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on the matter and they have advised us that nothing in law prevents such a transferral but cautioned that under a un-repealed bylaw of 1741, any such conveyance of territory would result in both counties being obliged to hand over their ‘Cladys’ to a third party, namely Armagh.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…….