening to how “it would founder you” there.
It has since been revealed that the unnamed woman spent Christmas eve in the drunk tank, after screaming at a giant TV screen of Conor McGregor, asking why he hadn’t replied to her husband calling him out to fight on YouTube.
She was charged with disorderly behaviour after calling the sergeant a“scumbag, a maggot” and “a cheap lousy faggot” and was released on police bail, ordered to keep the peace for the remainder of her stay – which she clearly hasn’t done.
When asked by a New york Times reporter on the scene yesterday how she and the Irish people felt about incoming President Trump and the pending inauguration, she snarled
“I wouldnt pish on him if he was on fire” and screamed “where the hell is the Landi’s around here?”
Coalisland’s only ever traffic warden, who was relocated to NY last month in a Witness Protection Scheme, was taken to a secure mental health unit last night where he is said to be in a state of deep shock, but stable.
Just how the van was driven across the Atlantic remains a mystery to officials.
Omagh SF Politician Promises To ‘Drain The Swamp’ And ‘Lock Her Up’ If Elected This Year. And Make Omagh Deadly Again.
A Sinn Fein politician has echoed Donald Trump’s mantra of ‘Drain The Swamp’ and ‘Lock Her Up’ and promises, if elected, to make ‘Omagh Deadly Again’.
Paddy McMahon, who recently joined the party after completing a politics degree at Harvard University in Massachusetts in America, has high hopes of topping the West Tyrone poll with his plans to drain the swamp at Healy Park and make it playable 365 days a year.
“I’m going to dig a few trenches and canals to allow gravity to do the work of propelling water down and out of the swamp. No more travelling to the bogs of Carrickmore or Dungannon to fulfill county fixtures. I’ll drain that swamp.”
Tyrone and Omagh GAA have also complained annually about rain affecting the lawnmower used to cut the field in the town, causing erosion of vital parts through rusting.
“I’ve built a small shed around the back of the Gortin Rd goals so I’ll lock her up at night.”
As well as draining the swamp and locking her up, McMahon plans to ‘Make Omagh Deadly Again’. His three-point plan includes capping the volume of Killyclogher people in the town at any one time as well as going around primary schools to convince children that global warming is a fairy tale. He hasn’t thought of the third part yet.
The sight of a donkey watching EastEnders and drinking tea in a Dungannon living room has become a more common occurance after it emerged that the “bedroom tax” will apply to housing benefit law in Northern Ireland from February 2017.
The range of ultra-domesticated animals in the greater Dungannon area include cattle (bulls and cows), sheep, goats, pigs and even horses. A Housing Benefit assessor explained the unusual scene he was met with when he paid a visit to a NI Housing Executive tenant in the town at the weekend:
“I should have been alerted by the noise and smell but just thought the TV was up loud and maybe the toilets were broken. On passing the living room window, I witnessed what could only be described as a goat vacuuming the room with an apron on it. And it stays in the spare bedroom apparently.”
Legislation currently fails to rule out adopting an animal as a dependent, preventing the payment of bedroom tax. The loophole cannot be fixed for 12 months due to the imminent Stormont collapse, resulting in thousands of housing association dwellers in Dungannon taking in 4-legged family members.
“It’s a bigger scam than the RHI debacle. These townspeople don’t know how to handle large animals. I visited a house outside the town and a donkey had dunged all over the stairs. Is it really worth that for a few pounds onto your rent a month?”
Owners have been warned about keeping bulls in houses joined onto other houses with cows as residents. Two such dwellings were wrecked last week after the bull bored a hole from one house to the other to get to the cow.
Owen Mulligan, Philip Jordan, Hub Hughes and Brian McGuigan are set to become the latest big name sporting stars to make their way to the Far East as Shanghai Emmets splashed out on all four in the hope that GAA rivals soccer as the biggest athletic attraction in China.
Early reports are sketchy but rumours suggest Mulligan, whose blonde locks are revered east of India, will be able to command upwards on £500’000 a week for the Emmets – making him comparable to the wages of Messi, Ronaldo and Roger Federer in world sport.
Killeeshil’s Kevin Hughes, whose nickname ‘Hub’ translates as ‘accurate one’ in Chinese, has reportedly spent the last week learning all the dishes in his favourite Silver Chopsticks Chinese Takeaway in Dungannon in their native language. Close friend and fellow ex-Killeeshil great Michael Hagan admitted it’s a big move for the 2003 All Ireland man-of-the-match recipient:
“It’ll be hard being away from loved ones but if Hub plays about 20 league and championship games out there, he’ll come home with around £10m tax-free. He’ll be able to buy Killeeshil and maybe a bit of Cabragh too. That’s as long as he’s not dropped.”
Jordan and McGuigan are said to be already on their way to the land of the Red Dragon in order to do a few laps at Chinese altitude. Their first game is against the Guangzhou Evergrande Pearses is due to be played in three week’s time.
Former county stars Ryan Mellon and Chris Lawn have been playing in China for over twelve months already for the Beijing Guoan St Mary’s, taking them to the Intermediate title. Due to his natural leadership tendencies, Lawn is reportedly already an Emperor, the first Moortown man to be so.
Neighbours and friends of the Sheehan family in Cookstown have rallied around them in support of their target to eat everything in the house before Monday 9th.
Malachy Sheehan (47), who reportedly took a head stagger at the weekend and demanded that from the start of school onwards there’ll be a family health-kick in the house, has already consumed NINE packets of Pringles, three selection boxes and over 5kg of pistachio nuts in two days. His wife managed to polish off a 12-pack of McCoys as well as FOURTEEN bottles of Shloer during a 12-hour period today.
Speaking from the bins at the side of his house, Mr Sheehan explained his decision:
“We’re slowly turning into small hippopotamuses. If we spread this food out over the next month we’ll never get back on track so I’ve set a target for all Christmas food to be eaten by next Monday. January is miserable anyway so why not make it even more miserable; you won’t notice.”
Sheehan’s eldest son, Malachy (14), has attempted a level of creativity inspired by his love of cookery problems by mixing up his cereal with full Milky Way bars and adding a side order of shortbread and cream crackers to the family dinner plates.
An anonymous neighbour, however, has lambasted the Sheehans for not donating the food to people in places like Kildress and Tullyhogue.
“They’re a miserable shower. Instead of throwing a few scraps to the poor people of Kildress they’re attempting to devour their unwanted food out of sheer wretchedness. I hope they get the runs.”
Tomorrow the Sheehans will be aiming to make a hole in over 15lbs of fudge.
Barry McElduff plans to appeal his straight red card after a tempestuous politicians’ Greens v Blues charity game ended a draw this morning in Stormont gardens. Greens captain, Gerry Adams, was also yellow carded late on for a late tackle on Peter Weir despite denying venomously that he wasn’t even in the vicinity at the time of the alleged attack.
Windy conditions and a mudbath pitch greeted the small crowd in attendance as respective captains Adams and a fit-again Peter Robinson exchanged gifts before the kick-off, refereed by ex-politician Basil McCrea. Robinson set the tone for the game by breaking in half Adams’ present of a Clontibret shillelagh.
It was Robinson who opened the scoring for the Blues with a towering header from a Mike Nesbitt corner. The two celebrated in front of the partisan crowd by playing mock flutes whilst Jim Allister marched behind banging on an imaginary drum. Arlene Foster, who didn’t start the game, spent the entire first half trying to warm up along the touchline.
A stern half-time talk by joint-managers Martin McGuinness and Alex Maskey appeared to work wonders as the Greens stormed out of the blocks in the second half with a previously ineffectual Colum Eastwood rattling the crossbar and an offside goal ruled out, initially finished by Michelle O’Neill who was causing big problems for the Blues up front.
O’Neill was not to be denied after curling a splendid free kick inside the near post after Alex Attwood was fouled by Gregory Campbell. Campbell was booked for using inappropriate language to ref McCrea for the free. O’Neill was also yellow carded for taking her top off in celebration which proved to be a popular decision by both sets of supporters.
Despite Foster, sufficiently warmed up at this point, bolstering the Blues attack in the last ten minutes with her bulldozing approach-play, the game remained devoid of goals but not action as McElduff received his marching orders for a scything tackle on Sammy Wilson whose shorts were completely torn off in the incident, exposing his backside again to the crowd.
The final whistle was greeted by a free-for-all with Michelle Gildernew and Jo-Ann Dobson pulling the hair off each other whilst Jonathan Bell, who played as a lone striker, was booked for firing what looked like small wooden sticks at his team-mates.
Peter Robinson received the player of the match award for his long punts up the field to Dodds.
Previously confidential state files show that the government considered anyone from Tyrone to be completely terrifying and kept a file on every person born and reared in the county, code-naming the folder ‘MB’.
When pressed this morning on what MB stood for, ex-Tory Secretary of State Basil Winklebottom confirmed it stood for ‘Mad Bastards’.
The previously 1986 secret files were released by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) under the 30-year ruling and contained some startling detail into the life and habits of everyone from Ardboe to Aughabrack. It was generally concluded that:
- The Ardboe diet consisted of fried eel for breakfast, fried pollan for lunch and eel stew for dinner. Ardboe children were sent to school with eel bites for a snack
- Donaghmore residents were well read and could quote Shakespeare even whilst down at the shop getting corned…
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Following a spate of high-profile celebrity deaths as 2016 comes to a close, the Tyrone County Treasure Comittee have urged over 30 local personalities to take advantage of an underground bunker in Omagh for a few days, built in 1986 when they were worried about Halley’s Comet hitting the town.
Luminaries such as Paul Brady, Philomena Begley, Darren Clarke, Barry McElduff, Michelle Gildernew, Malachi Cush, Hugo Duncan, Willie McCrea, Lynette Fay, Brian Dooher and Dennis Taylor have already taken refuge in the bunker which has a 24-hour blood pressure monitor and running machine installed, wired up to a GP’s surgery in Gortin.
Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Janet Garvey admitted it was tough leaving out some of our more well known stars:
“Owen Mulligan turned up with a six Harp tins and a 14 bag of Walkers Crisps but we thought he wasn’t sending out the vibes we want in there, especially as he was dressed up as the grim reaper. There was also no room for Sam Neill and Peter Kay as they haven’t really spent much time in the county.”
Early reports suggest things haven’t settled well with eye witnesses confirming Dooher and McElduff were engaged in a fist fight at the bunker door over allegations of snoring and snattering during the middle of the night.
The bunker will be opened again on January 1st 2017 with the majority of them expected to leave.
Mickey Harte has been forced to shelve plans he’d already made to take on crisis-hit Derry on the 28th May next year after it emerged that the Oak Leaf County Board are considering asking the ladies team to represent the county due to a rash of defections from the men’s squad.
The seriousness of Derry’s approach upped a notch today after it emerged that top Derry GAA officials were scouring places with traditionally hardened women such as Knockloughrim, Lavey, Swatragh and Dungiven to mould a side physical enough to take on Harte’s men.
A Tyrone insider explained their predicament:
“We knew Derry were in bother with numbers but we never predicted this approach. We all know the qualities of rural Derry women so this has now moved from an average threat to a serious one. Harte is currently searching places like Carrickmore, Derrytresk, Tattyreagh, Galbally and the Rock for women who match Derry ones for physicality and brutality. This changes everything. We’re worried.”
The mass defections from the Derry senior squad have decimated a county already smarting from a series of defeats to their near neighbours in 2016. In one extreme case, an established Derry midfielder has opted out in 2017 by claiming he has forgotten how to play gaelic football due to early signs of dementia, despite scoring 2-14 in a charity match last week.
Our Tyrone source explained:
“We can handle Derry men. Derry women are a completely different matter. At spontaneous brawls in Clubland or the Glenavon, it was always the Derry women still standing when the dust settled. We have to admit it, we’re spooked.”
Peter Donnelly has reportedly drafted Owen Mulligan onto the backroom team as it is generally accepted he’s the best in the county at tackling women.
Vomiting and retching was heard as far away as Caledon as the Tyrone squad returned for early weekday training in Garvaghey after their chastening 6-point defeat to Armagh in the Ó Fiaich Cup final at the weekend.
The loss to their near neighbours, their first since 1982, caused shockwaves across the county with a reported increase in Mass attendance and rosary-saying since yesterday morning.
Additionally, manager Mickey Harte reportedly sent a group text out to all squad players stating that training has now been increased to 8 days a week to make sure the debacle in Crossmaglen never happens again.
A fringe squad player from Galbally told us:
“Mickey was in wile bad form after that bad bateing by Armagh. I’ve never seen him lose it like he did and he was was cursing and stuff. He toul McCurry he couldn’t kick a rope, never mind snow off it. He even fired a banana at Sean Cavanagh and he wasn’t even playing. Credit to Sean, he trapped it, soloed it and then ate it in one move.”
Despite initial confusion over the logistics of the new 8-day week, squad members have signed a contract committing themselves to the new regime with the extra day probably occurring some time between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Armagh’s Ó Fiaich Cup winning bus parade through Blackwatertown last night passed off peacefully despite concerns of a Moy contingent hijacking the celebratory event. Seven elderly Armagh supporters were hospitalised though with hyperthermia.
Close friends of West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff confirmed that the Carrickmore man was putting a brave face on it tonight after he arrived at Stormont dressed as a panto dame due to a misunderstanding by text.
McElduff, whose book Keep ‘Er Lit was narrowly overlooked for the Booker Prize last year, reportedly received a message to his phone from a Sinn Fein MLA stating that it was ‘well and truly panto season in Stormont today’, in reality referring to the Arlene Foster/HRI scheme debacle played out in Belfast this morning.
Omagh fancy dress shop owner Leo Kelly revealed how an excited McElduff arrived on his doorstep at 10am:
“We all had a fair idea that Barry likes dressing up and is game for anything. But I underestimated his desire to become an established panto dame. He tried on about a dozen different dresses and already had the make-up on him before he arrived. He was jumping about like a child on Christmas morning, bless him.”
Stormont officials admitted they feared the worst when they saw a small man in a dress, wearing heavy lipstick come tearing up Stormont lane shouting things like ‘oh no he’s not’ and ‘she’s behind you’.
Doorman Billy Bateson described the heartbreak:
“Ah you had to see his wee face. He was hyped up and it took a good ten minutes before he accepted that it was just a big misunderstanding. After the penny dropped we let him try a joke anyway. I said to him ‘I hear eggs are going up’ and he gleefully replied ‘that’ll surprise a few chickens’. He laughed for a few seconds, we all did, before the reality of the situation hit us again.”
As McElduff’s taxi pulled out, Gerry Adams was seen shaking his head from an upstairs window.
Despite hopes that a new approach for the traditional Christmas tree would catapult Strabane into a modern artistic stratosphere, public reaction to the unveiling of the 2016 ‘bare tree-on-a-pole’ was somewhat muted at a gathering last night.
The unveiling, which was carried out by an aspiring actor from the town who has already been an extra on Game of Thrones, received applause from three in attendance, with most simply shrugging their shoulders and heading off for a pint.
Designer Johnny McElharney, who has spent the last six years at an art college in England, was disappointed at the locals’ reluctance to buy into modern interpretations of Christmas decorations:
“They really are a shower of backwoodsmen. I spent six months designing this and trying to find the correct location for lighting and acoustic purposes. To do all that and then to hear ‘for fcuk sake’ when it’s unveiled is very disheartening. Strabane can go to fook in my book. What do they want?”
Local electrician and popular drinker Ciaran McBrennan admitted he has tried to see the positives in the new design:
“I’ve looked at it from all sides. I’ve tried hard to imagine what McElharney has attempted to achieve here but it really is a load of bollocks. There are no lights or decorations on it. And I’m no backwoodsman. I eat spaghetti bolognese and watch Swedish detective shows.”
Strabane Council stated that although it’s not what people maybe expected to see, it was saving the council thousands on lights and baubles which will now be spent on a new slide for the middle of the town. They also called on Clady people not to laugh at it.