A young Qatari billionaire, Mohammad Bate-Al-Aroundim, has announced lavish plans to regenerate East Tyrone as a Mecca for Tyrone football which includes an ambitious plan to build a 30’000 seater stadium in Brocagh overlooking Lough Neagh and Mountjoy Castle.
Aroundim, who made his money selling water filters and wooden pallets before moving onto oil and stuff, has tabled a robust bid which includes a big machine to suck up midges on matchdays, half time entertainment in the form of music that’s big in that area right now such as Culture Club, Madness and ZZ Top, as well as a £9m initiaive to fill in all the pot holes around the surrounding area as far north as Ballinderry.
Brocagh clubman Noddy Davidson has welcomed the bid but is unsure if the man from Qatar knows what he’s buying:
“Aye he keeps going on about having adverts set up when they are taking corners and having celebrities do the kick-off. He might think it’s soccer but we’ll say nothing yet til the stuff is built and the money is in the account. Derrylaughan will be ripping. All they have are swings and slides, sure.”
Bate-Al-Aroundim has also asked for the Brocagh captain to consider wearing a lacy gown if they win the Junior.
The Christmas Draw has been boosted to £500’000 from the original £500 by an anonymous source. Second prize is now a camel instead of a turkey.
Wailing and gnashing of teeth was the common sound amongst the bushes this week as thousands of Tyrone children were forced to walk to the shop for messages, some walking as far as a mile in windy conditions.
With parents keen to save pounds on astronomical diesel costs, children as young as NINE have been asked to walk to shops to get stuff like milk, ham and the Irish News. Social Services are on high alert.
One teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted it has been a trying week. Stephen Beggy (15) from Eskra added:
“This really should not be happening in 2022. At the same time, I can’t wait to tell my grandchildren about the time I’d to walk 3000 yards to buy a packet of sausages and butter. They’ll not believe me.”
Meanwhile, a Brocagh man has been shamed by locals after being spotted supporting Armagh in Clones a fortnight ago, wearing his club jersey. He is currently holed up in a derelict house near Carnan.
A Brocagh woman is considering her options after mistakenly marrying the best man, her groom’s brother who returned to Ireland last week, during a twilight wedding in the local church last week.
Brigid Vernon, who used to date the best man, Brendan Hanna, in the 80s before he broke her heart by leaving to go to America to sell water filters, says she got mixed up during the ring ceremony and put the ring on her groom-to-be’s brother in the semi-darkness, despite the groom, Tommy, asking ‘what the f**k are ye at?’ at the time.
Brigid, who is currently honeymooning with the best man in Mexico, told us that the unfortunate incident was simply a series of coincidences due to the bulb going out on the altar ten minutes before the twilight ceremony started.
It’s some handling alright. To be fair, Brendan has enjoyed himself on the holiday so far and we’ve been reminsicing about good times at Clubland although I haven’t brought up the time he dumped me to go sell water filters in the States though I’m sure I’ll bring it up tonight when I’ve a few pints in me. I hope Tommy is ok at home though. I’ll see what happens when I get back sure.”
Brocagh Parish has promised to fix the bulbs in the church as soon as Brigid gets back as she has the contract for lighting in the building.
The current Covid crisis has confirmed what many women in the county have suspected for decades – that men are only good for putting out bins and nothing else.
A survey in a local magazine about strawberries confirmed 95% of women recently discovered that when most men say they’ve work to do in the shed, they simply sharpen tools that they never use and just put the bins out once a week, grunting.
One anonymous replier, Sadie from Eskra, commented:
“For years he’d be hammering and scraping away in that shed and I was too busy in the house to find out what he’s at. Now I see it all. He’s doing buck all, sharpening away at a saw I’ve never seen him use. Even when he puts the bins out he makes it out to be a big job and comes back sweating and stuff and looking tea.”
Over 90% of women complained that even the bins were not put out correctly and that more often than not, half the rubbish will have spilled out from the house to the end of the driveway by the time he’s left it out.
In other news, a Brocagh woman has told her husband that she’s addicted to social distancing at home and that she may need to extend it for another 24 months.
48 hours on, Brocagh pipe-mender Jody Robinson is still pondering where he parked his car after popping in to Springisland supermarket in Coalisland to buy cheap toilet rolls and a chicken in a bag.
Robinson, who has been standing in the outside foyer, thinking, since Monday, thought he’d parked it on the left hand side as you come out but isn’t totally sure. He refuses to walk any further in case people laugh at him walking around looking for it.
Mrs Robsinson, speaking from her home on the loughshore, maintains he’s too proud to ask for help:
“Jody is stubborn. But he’d need to hurry up as there has been no toilet roll for two days now and the children are growing weary of docken leaves. The chicken will be bucked too.”
Meanwhile, an entrepreneur from Aghyaran claims he has a method to cure car-parking forgetfulness. He has invented a car key which, when pressed in an emergency, shouts ‘I’m over here’ in an accent of your choosing. So far, the most popular accents have been Gortin and Plumbridge.
A Tyrone County Board informer has revealed to us that the Junior Championship draw had to be re-run last night due to fears over the initial Brocagh/Derrytresk preliminary round fixture which will now not happen.
Watchers across the world were shocked last night when the televised draw was halted after what appeared to be a case of two sides not being in the initial barrel. Social media went into meltdown with the normal mild-mannered Tom Hanks tweeting “WTF is going on in Tyrone #darkarts #ayeright”.
The presenter on the night informed the audience that the draw would have to be redone. However, close video footage showed men in black suits talking up their sleeves as soon as neighbours Derrytresk and Brocagh were drawn together in the preliminary round.
Our informer confirmed:
“Yes, you’re spot on. The PSNI, An Garda Síochána and UN officials all recommended the draw to be sabotaged after that fixture was made. We all remember ’57”
That referred to the 1957 ‘Kill on the Hill’ when all 30 players and 150 supporters ended up in South Tyrone hospital after a free-for-all when Brocagh won the coin toss. The worst injury, according to hospital records, was a hatchet to the head of the father of the Derrytresk captain, administered by his wife.
Both sides were kept apart in the re-draw.
Home owners in East Tyrone are said to be considering their options after a chilling message was sprayed on a house in Brocagh last night.
Up to 40 youths were reportedly witnessed hanging around the wall all day yesterday dressed up in early Halloween costumes. It appears that they intend on launching a 48-hour door to door trick or treat extravaganza and have warned adults not to even consider giving them fruit as a reward for knocking their door, or they will have their ‘bollix kicked in’.
Peader Quinn (49), who owns the house which was spray-painted on, is under no illusion as to why he was targeted:
“Last year I completely forgot to get sweets. Luckily I’d over a dozen bananas and rationed them out amongst trick or treaters. The next morning my garden was covered in banana peels. It was an obvious message.”
Quinn has advised locals to stay strong and not to give in to the demands of the community’s children.
“What next? Telling parents what they want for Christmas up to £1000? This is the thin end of the wedge.”
Quinn went on to blame Conor McGregor and the GAA for the threat.
Although police are unable to patrol the area, or want to, they have asked anyone getting a kicking to phone their helpline.
Experts are currently tabling possible reasons as to why painters from Tyrone are the worst at cutting-in in the northern hemisphere, according to a survey conducted by the World Painters’ and Decorators’ Association.
To make matters worse, it appears that their near neighbours and fierce rivals, Derry painters, are the world’s best cutting-in merchants according to their findings.
Professor Donald Plum from Massachusetts claims to have found a list of three possible reasons after a detailed study within the county last week.
“On my travels around the county, I established that over 70% of painters were shaking. I’m not quite sure what the official diagnosis is but to my knowledge it usually indicates one of three things: they’re either hungover, worried about something or just plain gulpins. The last prognosis there doesn’t make sense as the Derry ones are worse gulpins.”
Off-licence sales in Derry match or better Tyrone’s, leaving the possible solution that Tyrone painters are worried about something as the most likely scenario.
“What they’re actually worried about we need to find out. But they’re making a pure hames of walls and ceilings all over the county. This morning, a painter from Brocagh just had to paint a child’s bedroom wall but left the ceiling looking like the Sistine Chapel, it was that bad. And he was shaking like mad.”
Possible reasons for the shaking include Jobseekers’ Allowance officials lurking about, the after-effects of the heavy Dublin defeat in August and leaving their wives at home.
Meanwhile Derry milkmen also came out top of the class for job satisfaction, especially those working in Tyrone. There may be a link between both findings today.
Supermarkets and off-licenses across the county have confirmed a sharp spike in wine purchased by parents between the ages of 25 and 50 over the weekend.
Consumer experts immediately explained the phenomenon as nothing unusual, linking the annual trend at this time of the year to the start of school holidays, adding that vineyards in France and Chile intentionally increase their production rate for women at this time of the year from Tyrone, as well as in Derry, Fermanagh and Armagh. Additionally, a group of stay-at-home-fathers have formed a counselling group in Cookstown to counter the summer trauma.
One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told us as she exited Tesco in Dungannon with over 30 bottles of savignon blanc:
“It’s completely medicinal. There’s only so many times you can tell them to stick on Frozen before you go a bit mad, like. A glass at 12pm eases the strain somewhat. By 4pm they can draw all over the walls for all I care or even notice.”
Businesses have also started to notice a rise in productivity as parents appear to be prepared to do any amount of over time, even free of charge. Many workers have also decided to forego their own transport and have taken to walking home from work, sometimes not returning until late evening after walking up to 15 miles.
Coalisland businessman Leo Keown added:
“It’s a pure lethal time of the year. Parents of young children are mad for the overtime and I’m paying them buck all. And they’re at the gates at 6am too. Long live the summer holidays.”
Meanwhile, a group of men in Brocagh have been arrested after trying to hack into the local primary school’s website and changing the calendar dates, creating a 31st July ‘Back to School’ deadline. One of the arrested claimed he was delighted to be caught and ‘hopefully jailed for a few weeks’.
A Brocagh mechanic, who has recently holidayed for a fortnight in Portugal and acquired an impressive tan, has vowed to not wash until he returns to work in case his new complexion is worn away by soap and water.
Noel McGrory (44) maintains he spent over £3000 on this tan and will not sabotage his chances of impressive female clients looking a servicing or tyres mended. His family, consisting of seven sisters and four brothers, as well as a wife and eight children, are pleading with the Ballybeg Rd man to even apply some baby-wipes to ease the unpleasant odour.
McGrory, unmovable, added:
“I didn’t sit in that Algarve sun for days with only a factor 15 on me for it to be washed away with a bit of Lifebuoy and water. I’m back to work this day next week and I’m not banjaxing the whole reason for spending that money on a holiday.”
The 21-stone former Brocagh Emmets full back has already been barred from several drinking establishments in a 10-mile radius due to his effect on other customers. Battery Bar regular John ‘Trunks’ Quinn admitted it was putting a strain on friendships:
“I completely understand McGrory’s predicament but he should have arranged to go back to work much earlier in the week. The smell is putrid and he wouldn’t be known for his general cleanliness anyway. But I can empathise. I went to Bundoran in 1988 and came back as brown as I’d ever been and the women were going mad any time I was in sight that first day. A quick bath the next morning and the whole shebang was gone.”
McGrory’s wife attempted to remind her husband that she likes him the way he normally is yet Noel equally informed her that a plain white Noel McGrory doesn’t pay the bills when it comes to women looking their spark plugs looked at.
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.
A visiting health minister from Norway has alerted local government officials that the levels of farmers rolling around in silage, naked, was probably a bit too high.
Locally called ‘bare hay rolling‘, silage fetishism is said to be particularly popular in Tattyreagh, Loughmacrory, Eglish and Brocagh and is usually performed in the evening when it’s unlikely anyone will be calling to the bespoke silo for a visit.
Professor Nilos Koreen admitted he was surprised at the popularity of silage fetishism in Ulster:
“I’ve been here a month and I’d heard local farmers talking about ‘heading home for a bit of bare hay rolling‘ and smirking so I followed one of them home to see this exciting new farming technique. Little did I know it involved the said farmer throw a bit of fresh silage behind a shed, take off his dungarees and roll around in it naked, shouting things like ‘go on ye blade ye‘ and ‘yahoooo‘ etc. And they’re all at it.”
Tyrone Farmers’ spokesman Francie Mullan responded to allegations that silage fetishism was at an all time high:
“Yiz are making us feel bad, like as if we’re doing something wrong. You people don’t know how lonely an unmarried single farmer can be. There’s no better smell than rancid butter in the evening time, especially after a hard day’s work, and if any of our farmers fancy a roll in the hay where there is a strong presence of yeast prior to the maize being fully fermented, then that’s their business.”
All of the local religious groups have yet to comment on bare hay rolling and have indicated they will furiously search their respective versions of the bible to find out if God, Moses or Jesus said anything about it.
A Brocagh man is said to be relieved after he was discovered lying under over 400 USB cables and 88 chargers for various devices for four days.
Friends and family, who frantically searched the local area since Sunday, admitted a sense of annoyance as to why the missing man didn’t even attempt to burrow his way out of the cabled tower instead of meekly accepting his predicament.
Seanie Davidson (49) revealed he had sounded warnings to his family regarding the amount of cables floating about the house over the last couple of years, especially since his 8 children had all reached electronic device owning age:
“This was always on the cards. The amount of cables lying around this house is crazy, from iPhones, Android devices, iPods, tablets, iPads, cameras etc. Only last week I found two cables in my Cornflakes and another in my stew later that same day. I was lucky. Some day some poor craytur will not emerge alive like I did.”
Davidson described his ordeal:
“During moments of weakness I thought I wasn’t going to make it out. I even began tying leads together to make a rope but I didn’t like getting them all tangled up.”
Mrs Davidson remained sceptical as regards her husband’s disappearance:
“We’ve no more cables than any other house with a rake of children. It just seemed a bit convenient for Sean to go AWOL during the week of putting up Halloween decorations. Only he sneezed he’d have gotten away til after the day itself was all over. “
Police have warned families to take care with excess cables and charging leads. Last week an 3-year old child from Cookstown excreted 4 USB leads during a standard visit to the toilet.
PSNI officials have reminded the general public that they will not be attending any more reports of wasp fighting in the county, especially along the west coast of Lough Neagh, after over 400 cases were phoned in over the weekend by worried neighbours.
An unusual breed of German wasp arrived in Tyrone last week and have taken a particular liking to local ferns and brackens in East Tyrone on which they get highly intoxicated. The drunken wasps, having already serviced the queen bee, have been at a loose end and appear to have used the free time to take on the people around Ardboe, Brocagh and Derrylaughan.
Adding to the volatile nature of the situation, locals have taken to alcohol to relieve the stress of being stung on a daily basis, creating a deadly cocktail of lethal and often fatal drunken violence.
Local journalist and part-time stand-up comedian Concubar Grimes explained:
“I’d maybe take the wife down to the shore for a bit of canoodling at the weekends but last weekend was impossible. The roads and loanans were full of men and women, reeking of drink, swiping at the wasps with their fists, sometimes connecting with each other by mistake. And then that would start a whole other handlin. You can almost hear the wasps laughing, or maybe that’s just the buzzing. Anyway, I had to take the wife to Coalisland cinema instead but it closed in 1986 apparently.”
Police want to remind people that there’s no law at the minute to charge the wasps with drunken flying or drinking in public.
A skirmish broke out in Brocagh this morning after a freshly inebriated wasp attacked an unsuspecting priest during a local funeral, resulting in the persistent wasp and its immediate family being publically excommunicated and cursed with the threat of eternal damnation.
Mickey Harte has been offered another two years at the helm of the Tyrone Senior football team despite a brave but ultimately disastrous bid for the job by Brocagh man Charlie McGorry.
McGorry (61), who started showing an interest in GAA after watching the Dublin/Fermanagh quarter-final in August, was told he did not need to turn up for the interview part of the process following a calamitous practical when he was asked to take the senior panel for one coaching session up in the Garvaghey complex.
A member of the squad, who wished to remain anonymous, explained:
“It was a shambles. The county board told him to bring his own bibs and cones. Didn’t he turn up with bibs you’d put on a child and a packet of ice-cream cones. It was obvious that this man had never kicked a ball in his life.”
Things went from bad to worse when he produced from his bag a Black & Decker 18V Ni-Cad Cordless Drill Driver from Homebase, telling the players that he had been instructed to do some drills.
“It was at this point that we realised Mickey was safe for another while. I wouldn’t let this eejit train an under-8 side. He even brought us crisps for afterwards and they were all McCoy’s Salt and Vinegar. Mickey never gets us Salt and Vinegar as he says they’re fattening. He brings ready-salted Weightwatcher’s crisps.”
Meanwhile, Gavin Devlin has denied prepping McGorry for the job and therefore purposely sabotaging his chances of usurping Harte.
Tempers were simmering tonight across Tyrone after six sunglassed men and women in long coats invaded a field in Aghaloo and pulled the whistle from the referee’s mouth, effectively abandoning the home side’s game against Brocagh.
A statement released by the CCCCC confirmed they force-abandoned a game tonight near Aughnacloy as there was an Aghaloo player who looked like a decent county squad replacement for the recently retired Dermot Carlin and that
‘under no circumstances should this new county squad player be allowed to compete for ball against your average pleb club footballer. We’re only doing what we’re told.’
Aghaloo journeyman footballer Seamy Douglas admitted this was the final straw:
“I’ve had enough. It’s bad enough calling us plebs and stuff but we were winning 4-12 to 0-0 as half the Brocagh side were still cut from last night’s ACDC concert.”
The abandonment comes hot on the heels of a rash of match postponements issued by the CCCCC in club games involving county players against the plebs. The CCCCC have attempted to soften the blow by offering free mineral and crisps to all affected pleb club men with a warning to ‘know your place’.
Meanwhile a major investigation in Derrytresk lasted 6 hours today after club officials attempted to discover who their secret county player was after their game was one of those called off by the CCCCC. Several players were water-boarded and dragged up and down their pitch from a rope tied to a Massey Ferguson in order to discover who’d squeal. It wasn’t until an U14 player meekly suggested maybe it was because they were playing Edendork who have a couple of county men that the interrogation was finally called off.
A previously happy 45-year old electrician from Brackaville has been described as ‘a shell of himself’ after suffering a severe reaction to listening to three Brocagh women whilst waiting for his daughter to come out of Judo practice in Coalisland.
Kevin O’Carland, whose 9-year old daughter only started Judo practice that week, endured an hour of listening to a range of topics from nail varnish to the weather as well as how much weight Eamonn Holmes had lost recently.
Speaking in a darkened room with a towel over his head, O’Carland revealed how he took part in the opening 3 minutes of discussion before eventually losing the will to live with 25 minutes left of the lesson:
“I forced a smile at the start when they started talking about the election and how all politicians were crooked and how it wasn’t worth voting. Small talk I suppose but when I tried to say something about hung parliaments and proportional voting the whole thing went quiet and I felt a bit awkward. Luckily someone mentioned the weather and I was off the hook.”
O’Carland described how the time seemed to stand still for 50 minutes as all three women talked at the same time about how wonderful their children were at everything as well as what they were eating that night as well as the last 15 nights.
“At about 35 minutes I was sweating in case I was asked something as I had zoned out during the Eamonn Holmes Atkins Diet discussion, despite the small confines of the waiting room. I just stared at whoever was talking which was usually all three at once. My head was spinning. All I could do was sing rebel songs inside my head to see me through the ordeal.”
With 5 minutes left of the lesson, O’Carland flipped and randomly began letting out curse words and laughing to himself at nothing whilst the three women discussed how lovely the visiting priest was at Brocagh mass on Sunday.
Doctors do not expect Kevin to make a full recovery.
The mystery of a recent fireball witnessed hurtling across the Tyrone night time sky has been solved by a crack team of scientists and a clatter of men from Killeeshil.
Earlier in the week, the Northern Ireland Astronomical Societal Agency (NIASA) revealed they experienced a sharp rise in calls to their office in Bangor after the sighting, with many callers worried about the religious connotations of such a celestial event and whether indeed the fireball was a Protestant or a Catholic.
However, alerted by a group of sceptical Killeeshil farmers, scientists began looking into the theory that the fireball may simply have been an errant shot Kevin Hughes took, minutes before his brilliant and crucially iconic point at the end of the All-Ireland final in 2008, returning to earth.
Killeeshil man Joe Hamill maintains he knew straight away what the heavenly body was when it burned up re-entering the earth’s atmosphere:
“Aye we’d be used to sightings like that regularly around these parts, especially when Kevin was playing up front in his prime. Don’t get me wrong, he’s one of the best players to pull on a pair of boots in Ulster, but he hit some tarra wides too. I remember one he skied down at Brocagh and the ball was found washed up over in Antrim town three weeks later.”
Scientists confirmed Hamill’s suspicions after over a dozen sky-gazers contacted NIASA to report the word ‘O’Neills’ written on the side of the meteorite. Armagh Planetarium refused to comment on Tyrone players.
Kevin Hughes, who recently copyrighted the word ‘Hub’ ©, won man of the match in the All-Ireland final in 2003 and retired from inter-county football in 2012 to concentrate on his sewing and knitting empire.
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.
A 32-year old Canberra native, who painstakingly traced his family lineage right back to Brocagh in East Tyrone, is said to be ‘utterly dejected’ after receiving what at best could be called a ‘lukewarm reception’ after touching down in the area last week.
Bruce Campbell arrived in Belfast after a gruelling 32-hour flight from the Australian capital and finally reached the Ballybeg Road in Brocagh by bus and taxi armed with only the names of his last two surviving relatives – Pat and Mick Campbell – from the same road.
Bruce took up the story:
“When I was dropped off on the road, I was hungry, dirty and severely sleep-deprived. Yet, unbelievably, the first man I met on the this deserted country road on a bicycle was my 4th cousin removed – Mick Campbell. It was like all my Christmases put together. I even started crying. I hugged him, explained who I was and the 3-years work I’d done to research the family name as well as the massive journey I’d undertaken to land in this one spot in the world in front of someone with my own blood in his veins.”
What happened next was something Campbell hadn’t imagined in all the scenarios he’d thought over in his head during the plane journey from Australia:
“Cousin Mick listened to me whilst holding his bike and staring at the ground, scratched his chin, and just said ‘boys, that’s a goodun‘, swung his leg back over his saddle and shouted ‘sure, I’ll be seeing ye‘ as he sped off into the distance.”
Astonished, demoralised and close to exhaustion, Bruce made his way to the local confectionery store only to be met coming out of the shop by the other cousin – Pat Campbell.
“I couldn’t believe my luck. Pat, who I’d beforehand researched online was 57 and an ex-community worker, listened to my story as I wept my way through telling him about the whole journey and about his cousin Mick’s disappointing encounter with me. Pat just laughed and said ‘aye, that sounds like our Mick alright‘ before running to his vehicle and speeding off.”
Disconsolate, with no fixed abode and penniless, Bruce headed back to Australia a day later – a full three weeks before his original return flight. However, he did get to see Brocagh Emmets play a friendly game against Clogher.