A sporting event aimed at bringing the communities in Tyrone closer together was declared a resounding success by organisers this morning.
The Clonoe Cage Cross-Community Fighting Extravaganza drew an impressive turn-out, with over 300 competitors paying £2.50 each to climb into the specially-constructed cage.
“These guys should be proud of themselves”, said 76-year old organiser and former parish priest from Benburb Frank McLean. “They were falling over each other to get into the cage and start fighting away. I’ve never seen enthusiasm like it. I watched these two lads form Cappagh and Moygashel slugging away like their lives depended on it. They didn’t even hear the bell. That’s how committed they are to making this sort of community event work. They just wanted to put on a great show. All the lads were the same. In fact, we had to intervene so many times the taser ran out of charge. After that we just stood back and watched”.
Participant Steve Lewis said,
“Aye it was some night boys. I was in the cage with this wan boyo from the Washing Bay. Some fighter. Even managed to knock me down a couple of times. Credit where credit’s due. That’s why I decided to show him some respect by scissor-kicking him in the face when we were back in the dressing room. And then hoofing him in the groin. Twice.”
McLean confirmed that working in cross-community projects such as this had been one of the highlights of his life.
“It’s moments like these you treasure. Some of the boys even started getting into all that bad-boy tag-team stuff like they used to do on the wrestling on the telly in the 70s, because there was these two boys who showed up wearing balaclavas and holding a couple of fake Armalites, waving them at the crowd and all. Jays, I was helpless with the laughter. I nearly ended myself. And do you know, even the crowd were getting into it, can you imagine? Jeering and chanting and suchlike”.
McLean confirmed that the next cross-community event planned in time for Christmas, ‘Brantry Bare-Knuckle Boxing’, is already generating interest.
More than a few ginger mono-brows were raised in the county this week with the announcement of the itinerary for this year’s Brantry Fleadh.
Previous festivals in the area have seen performances from the likes of The Sands Family, Beoga and Four Men and a Dog. However, the organisers of the 2014 event have plumped for a more eclectic and diverse line-up. Speaking through the medium of ‘mountainythranness’, steering committee chairman, Crannóg Clougherty (89) told us;
“To be totally honest, the incessant diddley-deeing was doing our fecking crusts in. With that in mind, we have booked James Last and his entire orchestra to headline on Friday night, ably supported by Scottish hardcore street, crossover thrash, punk outfit, The Exploited. Sunday’s main attraction, by way of winding down, will see eight hours of whale sounds and distorted synthesisers performed by space rock combo, ‘Spiritualized’. We’re particularly excited about their intention to play their ‘thinking man’s techno’ version of The Sugababes standard ‘Freak Like Me’.”
The committee have yet to confirm the line-up for the main day of the fleadh but they have agreed to allow a limited number of street sessiuns during the afternoon as a sop to the dangly ear-ring and wheaten waistcoat brigade. However, Crannóg did go on to hint at his hope for the evening’s main gig to be the biggest thing The Brantry has seen since that incident with Sean O’Neill and goat from Caledon.
“Yes, I know it mightn’t be easy but I haven’t given up on reuniting The Beatles for the first time in forty-five years!”
When challenged on how this would even be possible, Clougherty winked at our reporter and produced a handgun containing two bullets.
We put it to the almost-nonagenarian that the radical overhaul was merely an artistic reaction to the fact that no Tyrone teenagers have been appearing on British television talent shows for over three months.
“I object to that! I’ll have you know that in mediaeval times, The Brantry was renowned for its woods, loughs and rebellious inhabitants. Nowadays, we’d be better known for our rebellious inhabitants, loughs and woods! If there is one thing which I’d accept did influence our change of direction, it’s the fact that, despite continuing protests, our area remains the only one which is denied a capital letter on the list of tags on the Tyrone Tribulations website.”
A Fresian cow has made a formal complaint to the Ulster Farmers’ Union about the lack of opportunities in the County for cows.
Clara, a 4-year old cow from Derrylappen Farm in Brantry, made the complaint after being passed over for the job replacing a sheepdog that was retiring.
“There’s funding for this, funding for that, funding for the other”, she explained, “But nothing for the bovine community. The glass ceiling in the farming industry is ridiculous. I’ve been giving milk every day for two years without so much as a word of thanks. Not a single day off on the sick, even when my daughter was born. When the sheepdog, Jip, retired, I applied for the job. Why not? Sure, I’m maybe a wee bit slower than the dogs, but I’ve a great relationship with the sheep and I’m sure I could persuade them to move along just by asking them nicely. I could be a great sheepcow. First one in the county. Anyway, I went for the interview with the farmer and Jip was there. He just lay there in his basket asking me if I liked beef sandwiches and then yelping with laughter like he’s God’s gift. What’s that all about?”
“And the farmer’s not much better”, continued the cow. “He’s been all funny with me since I said I wanted a try-out for the Grand National. And he gives thon bull about five acres to himself, whilst us girls are cramped together in this here field. Look at it! Dunged to the hilt. Damned disgrace. My shoes are filthy. And that bull’s a nuisance breaking into our field all the time, as if he hasn’t got enough bloody space. And he must be trying to keep his shoes clean too, trying to climb up onto our backs all the time”.
Jip, the sheepdog in question countered,
“Are you having a laugh? Jaysus, the size of that wan lumbering down the field trying to herd sheep? Not a chance. Milk could turn quicker than her. You can’t teach an old cow new tricks”.
Clara has since applied for a job as a sniffer cow at Belfast City Airport.
The news that 11 new super-Councils are to be created throughout Northern Ireland from the existing 26 and that each is to be given extended powers, has resulted in hundreds of people throughout Tyrone believing that the Councils are actually to be granted magical superpowers.
Following the publication at the weekend of a survey by the Irish Council for Statistics, it appears that entire villages have caught the wrong end of the stick, with an alarming 16% of residents believing that council staff might turn into levitating, shape-shifting, fire-breathing oddballs, all at the tax payer’s expense.
56-year old Harry Patterson of Cabragh told us,
“Being given superpowers like time travel and trigonometry and the like is a bridge too far. It’s a breach of my human rights. I don’t want them council ones spying on me when I’m out in the shed doing stuff. Not that I’m doing anything wrong like. And certainly not with that woman from next door. There’s nothin’ wrong with being neighbourly, you know”, he said defensively.
The view was shared by Jacinta Ferguson, a 42-year old housewife from Urney.
“It’s a waste of damn time. I don’t want the council coming round, self-spawning all over my front garden or manipulating gravity and stuff, when all I want is my gutters rodded. They should get their priorities right”.
“If they end up having superpowers like Spider-Man there’s no saying where it could end”, agreed Tony Laverty from Windmill. “We can’t have people suddenly going into slow motion like in ‘The Matrix’ at the drop of a hat, can we? It would be like that TV programme where all them weird-looking hoors have amazing superpowers. ‘Mastermind’, that’s it”.
“We might end up with Barry McElduff waltzing through Carrickmore wearing a Batman outfit, and then where would be?” declared Deirdre Hughes from Drumquin. “I have no wish to see that man in tights, let me tell you that. I’m not making that mistake again. If them councillors want a superpower then they can go and teleport themselves to feck”.
Some were more circumspect, with a keen interest in what the superpowers might be.
“Will you maybe be able to get x-ray vision specs from the council?” enquired a 58-year old man from Trillick who didn’t want to be named. “That would be handy right enough, for, like, all sorts of things. And would you be able to see through like material, like say, I don’t know, clothes and suchlike? Just asking”. He added, “And a couple of them super-strength ones like The Hulk could rightly work some wonders for the St Macartan’s hi. Has anyone told Mickey Harte about this?”
58 year old Rebecca O’Neill from Brantry however was much less positive, snorting,
“They should go and speak to the Roads Department. Have you seen the state of my street? In my opinion they’ve been practising invisibility for bloody years”.
The new councils are expected to come into effect in a few months time.
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…….
An Eglish Pioneer, John McGleenan, has reportedly smashed his lenten promise in style and is currently ‘worse than ever’ at the cursing, according to his son who has decided to move to Cappagh. McGleenan had lasted over a week without a bad word emanating from his mouth until he heard the result from the Ulster Senior League match between his beloved Eglish and Magherafelt. A former reserve player and waterboy from 1986-1999, ‘Feckin’ John, as he’s called in the area, is a passionate and ardent St Patrick’s supporter but had recently been told to stop his match-going following a high blood pressure reading last month. Enda McGleenan, his 26-year old son and playing member of the senior team, knew his father’s lenten vow of a period of 40-days without cursing was about to end when he got home after the game.
“Ah as soon as the final whistle went I knew it was all over. In normal circumstances a draw in a friendly game with Magherafelt would be seen as acceptable progress, but not when my da’s concerned. He loses the bap completely if we don’t win. Last year we lost to Derrytresk and he locked me in the attic for five hours and burned down the outhouse. We thought the lent cursing thing would help him to curb his temper but it was simply a simmering volcano waiting to explode. 10 days of abstinence erupted yesterday. I muttered “9-all draw” when he asked. He simply set down his knife and fork and walked out to the yard. The next thing I saw was the dog yelping and hurtling through the spring Eglish sky, followed by a string of expletives I’d never even heard of. What is a ‘bollocksing shower of a hoor of a Derry bollocks’ anyway? Made no sense”
Reports suggest that McGleenan went on a rampage for the rest of the day, cursing vehemently at any passers-by regarding land, horse-meat, the Brits, Free-Staters, Europeans, the weather and spuds. 93-year-old Maisie Gildernew near fainted after hearing rude words she’d last come across when the Yank soldiers stopped off at the Brantry in 1942.