Monday 10th September promises to be a momentous day in the history of Tyrone public transport when they launch their new Glider Service to rival the similarly named bus travel system currently changing the face of Belfast this week.
Red Hand Gliders, which will operate in mountainous areas seven days a week and only on windy days elsewhere, performed a dozen dry runs today with seven operators returning alive and well. The five yet to show up are presumed missing after strong gusts blew the lightweight gliders over the Sperrins into Derry territory.
With the Red Hand symbol on their vehicles in the hostile Oak Leaf county, chances of survival are minimal.
Operations manager Paul Quinn reckons up to three thin passengers can fit on the glider at any one time:
“On a very windy day, we calculate that a 3-berth glider could carry as far as 35 miles from a high start, say from Greencastle to Dungannon comfortably. A heavier man from a low altitude start could travel about 5 miles, or from Coalisland to Stewartstown in 50 mins. He might have to restart four or five times.”
Despite the probably tragic teething problems today, operators are expecting a 80% success rate from the service when officially activated on Monday.
An Ardboe marketing strategist working in a Belfast office has wowed his workmates after a comment he made to his boss first thing this morning.
Patsy McGuigan (33) has since completed over a dozen high fives on the back of the quip and is currently planning on a Christmas-themed one.
McGuigan himself explained what he has since labelled ‘probably the greatest moment in my adult life’ in great detail:
“All the way up the M1 this morning I kept thinking about people having to take off their costume make-up this morning and then it hit me. The joke to end all jokes. As the boss walked in this morning I waited til everyone was quiet and then let rip ‘Halloween was yesterday’. Well, people were crying with laughter hours later. I’m a beast.”
Since word of the quip hit social media, McGuigan has already received offers of work from Mrs Brown’s Boys and The Hole in the Wall Gang as well as an approach by Julian Simmons to write his script for his UTV segments.
McGuigan, through his agent who was employed as soon as he got home, will be available to switch on Christmas tree lights or open shops for a small fee.
In related news, McGuigan was subsequently sacked today for workplace harassment.
A chief scientist at the centre of the discovery of a 3000-year-old mummified corpse in a bog in Brocagh has concluded that ‘The Brocagh Man’ was a probably a miserable man due to the ‘karr’ or grimace on his face, in keeping with Broacgh locals today.
The body has also offered up a series of unanswerable questions such as why he was wearing a pair of DM boots and a baseball cap, hinting at the possibility of time travel.
The Brocagh Man was discovered by local farmer Henry Robinson whilst out strolling down the Carnan Road last weekend with his trusty dog Pebbles. Taking a short cut through the moss, he stumbled across the ancient artefact. Robinson immediately contacted Sinn Fein:
“To be honest I wasn’t sure who to call first. I wouldn’t be fond of the police and the local priest was at the market in Nutts Corner so I got a hold of Sinn Fein. Mr Mallroy was as equally shocked as I was but we both laughed at how miserable he looked and concluded that he was definitely from these parts alright.”
Robinson confirmed he doesn’t remember seeing DM boots on the body, nor a baseball cap, and is suspicious of scientists pushing their own agendas. He confirmed:
“I think I would have noticed. I’m a fan of Dr Martens myself so I’m sure I would have noticed he was wearing a pair. I wouldn’t be surprised if them Belfast scientists put that stuff on him as they’re always looking for grants for studying time travel I heard. Bunch of crooks.”
Ireland’s top palaeontologist, Mary Kelly, is sure that the corpse is a local from around 1000BC and was probably in bad form having to pay for basic porridge or a sup of ether:
“Straight away you notice he was miserable. But if you drive around Brocagh today, you can clearly see how miserable the locals are. They hate forking out money for anything so my guess if that The Brocagh Man dropped soon after a transaction.”
The Brocagh Man can be seen at Mass this weekend.
One of Ireland’s finest clock-menders has been stood down from fixing the troubled Big Ben clock in London after only two days on the job. The lucrative contract, thought to be around £40m, has been handed to a Swiss firm who came second in the initial contract bids.
Liam Coyle (62) admitted changing the chimes ‘for a laugh’ whilst setting to work on fixing the clock, programming the ancient tower bells to ring out ‘A Nation Once Again’ and ‘Come Out Ye Black And Tans’ during various hourly alarms.
Big Ben PR co-ordinator Harry Seals admitted the joke was a source of major embarrassment for the city:
“Coyle’s CV references were good and we had no indication he would do something like this. It wasn’t until we saw a group of Irish men jumping in and out of the river Thames shouting ‘yahoo’, ‘yeooo’ whilst drinking beer that we realised it wasn’t your routine Big Ben chimes. Coyle was replaced immediately.”
One reveller, Johnny Lavery from Belfast, revealed he couldn’t believe his ears when some of the Wolfe Tones songs were being sounded out across London on the famed bells:
“We’d been drowning our sorrows after the rugby but this cheered us right up. As soon as we heard ‘Four Green Fields’ we went clean mad and jumped into the Thames. It was a dangerous enough stunt to be at, what with pollution levels and all, but that music does stuff like that to us, so it does.”
Coyle arrived home to Gortin tonight to a hero’s welcome with over 8 people lining the hedge up to his house.
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.
The bar manager at Bar 15 in Belfast confirmed this morning, with the aid of CCTV footage, that a group of co-workers from Cookstown managed to break the 2-hour barrier for non-verbal communication on their annual night out in the big city.
The 5 workers from ‘That IT Shower’ on Molesworth Street all managed to ‘check in’ on Facebook, post a combined 45 pictures of their cocktails on Instagram and browse the latest developments on the Strictly Come Dancing potential line-up on Twitter for two hours and five minutes before a Team Leader asked the rest of the group if anyone wanted another drink.
Waitress Abba Edberg from Sweden added:
“It was a quite remarkable feat. When they all took an individual selfie within the first five minutes I knew we could be onto a new world record here as they spent the next 25 minutes checking to see who liked their picture. Then the Instagramming started and it was all downhill from there. They are a resilient bunch. Oh how we cheered behind the bar when they reached the 2-hour mark.”
One of ‘That IT Shower’ workers told us this morning that it was the best staff night out ever. Billy Sheehy (40) remarked:
“It was deadly craic. I got 210 likes for my selfie, 44 likes for an Instagram of my Margarita with sepia filter and how I laughed at some of the comments on Twitter about Daniel O’Donnell’s appearance on SCD. We’re just a mad bunch of lads and I cannot wait personally until next year’s do. I’m suffering today though…my battery’s dead.”
The previous record for staff night out non-verbal communication occured in 1998 at the joint Sinn Fein and DUP fancy dress party at Stormont which lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes, ending when Martin McGuinness told a dirty joke about a woman in Portrush.
A Derrytresk Health and Safety Officer, in his first formal job, appears to have dug a hole with a family spade behind the stand ‘to see what their turf was like’ which led to a large crack forming in the West Stand, affectionately known as ‘The Kop’.
Fergal Fitzgerald (24), who qualified as a structural engineer last month, was given the task of overseeing a new toilet which was to be built behind the stand after a report in the Belfast Telegraph indicated a rise in weak bladders amongst Ulster men in 2015.
Witnesses suggest Fitzgerald said something about wanting to know if Belfast had ‘good burning turf‘ before digging furiously on his own behind the now-damaged stand with a spade from the boot of his car.
Fitzgerald’s university lecturer, Professor Lingard, maintains he is not surprised with the development:
“Fergal is a very clever man and qualified with a First but has a weakness for turf and peat. For part of his Field Work during his final year at Queen’s University we took his class to Pisa in Italy to examine the Leaning Tower. When my back was turned he started digging with his ‘family spade’ around the tower because he wanted to know what Italian turf was like to burn. He nearly toppled the thing. The Italians weren’t very happy.”
Despite good character references, a Loyalist paramilitary group called ‘We’re Not Brazil We’ll Kill Ye’ issued a statement warning Derrytresk residents to stay away from Windsor Park and that anyone seen in the ground wearing a checked shirt and carrying a spade will be deemed a legitimate target.
A fictional character from the violent TV series Game of Thrones has cut loose on County Tyrone, labelling it as ‘middlin enough’.
Jon Snow, who accused the Belfast Tourism Board of focusing on depressing landmarks as promotional material, toured Tyrone in a campervan at the weekend but vowed never to return until ‘the winter hounds take their rightful place as lordships of Macabreland’ or something like that. We also believe he didn’t like the midges.
On visiting the Ardboe Cross, Snow looked unimpressed and tried to spear a dog owned by gravedigger Malachy Quinn, turning to a group of children and said:
“First lesson: stick ’em with the pointy end. I am a bastard from the North. I never met my mother. My father wouldn’t even tell me her name. I don’t know if she’s living or dead. I don’t know if she’s a noblewoman or a fisherman’s wife… or a whore.”
Fortunately, an avid fan of the show who was also staring at the cross explained to the children that Snow was just practising lines from his next episode.
Snow also visited The Ulster American Folk Park and was equally underwhelmed.
“It’s just a load of houses. Do you know what it takes to unite ninety clans, half of whom want to massacre the other half for one insult or another? They speak seven different languages in my army. The Thenns hate the Hornfoots. The Hornfoots hate the ice-river clans. Everyone hates the cave people. So, you know how I got moon-worshippers and cannibals and giants to march together in the same army?”
Snow returned to the east of the county only to swallow a pile of midges whilst licking on an ice-cream bought at Brocagh Fair.
Meanwhile, the NI Tourism Board have asked people to stop sending abusive messages to John Snow the Channel 4 news presenter as he’s a completely different person who happens to love pastie baps and white water rafting in Lough Neagh.
Mary Devlin, who had to re-sit her driving test this year after banging into half a dozen motors on her way to collect her grandson from school, maintains she noticed a few bad habits the Formula One World Champion has developed over the last few years:
“For starters, he’s always driving over the kerb. But that’s maybe a result of breaking too late before corners and stuff. Then sure he’s always taking breaks for a minute or two every half an hour or so. How this man won that trophy last night amazes me. Looksee, I can drive to Belfast without stopping at all.”
Devlin did not hold back on other sporting high achievers:
“I hear people going on about this Rory McIlroy and how he should have won it. This is a man who walks slowly around a field in a jumper and chinos hitting a ball with a stick maybe 70 times over 4 hours. And don’t get me started about people riding bikes. I’ve been riding since I was 17.”
Meanwhile, Devlin wanted to reiterate that she is not related to the Greencastle woman who accidentally drove up Croagh Patrick or the Greencastle woman who drove to Dublin in first gear. (click on links)
An Aughnacloy pilot has lost his Commercial Pilot’s Licence after a series of inappropriate comments whilst in charge of his first major flight from Belfast to Malaga last week.
Eugene McGoldrick, who qualified last year from a flying school in Canada, mistakenly left his microphone on at inappropriate times as well as making ill-advised jokes to the passengers during in-flight announcements.
Experienced air hostess Jenny Dowell from Manchester reckoned it was the most daunting and haunting journey she will probably ever face:
“I don’t know how that man got his licence. For example, just before take off he finished up his first ever introduction to the passengers by saying ‘Good luck, you’ll need it lads‘ before laughing like a maniac. That did not create a sense of calm amongst the flight attendants, never mind the paying public.”
Additionally, half way through the journey he mistakenly turned on his microphone during a game of Connect 4 in the cockpit with the chief flight attendant and screamed as he lost “HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD, I’M BATE” during a bumpy bit of the journey, sending the passengers into a wild frenzy of panic.
“People were kissing each other goodbye and tears were flowing,” claimed Dowell, and added “even after we’d finally sedated the passengers with free Pringles he then rounded off a disastrous flight by announcing ‘prepare for impact‘ before the landing procedure commenced. People were inflating jackets, blowing whistles and shining lights all over the joint.”
McGoldrick has since applied for a job in Powerscreen.
There was great excitement today in amongst Ulster’s Muslims after it was revealed that Edendork parish have decided to offer the Hall entirely to the Muslim community from September onwards, as long as they play bingo in it at least once a month.
Following the recent controversies in Belfast and the ill-judged remarks from pastors and politicians, the 4,000 strong Muslim community have been looking for a community centre for general cultural gatherings. The hall, which was once described as ‘a little piece of Italy in Tyrone’ by someone, will also double up as a Mosque. The chance to clean up with grants was a deciding factor in the decision.
Dungannon Muslim, Hous Bin Pharteen, was ecstatic at the news:
“This is deadly. We were hiring out a disused shed around the back of the defunct Tyrone Brick for praying and stuff but this moves us into view for the whole of the province. It’s such a beautiful building. Those who say it’s the ugliest structure in Ireland are slabbers.”
Opposition to the Mosque has come from nearby engineering firm Hurson and Sons. Company CEO Jimmy Hurson predicts issues over a work-shy workforce at his clay-making business 500 yards from the hall:
“Don’t get me wrong. I think Muslims are a great bunch of lads. However, my workers will only pretend get confused when the adhān (Muslim call to prayer) is played by that boy in the trumpet. To get one tae break a day is plentiful. I can see these boys, mostly from Coalisland and Clonoe, bringing in 10 lunches and downing tools every time the bugle is sounded.”
After it was pointed out that the call to prayer is recited, probably by loudspeaker, and not played on a musical instrument, Hurson remained doubtful:
“Anyway, with the adhān to be played 5 times a day, I fear my workers will suddenly become Muslims in order to skive off work. They’ll find a way to screw me. I know them.”
Local residents have been assured that if they send one of the Muslims to McCann’s shop for a packet of Paris Buns or a Knutty Krust, the correct change will come back as predicted by First Minister Peter Robinson.
There are also high hopes South Tyrone Hospital may reopen due to the predicted influx of doctors and surgeons into mid-Ulster.
The newly formed Tyrone Tourism Board have come under serious fire after it emerged they hoodwinked the entire country into visiting two memorials for Omagh medical guru, and inventor of the hypodermic syringe, Peader Hughes who they seem to claim was beheaded twice.
Hughes, who was beheaded by the Queen of England in 1710, is said to have stumbled across the syringe idea after messing about with voodoo amongst the picturesque ramparts near his home in what is now Omagh town centre. The 27 year old was beheaded and impaled on a spike in Omagh for inventing the syringe three years before the English were due to invent it.
Last year, the Tyrone Tourism Board (TTB) put his preserved head on display inside Omagh Library near the history section and subsequently put another of his heads on display, supposedly when he was 14, outside Strabane Town Hall in April of this year.
Local historian Danny O’Donnell was first to question the displays:
“I knew something wasn’t right but couldn’t put my finger on it. I’d visited both sites numerous times over the last two months and it just wasn’t sitting comfortably for me. Then it dawned on my wife, how the hell could you have beheaded a person twice, once at 14 and again at 27? It’s a money making racket and at £12.99 a visit, they made their money alright. The queues for the 14-year-old head was about half a mile long.”
TTB chairman Kieran Nelis admits they didn’t purposely attempt to deceive the public and vowed to removed the fake head as soon as they can get a van to take it away:
“I want to assure the public that this was not an attempt to make money from people. Someone approached us months ago and said he had the head of Peader Hughes when he was 14, who was beheaded Red Hugh O’Donnell from Dunfanghy for stealing cattle from his land. It was a perfect likening for the head of Peader when he was 27 so you can understand our error. We now realise it was an impossible scenario and will refund any punters who visited the younger head if they can provide a receipt.”
PSNI investigations into the younger head are pointing in the direction of a fancy dress shop in Belfast who make false heads for Halloween.
A Seskinore writer of a new children’s book has been accused of copying a long-standing children’s classic.
Last month author Marty Gallagher of Doogary Road was in discussion with several well-known Tyrone-based publishing houses about a children’s book he had written entitled ‘Darragh the Tank Engine’ about a fictional train and his little train friends, before being accused of copying a similarly named character and story-format from another popular children’s book.
“My characters are completely different from anything else that’s out there”, protested Gallagher. “See, I have this one boyo in it who’s not a train at all but a human who looks after all the railways and trains and suchlike, called the Plump Regulator. I know it’s probably a bit size-ist but it just seems like the right character. I can’t explain it. I’m copying no-one hi. It’s deadly. And if it gets made into a telly programme I don’t want some posh actor from London narrating it. I like the idea of someone with a strong regional accent, like that John Bishop fella. He’s quite good. It’s just something about the Scouse accent. Class”.
Gallagher turned to writing a few years ago after heavily investing in a typewriter manufacturing business in Belfast, which promptly went out of business two weeks later.
“Aye, who could have predicted the changes ahead, eh?” said Gallagher ruefully. “I tried to save the business by diversifying into selling filofaxes, but it was too little too late. That’s why I’ve since turned my hand to writing. I’ve some imagination, even although I don’t know where my half my ideas come from”.
One of the would-be publishers based in Trillick, the publishing heartland of Tyrone, who didn’t want to give her name, declared,
“I know where his bloody ideas come from. He needs to catch himself on. He approached us with a book last year called Barry Cotter, about a boy wizard from Cappagh who got up to all sorts of stuff with his mate, Sean Greasely. Wonder where he got that idea? And then there was his other so-called book, ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Washingbay’. Honestly, you couldn’t make it up. And obviously neither can he”.
As of yesterday evening, Gallagher was hard at work on his typewriter expanding his range of train characters, including a “a friendly wee Welsh engine called Ivor”.
In a move which has been described as ‘draconian’ and ‘pure mad’, Stormont officials have moved to ban anyone from photo-bombing in county Tyrone.
Photo-bombing, the modern phenomenon of unexpectedly dropping in behind someone being photographed, has been on the rise in the county ever since mobile phones replaced Polaroid instant cameras in 2008 as the most popular camera device in homes.
A government insider informed us today:
“Photo-bombing is a throwback to the bad old days. Our many communities don’t need this and that’s why from today anyone caught photo-bombing will be gathered up in unmarked jeeps and interned indefinitely. We want these people off the streets and Tyrone is a good place to start off as there seems to be a rash of photo-bombers all over that land. Ireland says NO to photo-bombers. We might need to re-word the Good Friday Agreement just.”
Initial reports gathered from Twitter and Facebook suggests there have already been three photo-bombers arrested – in Ardboe, Galbally and Loughmacrory, sparking outrage and spontaneous bonfires in all three regions. Galbally tourism director Jill Maguire is adamant there will be resistance to the government’s latest initiative. Using a voice-warp microphone she told us:
“Them boys sitting up in Belfast are out of order. I can’t believe Martin McGuinness has sanctioned this move, and him a serial photo-bomber at football matches and christenings. We’re sending this message out loud and clear – we will not be moved. We’ll be photo-bombing like mad tonight all over the county.”
Although rumours of a continuity photo-bombing group forming in Brocagh are wide of the mark, there has been a rash of digital cameras and balaclavas bought in Dungannon, Cookstown and Omagh today in an obvious show of defiance. PSNI have drafted in 40 UN troops to help monitor the situation. A county holds its breath.
East Tyrone was hiving with journalists this morning after it emerged that the newly re-formed Windmill GFC, who previously terrorised the Tyrone football scene, are considering offering David Moyes the vacant managerial position with immediate effect.
Moyes, who was this morning sacked by Manchester United, is said to be ‘considering his options’ and has been trying to find Windmill on Google Maps. An attractive package is being mulled over at the clubrooms in order to attract the Scot with an unlimited supply of jellied eels hopefully tipping the scales in their favour. Chairman Vinny ‘cut throat’ Dawson admitted:
“We’re very excited with the deal we’re proposing. As well as the eel situation, we are scouring the lough shore for old barns and sheds that we can do up and give Moyes that realistic rustic feeling of old Ireland that Americans pay millions for. As we speak there’s a shed above Moortown that fits the bill as soon as we can relocate the wild livestock. Moyes is the sort of boy we’ve been after. Ginger, fierce temper and a disregard for dental hygiene. He’ll fit right in here.”
Moyes’ PR woman has already touched down in Belfast and was quick to fan the flames of current rumours:
“David is a real eel man. He’s always making jokes about eels like ‘It’s a eely nice day today’ and all that type of stuff. In fact, he’s mad about them. Also he thinks Windmill also sounds romantic, like Niagara Falls or Ayers Rock. Paradise even. I think he visualises rolling glens with windmills twirling gently on hilltops and fair maidens dancing gaily in frocks with buckets of fresh milk draped across their shoulders. I’m heading that direction now to confirm his fantasies. I’ll be taking in Ardboe, Brocagh, Carnan and Ballinderry too.”
Meanwhile, Windmill are hoping to secure the services of Mickey Coleman to sing ‘The Old Cross of Ardboe’ and ‘Stop Yer Ticklin Jock’ before his unveiling.
A Cookstown couple’s marriage was last night said to be ‘on the rocks’ after a row over the built-in sat-nav in an Audi A3.
John Mulligan, a 43-year old fencer, was described by close friends as being ‘head-over-heels’ in love with his sat-nav he called ‘Samantha’. Neighbour and fellow handball player Conor Flynn admitted he saw the break-up coming many weeks ago:
“I told him to wise up but there was no talking to him. He’d go out four or five times a day for a spin in his car with the window down and you’d hear him talking away to the sat-nav, telling it jokes and yarns about the olden days. She’d be saying stuff like ‘at the roundabout take the first exit onto the Omagh Road’ and you’d see him laughing his head off and winking and pouting. He gave me a lift to Belfast one day and spent the entire journey talking about the adventures him and ‘Samantha’ had been on and how she was deadly craic.”
John’s long-suffering wife, Joanne, spoke of her battle for her husband’s attention:
“Even if we were just going half a mile down the straight road to the local shop he’d be shouting at me to shut up in case Samantha said something. Sometimes he’d drive past our destination on purpose to send the sat-nav into overdrive and he’d be blushing at it saying ‘turn around now’ or stuff like that. That bloody computer woman was driving a wedge between us. It was me or her.”
Earlier, eye-witnesses saw Joanne land a blow on Samantha with a rolling pin, sparking this latest fallout. Mulligan was seen leaving their house today with several bags packed and clearly holding Samantha the sat-nav under his arm.
Friends claim John and Samantha are off to Bundoran for a wild weekend and seeing how things go from there.
A radical proposal from a Carland man that could revolutionise air travel was published yesterday, following thousands of trampolines throughout the county literally lifting off in the fierce storms since last Wednesday,
“It’s obvious when you think about it”, said wild-eyed, would-be inventor, 42-year old Danny Hughes. “All this time we’re driving like eejits down to Belfast or Aldergrove and spending a lock of pounds to catch an airyplane, when half the time the answer’s quite literally sitting in our own back yard. This is some invention boys. It’s the best thing since thon two boys invented the flying machine all them years ago. Was it the Mitchell brothers?”
The storms in recent days has seen numerous trampolines throughout the county being blown over and in many cases into neighbouring properties and fields.
“Them trampolines is born travellers”, said Hughes. “They’ve got the wanderlust in them. They just can’t wait to pack their wee trampoline bags and go travelling. So why not go with them?”
When pressed to provide a detailed technical specification on how the airborne trampoline system might work in practice, Hughes was somewhat vague, although the process seemed to centre on lashing someone to a trampoline with a big piece of blue rope, waiting for the wind to get up, and hoping for the best.
Hughes put his invention to the test by tethering himself to his daughter’s trampoline for four hours on Thursday evening, before coming back into the house suffering from mild frostbite and suspected pneumonia. The inventor was however upbeat about the episode, saying that patience was required.
“Listen. Trampolines is like bulls. They’re temperamental critters. That’s why they keep fecking children out the bouncy bit all the time and breaking their arms. You need to be gentle”.
He went on,
“I saw this one trampoline on Wednesday night in our neighbour’s garden. Jays, it was the most beautiful sight you’ve ever seen. It just lifted up, seemed to pause for a second, then it soared like a mighty eagle into the night sky. Fair enough, it then crashed down on top of their Nissan Cherry, but still”.
A young couple from Tyrone hope to make it big in the charts by launching their debut single which could also put Coalisland firmly on the pop music map.
Using a cover version of the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers classic ‘Islands in the Stream’ with amended lyrics, Killian Grugan and Clare Toner, both from Brackaville, will release ‘Island in the Stream’ next month, inspired by the heavy rain experienced by the town in recent weeks, when at one stage Main Street almost turned into a river.
Unemployed sandwich-filler Toner, 22, agreed to share the lyrics of the first verse, which retains the same tune as the Dolly Parton version:
You do something to me that I can’t explain
Maybe it’s the people or the pelting rain
Or our Belfast links, it’s fifteen minutes there and back
Disneyland has nothing on our Newell Stores
Tiger Woods once played at Brackaville’s golf course
And our wemin he loved, Coalisland girls are mad for craic
The chorus then goes on:
‘Island in the Stream
Of that there is no doubt
Come see our deadly Spar
Take a lovely cruise on our quare canal
And we’ve the Central Bar, ha ha
And the Yankee Star, ha ha
Other verses remain a secret but Toner revealed,
“We’ve done a whole verse on the parking facilities in the ‘Island, and we were going to do more on transport links but we couldn’t think of a word that rhymed with Ulsterbus”.
She went on to explain how the idea came about on the spur of the moment.
“One day we popped into O’Neill’s when it was bucketing down for a quick one, and we had this wile idea. Let’s put the ‘Island on the map. They were playing Dolly Parton in the background and we both love Dolly so what better way to big up the ‘Island than re-writing one of her best songs? To be honest we were hammered by that time, but fair play we’ve carried it through. We’re going to be the biggest boy/girl pop group since them ones like Sonny and Cher, or Cagney and Lacey.”
Grugan, 24, a full-time ear defender, responded to questions over the accuracy of the lyrics, saying,
“Aye, well maybe a fifteen minute round trip to Belfast is stretching it a bit, but we’ve got to appeal to the tourists from Americay. That’s why we’ve mentioned the canal, see? And I’m sure I heard that Tiger Woods once played golf here. Or maybe it was Darren Clarke. Or somebody”. He went on, “There’s plenty songs that have put places on the map before. Where would London be without ‘The Streets of London’, Glasgow without ‘I belong to Glasgow’ or New York without ‘Viva Las Vegas’? Even ‘Mountains of Pomeroy’ made Pomeroy world-famous”.
Hopes are high for interviews in the London Times, Le Monde and the Coalisland Post. If the single is successful, the duo intend to record another re-written Dolly Parton classic entitled ‘Nine To Five-miletown’.
A 2-second blast of thunder left most of East Tyrone on high alert throughout the night with police reporting 1340 calls from worried homeowners. PSNI officials also admitted they spent a couple of hours driving about looking for the noise before the Met Office in Belfast informed them that the sound was actually thunder.
The blast, which occurred around 10pm last night, was described as something close to the sound of a nuclear bomb according to Dungannon pub-owner Jamesey Sloan:
“I’ve never heard anything like it. There were boys running all over the town screaming and shouting about the war being back on and about heading to the bunkers. Women were crying and wailing, saying rosaries in the middle of the street. It was like a film.”
Meanwhile in Ardboe, thousands of residents got into their boats and rowed for Antrim on the other side of the Lough. Patsy Coney remarked:
“Ghost oh boys it was tara. We thought maybe the Sperrins were falling down or something so we all sailed East. A couple of boys swam it. The clergy were handing out Last Rites all over the joint.”
PSNI spokesman Herr Steinburger admitted there were a few red faces in the force:
“Yes, we got caught up in the whole excitement. We had 400 officers out in jeeps looking for the noise. When you add in the 200 or so vigilantes also out searching for the noise there was chaos on the roads. We thought it came from a poitin barn in Stewartstown but he said he’d made all his Christmas batches months ago.”
BBC Weather confirmed it was just one short blast of thunder and warned locals not to go clean mad again tomorrow when hailstones are predicted.
A local businessman has confirmed he intends this week to open an Apple Store in the heart of County Tyrone.
Failed entrepreneur and part-time day dreamer Wilbert Feenan confirmed yesterday that following some highly successful pre-publicity, the store will open in Loughnacrory in December in time for an anticipated Christmas rush.
“I couldn’t believe it”, said Feenan excitedly. “I did all my market research and it turns out there’s hardly any Apple Stores at all. There’s one in Belfast and about twenty in England and that’s it. Everyone I speak to says they’re making millions. You even have to make an appointment in some of them. It’s a huge gap in the market. Them boys in Tescos and Asdas sell apples but they don’t specialise, see? I’m going to sell nothing but apples”.
Feenan says he intends to stock a wide range of products, including Cox’s Pippins, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith.
“The response has been astonishing”, said a delighted Feenan. “I’ve already had enquiries from all over Tyrone and beyond. I had this one boy on the phone wanting advice about an Apple Mac. As it happens I love McIntosh apples, so I told him to keep it in the fridge to prolong its lifespan”.
Feenan explained he has also received enquiries from callers wanting to know how to get rid of bugs, and said he had instructed them to spray their product with cat urine.
“I love a juicy Pink Lady as much as the next person, but even I’ve been overwhelmed at the level of interest. I even had this one boy saying he watches apple TV all the time. Can you imagine? People are mad for the apples. I had folks call to say they’re willing to spend way over £100 but want help choosing the right apple. Quare stuff. Maybe people want to make fresh apple sauce for Christmas. If this proves a success I’m going to open an Orange Shop. There doesn’t seem to be many of them either”.
Feenan’s previous business ventures have proved unsuccessful, including Mid-way Dinner Mints, pants for wasps, and the pizza magnet.