BY CLAMPED CANDY
Talk of schools putting GAA in History lessons. Might as well make a start. Football fading into the distant past. Can envisage Irish archaeologists in a couple of hundred years time finding what they believe to be the site of an ancient sporting ritual. Something to rival the great Aztec and Mayan civilizations. Where a primitive, savage form of football was first thought to have been played.
Deep in the heart of Tyrone, these archaeologists find a long, forgotten expanse, surrounded by steep, weed covered banks. Maybe used as a vantage point for local villagers to watch the spectacle. A white chalk or paint like substance marking out the perimeter of the arena. Tattered flags set at various distances along the field of play. Some at 45 metres from each end. Although some dispute as to whether it’s 50 yards, not 45 metres. Two long, wooden uprights at either side, possibly marking the territory of the ‘players’ taking part.
The experts finding fragments resembling the shape of human gums and teeth which may have been used to protect the mouths of those doing battle. Although after examination, it may turn out that the fragments are, actually, the gums and teeth of those taking part. A whistle. Possibly used to call protagonists to order during these rituals. A little book, with names scribbled inside. Names of significance? Worthy of recording? And coloured cards. Red, yellow, black. Could these have been used to distinguish those who had shown some form of bravery in combat. A signal to the massed hordes watching perhaps.
In one corner, a large, dilapidated board, with strange lettering and numerals. Deciphered by experts in ancient hieroglyphs. Something like,. Pomeroy 0-9…. Ardboe 0-8. Who were these ‘Pomeroy’ and ‘Ardboe’? Tribes meeting to resolve disputes? And the numbers, maybe signifying those sacrificed by the tribes taking part. Further excavations will reveal small dugouts or huts on each side of the flat expanse. Filled with ragged, threadbare clothing with numbers on the back and the same names as on the board. They will deduce that the garments were part of the attire worn before going into battle to replace those bludgeoned in the fray. Empty water vessels litter the arena. Sponges, spray cans and potions also plentiful. Experts speculate that these may have been used by witch doctors as remedies to force the injured back into the melee.
One lone, discarded piece of footwear. Maybe lost by a fleeing participant. And two long white coats found in an adjacent area, ripped and bloodstained, may be related to the site. Although no ‘ball’ will be found it will be presumed there was. Or perhaps a human skull was used in a macabre resemblance to what some experts say the ancient Mesoamericans did. Whatever, many of the remnants found will remain a mystery, and forever open to conjecture. But those names, Pomeroy and Ardboe will be synonymous with Machu and Tenochtitlan, as honorifics of great awe and wonder.
A vaccine developed by Ardboe GAA club and the Battery Bar has proven to be more than 20% effective in people of all ages, sparking immediate requests for funding and mass production.
A paper, published in The Lancet this evening, shows that the vaccine uses RNA technology which was brazenly stolen by a Moortown janitor from a lab in Oxford. It will, if applied at a temperature of -100 degrees celsius, prevent one in five adult homo sapiens from getting midge bites.
The peer reviewed paper has rated the vaccine 20.65% effective due to the fact that it’s December and that there are ‘fcuk all midges about’.
Unperturbed, Ardboe GAA officials and Battery Bar owner Mr O Mulligan, stormed Stormont today for any money they can get their hands on.
In other news, a Coalisland man has become the first person to have emerged from a self-imposed isolation period of 35 years. Johnny Fee emerged from a manhole in the town, asking people if Dennis Taylor was still doing autographs.
Fivemiletown DUP party member Kenneth Potts has claimed he has scientific proof that Catholic wasps only sting in mainly Protestant areas whereas Protestant wasps sting indiscriminately and evenly in both communities.
The recent influx of wasps across the county has already led to a surge in the purchase of dish clothes used as weapons, as well as a rise in broken windows due to high heels wrongly applied as killing machines on glass.
Potts visited many Protestant homes in his constituency to exam dead wasps and is in no doubt of his findings:
“Yeah, 90% of the dead wasps I found had their eyes really close together. That is a sure sign of a wasp brought up in a Catholic area and it appears they only sting Protestants. Protestant wasps are noticeable by their unique tattoo-like markings on their legs and their musical prowess as they fly down roads. Those wasps sting anyone without discrimination.”
Potts has called for more protection against Catholic wasps. The PSNI have suggested building bonfires covered in jam to attract any angry Catholic wasps. Sinn Fein have refused to confirm that a dissident wasp battalion have started to attack its own people, despite close-eyed wasps rampaging around Coalisland at the weekend before flying to Dungannon to demand equal rights to bees.
In unrelated news, Ardboe pet shop owner Soapy Hagan denies selling three wasps to a simpleton Derry family holidaying on the lough shore.
A Belfast scientist today announced that, after studying the longevity of loughshore people over the last 25 years, swallowing over 60 midges a day can add a decade to your life if consumed during the summer months for at least three consecutive years.
Although it has been a well known fact that the average Ardboe or Washingbay resident lives to 90-109 years of age, not until now has the reason been forensically analysed in such depth.
Previously, reasons for such long lifespan included eating large amounts of pollan and eels, fighting, in-breeding and doing the double. However, three families in the area have been monitored over a period of 36 months which have led to Professor Mike McKindlin’s findings:
On average, the loughshorian swallows over 4000 midges on any given week during the summer. This can occur when walking, running, hiding or just sleeping outside with your mouth open. This was the X Factor I’ve been looking for. I’m quite sure midges make you live longer.”
Doctors have long puzzled over why many chain-smoking alcoholics from the area have been able to celebrate their 100th birthdays in relatively good health. The NI Tourism Board are now looking for protected status for midges and are encouraging locals to begin making plans for the promotion of midge soup and midge sausages and the like.
They are also hoping 1980s star Midge Ure from Ultravox will get involved.
By Aughoughilley Schniffles
Kevin McGuigan, a bathroom fitter, from Mourne Crescent has finally won an argument with his wife Alisha, albeit the next morning and while alone in the shower.
The former Coalisland Celtic Youth star got into an altercation with his missus on Valentine’s night last week, when he returned home from work with nothing more than a big bag of spuds and a fairly decent stubble.
McGuigan was met with outrage at missing the fifth Valentine’s Day in a row as well as three of her last four birthdays and two of the couple’s recent wedding anniversaries.
“I sat down to watch the match on the sofa, and got a rap over the head with the saucepan, not the wee one you use for pancakes, but the big one she uses for the fry of a Saturday. I also got called a lazy bollicks and was told I was the worst kind of man there is. Frankly, I was stunned.”
Left licking his wounds on the night, McGuigan told us how he actually won the argument in the end, albeit the next day and on his own in the shower.
“Aye, well I was slapping a load of her Timotei shampoo on me when I felt the bump and remembered the bad manners I had received the night before. I ran over it all again in my head. Says I to myself – YOU’RE the useless one – you can’t cook a sausage without burning it, the toilet roll holder is always left with just the wee cardboardy bit and my jeans are always ironed with the pleat down the middle. You wouldn’t know a decent man if he fell at your feet… and while I’m at it, you’re looking more and more like your ma every time I clap eyes on ye…that was her told… I walked to my work two inches taller that morning I can tell you.”
McGuigan advised us he is available for bathroom renovations big or small anywhere in Tyrone. Discounts offered for single young women with good road frontage.
A Coalisland hotelier has pledged never to return to the Channel 4 hit TV show Countdown after producers refused to allow his 5-letter word ‘clift’ to stand, which would have seen him take the lead before the final conundrum, on a matter of principle.
Theodore Talbot (58), who owns two hotels in the town, maintains that this was a clear example of lingual discrimination after he had already turned a blind eye to three other words he suggested earlier which were similarly disallowed:
“I was already fuming that ‘footer’, ‘handlin’ and ‘balleeks’ were thrown out, but since I was leading I let it go. But to disallow ‘clift’, even though I gave them an example (that presenter is a quare clift), was just bad manners and another example of post-Brexit intolerance. I walked off, calling them worse things than clifts.”
Talbot is not the first East Tyrone contestant to prematurely leave the show in recent years after an Ardboe contestant was caught in 2009 using a solar powered calculator under the table during the first numbers round.
Gretta Quinn’s cheating was discovered whilst shouting ‘for frig sake put the lights on‘ after getting frustrated at the blank screen on her device.
Thousands of Tyrone boat-owners were said to be ‘seething’ today after it emerged yesterday that they are not allowed to wash their boats as one of the conditions of the hosepipe ban.
Over 80% of households in Tyrone are said to own a boat due to their proximity to Lough Neagh and Fermanagh waterways as well as multiple appearances on the 1980s gameshow ‘Bullseye’, winning speedboats in the process.
Several arrests were made in Ardboe this morning after dozens of families attempted to get around the ban by using buckets instead of hoses.
Jamesy Forbes, who owns three boats (one for legal activities, one for illegal and the other one for romantic excursions won on Bullseye in 1988), fumed:
“This is some form of dictatorship. There’s no better feeling than washing your boat after Mass on a Sunday and getting the whole family involved. If you flew a drone over East Tyrone on a Sunday around 12pm you’d see 1000s out polishing their boats in public. Now that has been taken away. It’s like losing a leg.”
The hosepipe ban comes as the current spell of hot weather is set to continue for the foreseeable future. Authorities have warned boat owners that they’ll be watching for people washing their boats on the lough using lough water as that is prohibited too.
Meanwhile a man was beaten in a shop in Cookstown for saying ‘God it’s warm’ for the 12th day in a row.
BBC To Show ‘Desperate Fishwives’ – An Insight Into The Crazy Lives Of Wives Of Lough Neagh Fishermen
A controversial insight into the daily lives of East Tyrone women married to Loughshore fishermen is to be screened over the summer, with some critics predicting it will become the greatest TV series since Dallas in the 1980s.
Details on the Desperate Fishwives plot have been hard to come by with BBC officials remaining tight-lipped about the project, instead releasing information on some of the main characters who may become immediate superstars such as Sue-Ellen and Miss Ellie.
Crystal is a 36-year-old red-haired ex-PSNI officer married to Bob McCourt, a 600 eel-a-day fisherman. Crystal, bored as Bob spends 20 hrs a day on Lough Neagh fishing and blathering, takes a notion to the local priest who in return hears her confession 4 times a day. Crystal tries to gain acceptance into the local community despite her shady past as an Armagh woman.
Pamela-Jane (39), who won the 1998 Ardboe Miss Wrangler Jeans competition at sports day, is married to Rob Coney – the captain of the Rams Island trout-fishing boat. Mrs Coney spends her days running a massage parlour in Moortown, frequented by many well-known local celebs such as Malachi Cush, Paddy Heaney and Philip Jordan who often leave smiling a lot.
Francine (23) causes consternation when she weds 81-year old Patsy Quinn, the millionaire ‘King of the Salmon’ fishing businessman. Francine fills her hours walking around the Washingbay winking at young men and dressed in long frocks and sparkling jewellery.
BBC producer Williard Butler added:
“The show follows six fishwives about for 12 months. We encounter fighting, diffing, slapping, cousin-fancying, fishing, crying, laughing, drinking and punching as the women meet up once a week. This will create serious tourism for the area.”
The first episode is to be aired June 31st at 8pm.
A cow from Ardboe has been described as ‘nearly bigger than the Pope’ after it emerged that it has cured over seventy cases of premature baldness in the surrounding area by licking the offender’s head.
Jessie, whose father (Patsy the Bull) once ran non-stop to Keady in 2006 to mingle with a new breed of American cattle, is already the subject of three new songs penned by Malachi Cush, Andrea Begley and one of the members of Tiberius’ Minnows.
The Vatican, despite pleas to the contrary, have refused to beatify the cow due to the fact that it hasn’t really done anything religious and isn’t dead yet. Locals have accused the Pope of being jealous and even downright miserable.
The cow’s owner, Mickey McGuigan, added:
“The Church are looking bad here. Fair enough, beatification usually comes after death and a state of bliss but if they can bend the rules about eating meat on Fridays and priests having wemen, then they can beatify Jessie. Reeks of sheer spite to me.”
Jessie is said to cure men in their early 20s of premature baldness by licking their forehead, leaving a rigid cow’s lick for up to three years in some cases. Local ex-footballer Tommy McGuigan is said to have received three licks from Jessie over a 5-year period, preventing baldness despite early signs of receding hairlines at the age of 23.
Malachi Cush’s ‘Lick My Head Jessie Ye Heifer Ye‘ is to be released this weekend in all good shops as well as on mobile devices and tablets. A live version will be sung beside the Ardboe High Cross on Sunday after Mass, dueted by Dana.
A retired Ardboe pensioner is facing up to 10 years in Maghaberry after he admitted to training his collie Pebbles to bark ‘f**k Derry’ on command when being visited by relatives from the Derry side of Ballinderry.
Gerry ‘Queen’ Quinn, who was previously cautioned for teaching his pet budgerigar to sing Wolfe Tones songs during a 12th July parade in Coagh, revealed he trained the dog to utter obscenities aimed at the Oak Leaf county over a period of four years, treating Pebbles to cheeseburgers and chips after tasks were accomplished.
Judge Peter Campbell added:
“This was a systematic pattern of training pets to do his dirty work. We have it on good authority that he had three cats undergoing similar training, targeting a wide range of government officials using verbal and physical tactics. He is like a Dark Dr Doolittle, doing a lot of damage.”
Quinn has decided not to appeal the decision when it is handed down, claiming it was worth it “to see the look on them tramps’ faces”.
Pebbles has been handed over to the RSPCA to be retrained to bark more normal local things like ‘ghost oh it’s tarra’ and ‘are ye blind, ref?’.
The construction of a bridge between Ardboe and Aldergrove have been given the go-ahead, sparking a row over the naming of the structure to be opened in 2020.
The £400m venture, partially funded by businessmen on both sides of the lough, will span 11 miles and involve negotiations with major airlines regarding how they can fly over and sometimes under the construction.
However, discussions became heated last night over the naming of the bridge with the Ardboe contingent demanding it should be called ‘The Frank McGuigan Way’ whilst businessmen in Antrim only prepared to invest if it is named ‘Orange Bridge’.
One of the brain-childs of the bridge, Philomena Forbes, explained the idea:
“It will be magnificent, perhaps the first manmade structure visible from the moon. It will be 11 miles across and speed limits will be around 60mph going up to 90mph around the middle bit. There are also plans to build an Apple Green Service Station on it somewhere and there will be no pedestrians, fishermen, cyclists and cops allowed on it.”
Unfortunately due to a scarcity of materials, the bridge will only go one way, from west to east, with people having to drive around the lough to get back to Tyrone.
Asked whether she had thought of possible environmental issues regarding the disturbance of fish and stuff, Forbes just laughed and said “like who eats eels any more.”
A gang of about 12 Ardboe women, who peak through their venetian blinds at other members of their community going about their daily business and posting it online, have upped their reign of terror by setting up a blog whistle-blowing on people who are getting Jobseekers’ Allowance whilst working locally.
The notorious group also vowed to expose alledged under the counter deals, people driving whilst texting and general gulpin behaviour on their multiple social media sites by purchasing more venetian blinds for other minor rooms in their houses to look through.
Polly Coyle, the notorious Head of Operations for the Peakys, added:
“This is a new period of expansion for us. Ghost-oh, but the price of the venetian blinds is killing us though. And plasters too. A few of our women have sliced their fingers on these new razor-blade blinds. Our order of the Peaky Blinders will have to change to softer-edged ones.”
To date, the Peakys have waged war on communist Moortownians, Ballinderry unionists and pledged to sort out the Brocagh mafia before the year is out.
Meanwhile, a suspect crystal meth lab in Lissan which was raided on Monday has been deemed a false alarm. A local school teacher and his ex pupil were released after it emerged the lab was simply an elaborate poitin-making operation which is still legal in the village.
Pub and shop owners in the county have urged people to stop giving off about Alexa after it emerged that over 1000 households in the county returned their Amazon Echo devices due to its inability to understand locals and vice versa.
In one extreme example, a man in his 40s from Eskra was witnessed kicking the device around his garden at 3pm on Christmas Day after it failed to understand “Alex, play the one ‘Mon Boy Light Thon Fire’ by that band The Durs” after 200 requests to do so.
Electronics expert Roger McGinnity from Omagh offered advice for locals who have yet to return their device:
“Alexa isn’t programmed to understand the subtleties of the Tyrone dialect. Asking it ‘is it coul the day?’ will confused the system and result in annoyance on both sides. My advice is to think of what you want to ask and have a dictionary nearby and mouth out the words that way. It’s still a useful device.”
The Amazon data team revealed that the most asked questions to Alexa in the county on Christmas Day were: ‘Alexa, will Trone win the All-Ireland the year?’ and ‘Alexa, are the cops nearby atall?’
Meanwhile a 43-year old man from Ardboe has proposed to the machine, surrounded by family and friends. Although Alexa was non-committal, a service will go ahead on New Year’s Eve, the first of its kind in the county.
£40,000 Valium Uncovered In Edendork By PSNI Before Tyrone Face ‘Sleeping Giants Of Ulster Football’
By Aughohilly Schniffles
As Tyrone prepare to take on Co Down in defending their Ulster title this Sunday, it has emerged that £40,000 worth of sleeping pills has been found in Edendork.
A PSNI spokesman said the intention by certain Tyrone supporters and perhaps backroom staff was to “keep them sleeping” coming up to the weekend.
Down – commonly known as “The Sleeping Giants of Ulster football” – surprised many with their demolition of Monaghan in this year’s provincial semi-final. Fears are rife in Tyrone that the Mourne men may be awaking from their slumber and that slipping sleeping tablets into the Down training camp over the week was a viable option. Horse Devlin was spotted in Newcastle suspiciously eating an ice-cream on the 12th.
It is believed that the ‘sleeping giants’ tag dates back to the Fionn MacCumhaill days, around the time of that mental story about the Red Hand of Ulster, where the best people in the land lived in the highest of the high, Slieve Donard, whilst their polar opposites lived in Ardboe. PSNI have also been out to Brian McGuigan’s house and forced him to dismantle a giant catapult he had constructed to fling shite all over Newry.
When asked about Down’s ambush on Monaghan the last day out, one Down fan we interviewed said
“Well, you can thank that Matty Donnelly bollocks for saying Tyrone would have a tough game against Monaghan in his post-match BBC interview…”
When we pressed said fan about Down’s chances this Sunday he snorted
“…let’s just say Mickey Harte, who has now been serving his county longer than the fella who did Kermit the Frog, is in for a rude awakening this Sunday.”
There are unconfirmed rumours around Garvaghey that former County star Paul Donnelly has been taking training sessions, teaching the team how to throw opposition players’ boots into the Gerry Arthurs Stand.
Following allegations of shenanigans from the Red Hand County, it has been alleged that Kevin McKernan, the Down midfielder, was responsible for the theft of Colm Cavanagh’s dog Marley last week, who thankfully turned up alive and barking in Stewartstown. Our best wishes go out to Marley, in his recovery of what must have been a very stressful thirty minutes spent in Stewartstown. All the best Marley.
Despite being cheered on by the entire county during a magnificent run to the All Ireland Final, the threat to the county players is now placed at ‘critical’ as they prepare to head back to their clubs for league football.
As the multi-award winning squad from the 00s can testify, there appears to be a strong correlation between playing well for the county and getting the lining kicked out of you in club games, by the same boys who clapped and roared you on a week earlier.
An All-Star winning forward who wishes to remain anonymous, said from his Cookstown home:
“The feeling of elation when you scored a clinker in Croke Park would soon turn to dread when it dawned on you that some failed corner back from Ardboe is probably going to break you in two at the weekend for scoring it. I remember I nailed one such goal against Dublin, involving dummies, and spotted a boy from Kildress cheering and giving me the thumbs up in the Canal End. Then, in a millisecond, he did the throat-slicing movement and gave me the fingers.”
With Tyrone having so many 5-star performers throughout the year, the threat level has been raised from the normal ‘high’ to ‘critical’ with referees made aware of the need to be extra-vigilant over the next few weeks.
A Trillick sharpshooter who didn’t even get on for most of the year told us he’s ‘dunging the togs’ in anticipation of taking on Urney in a week’s time. Urney, who are famed for their particular distaste of Donegal, have promised to tone down the comeuppance for Tyrone heroes playing for Trillick, but refused to make promises.
A leaked document supposedly drawn up by the Tyrone County Board at the start of the year indicated that several radical club game proposals were considered, aimed at giving the county players the best chance at All-Ireland success.
Amongst the more controversial ideas was to play FOUR rounds of league games at midnight on a Sunday to give county players more time to train with the county all weekend, playing some games in car parks to preserve the pitches for county training, and to play at some unusual venues such as the boxing club for Ardboe/Fianna and Barcelona for Clonoe/Dromore.
A club football activist, Reginald McSherry, maintains the leaked plans is another nail in the coffin for non-county players in Tyrone:
“Doesn’t surprise me a jot. Them boys in suits really do think the new CPA stands for the Crap Players Association. Never mind the midnight games or car park venues, but to drag the Clonoe v Dromore game to the Nou Camp in Barcelona is scandalous. Everyone knows Mickey O’Neill cannot fly. He’d be driving for 2 weeks. It’s just another way to get county players off playing club games.”
The County Board also considered imposing a ban on non-county players wearing fancy-coloured boots as it was generally perceived by the board that they were getting above their station and thinking they were deadly. One proposal which did get the go-ahead was that only county players can use the official gym equipment in Garvaghey. Non-county players can use less expensive props such as wheelbarrow ramps and cans of soup.
95% of the proposals were rejected due to a delay in the paperwork but will be reviewed in 12 months depending on who’s in charge of the county team.
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.
An Ardboe marketing strategist working in a Belfast office has wowed his workmates after a comment he made to his boss first thing this morning.
Patsy McGuigan (33) has since completed over a dozen high fives on the back of the quip and is currently planning on a Christmas-themed one.
McGuigan himself explained what he has since labelled ‘probably the greatest moment in my adult life’ in great detail:
“All the way up the M1 this morning I kept thinking about people having to take off their costume make-up this morning and then it hit me. The joke to end all jokes. As the boss walked in this morning I waited til everyone was quiet and then let rip ‘Halloween was yesterday’. Well, people were crying with laughter hours later. I’m a beast.”
Since word of the quip hit social media, McGuigan has already received offers of work from Mrs Brown’s Boys and The Hole in the Wall Gang as well as an approach by Julian Simmons to write his script for his UTV segments.
McGuigan, through his agent who was employed as soon as he got home, will be available to switch on Christmas tree lights or open shops for a small fee.
In related news, McGuigan was subsequently sacked today for workplace harassment.
The various current O’Neill family nicknames within the county are to be phased out and replaced with sub-clan names based on general physical characteristics.
The O’Neill Lineage and Genealogy Society have agreed that many of the current nicknames are either outdated or clouded in mystery as to their origin. They are to be re-classified on the 1st of October, categorised by location. O’Neill households are to receive official documentation within a fortnight, adding that there will be no appeal procedure for any disgruntled recipients.
The following list summarises the main changes:
O’Neills from Omagh, Plumbridge, Strabane, Dromore, Gortin and Fintona and any towns and villages west of these: The big-boned O’Neills. These O’Neills have a remarkably consistent characteristic across all families – they all have large behinds. We considered calling these clans ‘The Big-Arsed O’Neills‘ but considered that to be too crude for general consumption.
O’Neills from Carrickmore, Pomeroy, Greencastle, Galbally, Aughnacloy, Ballygawley and surrounding area: The Long-Nosed O’Neills. This breed have long, pointy faces and a matching oblong noses which makes them excellent tax-collectors or traffic wardens.
O’Neills from Dungannon, Donaghmore, Brackaville, Cookstown and Coalisland: The Square-Headed O’Neills. The O’Neills from this area have distinctive square heads, often causing difficult childbirths for O’Neill mothers. They are not to be confused with the oblong O’Neills just west of this area.
O’Neills from Ardboe, Moortown, Clonoe Parish, Moy: The Yellow O’Neills. These clans have a natural tanning during the summer, often caused by their tendency to sunbathe at the Lough shore. However, over the winter, their skin turns a remarkable yellow colour and are often wrongly diagnosed with jaundice despite being perfectly healthy. We considered naming them the Banana O’Neills but that threw up too many opportunities for people to poke fun at.
Any other O’Neills not covered by the above areas are to contact the O’Neill Society for re-classification as well as providing a photo for the same purpose.
In a move that has been described as ‘severe’, 20 beauty contestants have been disqualified from the Rose of Ardboe for a range of beauty doping tactics from botox, plastic surgery and colonic irrigation to heavy make-up and spray tans.
The competition was eventually won by mother of five, Gerttude Donnelly (44) from Brocagh who defeated the only other clean competitor Mary Quinn (17) from Moortown.
Chief judge and beauty expert Paddy Forbes defended their decision:
“These women are as bad as the athletes who are off their heads on steroids and blood tampering. Our suspicions were raised at the introduction part of the competition when over a dozen women were simply unable to smile or move any part of their face at all. One woman from Ballinderry couldn’t even say her name in case her new lips cracked. It’s a disgrace.”
The panel of judges were able to access the medical reports from John Morgan, a local unofficial facial reconstruction expert in the townland, who admitted he had received heavy trade in recent weeks. Forbes added:
“We managed to strike off 15 women that way. We then appealed to the conscience of the other women left by telling them we’ll be hosing them down to see if the fake tans come off. Luckily five more women came forward leaving the two finalists. We hosed them any way.”
Rose of Tralee officials have refused to comment on the disqualifications in Ardboe but an unnamed escort revealed that his Rose was practising smiling all day and had nearly mastered it.
John Morgan has since been visited by the Benefit Fraud Bureau.