Already compared to a professional military operation, priests in East Tyrone are said to be ecstatic after a successful under-cover sting in a chip shop in Coalisland unearthed 77 local church goers buying meat on Ash Wednesday.
Locals have reacted to the raid by stating they thought they were under no obligation to abstain from meat on a Wednesday, or any other day of the week apart from Fridays for the duration of Lent.
Billy Lyons, who ordered 4 cowboys suppers, 3 cheese burgers and a pastie bap, is furious that he was forced to change his order to 5 fish suppers:
“Bollocks to all that. I was looking forward to sausages and beans. But when Fr Foy jumped up from behind the counter, shaking his head and throwing holy water at me I had no choice. Catholic guilt is tara.”
Foy maintains he will read out all 77 names at Mass this Sunday as a warning to anyone else thinking about indulging in meat on Fridays for the next 6 weeks or so:
“The excuse about not knowing the meat rule on Ash Wednesday doesn’t wash. Everyone knows you fast that day to get the body used to no-meat Fridays. You should have seen the faces on some of the guilty parties I nabbed. Even Big Jim O’Neill and Pat Doris were caught out looking for kebabs and chicken wraps and them always first up the aisle for communion. Double standards and double burgers it seems.”
Vatican officials have pardoned the 77 meat orderers this evening and warned them that God wouldn’t tolerate another lapse before Easter Sunday, threatening a plague of parking wardens to the town if the offence was repeated.