Fr Vivian Sheeran, the controversial Cappagh priest who was thrown out of the Vatican last year for drinking 3 bottles of red wine and telling the Pope he was a ganch, has managed to irk the whole of Armagh by claiming God was comparing the Orchard County to forbidden fruit.
In a 2-hour long sermon in his home parish, Fr Sheeran maintained that God was hinting at Adam and Eve to stay away from Armagh, represented by a tree in the story, but when they did eat the apples they ventured into the county and were damned to hell for eternity.
Parishoner Henry Quinn (77) agreed with the priest’s interpretation:
“It seems plausible enough. My own grandfather mistakenly wandered into Blackwatertown and was beset with health problems thereafter. He died 2 years after that, ironically choking on an apple.”
According to listeners, Sheeran went on to claim that 2002, the year Armagh lifted the All Ireland, was a precursor to the apocalypse and mankind was only saved when God himself lifted the trophy the following year.
Meanwhile, next weekend Fr Sheeran will become the first priest in the world to marry a man to his pet dog, ‘Bubbles’, in a lavish ceremony outside the Rock.
A Cookstown entrepreneur who was caught in Malaga Airport with a large bag of home-grown potatoes with sunglasses on them in his suitcase is facing up to three years in prison after breaking the Marketing of Potatoes Act (1964) and assaulting a Spanish officer.
The Act, which states that a constable may seize and may detain in custody any potatoes which are being or which are suspected by such an officer or constable of being, sent out of Northern Ireland, hasn’t been used since the great Cappagh Spud Scandal in 1966.
Seamus Sheehey, who admitted to planning to set up a stall on a beach in the south of Spain to sell his 300 potatoes, maintains the heavy-handedness of the Spanish police led him to head-butting one of them and running off, shouting ‘leave my spuds alone yiz bastids’, according to startled onlookers.
“How was I to know about that law? I just remembered how last year I was lying on a beach in Benalmadena and thinking ‘jaysus I’ve love a good spud now’ and the sweat beating off us. I’m sure others felt the same. But there was no need for the Spanish police to start rummaging through my suitcase and throwing my potatoes all over the place, wrecking their sunglasses disguise. It was intimidation.”
Sheehey was already facing community service as well as a ban on being anywhere near a potato field before he headbutted the Spanish officer.
The case brought back memories of the Cappagh Spud Scandal when three Cappagh men were caught at Dun Laoghaire with over 20 tonnes of Tyrone potatoes painted in different colours to resemble large marbles, bound for England.
Following a short inspection by the Irish Zoo Safety Team, Tyrone’s first fully fledged zoo was forced to close after it emerged that half the animals weren’t actually what they were advertised as.
Opened on the 12th January, Cappagh Zoo promised visitors ‘an experience of the jungle merged with the ultimate safari experience’ with tours starting at £25 for a one-hour visit. Suspicions emerged almost immediately on social media after a customer videoed ‘zebras’ in the Zebra Pit barking and urinating in a dog-like manner up against trees.
The tweeter, Paul Gargan, added:
“I was very suspicious. The ‘Deadly Cat’ was simply a fat cat, probably filled full of carbs and steroids. It just lay there scratching itself and meowing.”
Other messages began appearing, casting doubt on the ‘Japanese Orangutans’. Gargan explained:
“I personally know that supposed orangutan. He’s called ‘Hairy Harry’ and he lives up above Carrickmore. He’s remarkably hairy but he’s definitely Harry Gormley, not an orangutan.”
Several visitors demanded their money back after the ‘Exotic Aquarium’ featured several salmon, trout and eels just swimming about.
“Sure you’d see that every day down by the Glenelly River. I paid £75 for this. My two sons started crying at the camel section. It was obvious that the ‘Cameroonian Camel’ was a donkey with a lump on its back. What the lump is I don’t know but it’d need to be taken to the vet or put down.”
The Irish Zoo Safety Team took the decision to close the zoo after they discovered a ‘Jaguar’ (painted Alsatian) openly mating with a ‘Giraffe’ (Labrador), causing great distress to a group of primary school children.
Cappagh Zoo officials were unavailable for comment.
Cappagh Grammar School have reassured parents that their children can resit their GCSE Geography after all 33 pupils failed to achieve higher than a U this year. Early reports suggest a major problem with the Geography teacher’s knowledge of the planet outside of Tyrone, with one pupil complaining that her teacher told them Russia didn’t exist and that Drum Manor forest park in Cookstown was a real Irish rainforest full of South American tribes.
Mr Kelly, who has been teaching at Cappagh Grammar since 1999, also admitted to believing Europe and Asia etc were called ‘incontinents’ and that mountains were man-made by Egyptians.
Ex-pupil and IT guru Patsy McGlade revealed:
“We’d warned the school about Mr Kelly. Sure he told us back in 2002 that rain was formed by the Chinese and that the earth has 4 moons – the quarter, half, 3/4 and full ones – going around it. The penny dropped after we left school and bit by bit found out that everything he taught us was wrong. For me, it was when I found out that lap dancers don’t come from Lapland.”
Another past pupil, Kenny Willson, remembered:
“When we were studying oceans he told us that there was no such thing as tides and that people were just walking closer to it or further away and couldn’t remember where it was the last time. We never questioned him. When he said that Russia also didn’t exist we should have worked out he was a fraud. But he was very convincing. He said Russia was like Narnia and made up by the Americans.”
Cappagh Grammar are to fund the resits of GCSE Geography and have reassured students that the Sperrins are not a collection of simmering super-volcanoes ready to blow, as they were previously instructed.
In a bold attempt to attract new members to the Irish speaking community in Tyrone, a recently-formed organisation ‘Gaelcappagh’ have won the rights to translate the new 50 Shades novel in the series by E L James into Irish before the English language version hits the shelves in Ireland.
50 Shades of Hidings (as gaeilge), which sees the female protagonist give her male companion a few hidings during romantic courtship, has already received 700 pre-release reservations in mid-Tyrone with many middle-aged women and men rushing to attend Irish Language classes for beginners this weekend.
Gaelcappagh president Lorcan O’Fiach admits it was a risky venture:
“We had to find someone willing to translate 50 Shades of Hidings into our national tongue without getting too hot under the collar and then going home to the husband or wife and upping the courtship stakes. We found a woman McAliskey from the loughshore but that had to be abandoned after her other half complained to us that he was getting no rest at all. Luckily PP Fr Hall’s 89-year maid finished the translation and she seems alright.”
Cappagh local and general handyman Paul Molloy admitted he was spending every last free second cramming before the novel comes out in August:
“I’ve re-read my Progress in Irish book about 40 times now since the announcement last week. I even know the Irish for ‘bate it into ye big girl’ so I hope that comes up in the book or maybe the translator will put it in now because I’ve said it. Maith thú I think.”
50 Shades of Hidings (as gaeilge) retails at £8.99 and will be available in a couple of book stores in August. The English version is due to be released in 2016.
A Carrickmore car mechanic has decided to come clean and admit he watched wall-to-wall coverage of the birth of Princess Charlotte, daughter of the current Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, leaving two punters fuming that their cars weren’t ready for over 48 hours.
Lennie Cavanagh (48), who has only been as far as Bundoran on holidays, revealed he even found himself welling up when he saw the mother of the child walking about in a clean frock so soon after the birth.
“This is right up there with the first All-Ireland and my own wedding. I just turned over to BBC News 24 to see the weather and found myself hooked on the Royal storyline and the weight of the baby and stuff. It was riveting. People won’t admit it, but it has fairly lifted Carrickmore this week. Let’s be honest. This child is more important than our own.”
Irate car owner, Francie Johnson (39) from Cappagh, did not share in Cavanagh’s elation:
“My ball bearings are banjaxed and Lennie is sitting on his arse watching the news about a child being born in England. The same man didn’t turn up for the birth of his own second child, instead watching the reserves in the first round of the championship. Although, admittedly, I myself was pleasantly surprised at how well rested the Duchess looked after the birth, and me and the lads did talk about that for two hours in the pub that night.”
Local bookmakers Kelly’s Odds boasted they made over £30’000 on the birth after a rash of unsuccessful bets on what the name of the child would be. A spokesman for the company revealed 49 punters bet on “Saoirse”, 34 plumped for “Caitlin”, 21 chose “Caoimhe”, 19 “Aoife”, and 11 “Roisin”.
Meanwhile, Carrickmore captain Benny Gormley has promised to celebrate any goals he scores this weekend against Coalisland by pulling a dummy from his socks and making a rocking gesture to mark the momentous occasion:
WARNING – THIS REPORT MAY CONTAIN BAD LANGUAGE, DEPENDING ON YOUR DISPOSITION
For the second time in two years, a Tyrone farmer has been escorted from the premises of a BBC building after verbally abusing judges in The Voice and tampering with the swinging chairs they sit on before turning around.
Paul Morgan (29), a budding pub-singer from Cappagh, was also involved in an incident during Strictly Come Dancing in 2013 when he kept shouting out scores a split second before the judges announced theirs, confusing the live audience and TV producers alike.
Morgan, who sang ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ in his audition for The Voice, became visibly irate as his song progressed at the fact that none of Tom Jones, Ricky Wilson, Rita Ora or will.i.am looked like turning around to signal their appreciation.
During the end of chorus lyrics:
‘Then like a sinner before the gates of Heaven / I’ll come crawling on back to you.’
he added ‘yiz miserable bastards’ before giving all four contestants, who still had their backs to Morgan, the finger. Just as the music subsided, he added:
“Will yiz turn round yiz horrible c**ts”
which was bleeped out by quick-thinking BBC technicians.
Morgan repeatedly muttered ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ during each judge’s speech about why they didn’t turn around for the Cappagh man before launching a torrent of abuse on Tom Jones for his ‘knicker collection’. He was soon escorted off the premises by five burly security men.
The mid-Tyrone man was later spotted tampering with bolts on the chairs in order to make them permanently stuck, facing away from the contestants so that no one could go through to the next round.
Morgan famously was evicted from the Strictly Come Dancing studios two years ago after annoying an entire audience, at home and in the crowd, by shouting out his scores a millisecond before judges such as Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli called theirs. Many celebrity contestants were left in tears, thinking they had scored a perfect 10 when it was really only a 5 or a 3.
NI State Papers Reveal Devious Plan To Stop Tyrone ’86 All-Ireland Win. McCrea To Air Strike Carrickmore on Hang Glider.
The declassified NI State Papers for 1985/86 have sent shock waves throughout the county as it confirmed Unionist politicians funded Kerry’s training camps in the run up to the All-Ireland Final in 1986.
The papers also revealed the possibility of an aerial bombardment of Carrickmore, Galbally, Cappagh and Coalisland in a plane personally piloted by Willie McCrea and his dog ‘Butcher’.
The £3.2m UUP funding released for Kerry’s preparations for the 1986 final, which they won by eight points, enabled the Munster champions to come strong towards the end of the game, overcoming a seven point deficit early in the second half. A Tyrone insider from 1986 remarked:
“This explains everything. When Kerry ran out on to the field it was noticeable how tanned they were, so they were obviously in Portugal or Africa or something, running on fancy running machines. The Unionists just did not want to see us happy. Also, when Kevin McCabe’s penalty went over the bar I thought there was an unnatural gust of wind just at the moment he kicked it. Some satellite signal no doubt.”
The papers also revealed a request made by Willie McCrea to the Queen of England at the time to personally launch air strikes on republican hotspots using his recently required pilot’s licence and a motorised hang-glider with enough room for Butcher, his trusty dog.
McCrea’s appeal was rejected after what the Defence Secretary called ‘serious consideration’ with reservations about the effect of slingshotting rotten fruit and vegetables would have on the targeted communities proving too strong to ignore.
McCrea ignored their advice but had to abandon an attempt on Greencastle in 1987 when his glider got stuck in the Sperrins 30 seconds after take-off, with Buster visibly stressed and barking loudly.
In a bid to recognise The Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus which from 1568 to 1960 was called “The Circumcision of the Lord and the Octave of the Nativity” and celebrated on the 1st January, over 5000 Tyrone men have agreed to be circumcised on that day with many opting for public ceremonies.
Although the Church have distanced themselves from the event, many theologians have backed the initiative as an honourable attempt to overturn the decision of Pope John XXIII’s in 1960 who renamed the day by omitting any reference to circumcision.
One volunteer from Cappagh, Pat Rice (61), maintains he is a little bit nervous but reckons it sends a message out to today’s youth that Christianity is still alive and well in mid-Ulster:
“I admit I’ve had a few sleepless nights thinking about it, especially as ours is being carried out in the middle of the local football field on the back of a lorry. But the organisers promise the crowd will be told to stay behind the fence and there is a ban on zooming devices such as cameras or binoculars. I’ll throw a few half’uns into me first and it’ll be dead on.”
The largest group appears to be in Ardboe with over 900 men agreeing to the circumcision. Gardener Leo Tomney agrees that it sends out a positive message:
“Young ones nowadays have lost their way. They’d rather stay in the house on their computers instead of going to Devotions or doing a stint at the Missions. By showing them that we’re proud of our faith and are willing to undergo open-air surgery, maybe it’ll turn a few back to the light. I’ve a new pair of jeans and all for the big day.”
200 nurses will be on standby throughout the day.
Cappagh, a large farming and quarrying area in the middle of Tyrone, has been heralded as an example to the entire planet after it emerged that 98% of the townland’s energy is powered by human waste due to its biomethane and general biomass initiative.
The project, which was accidentally started when schoolmaster Kenny McGrath passed wind whilst walking past a tilly lamp causing it to ignite, has saved the Irish National Grid £300’000 in under a year. Martina Mallon spearheads the Keep Cappagh Lit programme and told us it wasn’t all plain sailing:
“It took a long time for many families to synchronise their bowel and wind movements to maintain a continuous supply of power to their homes. Children and parents were under pressure to perform on the toilet when things were running low, sometimes just for a simple cup of tea.”
Leaflets were distributed to homes in the area advising on appropriate foods for spontaneous mass energy production as well as slow burners for long-term projects. Paul O’Neill, a father of 8, explained:
“We have a system going where the 4 eldest eat porridge and spuds. They maybe don’t go to the toilet too often, but when they do it’s a hefty haul and we use that for the washing machine or oven. The younger 4 eat a lot of fruit and stuff that goes right through you. We employ their waste for the continuous running of general electricity. Myself and Maura supply the biomethane by devouring beans 4-5 times a day and that looks after the heating. It gives you a fair grasp of energy conservation.”
The Irish National Grid have laid on bus tours of Cappagh for other villages, towns and cities to see how it’s done and are told not to pass judgement on the smell as it offends the natives.
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.
Following the news that Hunky Dorys have decided not to renew their sponsorship deal with Tyrone GAA, Eskra firm Dick Welding Limited have emerged as firm favourites to take over the sponsorship but have braced themselves for a backlash amongst players and religious groups.
The firm, which was established in 1988 by Dick McMinn, also confirmed that due to limited space on the jerseys they will have to drop the Ltd bit and simply have ‘Dick Welding’ emblazoned on the front.
A current senior player and ex-minor star from Ardboe who did not wish to be named told us:
“There’s no way I’m taking to the field in a Tyrone jersey with Dick Welding on the front of it. Imagine the slagging around Ardboe. I’d nearly transfer to Derry before wearing that. If was hard enough wearing Hunky Dory whilst getting hammered down in Kerry.”
Dick Welding Ltd have also faced opposition from church leaders despite doing the welding on altar rails throughout the county since 2001. Fr Norny from Cappagh added:
“It’s bad enough with the whole Rose of Tralee stuff and then all them music videos with women wearing nothing and shaking themselves. Dick Welding sends out all the wrong vibes to young ones, like some kind of stuff you’d find in 50 Shades of Grey or them late night channels from 901-959, although 902 and 903 seem to be a bit tamer.”
Tyrone GAA officials confirmed they are seriously considering another offer from an international company. The rumour mill suggests it is ‘After Eights’ but with Tyrone’s failure to get past the last eight this year they are concerned that other counties will poke fun at this, so they may take up Dick Welding instead.
There have been overnight riots in Coalisland, with three cars burned, two off-licences raided and bricks thrown as far as
the metal bridge, in scenes not witnessed in the town since the height of the troubles even including the year the international music festival turned nasty.
Residents of the town have struck out, with all rational thought dispersing like a plume of smoke, following the reporting on UTV news that Coalisland Silver band, a bedrock of the local community, is no more than a common brass band. Not one of the instruments tested was found to contain silver although almost all members tried to plead the case by sowing off various sizes of miraculous medals.
All band members have been ordered to “hand in their badges and mouthpieces by noon Friday” by the town’s mayor and band’s leader Des Conway, who has marshalled the troupe since 1968. The Tyrone county board are allegedly shocked at the news and have suspended the band from any further performances at St. Enda’s Omagh GAA pitch on match days, despite the fact the band is yet to play at any GAA functions.
Unconfirmed reports suggest the band owes the town’s Credit Union up to £35’000, mostly thought to be on a concept for its new uniform which has remained unchanged since 1968 apart from the time it reverted from black to green for the trip to France in the late 1990s, and back to green again when they got home as the green uniforms had to be sold to pay customs and excise debts for smuggling bangers and flick knives.
The drummer of the band is understood to be housebound, while one young trumpeter has been stuck in his room since the start of the riots, playing the theme tune to The Sunday Game over and over and shaking his head whilst saying “ah naw”.
Local business owner Fabio Landi has shut up shop to band members and told us that there will be no more private late night openings for the band after their trips away to places like Dungannon, Killyman and even Cappagh.
More Power To Your Elbow front man Dixie Wrecker (real name Paddy Quinn) revealed the disgust in the local community following the news and subsequent civil unrest in the area.
“Aye, she’s tara altogether hi. The Antiques Roadshow are for the ‘island next Sunday and the band was due to do the theme tune live for them – you know, that lovely wee E Flat number with the horns. She’s a quare hannalin alright because we’re getting shipped in to give them a dig out, and sure we’re gonna try and ream her aff on the fiddle an the spoons. Its just lethal hi… who wouldha thunk it? I mean there’s all sorts of jokes coming from Clonoe about ‘heavy metal music this’ and ‘there’s more silver in the lough’ that. They’re saying there was probably never even any coal in Coalisland, and they’re calling it “Turf-town” out of pure badness. The towns a tip now with no lampposts still standing and bad words drawn all over the barracks, and not a windee in ‘er.”
With the news reaching towns as far away as Feldkirch in Austria, young women, who at earlier stages of their lives paraded round the town and caused many fights, are now receiving free counselling to cope with the shock. Trocaire and SVDP are also outraged and want to give all the thousands raised for them by the band over the years back to the people who gave them the money in the first place outside the chapel on Sundays for years. They will be handing out fivers after mass this weekend.
The manager of the local old people’s home has also told Tyrone Tribulations ‘they can go an shite’. Coalisland Parochial Centre is holding a sit down protest this Saturday at 3pm. The church has advised that there will be triangle sandwiches, and very strong tasting orange cordial. Patrons are advised to bring their own seats.
Police in Mid-Ulster have admitted they’re at breaking point after it emerged Garth Brooks will not be hosting a 5-day concert series in Croke Park and will be performing for 3 days instead, sparking riotous scenes across Tyrone.
UN troops have been mobilised and are currently making their way across Lough Neagh by boat and are expected to reach the western coast by 5pm GMT,
Local journalists confirmed the first rioting occurred outside a music shop in Coalisland with locals pelting the store with anything that came to hand from children’s dummies to hubcaps. One resident, Ronald McSherry, explained their anger:
“We’ve been talking about this for months now and all for what? 3 lousy days? Personally I’m not going myself as I hate his music but that’s besides the point. We’re being trampled over again and if we don’t stand up to the authorities now it’ll be something else next. Music shops all over the county are going to get some touch tonight.”
When it was explained to McSherry that the music shop in question, Pat’s Island Records, doesn’t sell tickets and just deals in trumpets and bugles he turned on this reporter and accused me of being ‘one of them’.
Riots have also broken out in Cookstown, Omagh, Strabane, Dungannon, Pomeroy and a hedge was set alight in Cappagh. Fire fighters who arrived on the scene to put the fire were pelted with turf by locals singing ‘Friends In Low Places’ in an angry tone.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has appealed for calm across Mid-Ulster and has promised to put on a free live concert in Donaghmore on those two days featuring Malachi Cush, Hugo Duncan and Philomena Begley, with unlimited hotdogs for all attendees if they stop rioting.
Meanwhile a Garth Brooks spokesman has confirmed, that in order to calm tensions, they’ll possibly consider doing an over-the-Internet concert from his home if riots continue into a second day.
Women across the county are ramping up their shouting techniques as men get ready for a month of doing nothing around the house.
The 2014 World Cup, which kicks off on Thursday, will see all matches played after 5pm, meaning very few man-jobs will be completed around houses after work. Cathy Traynor, an events manager from Cappagh, is confident she is fully prepared for the month ahead:
“Yes, a few of us met up last night to put the finishing touches on our roaring sessions. I learnt a few new phrases like ‘get up off yer feckin arse ye lazy oul balax’ that’ll come in handy around the second week and all the light bulbs need changing.”
Leaflets have been distributed amongst women in Galbally, instructing them on leaving out bins and kicking car tyres to see if they’re OK. Recently elected Independent councillor for Kildress, Leo McHudd, is worried about the local livestock:
“I’m slightly concerned that animals will be left to roam the lands for four weeks. That encourages inter-species breeding and that’s the last thing we need after the half-sheep half-pig fiasco of four years ago. We didn’t know whether to eat or shear the thing.”
Patsy Mackle from Blackwatertown admitted he’s fairly excited at the month ahead:
“I buckin hate soccer but I’ll be glued to the TV. I means I don’t have to lift down boxes from the attic or plumb the kitchen pipes. I do start to smell a bit after a few days but sure I’ll just stick the head out when it’s lashing down.”
Meanwhile, Tyrone have adopted Iran as their team of choice as they also live beside dodgy enough neighbours.
New rules introduced by the EU via Stormont will see the village of Fivemiletown in Tyrone renamed Eightkilometretown from next Monday.
Council workers were today hard at work changing signage in and around the town to ensure that the Ulster councils do not fall foul of a new
EU directive designed to ensure consistency and transparency across European members, which includes the standardisation from imperial measures to metric.
Fivemiletown is not the only location in Tyrone affected. Sixmilecross village today similarly becomes Ninekilometrecross, whilst one of the county’s best-known visitor attractions, the Beaghmore Stone Circles, a site of significant archaeological interest, becomes the Beaghmore Kilo Circles. Retail outlets are also affected, with Poundland in Dungannon’s Scotch Street changing to Gramland from next week.
Other plans which may be introduced over the next twelve months include driving on the right hand side of the road, horsemeat being sold throughout the county, again, and compulsory three-hour siestas on any day the sun comes out.
Local Tyrone councillor Enda McMann confirmed the changes:
“It makes sense. Sort of. If we’re trying to encourage Johnny Foreigner to come and visit the county we don’t want him all confused with the inches and the miles and driving on the wrong side of the road and suchlike. We want him thinking it’s just an extension of his own country. That’s why this time next year places like Cappagh and Galbally will have pavement cafes, street artists, and a branch of Harrods. A bit like Donaghmore really”.
“Imagine walking through Greencastle up to your arse in Michelin-starred restaurants. That’s what it’ll be like. And the Garvaghey complex will probably get bulldozed and turned into a big marina with million pound yachts and pedalo boats and things. Yep, we’re going the whole nine yards. Sorry, metres”.
As part of the re-naming programme, all possible racial references will be removed to ensure that no-one can take the slightest offence, with plans already under way for the River Blackwater to be re-named the River-Of-Non-Defined-Origin-Water from October.
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”.
The mountainous village, which at some points is nearly 30m above sea level, is known for its clean air such is its closeness to our atmopshere. On the other hand, the townland of Derryvarn on the loughshore is reportedly 5m below sea level and locals often complain of living in a big puddle and of not seeing the sun or moon for most of the year.
Johnny Kavanagh appears to have solved some of their problems by bottling some of his best air and flogging it to desperate lowland families, selling it as ‘a bit of Everert in your living room’.
“The idea hit me when Pomeroy were playing Derrylaughan in a friendly a few weeks ago. I noticed the lack of clean pure air in the district, and that was after I got over the fact that Lough Neagh seemed higher than the pitch itself. I felt sorry for the locals as our boys seemed more tanned and happy whereas the lowlanders were obviously lacking in vitamin D. It was there and then that I thought I’d bring a little bit of Pomeroy to these poor people.”
Starting at £29.99 per jar, Kavanagh has a range of jars filled with air from Cavanakeeran, Cappagh and the most expensive air from Sessiadonaghy which retails for £79.99. Jacinta Hagan from Derrytresk Rd, who has already bought three jars of Cornamaddy air, maintains this new product has changed their lives:
“As soon as I opened the jar in the front living room, everyone’s form lifted. All 10 of us were gathered around the vessel and I let out about 3 seconds of air. We started breathing like mad and it felt like we were getting lightheaded. Them Pomeroy ones must feel deadly all the time, like as if they’re stoned. Three seconds was enough. The man says there’s enough air in the jar for ten 3-second releases, though it’s very hard to know when the air is done unless you write down all the times you opened it.”
Kavanagh has plans to bottle some laughter from his area to share with some dour Brocagh people.
A recent report into the On The Runs (OTRs) in Ireland has confirmed that of the 177’000 inhabitants in Tyrone, almost 100’000 are on the run from something or somewhere. This startling revelation has thrown the Civil Service into chaos as they attempt to examine each case individually, originally thinking they were dealing with only 200 cases.
Chief civil servant Valerie McMahon listed a few of the reasons for the rather large tally of OTRs in the county:
“This is a bit of a nightmare. We asked around Galbally and Moortown for information on who was on the run and nearly every household had a couple of OTRs. In one lane in Galbally, there were 16 on the run from the TV licence man, 12 on the run from their wives, one on the run from buying a round and another dozen on the run from their drunken antics at recent weddings. And that was just the men. We met a woman from Cappagh on the run from her sister after leaving on a pair of straighteners and burning a hole in her Frankie Goes To Hollywood sweatshirt. Categorising these is going to be a logistical hell.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is said to be livid at the suggestion that those on the run from stealing Choc Pops from a local garage in Pomeroy is to be given the same category of offence for those on the run from sticking up Union Jacks in Carrickmore. An insider told us he pleaded for the downgrading of ice lolly thieves:
“Marty went clean mad at Peter Robinson when it was revealed that an on the run Choc Pop burglar would receive a category 4 OTR status, the same as the two fellows from Newmills who put up three Union Jacks outside the toilets in Carrickmore. He says that the deadly summer we had last year left men and women fierce hot and that the ice lolly makers were cashing in on climate change, especially in Pomeroy with it being so high up and all. He didn’t go as far as condone the theft of Choc Pops but intimated that a blind eye should be turned, especially if the OTR is over 70.”
Meanwhile, a traffic warden who nearly gave a ticket to a vehicle in Coalisland last week and went on the run after being spotted licking his pencil by locals, has been told his OTR status will be quashed if he returns to his home in Banbridge.
A Cappagh woman took matters into her own hands when she faced accusations of being ‘genteel’ and ‘ladylike’ from some of her friends.
38-year old Dervla McComish, a tractor mechanic from Cappagh, was accused of ‘behaving like a lady’, when she was spotted sticking her small finger up as she was drinking a pint of Carlsberg Super Strength in Tally’s Bar in Galbally on Friday night.
“I was affronted”, growled McComish. “I’ve not been that offended since my sister accused me of being ‘a bit feminine’ in 2006. Jaysus, I nearly bit her head off. Probably would have done if I had any teeth left. Can’t go around with a reputation like that”.
“Aw, they’re taking the haun out of her”, said brother-in-law Gary McCaffrey. “The last thing big Dervla is is ladylike. How anyone could look her in the eye and say something like that would be impossible. Partly because she’s got a lazy eye. Hard to know which one to look at”.
McComish was also accused of eating with her mouth closed, saying ‘please’ when ordering drinks at the bar, and trying to stifle her own farts.
McComish decided to prove her lack of womanliness by climbing into a neighbouring field and punching an unsuspecting cow in the middle of its face.
“You should have seen the poor thing”, said onlooker Mattie Cullen. “Went down like a sack of spuds. And the rest of the herd didn’t fancy their chances either going by all the dung in the field. Honestly, you don’t want to bump into Dervla McComish on a dark night. Come to think of it, you don’t want to bump into her in broad daylight either”.
On the way back into the pub McComish sought to dispel any remaining doubt as to her lack of femininity by head butting a skip.
McComish last wore a dress for the Ulster Young Mechanics Dinner in 1996, when she was described as looking ‘like Hugo in drag’, a comment that she was secretly pleased about as she had always had a thing for ‘cuddly wee singing men’.