The family of a Derrytresk joiner have reassured friends and family that reports of a breakdown are wide of the mark, after the news that One Direction’s Zayn Malik is leaving the band with immediate effect caused confusion between various organisations.
Patsy Fitzgerald (49), who had no previous knowledge of the band, experienced a breakdown just as Stephen Nolan announced the news on Radio Ulster yesterday morning. Fitzgerald phoned his wife in obvious distress, informing her that he didn’t think he could go on any further. Debbie Fitzgerald (48), a One Direction fan who was at the time trying to let the surprising news of her favourite singer’s decision sink in, panicked and immediately phoned the Samaritans who arrived with Fitzgerald within 20 mins on the Annaghmore Road.
“I’d been ignoring the oil light, break light, water light and heating light on the Datsun for months but it finally all packed in this morning. Conked out. I phoned herself to get someone to tow me in but before I knew it a man and a woman arrived and put their arms around me and told me it’d be ok…that these things take time to heal. I just wanted the motor towed to be honest.”
The Samaritans persisted for two and a half hours, trying different tactics to reassure Fitzgerald that he’d get over this eventually and to think of the good things he had in his life.
“I found myself blurting and crying, thinking about the money I’d have to pump into the motor now to fix it. Thank God these Samaritans were about or I’d probably have headed to the club and gambled my sorrows away.”
The confusion worsened after the AA arrived to help Fitzgerald with the 1988 Datsun with the Samaritans angry that he hadn’t told them he was an alcoholic.
The recent TV coverage of tennis at Wimbledon has prompted a local opportunist entrepreneur to capitalise on the renewed interest in the sport.
Fergal Donaghy from Annaghmore decided to make the investment after seeing two youngsters playing with tennis racquets near Greencastle last week during the Wimbledon fortnight.
“Sure, they were using them to belt lumps out of each other, but still, it’s the Wimbledon effect”, said an excited Donaghy. “The cubs are mad for the tennis in Tyrone, and once my tennis centre opens, they’ll be flocking in”.
Donaghy has already started work on a permanent venue for the centre and a search for much-needed equipment.
“Aye, we’re still sort of planning where the site’s going to be. The place I’m using at the moment is amazing with lots and lots of space and kids think it’s class, but apparently Asda say it’s ‘their’ car park. Sure, we’ll squeeze it into a corner of Garvaghey. They won’t mind. We don’t need much space because I’m going to use much smaller tennis courts. The size of existing courts has players run ragged. No wonder Andy Murray’s always got a face like a slapped arse. The poor lad’s knackered. No, we’re going to reduce the court by about three quarters. Revolutionary”.
“Thon Andy Murray’s a class act. Unbeatable. I didn’t get to see much of Wimbledon this year, but I didn’t have to to know that he’s won it again. He’s unbeatable that boy”.
Sourcing appropriate kit has so far has proved a challenge for the entrepreneur.
“I picked up all these class state-of-the-art wooden tennis racquets at a sale. The kids love playing with them. Imagine how much more they’ll like them once we put strings in them. Tennis racquet string’s supposed to be made from catgut, and we tried sourcing it locally, but Jays, it was some handlin’. The miaowing’s still ringing in my ears. I’ve still got the scratches. I’m not making that mistake again. A wee bit of blue rope will do the job just as well”.
Donaghy revealed exciting expansion plans for the future.
“Once this tennis centre’s open, I’ll do one in every county. Armagh’s first, then Fermanagh, probably in Enniskillen. I want to come up with a snappy name for it that combines ‘Enniskillen’ with ‘tennis’, but so far it’s got me stumped”.
Donaghy has also sent a fax to Cliff Richard asking him to stay away from the centre when it opens.
In a fit of revenge for arriving in the house the previous night heavily inebriated, Derrytresk woman Kitty Devlin exacted revenge by making her worse-for-wear husband Kevin push their 1996 Volkswagen GTi eight miles from Dungannon to Derryvarne in the townland last month.
The Devlins had made the trip to Boots the Chemist in The Oaks Centre Dungannon early that morning to pick up a bag of cheap women’s leg razors and Lynx deodorant for their children, despite Mr Devlin’s hungover condition.
“He came in roaring and singing the night before from a whist drive night in Maghery, waking the whole house up. Then he moaned the whole way to Dungannon that morning about the fact that none of the windows opened in the motor and him feeling sick. It was whilst browsing through shower gels that I concocted my plan to make him pay for the late night drunken antics.”
On returning to the car, Mrs Devlin pretended to start the motor, claiming the battery was dead and for her husband to give it a push start.
“Little did the bollocks know but I had her in 5th gear the whole way home. I kept bellowing at him to keep er lit as it was near catching. I had no intention of starting that engine. Even when he threw up four times, at Edendork, Coalisland, Clonoe pitch and Annaghmore School I felt no sympathy. That’ll learn him.”
Kitty finally started the car in second gear less than 50 yards from their house and sped off, leaving her husband in a quare state according to neighbour Jimmy Quinn:
“I’ve never seen a vision like it. His face as red as the fiery pits of hell and him covered in vomit. A bad doing by Kitty who’s 18 stone but sure the wemen now are lethal. That’s lethal in a bad way I mean.”
Mr Devlin has since stayed on the wagon, lost two stone and is considering starting a new fitness fad called ‘push starting a car in 5th gear’.
The BBC confirmed this morning that they have decided not air an episode of Antiques Roadshow due to the ‘staggering amounts of garbage’ that people produced.
Producers of the show, which was based on a field just outside Trillick, were said to have become exasperated at some of the articles presented by locals for valuation, which included: a half-used tube of Peter Canavan’s hair gel from 1982; a digital clock that the owner insisted was from the Tudor period; a Tyrone GAA air freshener; a parking ticket issued in Coalisland High Street, believed to the only one of its kind in existence.
Presenter Fiona Bruce was reported to have said,
“I don’t mean to be rude or disrespectful to the wonderful people of Tyrone, but the stuff they brought in was shit. It was like some of them had just rummaged around in the back of the cupboard to see what they could find just so they could get on the BBC.”
This was hotly disputed by local organiser Terence Kerr, who fumed,
“How dare she accuse us of that sort of behaviour just to get on telly? It might be junk to them but it’s priceless to us. I myself have a genuine St Brigid’s cross made by none other St Patrick himself when he was passing through Carnteel in the sixth century, one of only four originals he made. Of course it’s of enormous sentimental value to me and I would never even think of parting with it. Not for less than twenty quid at any rate”.
Another attendee, 54-year old Bernie Duggan from Annaghmore, argued,
“To be honest, I just had a wee rummage in the back of the cupboard to see what I could find, so’s I could maybe get on the TV. And to my surprise I discovered what I’m sure is an un-released recording of Hugo Duncan doing a cover version of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ when he was letting his hair down one night in Kelly’s Bar in 1978. I’ve no idea how it got there, but it’s got to be worth a few quid”.
The show was abandoned after five hours, when the most expensive item valued was a packet of Opal Fruits, circa 1982, still in its original wrapping, which was valued at 50 pence.
The ‘Learn To Talk To Your Animals’ workshop at Clonoe Community Centre last night ended in chaos after many animals spoke back, criticising the standards of farming and general pet ownership. Rows erupted between man and beast as the PSNI arrived to control the chaotic scenes which included a savage brawl between a goat and a man from Derrylaughan.
Spiritual councillor Patricia McCabe admitted it was unlikely she’d attempt this session in the area again, which was initially meant to teach locals about animal communication by quietening the mind and focussing on your senses allowing you to listen more clearly to animals.
“Turned out the animals listened too well. There was a boy from Stewartstown who brought in a flock of sheep. After he spoke to them using my techniques, they rounded on him and called him (using sheep talk) ‘a lazy fat b***ard’ and ‘a drunken good for nothing wino”. It was when the fighting started that I realised my powers were deadly. A horse headbutted his owner from Cabragh after telling him the hay he fed her every day was covered in dung.”
Local dog owner and part-time magician, John McCabe, rued the day he set foot in the workshop:
“I wish I’d never listened to that woman. Now I can hear everything that mutt of mine is saying. Sure just this morning he jumped on my bed and started going on about the state of the room and saying oul dirty things about local women and all. Every bark is a complaint about something. It’s doing my head in. I’m going to another councillor to see if she can undo the animal-listening process.”
The PSNI admitted they were monitoring the situation and revealed their resources were stretched across Clonoe as farmers all over the parish spend most of the night out in their fields arguing with cattle, with skirmishes breaking out in Annaghmore, Derrytresk and Aughamullen.