St. Patricks Ballyragget To Play 23 Challenge Games In Tyrone In February/March As Hurling Continues To Boom In County
Kilkenny’s St. Patricks Ballyragget have confirmed that they have been offered over 20 invitations to play challenge games in Tyrone early next year, with all 23 newly-formed hurling clubs offering full hospitality and overnight accommodation for the team and any supporters they wish to bring.
Despite not being a hurling stronghold, Tyrone has seen a boom in the sport in the past week, ever since St. Patricks Ballyragget hit the headlines for winning the Intermediate title in great style last week.
One such club, the new Windmill Whackers, explained their decision:
“I can’t believe we didn’t realise how great this game is. And who better to learn from but St Patrick’s Ballyragget. We have decided there will be a cup awarded to the winner of the challenge game. I repeat, THERE WILL BE A CUP AWARDED. We encourage the Kilkenny lads to bring family and friends, especially friends. There’ll be a Happy Hour in the clubrooms from 5pm-11pm.”
New West Tyrone hurling club, the Aghyaran Pullers, have already erected an extra stand at their modest ground in anticipation of Ballyragget’s visit on Feb 1st, as well as an extension to their bar, renamed Fifi’s.
It is expected that many clergy will not be re-elected at club AGMs this winter for fear of over-ruling any future challenge game choice of opponents.
Hundreds of aspiring astronomists from as far away as Iceland and Japan were left disappointed after several Twitter photos of an apparently crystal clear vision of the Aurora Borealis in East Tyrone turned out to be a false alarm.
The chance of seeing the incredible light show caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen brought hordes of visitors to the area on Good Friday, only to be told it was simply one of the McAliskeys burning all the brackens up the moss.
Falls’ Bar, though, has reported record takings as over 1300 budding stargazers took refuge in the pub before getting a taxi back to Aldergrove Airport.
Local man and part time badger-catcher, Felix Hagan, said the mistake has caused untold damage to the roads around the lough:
“At one time I counted 766 people standing on the Ferry Road looking at the moss on fire, taking photos and stuff. Half of them were Asian and there were even ones from Donegal. When word filtered through that it wasn’t the Northern Lights at all but McAliskey up to no good again, they all marched down to Falls’ Bar for refreshments. I hope they weren’t looking cocktails or anything fancy. But they tramped the road into shite.”
Several hundred are reportedly staying another day in the area due to flight delays, with many looking forward to the Derrylaughan/Aghyaran game halfway up the country. Tyrone GAA officials were quick to announce that all Division 2 club games will see an entrance fee of £20 for this weekend alone and that the presence of 550 wealthy tourists was just a coincidence.
The leaked list from Ashley Madison, a Canada-based online dating service and social networking service marketed to people who are married or in a committed relationship, revealed that a husband and wife from the Brackaville Road in Coalisland had been having an affair with each other for over a year, dressed up as other people.
Pat and Kate Owens, both 54, admitted they were completely unaware that the person they were having an affair with was already the person they were married to. The affair was revealed to each other when they both turned up to tell their ‘partner’ that the relationship was over because of the leaked list.
Pat, who ran a 10k race in 1984, explained:
“I’d hadn’t a clue that it was my wife I was tackling in the car park at Edendork Hall. She was dressed up as a dentist with a Russian accent, whilst I pretended to be a farmer from the west of the county like Aghyaran. Looking back now, I remember thinking it was odd she said ‘this is some handlin’ when we spotted the Bishop of Armagh pulling up in a motor with a blade from Keady. I just thought that wouldn’t be a phrase someone from Russia would come out with but I just thought I’d maybe misheard her.”
Kate Owens also confirmed that she did have her suspicions that her dark secret was maybe a little closer from home than Aghyaran:
“He’d have this strong west Tyrone accent one minute but now and again he’d come out with ‘deadly win for the Fianna, boys‘ during a romantic clench. Never thought it was the husband though as his teeth were always brushed and it was obvious he’d had a shower within the last 48 hours.”
The Owens’ admitted they are now closer than ever but wouldn’t trust each other as far as they’d throw them.
Lottery auditors have descended upon a West Tyrone GAA club after Elvis Presley won the £3000 snowball prize for the third time in 3 years, adding to other winners such as ‘Tom Jones’, ‘Clint Eastwood’, ‘Calamity Jane’ and ‘Shergar’ since the lottery commenced in 2012.
Killeter GAC Committee admitted no locals had ever won the big prize in the lottery but denied making up winners in order to pocket the prize fund for annual outings to Bundoran and Downings.
Local carpenter and lottery fanatic Killian Penrose remains adamant that something fishy is going on:
“They’re not even putting much effort into covering it up. Who’s called Elvis Presley, like? Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees has won it 4 times now. And as for Shergar….”
Killeter GAA hit national headlines in 1988 after advertising the opening of their new field ‘Castlederg Road Park’ with astronaut Neil Armstrong and Mahatma Gandhi as their special guests, organised by chairman Leo Hurson.
“And that was a farce too. This boy in a spacesuit turned up, helmet and all, and sure he was only 4 feet tall. I’m sure we’d have known if Armstrong was only 4 foot. And Gandhi had been dead 40 years. He just had some man from Aghyaran dressed in a sheet, waving to people.”
Chairman Hurson was unavailable for comment this morning but an inside source confirmed that there’s an Elvis Presley who works in a chip shop in Castlederg Main Street.
Unicorns, leprechauns, dinosaurs and Finn McCool are still considered as daily threats in Aghyaran after government researchers admitted there has never been Internet coverage in the area since it was bought into the rest of Tyrone by Powerscreen in 1999.
In addition, 98% of Aghyarians still believe the earth is flat and that rain only happens when God is sad. Local headmaster and newspaper reader Master Redmond revealed there is a real need for investment in the area after the recent lunar eclipse witnessed families packing the cars and heading for Strabane in panic:
“Since Powerscreen bought the Internet for this part of the world, many newspapers and encyclopaedia stopped making new material as everything is apparently online now. Well, that has been no good to the people of Aghyaran and it’s a constant struggle in the community to keep people abreast of what is going on. If you inform someone of, say, the International Space Station, people just call you a slabber or ‘away in the head’.”
Aghyaran butcher and local historian Kevin Cutter (66) voiced concerns about the introduction of the Internet and maintains it needs to be slowly drip-fed into the area:
“If someone buys the Internet into this area and all of a sudden we’re told that smoking isn’t good for you or that you can’t get pregnant from kissing, then people will just be fainting and stuff from the sudden wave of revelations. It needs to be fed slowly, maybe starting with the likelihood that banshees are probably made up and take it from there. The bru man is real isn’t he?”
BT and O2 revealed they have no plans to improve their coverage in the Aghyaran area as ‘they’re used to not having it anyway’.
The mood in Coalisland has been described as ‘joyous’ and ‘celebratory’ after news filtered through of Elton John’s marriage to his long-term partner David Furnish.
Locals also confirmed that a delegation from the town flew over to Berkshire, England to celebrate Elton’s big day by singing songs outside his mansion and to give him a gift from the people in the town – £3o worth of vouchers to be spent in Frank McGirr’s clothing and accessories store before May 2015.
The Elton John/Coalisland affiliation has been an open secret for years now after Elton revealed his song ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’ was about the time he watched Coalisland Fianna GFC lose to Aghyaran in the 1981 Intermediate Final. Local historian and big Elton fan Ronnie McSherry added:
“Yes, Elton was gutted that day Aghyaran beat us. He was a big fan of the Blues and so combined his feeling of despondency with his love for the Fianna and came up with ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’ which we play before the start of every home game as well at the end of dances at the weekends. We love the man here. We wish Elton and David all the best.”
McSherry’s views were not widely held as a large proportion of the town’s prolific gay community admitted to feeling insanely jealous and singing ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ over and over. Tensions were said to be high this afternoon as members of the town’s hetrosexual community taunted them with renditions of ‘I Wanna Kiss The Bride’ outside the off-licence.
Local priest Fr Lyons has appealed for calm between the two factions but admitted that Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.
Meanwhile, the road between Coalisland and Stewartstown has now reopened after the sighting of a ghost was confirmed as an on-the-run returning home for Christmas week.
A recent survey carried out on local streets and ramparts have concluded that, contrary to popular opinion, unqualified middle-aged boiler servicers make women go weak at the knees, especially those over the age of 50.
Boiler men have relegated stove fitters, farmers and part-time electricians to also-rans after 360 local women from Clady to Brocagh were quizzed whilst out shopping or just walking about, regarding their romantic preferences .
Francie Hagan, a 63-year old boiler man from Aghyaran, is not surprised at the results. Whilst fixing a boiler in Castlederg for a 67-year old widow, Hagan told us:
“Not one bit shocked. I’ve been finding myself flat-out since I turned 50, especially with older women wanting their pipes looked at when there’s nothing wrong with them at all. It’s a bit embarrassing sometimes as I’m friendly with a few of the husbands. I’m no looker myself but I think the smell of home heating oil and the dirty boiler suit seems to drive the women mad. I’m not complaining. £100 for a call out every time.”
Patricia Morgan, a 55-year old retired hairdresser from Moortown, explained:
“There’s an oul man around these parts and he’s exhausted running about fixing boilers that don’t seem to need fixing. I sort of feel sorry for him but he charges £50 for even looking at the boiler from a distance. Then if you add on another £50 for a frock we’d buy for him coming and it’s a bucking fortune we’re out. He smells deadly though.”
Since the publication of the survey, angry housewives have been accompanying their boiler-servicing husbands on jobs, posing as apprentices.
Meanwhile, many local discos have registered a rise in young boys looking like old boiler men on nights out hoping to win the hearts of their female peers. Dancing with spanners and pliers in hand has become the 2014 craze in Cookstown and Omagh nightclubs.
With the news that a Canadian bird has landed in a lough in Tyrone after been forced over by storms, more people have come forward with other artefacts blown from across the Atlantic, including pensioners.
The Pacific Diver bird which was spotted in Lough Fea appears to have opened the floodgates as people now realise where the new things in their area have come from. Leo Daly, a fitter from Eglish, was one of the first to come forward with evidence:
“The news of that bird made the penny drop. Last week I went out the lift the milk one morning and I spotted two female pensioners sitting on top of my shed. I shouted for them to get down and they told me they had no idea where they were in these mad American accents. I just shrugged it off as one of those things.”
Pensioners were also spotted flying through the sky in Strabane, Newtownstewart, Sion Mills and Aghyaran. Scientist Pat Morgan explained this phenomenon:
“Old people are remarkably light and resilient. I myself have witnessed pensioners in The Moy being lifted 40-45 feet across a road on a good gusty day. In America it’s probably more common and relatives turn a blind eye to it as the elderly have an incredible homing ability when lost. 3000 miles is a long oul jaunt I suppose.”
The storm theory also solves the overnight appearance of a McDonalds with Canadians inside it in a field in Clonoe. Locals simply put it down to the unstoppable globalisation of the fast food brand until the customers finally emerged and started playing ice hockey down the Washingbay Road.
Authorities have warned locals not to be keeping any people blown over here and mysteriously claiming for dependents.
A multi-denominational approach has seen all religious leaders denounce twerking from their pulpits this morning and warned that any youngsters or middle-aged boogie lovers caught arse-dancing after 8pm in discos and dance halls will be excommunicated from their respective churches.
Arse-dancing involves shaking your behind to all types of music, popularised by Americans such as Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus. Fr Simon Shields, the 55 year old PP of Cappagh Parish, highlighted the dangers of such dancing:
“Us priests and other faith leaders still like to head to the odd disco and enjoy the modern music and clap along. The last thing we need is seeing these dance floors filled with a mass of arses bouncing all over the place to Nathan Carter’s Wagon Wheel or the latest Bangles number. It’s putting us priests off and we’ll end up not going and getting grumpier. It has to stop so we’ve banned this type of dancing for the next two years everywhere in the country from the Glenavon to Sally’s. No more twerking in Tyrone”.
Pastor Daniel Simpson (61) from Fintona agreed:
“Let’s be honest here. Tyrone wouldn’t be a deadly place for arses. I’ve seen hefty men and women in tight leggings bouncing their backsides like as if they’re standing in a trailer on the back of a Massey motoring down a bumpy back road in Greencastle. It’s nauseous for us oul lads. What’s wrong with a good old fashioned waltz or jive?”
Already, one Church of Ireland service goer has been reported by her husband for arse-dancing whilst making the dinner in Aghyaran although she was simply verbally reprimanded by the furious vicar as she beat the 8pm watershed.
Churches as also looking into banning the ‘Rock-the-Boat’ rowing dance as well as Nathan Carter himself.
The annual County Tyrone Potato Appreciation Society Convention was abandoned yesterday after police and priests were unable to contain a mass brawl in Cappagh Hall. Eyewitnesses claim to have seen men and women ‘throwing deadly slaps’ and ‘clodding spuds’ at each other after a disagreement over the correct local pronunciation of the potato.
Current County Tyrone Potato Appreciation Society chairperson Mary Nolan (68) was not in the mood for a peaceful resolution:
“Them there loughshore ones and go and buck. I’ve never heard of people calling spuds ‘pitters’. Pitters? Everyone knows it ‘purdees’. It was always purdees going back to the 1800s because I was there. And the Strabane ones can bugger off too. Their representative started going on about ‘poundies’. Sure that’s a completely different sort of dish. The westies and the easties couldn’t handle the truth and started boxing and slapping. Well, us Cappaghonians didn’t take it lying down so they got a few hard purdees up their gobs for their troubles.”
Nolan confirmed that they have officially changed their name to the County Tyrone Purdee Appreciation Society much to the annoyance of Washingbay rep Johnny Corr (77):
“Well, if that’s true I’d like to announce the formation of the Continuity Pitter Society. Anyone can sign up, even disaffected purdee people. We will make sure the local spud is called by its correct title. I’d also like to extend a hand of friendship to the new Strabane militant group, The Real Poundie Association. Together we can crush the Purdees. Up the Pitters.”
Fr Henry McAteer, who was called to the scene of the riot, recommended a time of reflection and cool heads:
“This is an emotive issue in Tyrone. The correct pronunciation has hampered us for centuries. It threatened to derail the 1798 rebellion in Tyrone after a massive fallout between the Brocagh and Aghyaran ones over a plate of spuds. I’m prepared to act as peacemaker and suggest we call them praties from now on.”
Fr McAteer has since been chased back to Maynooth.
A 47 year old chimney cleaner from Aghyaran says he’s preparing for ‘the guts of a month’ of silent treatment after forgetting his 20th wedding anniversary.
Patsy Devine, who claims to have forgotten the date only ‘5 or 6 times’ before this one, and Mary McLoughlin were married on the 23rd July 1993 at a fairytale ceremony in the village that had balloons and all. Mary maintains this might be the final straw:
“He’s one gope. He said to me in the morning if I needed anything from the shop. I was sure he was getting some kind of memento for the occasion. He came back with some wheaten bread, cat food and the Irish News. I let it go in case it was some big plan to wind me up. He then got up during breakfast and said he had to get something from the car. I was convinced this was the big moment. He came back in with toilet roll and proceeded to sit on the toilet for 45 minutes. Things only got worse from then on in.”
The penny dropped with Patsy after Mary spilled his spaghetti bolognese over his lap.
“I knew this wasn’t an accident. I was wrecking my head and it finally dawned on me when I was talking to my Derry neighbour. I remembered they won the All Ireland a couple of months after we got married. I rushed out and bought the last bunch of flowers at the garage but they were a bit measly looking and stank of diesel. The woman says they’d been there since Mother’s Day. Well, when I handed them to Mary she just looked at them and set them alight. The diesel was fairly potent.”
Devine has enrolled in a body language course in Clady to see if he can read signals until she starts talking again. With the 20th anniversary traditionally celebrated with porcelain, Devine is considering getting Mary porcelain veneers for her ‘unsightly gnashers’.
A statement this morning by the underground ‘Red Hand Priests Are Us’ movement has called on parents and guardians to turn a blind eye to bad manners and general impishness in their children in order to save the tradition of confessions across the county. In recent years priests in many parishes have complained they are twiddling their thumbs between two and three on a Saturday as empty booths and vanishing queues are now a normal sight from Ardboe to Aghyaran. Fr Johnston from Greencastle admitted:
“We might have to abandon confessions completely. The children are now just sitting on their iPads or PlayStations. Even the couple who do trickle in tell us nothing worthwhile like knocking over a vase or sneezing and they end up taking on all the Hail Marys to be given out that day. One girl last week said she forgot to give her mother a hug and I had to hit her with 19 decades of the rosary. That’s not fair, but there’s too much penance to go around now.”
Fr Traynor from Carrickmore agreed:
“Oh how I long for the days when there’d be queues out the door with lads telling you about blowing up frogs, leaving bags of shite on the elderly neighbour’s doorstep or robbing the pub. Nowadays these youngster are too buckin lazy to get up to devilment. What are parents at these days? Can they not see the basic fabric of a young Irish child’s life is disappearing? I’m not talking devil-worshipping here but confessing to giving your brother a kicking or two would brighten the whole process up for us.”
A school in Dungannon has been first to act with a proposed GCSE class on ‘General Bad Manners and Skulduggery’ starting in September 2013. Master Cullen informed us:
“This will be a rigorous course with an element of practical which involves two pupils playing dangerous pranks on each other like locking one in a skip and rolling it down the steep bank. That sort of thing. They’ll be allowed to curse at the teacher too.”
Confessions continue this week at 2pm everywhere.
It has just been confirmed that the two remaining Aghyaran pensioners – Edna Hughes and Johnny O’Neill – have fallen out and are refusing to even mention each others’ names. Due to the high percentage of greenhouse gases produced by the highly flatulent cattle in the ara, life expectancy in the Aghyaran area has remained almost constant since the 1600s at around 40 for a man and 45 for a woman. Hughes (67) and O’Neill (66) hold almost celebrity status in the area such is their longevity, often opening pitches together or attending functions as guests of honour. Hughes and O’Neill are also the last surviving speakers of an almost-extinct West Tyrone dialect called Eoghainish. However, it looks like the locals will not hear a conversation in that tongue for the time being.
“He’s an ignorant fcuker”, Edna told us earlier. “We’d often meet up for a game of bridge or sing songs in Eoghainish but he was always correcting me in my grammar and pronunciation. Just because his father was a schoolmaster he thinks he knows it all. Well, I’ve had enough of his guff. He’s nothing without me. He might think he has the brains but I have the looks. I’m glad to be rid of him. He was always winking at me and making innuendos so I’ll not be missing that. I wouldn’t pish on him to put him out.”
O’Neill was equally adamant that he’ll not be making the first move at reconciliation. Speaking after collecting his pension from the PO, he said:
“I’ve not had a better day than today. Any day not having to look at that maggot-ridden hoor’s face is a good day in my book. I couldn’t stick the unyielding stench anyway. You’d think a woman of that age would wash the odd week. ‘Bini Bacht Gassan Yuru Ata Ici’ is an old Eoghainish phrase my da used to say – ‘there’s no sore ass like your own sore ass’. I don’t need another sore ass to be thinking about.”
The families of both issued a statement advising the media to stay well clear of the row as historically it ends in a bloodbath.