By Fr Riddle Lynn (guest journalist from portglenone.wordpress.com)
As a result of the unpleasantness which inevitably arises in the Portglenone area, at the very mention of the topic of Antrim and Derry, we decided to ask our readers to tell us what they felt were the 20 most influential things ever to have come out of County Tyrone.
We received literally some replies, most of which were either unprintable or illegal and one involving a goat which, quite frankly, was not even physically possible. Our Pointless Statistics Team once more got on the job but when they were finished, they put together this table of results in offending order;
20. West Tyrone Constituency Boundary: The relatively new parliamentary area has been cleverly passing itself off as France for some time now resulting in its attracting thousands of tourists expecting to see Eurodisney and The Eiffel Tower. The disappointed pilgrims are forced to make do with an electricity pylon in Urney and Eurospar, Omagh.
19. Cranagh: The village adjudged by National Geographic Magazine as ‘the furthest you can go out of the way before you start coming out the other side’.
18. Paul Brady: The curly, surly ginger, singer/songwriter and professional ‘Bosco’ impersonator who brought us the classic refrain;
I wanna take you to Coalisland
And count the off-licences per man
And in the evening when the sun goes down
We’d rip the ATM from the local filling station
17. Making Pat Spillane Puke: A classic reversal of the normal pattern of Pat Spillane making everyone else hurl their fadge.
16. The Place Name ‘Sandholes’: Deriving from the Old French ‘Sans Houlles’, meaning ‘Without Arse”, the area is credited as the home of the design of cheap supermarket denim which reduces ‘buttock protrusion’ in male wearers over 35 years of age.
15. Splash: The popular Saturday night, light entertainment programme where fading celebrities imitate their own careers by falling unceremoniously from a great height without being touched in an attempt to garner advantage which is scarcely deserved. The format is based on the career of Brian Dooher. (Apart from the great height bit obviously)
14. The Carnteel Road: By an amazing freak of geography, motorists travelling directly from Aughnacloy to Dungannon will pass the end of the Carnteel Road on no less than 14 occasions.
13. The Place Name ‘Orritor’: For the sheer joy of positioning a district which sounds like a body cavity in close proximity to another called ‘Sandholes’.
12. Sir James Cricket: A comedian who has sustained a 40 year career with an act based entirely on a humorous tea-towel which my mother brought back from Westport in 1972. Don’t come here.
11. Benburb Sunday: A day where children up to the age of 12 were rounded up by monks and made to pay to slide down a hill on a carpet of rough hardboard resulting in semi-permanent scarring of skin tissue on the thigh and elbow.
10. Dennis Taylor’s Wiggly Index Finger: Widely regarded as being amongst the finest of the gargantuan-spectacle wearing ball potter’s eleven fingers.
9. Penfold from Dangermouse: No list would be complete without the pint-sized, sidekick, cartoon-moaner and his hilarious catchphrase; “Carrickmore Gaelic Fudball Club”.
8. The Amazing Disappearing Letters ‘T’& ‘W’: Used to such wonderful effect in the pronunciation of places such as ‘Cookson” ‘Stewarson’ and ‘Twincamton’.
7. Eugene McMenamin’s Unfeasibly Black Eyebrows: The Strabane based MLA holds the distinction of having been balancing two ‘Granny Grey Beard’ caterpillars on his forehead since 1984.
6. The Red Hand of Ulster: Yeah, thanks a bunch for that!
5. The Carland Bypass: The wonderful decision to remove the one corner which broke the utter monotony of driving between Cookstown and Dungannon.
4. Eponymously Titled Products which are now Defunct: Tyrone Brick, Tyrone Crystal, Tyrone Power, Tyrone Moderate Alcohol Consumers.
3. Consilio et Prudentia: Although also the names of two Late (possibly ex) (possibly Latex) Nuns from Loretto convent in Omagh, this is actually the irony valve straining motto of the county translating as…wait for it…no I’m serious….”Wisdom & Prudence”.
2. The Untimely Demise of Tyrone Tom’s Red Shorts: The ill-thought out decision to use the Greencastle man’s iconic shorts as an agreed alternative to the Union flag on Belfast City Hall.
And of course topping the list
By Fr Riddle Lynn (guest journalist from portglenone.wordpress.com)
There was great wailing and gnashing of what was left of teeth along both sides of the Derry/Tyrone border this week after an unauthorised and possibly nefarious offer was made by a Bann Valley based website to hand over large sections of the Barony of Loughinsholin to the custody of the O’Neill County.
The exchange would see the village of Moneymore, the hamlet of Ballyronan and an unidentified entity described simply as, ‘The Loup’, secede immediately without any local consultation or financial compensation. A spokesperson for the website concerned explained;
“Luxy, we see this as the beginning of a rolling process. A quick look (very quick look) at the Annals of Ulster clearly shows that the entire barony was originally under control of the Earls of Tyrone and this is borne out in the nomenclature we still see today. Take for example the village of Glenone, the townland of Ballyfrankiequinn and there is a fella in Maghera who is sometimes called, ‘Hugh Roe’.
The spokesman denied accusations linked to 30 year old emails which were forwarded anonymously to Tyrone Tribulations that the entire plan was an elaborate feint aimed at giving away large parts of County Derry until the only two Gaelic football teams left in the senior championship would be St. Oliver Plunkett’s of Greenlough and Newbuildings outfit, St. Oliver Cromwell’s GAC.
“That’s a big pile a shite, we would never give up Bellaghy and risk losing its two principal natural resources, Starry Plough flags and potential poetry.”
We contacted our own legal team on the matter and they have advised us that nothing in law prevents such a transferral but cautioned that under a un-repealed bylaw of 1741, any such conveyance of territory would result in both counties being obliged to hand over their ‘Cladys’ to a third party, namely Armagh. That county’s solicitors, Diesel, Apples and Diesel, issued the following communique;
“We would be only too delighted to accommodate these villages within our boundaries. They would be such diverse additions to our already cosmopolitan collective. Tyrone’s Clady is a picturesque bubbling metropolis on the border of a third county whereas Clady in south Derry is a picturesque bubbling metropolis on the border of a third county!”
Understandably the good people of Tyrone (and the inhabitants of The Brantry) were more than a little suspicious that this deal seemed too good to be true but we have been assured that there is no catch. Portglenone.wordpress.com explained;
“In making this offer, we have only one small request and that is that we first be allowed to make a tiny alteration to the coastline of Lough Neagh…….