The tiny village of Beragh is set to become the envy of the county if an adventurous gamble comes off during the current European Championships in France.
After days of intense analysis by sporting experts in the local watering establishment, it was decided that Uruguay was the most likely outsider to win the tournament. Every family agreed to donate £10 each to the kitty which, if successful, will see the village a cool £3.5 million richer due to the generous odds laid on by local bookmaker Westwoods. The winnings, if successful, will see work begin on a multi-million pound leisure centre with an Olympic-length swimming pool and a tennis court capable of holding one of the world majors.
Kitty treasurer Kitty Grimes told us:
“If the boys are correct about this, we’ll be the richest village in Ireland, if not the world. The jealously will be dripping off the Omagh ones. We’ll make sure every penny is accounted for and if there’s any left over we’ll have a fun day or something like that. Well done to the lads in the pub. I’m quietly confident they’ll come up smelling of roses. And a big thank you to Westwood bookmakers who laid on generous odds of 10’000-1 even though he stands to lose a fortune.”
The village has already been kitted out in Uruguay colours, much to the delight of soccer expert and chief debater John McCaughey:
“Ah it’s great to see the flags all around. They’ve really got behind our decision. It was a heated debate and strong arguments were made for France, Spain, Mexico and even England but we all agreed eventually that Uruguay was the most likely underdog to win it. That Luis Suarez lad is lethal.”
Although unsure when Uruguay’s first game is, McCaughey maintains it’ll be one hell of a party to begin a month of celebrations before the expected financial windfall.
A Beragh man, who cites Seamus Heaney and WB Yeats as major influences on his life, was today getting his back slapped after he made a brilliant point on Spotlight last night on the BBC, using standard English.
Hugh Grimes accidentally found himself in the audience for the politics show by taking a wrong turn before the start of a live recording of Mrs Brown’s Boys.
During a heated discussion on budget cuts and austerity measures between all the main parties, Grimes put his hand up for 15 minutes before Noel Thompson ordered the microphone man to go to ‘the gent in the dungarees’.
After clearing his throat for a few seconds, Grimes commented:
“You boys don’t know yiz are born.”
which received a ripple of applause from three men in the back row.
Grimes arrived home to Beragh at 1am to tumultuous cheering and waving of club flags in a crowd estimated to be over 250. Grimes’ mother, Maura, tearfully told us:
“I knew from the moment he was born that he was destined for great things. When I saw him with his hand up on the show last night I was screaming like mad and I feared the BBC would discriminate against him because he hadn’t really dressed up. But he did brilliant. We understood every word.”
Grimes is reportedly doing a signing of DVD copies of the show in the local Centra all weekend and hopes to take his new-found fame a step further by appearing on the Nolan Show next week and vows to tackle the current homophobia issue with similar insightfulness and clarity.
A West Tyrone elderly care home have confirmed there will be a thorough investigation after chain-smoking pensioners, who wished to kick the habit, were given e-cigarettes with cannabis trace since February 2013. Subsequently, the National Care Home Awards Committee have taken back the trophy Strabane Last Legs Care Home won for the ‘happiest residents’ section for two years running.
E-cigarettes, or personal vaporisers, are a battery-powered device used mostly by those who wish to kick the smoking habit. Strabane Last Legs Care Home were lauded as pioneers in elderly smoking cessation initiatives after they introduced the e-cigs onto their premises for their 64-strong smoking residents.
Care home owner Mrs Donnelly admits it all makes sense now:
“I did struggle with understanding the change in atmosphere since we introduced the e-cigarettes back in 2013. General moaning was almost completely wiped out and even the grumpiest were smiling away at nothing. Little did we know that all 64 smokers were off their heads on marijuana.”
Although Donnelly was unwilling to identify the name of her supplier, she did admit they were bought off the back of a white van with a Monaghan reg near Clady.
The National Care Home Awards Committee will re-run the competition after admitting they were also a bit bewildered by the mood in Last Legs:
“We couldn’t believe how happy these people were. There were 95-year-olds up dancing to Bob Marley music and eating crisps and sweets. How were we to know that they had been spliffing away like terrors? I even heard a pensioner tell one of the workers to ‘chill out, man’ after he wouldn’t take his bath at the designated time.”
Strabane Last Legs Care Home revealed they have decommissioned the e-cigs and have buried them on a hill near Beragh.
The Sixmilecross Christian Society (SCS) have refused to apologise to 4000 Beragh residents who were spotted ‘running like mad’ towards Omagh after someone misread the SCS Tombola poster, thinking Ebola had finally arrived at the west Tyrone village.
The Tombola night, which this year was in aid of a proposed donkey sanctuary in Loughmacrory, was a resounding disaster as only nine punters turned up, winning on average 13 prizes each and generating only £23 for the project.
Meanwhile, Omagh Council have set about dismantling the makeshift aluminium buildings used to house the Beragh contingent over the weekend before the error was discovered. Beragh joiner, Candy McClean, told us:
“I was never so afeared. When word got about that Sixmilecross had caught the Ebola we just ran like hounds towards Omagh. It took a few hours of negotiations before they let us stay and I understand that. There’d be a few boys around Beragh who’d look a bit virusy even on a Sunday.”
It wasn’t until someone produced the Tyrone Democrat and spotted the Tombola advertisement for Sixmilecross that the penny finally dropped.
The Tyrone Health Organisation are to issue leaflets to all houses in the county, warning residents of evacuation procedures if the virus does hit Sixmilecross or anywhere else. Their 4-point plan is as follows:
- Don’t run like mad down the road. Head calmly for Derry or Armagh, preferably by foot or scooter/skateboard/flicker/roller-skates.
- Don’t be telling the Armagh or Derry ones why you have arrived for fear of retaliation.
- Bring sandwiches and tea for the journey. Jam sandwiches are not advised as they can attract flies.
- Keep spirits up by singing happy songs about emigration.
The THO also reminded people that there are no grants for Ebola-prevention house extensions.
News coming through that Sean Cavanagh may be on his way to Beragh. More shortly
Reports emerging that Owen Mulligan has been looking at an estate agents shop in Ardboe, sparking rumours of a transfer out east
TRANSFER! Joe McMahon has made the move down the road to Drumragh for six bags of coal and two VIP tickets to see Nathan Carter in Drumragh College.
We return to the Owen Mulligan story. He was in fact just looking at his reflection in the window and not property browsing.
More on that Sean Cavanagh move to Beragh. Beragh officials are prepared to offer their historic Standing Stone as well as three months of home heating oil for Sean’s services. There appears to be a hold up due to Cavanagh’s demands that his brother Colm goes too. Beragh don’t want Colm.
Noises made about Tommy McGuigan moving to Trillick. More on that later.
Sensational news emerging that Derrytresk have bid for Kerry’s Declan O’Sullivan. More later.
Trillick’s Jewish community have announced they will not renew their season tickets if McGuigan moves out west. Deal off.
The O’Sullivan to Derrytresk story is gathering legs as reports are confirmed of a Kerry reg car speeding up from Dromid towards Ulster.
TRANSFER! Moy have sold Philip Jordan to a knackers yard.
Owen Mulligan has been spotted chatting to Donaghmore‘s chairwoman Debbie Donnelly, sparking rumours of a move to St Patrick’s.
Declan O’Sullivan has been spotted buying a bottle of mineral in Cavan Town. Deal closing in.
The Mulligan story has been quashed after it was confirmed he was just chatting Donnelly up.
Beragh have backed down and are prepared to take the two Cavanaghs in exchange for the Standing Stone and the Drumnakilly Devil.
O’Sullivan spotted in Fivemiletown asking for directions to Derrytresk. Onlookers say he looks excited.
TRANSFER! Omagh have bought Moortown underage sensation Paddy Quinn for a packet of Haribo and two VIP tickets to see Nathan Carter play at Drumragh College and have promised to have him speaking English by Christmas
Ageing journalist Ronan McSherry seen buying a Brackaville jersey in Dungannon, sparking rumours of a sensational comeback.
The Cavanagh to Beragh saga has taken another turn as it emerged that Cavanagh’s wife doesn’t like the shops in Beragh.
Owen Mulligan spotted playing bingo in Edendork Hall, suggesting of a move to St Malachy’s.
Carrickmore have made a bid for entire Clonoe team.
Cash strapped Clonoe have accepted Carrickmore’s bid for their entire team in part exchange for Conor Gormley.
The Rock have denied rumours they are in the market for a new lawn mower, stating ‘we are happy with the mower we have.’
Mulligan will not be going to Edendork. He was simply checking out the talent at bingo in a Wayne Rooney sort of way.
Philip Jordan has failed his medical at the knacker’s yard
Cavanagh to Beragh is off. Mrs Cavanagh has complained about the climate up there.
Conor Gormley has been revealed as a Clonoe O’Rahilly player at Tessie’s, the only one left, sparking wild scenes of jubilation. Ruthless manager Cassidy says ‘he’s better than the shower we had anyway”.
Tommy McGuigan has controversially tweeted ‘punch a Ballinderry man today #dicks’.
One hour of the Tyrone Transfer Window left
TRANSFER! Ryan McMenamin has been sold to Uruguay. Uruguayan manager Hector Solaris reckons he’ll give them ‘that 1954 bite back’. McMenamin learning Spanish.
Tommy McGuigan spotted with a t-shirt which says “Why Always Me?” on the front of it.
Declan O’Sullivan arrives in Derrytresk
Declan O’Sullivan leaves Derrytresk in tears. They were just messing.
Urney have announced they will not be buying anyone in this window. Restless locals storm embassy.
TRANSFER! Colm Cavanagh has been sold to Beragh on a free.
TRANSFER WINDOW SHUT!
A Tattyreagh parent, attending his first ever pantomime in the Grand Opera House in Belfast, was kicked out shortly before the end after completely misreading the conventions of a panto.
Jackie O’Brien, attending the show as a volunteer parent for the local primary school, persistently heckled the actors and was prevented from firing an extinguisher onto the stage by a fast-acting security guard.
The performance of Sleeping Beauty had been receiving rave reviews before today’s incident and was keenly anticipated by the entire 400-strong audience. Neutral observer, Malachy Quinn from Beragh, explained what happened:
“At the start I just though he was really buying into the spirit of panto by shouting out things like ‘he’s behind you’ long before he was meant to. It wasn’t until he got a bit too vocal that I realised he was taking things a bit too far. When the Queen of Evil, Maleficent, arrived on stage he shouted ‘she’s f****** behind yis ye shower of useless b*******’. Teachers were covering pupils’ ears.”
Events took a turn for the worse when Maleficent attempted a bit of traditional banter with the audience. O’Brien, again misreading the comic element of the whole panto genre, reacted viciously after she told the crowd that Sleeping Beauty was not wakening up:
“Yes, that was when the penny dropped that this fella wasn’t getting the whole panto concept at all. When Maleficent said ‘oh no she’s not’, after three ‘oh yes she is’ O’Brien ran towards the stage shouting ‘are ye f****** blind’ before lifting the fire extinguisher above his head and asking her if she was calling him a liar.”
O’Brien was ushered from the building and put on a bus to Omagh. Tattyreagh principal Kieran O’Cabe bought the entire school a Mini-Crunchie each to make up for the interruption.
A Beragh call centre manager has been sacked after it emerged he was repeatedly late for work after lunch having spent ‘up to two hours’ in Burger King every day.
Cecil Grimes, a 45-year old recent divorcé, had hoodwinked his employers and family into believing he was the King of Beragh and that the Burger King crown was a traditional headwear for the title. It was only when he was photoed on the Burker King billboard as ‘Eater of the Year’ wearing his BK crown that officials became suspicious of his claim.
Call centre director Johnny Mulgrew explained:
“To give him his credit, he had us well fooled. Every day at 2pm, he’d arrive late after work wearing his Burger King crown and told us he was away doing ‘kingy’ things like opening hairdressers and knighting people. And we believed him as he also had a big golden cloak. It turns out he stole that from the church vestry years ago.”
Grimes was finally rumbled after a billboard appeared in Beragh Main Street showing a 30ftx30ft image of Cecil with his Burger King Eater of the Year award around his neck. Mulgrew added:
“That was when the penny dropped. We contacted Burger King and they said that Cecil had devoured two Chicken Royale meals every lunch time for three years, earning him a crown every day. He’s some bollox that boy.”
Cecil Grimes’ family have also admitted they were tricked into believing he was the King of Beragh and that it’ll take a long time to forget what he has put them through in recent weeks. A cousin told us:
“Some handlin. I heard he sat on a throne and all in his living room and had all manner of servants bringing him grapes and stuff. Sure he put his wife into a dungeon for a pile of months for not recording the All-Ireland Final which led to her eventually divorcing him. Some craic altogether.”
23 stone Grimes has since emigrated to America hoping to become America’s Next Top model.
Beragh has been awash with theories today as to why Bono has apparently moved there with speculation that it’s a charity initiative gone wrong the most probable reason. The U2 frontman has been spotted dandering around the village and country lanes patting children on the head and crying whilst humming sad songs that haven’t been written yet.
Local joiner Paddy Grimes reckons he’s sure why the sun-glassed millionaire has moved to the area:
“The oul eejit thinks this is Bosnia or Baghdad or something like that and is here on some kind of humanitarian mission. Beragh might be finding it tough in this recession but Jaysus it’s not that bad like. The Costcutters have been charging £1.50 for a 2-litre bottle of semi-skimmed but that’s hardly good enough reason for a full scale disaster appeal. I wonder is Sting coming too.”
Others do not share Grimes’ thinking. Paula Agnew thinks it’s a much more sinister development:
“Even the dogs in the street know that Beragh’s the epicentre for dirty diesel, cheap fags and benefit fraud. This Bono boy isn’t behind the door when it comes to financial hoodwinkery and I think he’s crying to sneakily merge himself in to the Beragh culture. I saw him at the Beragh game against Loughmacrory last week and he was watching the corner backs closely. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Dub togs out next week. Can’t be any worse than we have though.”
With the Beragh Manure Matrix on next week, others are suggesting he’s after the pure bred limousine – the prize if anyone can guess where the heifer will dung on the field. Sean Collins is sure he’s sussing out the competition:
“That’s what it is. He’s after the cattle, the bollix. Well, for all his millions he’s still only allowed to pick one square. If he wins fair enough. If not, he can head back to America or Gibraltar after singing maybe two or three songs.”
Bookies are siding with Grimes and believe he’s here to sound out a benefit concert, with Sting, Beyonce, Malachi Cush and Tom Jones joining him for the big day. This morning he was witnessed giving brown money to children playing iPads in the park. The Edge has not been spotted yet.
I met a girl in Beragh and she said her name was Sarah,
And I thought she was as fair a lass as ever wore a shoe;
So I went and sat beside her, and with tay and buns supplied her,
And to soften her I tried her with a lozenger or two.
Researching the census back then, we can narrow it down to two Sarahs: Sarah Grimes and Sarah Rodgers. Beragh women were great for tea and buns and it was oft said that that combination usually had the females in the area weak at the knees. Lozengers would be a delicacy in Beragh even yet. This man was no pauper.
Then later I got bolder and I nipped her on the shoulder
O I nipped her and I told her I would take her on my knee;
But she said, “You’ll be in bother, for I’ll go and tell me mother,
I’ll go home and tell me mother if you’re impudent to me.”
Nipping is an old Beragh custom between courting youngsters that still exists today. Usually around the age of 15, a Beragh father will sit down with his son and explain nipping. You only nipped a woman you were prepared to take a box in the face from. You never nipped big girls with strong arms. This rules out Sarah Grimes as she was a Feis arm-wrestling champion in 1923.
But she said it with a twinkle, and a brow without a twinkle,
And her laugh was like a tinkle that invited laughin’ back;
So I started to provoke her, and to hoke her and to poke her,
Till she vowed that I would choke her, and her stays began to crack.
It appears that the narrator was a bit of a nuisance and began poking away at young Rodgers who pretended to be rather affronted. Again, this was extremely civilized behaviour in Beragh, with the girl now being nipped and poked. All part of the mating process down there.
Says I, “Now don’t be silly, I’ve a farm in Drumnakilly,
And the more it may be hilly, there’s a handy bit of bog,
We’ll be happy there together with a bullock in the heather,
And the goat upon the tether and the donkey and the dog.”
This was the clincher for Rodgers. To be offered a farm, a bit of bog, a bullock, a goat, a donkey and a dog was like suggesting a diamond ring made from the most expensive gold in Ireland. There are Beragh women today who believe this was a made-up story like Cinderella or Mary Robinson such is their desire to be even offered a bullock.
Then it wasn’t long we tarried till the two of us were married,
And home the donkey carried us as the presents made a load,
And on them Sarah sittin’ with a clocker and a kitten,
As we jingled like a flittin’ up the Drumnakilly road.
The clocker may have been an instrument Beragh women were given back then to hit their men with if he continued to nip and poke after the initial courting phase. A rolling pin of its day.
But the night was getting chilly when we came to Drumnakilly,
I could hear the bleats of Lily as the graith came off the ass;
Says I, ” I’ll get a bucket, for I dunno how she stuck it.”
So I lifted wan and tuk it up to Lily in the grass.
The graith was a clamping device Beragh men put on their women’s backsides to prevent other suitors from pinching their arse. Even today, Beragh women who are engaged or married wear a graith under their jeans if they head into Omagh for the night.
Well, the goat was very willin’, and the bucket bravely fillin’,
But the milk was nearly spillin’ when I heered an awful squeal,
And then there came a clatter over stones and lyin’ water,
It was Sarah on the batter up the loanan to the field.
On the batter today means drinking heavily. It’s unlikely Sarah would have been necking poitin that early in the relationship. That usually came after the 5th child. Batter here meant roaring and shouting, like a normal housewife in Beragh. Beragh women are said to be the angriest females in Ireland due to the sheer laziness of the men.
She was leppin’ like a lion and her petticoats was flyin’,
She was roarin’, she was cryin’ fit to waken up the dead;
O she come without delayin’, and between the gowls and prayin’
I made out that she was sayin’, “John, the Divil’s in the bed!”
It is obvious here the narrator had a few rivals who were extremely jealous of the marriage. Many men dressed up as devils back then as it was said Beragh women were particularly fond of the dark arts, nipping, poking and being on the batter. Sarah seemed to have a man waiting for her in the bed as the narrator was out milking a goat. With her graith off, she was exposed.
I run in to see the Divil with a mind to spake him civil,
And behold ye Sarah’s Divil was a hairy oul buck goat,
With a smell for human noses that was anything but roses,
And a beard on him like Moses and a dickey at his throat.
The narrator appears to be either naive or unwilling to admit that there’s a good chance that he had his eye wiped just hours after being married. Gortin men were famous for their hairiness and Dickie-bows. Sarah Rodgers may have regretted her decision to turn a blind eye to the hairy devil and enjoy the moment whilst her hard-working husband was out milking the heavy goat, and ran out screaming a batter to make the whole thing look good. The bad smell confirms the man was from the Gortin/Plumbridge area where they ate a lot of wild garlic.
Says I, “Me neighbour Micky must have done it, for he’s tricky.”
But a goat that wears a dickey is a goat I can’t abide,
And because a man that smelled him would incline to do it seldom.
I cut the ropes that held him and I chased the buck outside.
Mickey McVeigh, the neighbour, was a bit of a ladies’ man but it’s unlikely it was Mickey. By this stage he’d been unintentionally castrated by a visiting freak show.
O sometimes me and Sarah dresses up and goes to Beragh,
But she’ll niver let me wear a dacent dickey like the rest,
And the thing that is uncivil is to mention Sarah’s Divil,
The Drumnakilly Divil with the dickey on his chest.
The marriage was a sham. There’s no doubt that the Gortin opportunist had a bit of success with Sarah in the 2-3 minute window he had. The poor narrator was not to speak of the incident again and dicky bows were a no-go area of conversation.
Beragh’s attempts to rid its streets, loanans and ramparts of crime has been abandoned after it failed to clean up any form of law-breaking over a two-week period. Last month, UTV highlighted the alarming rise in crime in Beragh since the start of 2012 with a 200% increase in jumping that red light they have on the Main Street as well as a general increase in cursing. Soon after the report the Beragh Crime Prevention Committee appointed a ‘Batman’ type vigilante who was given powers to deal with any form of illegal or unchristian activity on the spot.
“Ah Jaysus it was a disaster from the start,” local kitchen-fitter Gary Bogue told us. “Sure we all knew it was the Lord Mayor’s wife. She has that oul gammy leg from she was a wean and you could tell by the dander on her, even with the stupid mask on her. It wasn’t even a good mask either. No more like Batman than I’m like a cow clap. No one paid her any heed. Despite witnessing 45 motors break the red light in her first day, she didn’t manage to apprehend any. Once stopped, the offender would simply laugh at her and then tell her to go feck herself the limpy oul hoor. It was a farce. She should have been given an M45 or something and blown the head clean off the first offender. That’d get the message across.”
Operation Batman came to a head when she entered the local bar and took down the names of anyone who she heard cursing. After filling two jotters comprising of almost everyone in the village, she was taken outside by a couple of hardened drinkers and ordered to squawk like a blackbird whilst doing a close form of Riverdance as they clapped and cheered. The Beragh Batman announced her retirement that evening.
“That’s the last time I’ll try to clean up the streets of Beragh. Savages.”
The traffic light was last night reported missing with a 450% increase in general cursing heard in the area. The UN are keeping an eye on proceedings.
A Beragh entrepreneur boasted yesterday of his ability to drive with no insurance, tax and ‘hardly any suspension on her’ since 1999. Paddy Jacobs, a clown/street entertainer in the area, has decided to ditch the motor for a new mountain bike he bought at a car boot sale in Trillick last week.
“Sure I’d only be traveling as far as Omagh or Cookstown for some child’s birthday party and the bike will do the same job. I was getting tired of hoodwinking the cops anyway. It’s time to come clean.”
Jacobs said he was often stopped by the police at the bottom of his loanan or on the Sheboy Road. He thinks they were sure there were no documentation for the vehicle he was driving and suspicious that there was no suspension at all.
“I’d see them rubbing their hands as I approached, like as if they’d finally got their man now. Sparks would be flying from the back of the Datsun. I’d be all nice and give them my faded licence. As they were squinting to make out my name and address, I’d quietly lift the mobile phone and phone the police to say that there was an on-going robbery somewhere close by. I was whispering like. It’d be phoned through to the cop in front of me and he’d be away like a shot. I’d just wind her up and drive off. I did the same trick over 300 times.”
Jacobs claims he’d change the nature of the prank phone call each time, from a bank heist to sheep rustling.
“There was one time they arrested the parish priest because I phoned through that he was leering at the female cooks in the school canteen. He was in the middle of devotions when they nabbed him and still took him to Omagh barracks. It got a bit silly at the end. I recently fooled them into driving to find a well because I said someone was pishing into it. There is no well in Beragh.”
The Beragh entertainer says he’ll not be getting a helmet for the bike and doesn’t know what an MOT certificate looks like.