Plans to grant Ballygawley’s famous Hill ‘listed’ status have been unveiled by Mid-Ulster Council. Just like the town’s eponymous roundabout (world famous to generations of Belfast ones evacuating on The Twelfth) Ballygawley Hill is synonymous with local memories and folklore.
According to respected local hill-watcher Dennis Dunlop,
“The Hill was formed in 400 AD when The Romans were building a slide, but they stopped to take pints so it never got finished.”
When strange and unknown people come to town, the Hill immediately becomes pivotal to their experience. Without even asking for directions we were warmly told, “The Protestant chapel is up the Hill, turn left and straight on down ‘til you come to it.”
The Hill also forms part of the sexy ‘Swingers Corner’, where plenty a buck drives up to Gormley’s Bar, swings her round and heads straight back down again.
Soapbox racing, diffing and cruising often take place on the road of the Hill itself. However, the cherished surface can become quite greasy in the rain. This means, like manys a good Ballygawley woman, conditions are always slippery.
It’s perhaps most infamous for the 2006 ‘Battle of Ballygawley’, when a load of Galbally lads fell out of a bus, rolled down the Hill and bate into Centra. Ejected from the school formal, all they wanted was crisps, toilet roll and “a feckin after-party”.
Despite being full of old people, no one in Ballygawley can ever claim to be over the hill – with many local people admitting they haven’t actually been beyond the top of it. Rumour has it that it leads to some strange and backward dystopia called Carrickmore, but according to Dennis, “that place sounds pretty shite so no one bothers goin’ ”.
Following a surge in the popularity of cow-dung art in mid-Ulster, the Department of Arts and Entertainment has given the go-ahead for a state of the art gallery beside the Garvaghey pitches to showcase the best of what Tyrone have to offer in this discipline.
Cow-dung art, also known as An Pictiur Shoite in Irish, dates back to the time of St Patrick when a group of poor women, in an area of what is now known as Cookstown, offered St Patrick some dung-art in appreciation for the great Masses he said when passing through.
In recent weeks, cow-dung art has experienced something of a resurgence in the county after a 62-year-old posted an Instagram picture he created of his wife in a bikini using only the fresh dung of his own cattle.
Gerry McGarrity, who boasts over 500 drawings he created using only local produce and his fingers, said the centre could draw millions of tourists to Tyrone in the same way as the Louvre in Paris:
“There’s a big market for cow-dung art across the globe. It is a form of 3D art as you can smell the pictures as well as look at them. In my opinion it’s £4.5m of tax-payers money well spent. Think of the chip van or potato stall potential outside the building too, bringing more money to the local community.”
Early brochures suggest that the picture of McGarrity’s wife in the bikini will be the ‘Mona Lisa’ flagship display for the cow-dung arts centre and will be called ‘McGarrity’s Wife In A Bikini’.
In a landmark occasion, schools from Cookstown, Dungannon, Coalisland, Ballygawley and Omagh competed in the first Schools’ Slagging Gala which replaces the traditional debating competitions as of this year.
Although Education Minister Peter Weir has yet to comment on the initiative, it is thought that the Tyrone Schools’ Slagging Gala will be used as a pilot for the rest of the country and will be monitored closely by his ministerial team.
The winners of the first ever competition was a Coalisland school who were judged to be ‘brutal slaggers‘ and ‘capable of shocking banter off the cuff‘ by the three-strong judging panel. They defeated hot favourites Ballygawley in the final when the East Tyrone school played their trump card by slagging the mothers of the Ballygawley pupils.
Chief judge Marian Maguire explained their decision:
“Coalisland showed a real talent for cutting their opponents to the bone. Ballygawley resorted to a lot of ‘aye yer ma’ or ‘you’ve a head on you like a cabbage’ which didn’t really seem to faze the eventual winners.”
It was in round two when Coalisland forged ahead when their captain called a Ballygawley contestant a ‘rare looking bastard‘ and followed up by labelling his opposite captain ‘as thick as a bull’s walt‘.
“After that, the Ballygawley school were easy fodder. They were finally defeated when a Coalisland lad said his opponent’s ma had a face on her like a bucket of smashed crabs. It was mightily impressive.
The Coalisland school now go on to play the Belfast champions.
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.
Drainage expert Noel Donnelly from Ballygawley has confirmed he can find no problem in the drains around Glencull or Garvaghey, believing that a good rodding would sort out any of the Tyrone manager’s drainage predicaments.
Harte, who controversially spoke about drains this week, was unavailable for comment.
Noel ‘The Drain’ Donnelly revealed he dug up over 100 drains in the last two days since Harte’s comments, admitting he’s prepared to fix any of Mickey’s drains for free such is his admiration for the multiple All-Ireland winning ex-teacher:
“It’s a head scratcher. I’ve rodded, prodded, jetted, CCTV’d, cut roots, dye-tested, traced, gassed, lined and excavated nearly every drain that Harte might be using, even up at the pitches in Garvaghey. They all seem to be ok. I suggest Mickey just uses a coat-hanger the next time his drains are playing up and stop wasting my time.”
Donnelly also revealed he checked all the drains around Ardboe as there was a suggestion that locals on the shore might be suffering from the same problem as the Ballygawley ones. Again, The Drain was at a loss to explain the rumours:
“You can normally tell if drains are playing up by the smell and the way people are walking in the affected area. As far as I can tell, Ardboe smells just the same. Anyway, a lot of people along the shore do their business in the Lough, as per tradition. They’re very traditional people down there.”
Noel ‘The Drain’ Donnelly can be contacted on email@example.com
The Chief Executive of the Mid Ulster Council has been accused of allegedly demoting the status of Tyrone’s largest towns to just ‘hamlets’ or ‘villages’ as well as harbouring long term plans to relocate half of Tyrone into Derry over the next ten years.
Anthony Tohill, who played a major role in the simmering rivalry between Tyrone and Derry during the mid 90s, has yet to be caught red-handed but veteran council member Declan Rafferty maintains you couldn’t trust him despite having no concrete evidence.
“I’ve had my suspicions about that Swatragh man since he landed the job. No Derry man should be in such a powerful position over Tyrone affairs. There was that time he teased us about Ballygawley being a town. Sure nothing came of that. Now there’s talk he’s downgrading Omagh, Dungannon, Cookstown and Coalisland to just small villages. He’ll be officially labelling them shit-holes next.”
Another committee member who wishes to remain nameless reveals he overheard Tohill deliberating whether or not to swallow up Greencastle, Kildress, Cranagh, Cookstown and Glenelly into County Derry.
“Not only that but I believe he’s to award Draperstown city status with all the benefits that entails. This man is a tyrant and will stop at nothing until he has dismantled Tyrone. Apparently he’s to re-classify Pomeroy as a shanty town. He’s worse than Cromwell.”
Committee members predict a stormy meeting when the council meet up at the end of the month to discuss Tohill’s motion to permanently close the M1 before the Tamnamore roundabout on the Belfast side and replace it with a mud road for horses and carts.
Meanwhile, Tohill’s PR team maintain there is no truth in the rumours and wanted to remind people that he even has some Tyrone friends.
Following the news that the Mid-Ulster District Council have decided to reclassify Ballygawley as a town, residents of Seskinore have reportedly become restless after they revealed they have been turned down for the same classification for 45 consecutive years despite being 200% bigger.
Ballygawley, which was a village until recently, is expected to experience a windfall since the declaration, with news of famous celebrities across the globe accessing house prices in the area as well as the attractive categorisation of being a ‘townie’ instead of a plain ‘villager’ or ‘bogman’.
Seskinore Tourism Co-ordinator Jessie Pink admitted that the award was a kick in the stomach:
“We just can’t believe it around here. What does Ballygawley have that we don’t except a massive roundabout? We have a primary school and a church just like them and we don’t have pubs which should be a plus with all the bad press alcohol is getting.”
Ballygawley now joins Omagh, Strabane, Cookstown, Dungannon, Castlederg, Coalisland, Fintona and Carrickmore as Tyrone’s official towns, further enraging Seskinorians:
“Carrick-buckin-more? I’ve a field bigger than Carrickmore.”
Ballygawley is to welcome the new classification by issuing advice to homes on the behaviour expected now from townies. They include:
- Reading up on latest fashions/hairstyles and changing them every 5 weeks
- Cheap tracksuits to be worn after 6pm and on weekends
- Baseball caps with acute peaks at all times
- Women to wear less clothes with a lot more flesh on display
- Women to don baby blue jogging jackets with ‘PRINCESS’ emblazoned on the back
- Poorly dyed blonde hair with split ends and two inch long roots
- To look down on anyone who is intelligent/not from a town
McDonald’s and Burger King are monitoring the situation.
Malachy O’Rourke was said to be furious this morning after his bin remained full to the brim despite a Thursday morning collection in the Ballygawley area.
This follows a spate of unusual incidents for the Monaghan manager living in Tyrone territory including the half a litre of his 2-litre milk delivery which was already drunk before he got up on Tuesday morning. O’Rourke also chased three teenagers who were rifling through his recycling bin on Monday apparently looking for shredded pieces of tactics and team notes.
A neighbour and close friend of the burly multi-countied manager and ex-player added:
“I warned Malachy about living down around these parts. These Tyrone ones will stop at nothing. I think the bin not being emptied was a big thing for him. He’d ate a lot of steaks and them wrappers from the butcher can stick like mad to the sides of the bin and then attract maggots. And he’s deadly for the Biker crisps, the spicy ones, so rubbish can fairly build up in a fortnight and he’ll have to wait til the end of August now. He’s livid.”
Locals also confirmed an incident on Wednesday evening when O’Rourke spent 45 minutes driving around the Ballygawley roundabout as cars refused to let him turn off onto the road to his house. The Monaghan boss reportedly had to sit down for two hours with dizziness before tackling his steak.
The O’Rourke family spokesman denied the rumour that a man with a Mickey Harte mask was spotted looking through Malachy’s bedroom window this morning at 6am but added a bouncer was being hired for the rest of the week.
A derelict house in Ballygawley has become a hive of activity after demolishers found a brown box of VHS tapes dating as far back as 1950, depicting life in and around the general Glencull area.
In particular, one cassette appears to confirm that former All-Star Peter Canavan is well into his 70s and not 44 as stated on his Wikipedia page.
Local historian and former train driver Joseph McAleer maintains the revelation only confirms what many locals have suspected for many years:
“Not a lot of things were actually written down or recorded in Ballygawley before 1990 but quite a few of the older generation were sure that Canavan had been knocking around the area since the late 1940s. Former club manager Kenny McGarrity, who managed the club throughout the 60s, is sure he played Canavan at full forward on over 100 occasions but had no photographic proof. Well, this video tape from a sports day in 1959 surely shows a 15-year old Canavan playing for Glencull.”
If confirmed, Tyrone’s U21 titles in 1991 and 1992 may be declared void as Canavan was probably about 46-47 then. Remarkably, Canavan now appears to have won his final All-Ireland title at the grand old age of 60 in 2005.
Omagh shopkeeper and avid GAA fan Paul Hurson is not surprised at the findings:
“I don’t understand how anyone can be shocked at this. Sure he was sucking away on the inhaler in the 1990s when he was well into his 50s it seems now. He was probably riddled with arthritis and still tortured Derry. A bad wetting could have finished him off at that age. We should admire him even more now.”
Cameroon’s Roger Milla, who played for his country in the 1990 World Cup at the age of 53 disguised as 33, was unavailable for comment as was Canavan.
A Tyrone pub have confirmed they received a booking under the codename ‘The Police’ for 300 people in December, opting for the Premium Service Package (£30’000) which includes male strippers, massive German pint glasses and a live performance from a local country and western star. £35’220 was collected from the Ballygawley roundabout camera in 2014 with the promise of a few more pounds before Christmas.
Jordan’s Pub in Eglish will be packed to the rafters after owner Fonzie Jordan accepted the booking with a heavy heart as he himself was caught doing 32 in the 30mph zone last month:
“No one ever bought the Premium Service Package before so it was hard to turn down. It’ll set us up for a few months so I’ll have to bite my lip. But, 32 mph like. They’re a bunch of thieving cowboys. £60 I forked out as did everyone else in that line of motors. There must’ve been about 35 of us all travelling at that speed. I hope their sprouts aren’t too hard”
remarked Jordan with a wink and a smudge of a smile.
Jordan admitted this was not the first mass booking the pub has received in the last five years.
“a lock of years ago the Tyrone County GAA Board booked the Silver Service Package for 56 people which includes female strippers, free nuts for the tables and scented toilet freshener tablets. That put them back £24’000 which coincidentally matched the gate receipts from all club games that year. They had some craic that night and the chairman and all were wearing gold crowns and laughing at the ordinary people in the quiet bar.”
Jordan is also asking for ‘Sting’ from ‘The Police’ to phone back as soon as possible with their menu choices.
The family of Ballygawley lottery winner Josie McGinley are said to beside themselves with worry for her after her £3000 win on the local GAA club lottery. McGinley (61), who is reported to have splashed out on plants and garden ornaments, has alarmed friends and family after repeatedly stating she doesn’t know herself at all since the windfall.
Sister and clinical psychologist Sadie McGinley reckons it’s time for social services to step in:
“I was talking to her yesterday and asked her how she was feeling after the big win. She just kept saying ‘jays I don’t know meself at all’ whilst browsing through the Littlewoods catalogue for expensive pyjamas. She either needs the money taken off her and given to her siblings or committed to some institution, with the money given to her siblings. She can’t go about not knowing herself.”
Concerns have also been raised about her husband Joe who has been spotted as ‘laughing’ whilst saying ‘she doesn’t know herself’ when asked how things were since the big win. Sadie added:
“I think he has what she has. Maybe it’s the early signs of ebola or something but he’s going about smirking and laughing about our Josie not knowing herself. If that’s what winning money does to some people they’re better off not having it at all and the winnings given to her siblings.”
Errigal Ciaran GFC released a statement indicating that they’ll monitor future payouts in their lottery and set up a winners’ counselling committee from tomorrow onwards for any wins over £50.
Inspired by the story of a senior panel from Donegal club Naomh Columba who stopped to help a man turn his turf in Galway at the weekend, Ballygawley outfit Errigal Ciaran attempted a similar gesture whilst driving through Eglish on the way back from a game in The Moy yesterday.
Unfortunately, the attempted act of kindness which involved digging up 300 kilos of potatoes the size of grapes and 600 pallets of unripe strawberries, has left Eglish farmer Phonsie Jordan thousands of pounds in the red.
Clubman Johnny Bradley admitted:
“We’ve cocked up, yes. We thought it would be great PR for the club after we saw the Donegal lads do the same with the turf. We’ve a lot of students on the team and they haven’t really seen fields with spuds or strawberries in them so they aren’t to blame. We just ripped everything up and waited for the farmer to get back, with smiles on our faces. When he lifted that gun we fairly moved. In fact, some lads ran more in that thirty seconds than in the game against The Moy, going by the GPS trackers still on them.”
Jordan, who has been producing high quality produce for 50 years, fumed:
“Shower of do-gooders. Some of them spuds were as small as peanuts. How did it not dawn on them? And green strawberries….holy Jaysus.”
The Ballygawley outfit have vowed to make up for the innocent error by offering their services as scarecrows over the summer for the Eglish entrepreneur, starting with the defenders in July.
After Sky Sports revealed their on-screen line-up for its coverage of this year’s Gaelic football and hurling championships, which features GAA legends Peter Canavan and Jamesie O’Connor, a top image consultant in London confirmed a Ballygawley man has booked in for a weekend session at the end of the month.
Dr Barry King, who has also looked after high profile Premier League footballers and Hollywood superstars, confirmed his client had ‘a fair bit to do’ in order to compete with other Sky Sports analysts such as Jamie Redknapp. Having Googled images of the newest member of the Sky Sports team, Dr King added:
“There’ll be a bit of nip here and tuck there. We will be reducing the size of his mouth and eyes, ironing out the head wrinkles, pinning back his ears and maybe encouraging some form of follicle growth over a period of time.”
Dr King has also referred the mysterious Ballygawley media man to a Speech and Drama specialist from Croydon in England who will attempt to smooth out any localisms and slang.
“We’ll start off with pronunciations of the counties in Ireland. There’ll be no more ‘Trone’ or ”Slaygo’. We want more ‘it’s a funny old game’, ‘take a bow my son’ and ‘unbelieveable, Brian’. Our Glencull client will also need to attract a bevy of women who will follow him about wherever he goes, screaming and fainting.”
Meanwhile, friends of Mr Canavan have expressed fears that early dummy runs of the show have seen a marked changed in his behaviour with the former All-Star reluctant to remove the TV make-up for the rest of the week, even when out for a few pints at Quinn’s.
“We’re monitoring the situation,”
added a worried best made who walked off shaking his head and muttering something about ‘England being the ruination of the man‘
Pope Francis sprung a surprise on Sunday after he slipped in the canonisation of Brian Dooher at the last minute towards the end of the high-profile celebration for the declaration of sainthoods for Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.
800’000 pilgrims were left confused after the current pontiff, before wrapping up the mass, said something under his breath about a third sainthood before pretending to cough and then making a joke about Italian women.
This morning, Vatican officials finally confirmed that Francis had canonised a vet from Donemana who goes by the name of Dooher:
“Yes, Brian Dooher becomes the fastest tracked saint ever what with his plentiful miracles in the white jersey of his county. We researched this thoroughly and the point he scored against Kerry in 2008 was from the boot of a god. We normally wait for years after they’re dead but Dooher was a special case. He has been sent the certificate anyway so that’s that.”
Pope Francis was worried about the reaction to the news especially as Mother Teresa has yet to receive the honour, deciding to slip it in with a well-timed cough and outrageous joke about local female ‘pastatutes’ in the red-light districts. A Mother Teresa supporter from Poland fumed:
“It was a dirty trick alright with the fake cough. Then the joke but he’s a bit of a slagger anyway so we didn’t bat an eyelid at that. If this Dooher boy was any good then why are his club Clann na nGael in the junior division?”
Ballygawley held a vigil on Sunday night in protest at the canonisation after they revealed a petition to have Peter Canavan made a saint in 2005 was dismissed by the Vatican back then as ‘pure mad’.
Major winner Darren Clarke from Dungannon, who has shed pounds through a gruelling fitness programme, is reportedly about to slim his name as well, following in the footsteps of American singer Prince who adopted a symbol in the 90s. Reports tonight within the county suggest that many local stars may also follow suit including footballer Peter Canavan, singer Hugo Duncan and snooker player Dennis Taylor.
A golfing insider, who may or may not have met the golfing giant, insists he will choose a circle with a pile of lines around it and a plus sign. Johnny Ray added:
“Yes, he will probably adopt the symbol soon, reflecting his new look. It’s sort of hard to pronounce but it’s sort of like Gnnrrrhhh. To be honest I haven’t spoken to Darren about this but there’s a chance this is true. It could mark an Indian Summer for the great man, despite the difficulty the first tee announcers will have saying Gnnrrrhhh.”
Reports from Ballygawley suggest that Peter Canavan is watching closely how all this pans out and already has a sign made for his switch from a normal name to a symbol. GAA expert Donal McAnulty admitted:
“I have been heavily involved in this process. If all goes well with Darren, Peter Canavan’s new name will be a bemused baldy man symbol. Word people say it’s pronounced Verrrrmm. I have it on good authority that if this goes ahead he will refuse to answer anyone who calls him Peter.”
Hugo Duncan will soon announce that a cream bun will be his new name whilst Dennis Taylor will adopt a piece of turf in place of his baptismal name.
Meanwhile Prince, who now uses his original name, has warned against these proposed changes, claiming it was awkward on the phone when people would ask for him using his one-time symbol which was completely silent when translated.
“I was on the bucking phone for ages asking who they were looking to speak to. Sometimes up to four hours.”
A new restaurant recently opened in Dungannon has denied accusations that it has been serving up animals killed by traffic on the nearby motorway.
‘McGlone’s Dead-Tasty Restaurant’ in Irish Street, which was opened only two weeks ago by former slaughterhouse worker Eugene McGlone with the slogan, ‘Fresh Meat, Straight From The Grill’, prompted a series of complaints to the Foods Standards Agency about the source of many of the ingredients.
Angry diner Damian Gormley from Plumbridge fumed:
“It says on their website, ‘Come in and enjoy our great food, just off the M1’. Now I know exactly what it means. Scraped off the bloody M1, that’s what. The hoors. I wouldn’t go back in there if you paid me. The menu’s a disgrace. Shepherd’s Pie my arse. More like German Shepherd’s Pie”.
Diners became suspicious after finding that nearly all the main course dishes were peculiarly flat, including, ‘Eugene’s Four-Meat Omelette’, ‘Protein Pizza Platter’, and ‘Begley’s Big Meaty Pancake’, a dish comprising what appeared to be a number of different types of unspecified meat.
Another unhappy customer Liz McGee from Ballygawley said,
“Jays, you could practically smell the engine oil off the food. It gave me the heave. If that McGlone thinks I’m going to put his ‘Meaty Waffles’ anywhere my mouth, he can think on. Anyone who seems to take Toad In The Hole literally is in the wrong game. I tried complaining, but the music was so loud you couldn’t hear a thing. The menu said that they serve up ‘bumper portions’. Now I know what it means”.
McGlone however refused to be drawn about the source of his food.
“All I’ll say is that we’re very aware of the importance of sustainability and the environment and suchlike. That’s why all of our food is local, from within 10 miles. Or 20 if you go as far as the M12 to Cookstown. Some of them lorries are going deadly fast”.
McGlone also denied that the background music was turned up loud to drown out the sound of diners retching.
Rumours also surfaced that McGlone was spotted last Thursday night standing on the side of the M1 near Moygashel with a pepper grinder, a spade, and a hopeful look on his face.
39 towns and villages in Tyrone have agreed to boycott potatoes “for the foreseeable future” after thousands of complaints about how they’re being treated in restaurants and cafes across the county since the 1990s. Customers have finally had enough of being offered continental dishes from baked potatoes to potato wedges when all they ask for is a plate of spuds.
Eskra farmer, Mike Kelly (71), explained their annoyance:
“You go out for a feed of spuds and the waiter rhymes off a rake of fancy dishes like roast potatoes or some other la-de-da stuff like that. What does a man have to do to get a slap of pitters? People are watching them food TV shows like Mastermind Chef or Can’t Dine With Me and now think they’re deadly at the cookin. Not a spud will be bought in this county til people get back to basics.”
Ballygawley restaurant owner John Lally admits this is the nuclear option they never anticipated:
“We’re banjaxed now. If we want to get a Michelin Star for our establishments, or even a half decent review in the local paper, we have to offer dishes that outsiders or experts eat like garlic spuds or potato soup. But our bread and butter daily clientele are giving us some savage abuse every day now. Last week our most loyal customer threatened to burn the joint down because we weren’t doing ‘plain spuds on a plate and nothing else’. What a county!”
The first ‘Save Our Spud’ rally takes place on Wednesday night in Galbally with organisers promising ‘a slap of floury balls’ for all attendees.
Meanwhile, the Garvaghey bobsleigh announced they plan to enter the 2018 Winter Olympics and are training flat out up at the new GAA complex which retains a sub-zero temperature 12 months a year.
Following reports of players frozen on the spot and goalkeepers needing two days of defrosting, Tyrone GAA officials announced that they’re to build a massive wall around their GAA facilities in Garvaghey – potentially becoming one of only a few manmade objects visible from space.
Complaints were made by gaels across the county that the new state-of-the-art complex outside Ballygawley was quite possibly the coldest place on the planet, rivalling Alaska, Russia and the Antarctic. An U16 player from Drumragh claims to have stalled mid-air fielding a kick-out and was only thawed into coming down to earth by several team-mates rubbing at his legs furiously.
County official Kieran McNelis informed us:
“Yes, we’re looking for a contractor to oversee the building of a massive quarter mile high wall around the entire complex to keep out the wind-chill from September til April. Only last week we had the terrible situation of an Owen Roes goalkeeper who, during a lull in play, decided to lick the ice off a goalpost and got his tongue stuck to it. Until the warm water arrived he had shipped in 4 goals. We feel that a massive wall would slow down the effects of global warming.”
Seven linesmen were also hospitalised with stiffness and the inability to let their flag go due to early signs of rigor mortis. McNelis added:
“There was also the unfair advantage afforded to Pomeroy and Galbally lads and lassies who revelled in the cold conditions, having acclimatised to mountain life over 1000s of years. Last week Mickey Harte nearly picked the whole Galbally side to play Derry before the penny dropped about the conditions.”
The building of The Great Wall of Garvaghey will commence in September 2014 and finishes in 2020 with Club Tyrone members having the choice of building half of it or doing the cement mixing.
Tyrone Tribulations can exclusively reveal that the queue for Garth Brooks tickets in Dungannon has set off a county-wide queuing addiction encompassing all manner of entertainment, in the hope of making it onto the news.
Our west Tyrone reporter Jasmine Cat revealed the extent of the phenomenon around the Strabane area:
“As we speak there is a queue of about 4o pensioners outside the front door at Strabane Parish Church for Sunday’s Mass at 10am, four days away. Fr Bollan is seen as someone who says a good quick mass and numbers are limited. Missing out means attending the noon Mass and it usually lasts the guts of an hour. There’s also a good size queue for the Strabane Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender drama night on Friday the 14th. That’s a quare wait for them; the majority are married farmers who just want to attend anything that might be free and for the chance of getting on TV.”
In the east of the county we have reports of large queues forming already outside the bru office in Dungannon for Monday’s payouts as well as for the bus at Quinn’s Coach Hire in Ardboe for the Derry game on Saturday night.
Ardboe Cross committee member reckons their queue is the most unusual:
“This queuing craic has to stop. There’s a queue of 200 for the Ardboe Cross even though it’s permanently open. No one is budging past the entrance gate. They’re just waiting til UTV or BBC get here. Sure not even the Mid-Ulster Herald are interested.”
Meanwhile a mile-long queue in a field in Ballygawley has finally dispersed after three days with no one quite clear what they were queuing for.
A study carried out yesterday by the Northern Ireland Institute of Studies confirmed that the majority of people in Tyrone continue to stuff themselves senseless in an effort to get through all the left-over Christmas food before it goes past its sell-by date.
“Christmas itself was bad enough, but this is beyond a joke”, complained 54-year old Nuala O’Neill from Brocagh, through a mouthful of Tesco’s ‘Taste The Difference’ Plum Pudding. “I nearly gave myself the boke after eating a dozen roast potatoes out the fridge that had been there since Boxing Day. To be honest they were completely rancid, but they needed eaten. Can’t have these things going to waste you know”.
Mary Gough from The Moy agreed.
“I ate half a Christmas cake last night and then found out it can last for years. That wasn’t great news after having worked my way through the last of the turkey. We’ve had turkey sandwiches, turkey curry, turkey pasta, turkey stew, and turkey surprise. I eventually ran out of ideas and ended up making turkey meringue pie. Quite nice actually”.
“The worst of it is I just can’t get rid of the stuff”, complained Sean McKenna of Aughabrack. “Someone gave me a tin of Marks & Spencer All-Butter Shortbread as a Christmas present, so I gave it to my ma as a gift on Boxing Day. Turns out she gave it to her niece on New Year’s Eve, who gave it to her daughter on New Year’s Day, who then gave it back to me as a present at the weekend. Feckin’ cheapskates”.
Marian Quinn from Cappagh admitted:
“I sent my 7 year old cub to school with fifteen mince pies for his packed lunch. Only two days to go before the sell-by date, so they needed used up. I know he’s allergic to pastry, but sure, he’ll manage fine”.
32-stone half-man, half-spacehopper Sidney Clarke from Ballygawley, said,
“I found a couple of smoothies in the fridge my mum had left and if truth be told I was wanting a more healthy diet for the new year anyway, so I got tore into them. I never realised one was clotted cream and the other pure goose fat. Tara. I got through three Cadbury’s selection boxes getting rid of the taste though, so it wasn’t all bad”.