Following the news that a farmer who lit up a cigarette in his tractor could face a fine of up to £1,000 after he was deemed to be smoking in his workplace in a commercial vehicle capable of “carrying more than one person”, a 66-year old farmer from the Battery Road in Ardboe has been fined £300 on the spot for smoking a cigarette (Marlboro) whilst manoeuvring a barrow full of compost from his garden to the rampart.
Patsy Quinn, who will contest the fine, maintains it’s one rule for government ministers and another for the average Joe:
“I remember seeing McGuinness holding a barrow up with yer woman O’Neill in her and him with a Benson and Hedges drooping from his lip. There was no word of fines or the like then. Ghost oh, it’s a joke.”
Quinn will also contest the fine on the grounds that his barrow couldn’t hold any of the women in his family as they were ‘all big eaters’, negating the suggestion that it’s a two-person contraption.
Jackie Conlon also appeared before a magistrate at Cookstown Court this morning on a charge of smoking whilst in control of a donkey and cart he uses to sell eels around Moortown and Ballinderry.
Conlon (71) admitted to freely smoking a Cuban cigar on a vehicle capable of carrying ‘about 15 people’ in the back of it. On accepting the charge, an emotional Conlon added:
“Have yiz nothing better til be at like. The country’s couped.”
Despite sound-bites from the government to quell fears of a new breed of testicle-eating trouts and eels stalking Lough Neagh, swimmers and bathers along the western coastline of the lough confirmed they are still a real threat, and may be getting hungrier.
Two male swimmers from Derrylaughan, who every Saturday morning religiously partake in a short swim out to Coney Island and back to shake off hangovers, reported three attacks from three different breeds of fish during their 30-minute paddle. Kevin Barry, a 28-year old fencer, told us:
“I think that’ll be the last time I go for a dip in the lough until the problem is sorted. There’s no enjoyment when you’re constantly worried you’ll return to shore with mutilated knackers. I’ve never seen eels behave like that before, and I know my eels.”
Sunbather Harry Quinn (58) from Moortown was astonished at the attack he experienced whilst laying on a towel on the beach at the Battery. Wearing a tight-fitting pair of Moortown St Malachy’s shorts from his playing days in the early 80s, Quinn had to retreat to the pub after an unprovoked assault on Saturday:
“Ghost oh, I was just nodding off on the towel and before I know it a couple of Dollaghan were yanking the shorts off me and them 10 feet out of water. I barely managed to bate them off with a rolled up Irish News but not before on of the trout took a nick from one of my yokes.”
Local scientist Paddy Hughes maintains the new culinary tastes are a result of “global warming or the solar rays or something like that” and has warned male swimmers and fishermen to wear body armour or metal trunks for a few years “until the fish move on to China or somewhere like that”.
The Ulster Council have confirmed that for the potentially fiery Monaghan/Tyrone game they’re considering replacing St Michael’s Enniskillen Band with the infamous Coalisland Silver Band whose drummers are known for their fighting skills and general ‘taking no crap’ appearance.
The move comes after Armagh and Cavan players brawled just as the young Enniskillen band prepared to launch into The Boys of the County Armagh for the pre-match parade. A flag dispute has been identified as the reason for the punch-up but body language experts agreed that a few heavy hitters along the back line of drummers would solve any future disagreements.
Marching band fanatic Frank Hurson from Pomeroy explained:
“It is an old tactic we have used up in Pomeroy for decades. If there was a chance of things kicking off between two rivals, we’d (Pomeroy Pipe Band) have replaced our whole rear drummer line with the drummers from the Coalisland Silver Band. Rumour has it they were much sought after in Uruguay and Chile during the 1960s when their club football pre-match parades were riddled with mass brawls and maimings.”
Ardboe octogenarian Felix Quinn reminded authorities of the importance of a muscular drumming corp. Remembering the Battle of the Battery in 1971 when Moortown and Ardboe players fought for four hours after a musical difference during the parade, he warned:
“It’s vital the Ulster Council act now. In ’71 the Moortown lads objected to our flute band playing ‘Mary, The Moortown Harlet’ around the field even though it was a favourite around our parts. They charged at the drum lads at the back but we had infiltrated the musicians with our toughest reserves. Bloodbath. The Coalisland Silver Band are ideal for these Monaghan mountain men.”
Meanwhile, rumours persist that Mickey Harte will make a few fringe players camp out overnight in Clones in order to secure the outside line during the parade. He has denied meeting with Ardoyne protestors to ask for tips.
A Moortown teacher, Bernie Corkery (nee Quinn), has been hailed as a hero after she locked her husband in a byre for two days following a domestic argument last weekend. Neighbours reported ‘shouting and roaring’ emanating from the Battery Road abode on Sunday night after her Cork-born husband Fonsie Corkery returned home after midnight having attended the Tyrone-Cork game earlier in the day. Reports suggest Corkery stopped off in Quinns and then the Battery Bar itself before returning home in high spirits following the comprehensive rebel victory over the Red Hands. Bernie’s sister, Jackie Quinn, maintains the Cork man had it coming:
“Ah sure, too good for him says I. She should’ve kept him in the byre til the weekend. He’d been crowing away down at the Battery singing about Skibbereen and A Rebel Heart. A couple of the Devlins needed held back from boxing the ears off him but they gave him a fool’s pardon in the day that was in it. I knew our Bernie wouldn’t. That woman should get some kind of recognition for tying that bastard up with the cattle til Tuesday. Fair play to her. It’ll put manners on him.”
Friends of Corkery arrived at the house on Tuesday morning as he hadn’t appeared at the Whist Night in the club the night before. It was only when they heard the gentle whining that they investigated the byre itself. Tony Hurson explained:
“It was some sight, ghost-oh. The cattle were licking away at his head, with the smell rather rancid. A bit extreme I thought from Bernie. She has a fierce temper on her though and with him in a bullish mood after the Cork massacre in Omagh as well as being well-oiled from the stout in Quinns, it was a lethal concoction. I thought I heard screaming coming from their place on Sunday night but thought she was just dishing out a few slaps. I didn’t know she’s tie him up out here.”
Dubliner John McGregory, married to Bernie’s sister Tamsin, says he’ll play it down if the Dubs win this weekend.
Ardboe poet, James Coyle, was seeking bail this evening after being arrested for illegal traffic directing near his own house, for the last four weeks. The frustrated writer admitted to buying “one of them luminous yellow work jackets and trousers” and getting up at 7am each morning to stop all traffic from driving through the centre of Ardboe for 28 consecutive days.
“I had a fair idea something was wrong,” local shopkeeper Henry Coney told us. “I hadn’t seen a car since August and had only sold 20 Irish News, 16 pan loaves, 3 bulbs and a few litres of milk since school started. I knew James was annoyed that no one had attended his open house poetry reading session in The Battery but what did he expect? The last poet in Ardboe was chased out of it for coming over that oul fancy talk. There’s no place for that here. Ghost oh, sure Heaney wouldn’t last thirty seconds here.”
A close relative of Coyle told us of James’s recent heartache in recent months and can understand why he decided to deprive the rest of Ardboe of any trade.
“Coyle wasn’t good at the fishing and was fired from his job working for Quinn Construction because he couldn’t dig a hole. He’d also been turned down repeatedly by Cookstown District Council after applying for a fuel hardship grant, dog kennel registration, pig-letting license and a caravan site application. Then he took to writing poems and sent a hand-written invite to every house in Ardboe for a reading session in the pub and no one turned up. The Battery’s usually full on a Friday too.”
It now seems that Coyle decided if he wasn’t earning any money then the rest of Ardboe’s business people wouldn’t get a penny either. By simply standing on the road in to the village every morning with a shovel, yellow jacket and a stop sign, he directed every motor towards Brocagh since the 27th of August. He was arrested when, whilst he took a toilet break, the postman finally broke through to find out the roads were in perfect working order. Police arrived before he was almost lynched by local tradesmen who shouted abuse at him such as ‘the oul poety bollocks’ and ‘typical of them there Coyles’. The trial continues.