A misunderstanding in Coagh yesterday saw hundreds of people leaping into the Ballinderry River believing that gold has been found, when in fact a local man had re-discovered a lost piece of music.
Damien Hetherington, a 46-year old candle extinguisher from Coagh, explained,
“Sure, I’ve been looking for my copy of ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet for years. It’s been missing since my big ‘Top Trumps’ clear-out of 1993, but I found it yesterday. Unbelievable. It was hiding underneath my Kajagoogoo collection. I happened to mention to the lads in Donnelly’s Bar that after years of searching I had found ‘Gold’. That’s why I was a bit excited, see? Some chanter thon big Tony Hadley. And the two brothers in it were great as well, until they went to London and turned into gangsters. Ronnie and Reggie. Such a shame”.
“Excited?” said local man Shaun Donaghy, who was in the bar at time. “That’s a feckin’ understatement. He burst through the door of the pub yelling, I’ve found gold! I’ve found gold!” and shouting about how he was going to throw a big party with wile music. Jaysus, he could hardly speak. It was like he was about to soil himself. Before you knew it there was a hundred running down the street and jumping into the Ballinderry River like eejits. There was grown men fighting each other. I’ve not seen anything like it since that time Costcutters started selling king-sized Mars Bars”.
The rumour quickly spread like wildfire, assisted by the knowledge that Tyrone already has gold beneath its hills, with more than one gold mine already in production in the local area. A variety of implements were used to pan for the non-existent gold, including hub caps, colanders, satellite dishes, vases, frying pans, dustbin lids, and in one instance a car door.
The fictitious gold rush also had a strange effect on some, including 74-year old Seamie Faloon, a farmer from Aughabrack, who appeared to have miraculously re-located to somewhere near the Mississippi River in the 1920s.
“Dang”, he said. “There’s gold in them thar hills. I can smell it. But them critters ain’t gonna get no little bitty nuggets cos they ain’t got the Faloon smarts. No sirree. Ah’m gonna get me a l’il piece of purty gold, sure as eggs is eggs. Mighty craic. Y’all”, before sitting down to an enormous plate of grits and beans.
As of this morning, the pan-handling had yielded six tadpoles, a dead pollen fish, and and an old roller-skate.
American news outlets have been keeping the world abreast of the situation in Ballinderry following yesterday’s decision to re-allocate the whole of the parish back into Tyrone by changing the flow of the Ballinderry River.
Fox News confirmed that the anti-government forces (Ballinderry Rebels), led by Commander McGuckin, have managed to hold the townlands of Ballydonnell, Ballylifford, Ballyronan Beg and Killymuck. Unfortunately, they suffered great casualties in Ardagh and Ballymultrea which have fallen to Tyrone/PSNI forces. Five rebels were caught and are now being interrogated at the Battery Bar.
Surprisingly, Cm McGuckin has gone on the offense since that loss and have annexed Lanaglug and Mullan Upper from the Tyrone side using a 1966 Wolseley equipped with heavy duty water pistols from Smith’s Store in Magherafelt. Fighting in Mullan Lower is on-going with the rebel forces gaining ground due to Patsy Muldoon, the bare-fist champion from 1961, who simply threatened to come out of retirement and box the head off any Tyrone man or woman for that matter. As the leaked map shows, the Ballinderry rebels are planning to continue their march into Tyrone by taking Ardboe and beyond.
Sky News were chased from Belagherty for asking if anyone knew the way to Brocagh.
Meanwhile, Ballinderry traditional band have commissioned a new song to commemorate the battle called the ‘Siege of Ballinderry’. So far they have the first two lines done:
It was on a late July morning / When McGuckin rose from bed
We’ll bate them red arses back to Tyrone / He’s reported to have said
Tensions are running high tonight in Ballinderry after a leaked document from the ‘maps department’ at Stormont indicates that Ballinderry will now be considered wholly in Tyrone, starting from August 1st, after a re-alignment of the Ballinderry River.
The Ballinderry parish has long straddled the Tyrone border with the sizeable Ballylifford village until now claimed as being on the Derry side with Derrychrin, a much more civilised community, on the Tyrone side. The Ballinderry River was seen as the natural geographical border but that is about to change with the proposed new route for the river. A Tyrone county council spokesman told us:
“If the rumours are true, then this is class news. Everyone knows that the best looking women at the Greenvale come from the Derry side of the river. Our parents didn’t allow us to fraternize with them for obvious reasons. More importantly, Ballinderry’s All-Ireland title in 2002 is now on our records. We will be parading that team around Omagh tomorrow week. I also believe they won 12 Derry titles. Those sides will now play our champions for that same year. The 1927 fixture will be hard to fix up against Donaghmore Eire ogs.”
Not all welcomed the news with such good humour. An elderly local, named simply as “McGuckin”, reacted angrily:
“Balls to this. We won’t go down without a fight. We used to bate the shite out of them Moortown and Ardboe ones on the field. We’ll do the same on our doorsteps when they come for us. We’ll lay waste to the land as a last resort. There’s no way I’m shouting for the red arses next year. Yiz can take Derrychrin but we’ll be Oak Leafers til the deathbed.”
The PSNI have issued a warning to anyone resisting the swtichover that they will be dealt with severely. On August 2nd, houses north of the river will be searched and any pictures of Dana, Seamus Heaney, Henry Downey, Enda Muldoon or Conleith Gilligan will be destroyed. Small statues of Frank McGuigan and Chris Lawn have been sent to all households in the present Derry region of the parish to help them acclimatise to the new changes. The whole of Lissan might be given to Derry as a thank you.