A delighted Loughshore pensioner has described his elation at find a parking space in the newly revamped Dungannon Square after circling for 4 hours solid on Wednesday morning.
Philly O’Neill, who visits Dungannon weekly to collect his pension but last claimed a parking space in August, claimed he almost passed out with excitement and needed to rest for half an hour, taking up half of his allocated parking time. Sipping celebratory champagne, he told us:
“It was a great feeling. For four months I’ve circled and failed, returning home with nothing but an empty tank. In October I nearly got a space but was told to ‘move on to feck’ by a woman who was standing in it holding a hammer, waiting for her friend I think. I’d racked up nearly £3000 in pension money so it was a great bonus to get it all at once.”
O’Neill’s stroke of luck follows a series of negative publicity over the new town square layout, with hundreds of non-shoppers flocking to Dungannon on foot to watch motorists battle with the new lights system and parking arrangements. Local confection store owner Leo Morgan revealed he sells 400 units of popcorn a week to pedestrians who make their way to the town to view the carnage:
“It’s like a freak show. People are circling for hours, getting more irate and dangerously dizzy. In all the manic confusion, drivers begin stopping at lights that don’t exist and driving through those that do. We counted an average of seven fist fights a day and a man fired a gun last week at someone who waiting for someone to reverse out of a space. I even saw two sisters batter a man of the Church with spanners and wrenches. Deadly crack altogether.”
Shoppers have responded to the news that shop owners are parking in the best spaces by driving over their cars using planks and monster truck wheels.
Tyrone Tribulations declared itself ‘champion of the people’ after Dungannon Council agreed to provide free car parking in Dungannon town centre in September and October.
The Tyrone-based online news blog claimed that the Council had caved in to pressure following an article that appeared on the Tyrone
Tribulations website on the 4 August in relation to profits generated from the car parking facilities in Dungannon for the last three years.
“This is all down to us”, said journalist Shengas McGlumphie from behind an accumulation of empty whiskey glasses in Hagan’s Bar in Irish Street. “Our campaign to highlight the parking charges in Dungannon, has been a long, arduous, exhausting campaign that started on the 4th of August and finished about 3pm the same day. Jay, there was some drink taken that night boys”, he said. “Although there’s drink taken most nights to be honest”.
He went on,
“Tyrone Tribulations has reported and championed everything from nationalising Hugo Duncan to making Pomeroy less hilly. These are things that really matter to the people of Tyrone. It’s investigative reporting at its best. Today it’s bringing free parking to Dungannon, tomorrow it’ll be bringing the Olympics to Britain or suchlike. Sometimes you’ve got to stand up to the man. Deadly”.
McGlumphie refused to be drawn on reports that the website was little more than a collection of hastily written half-truths, that much of it was simply copied and pasted from the Dungannon Observer, and that the writers lacked communicative style and finesse.
“That’s f***ing bollocks that is”, said McGlumphie. “Tyrone Tribulations is quality reporting at its best. And I can categorically confirm that we have never copied stuff from the Dungannon Observer. Never in a million years. It’s usually the Tyrone Times. The Observer uses tara long words”.
A spokesperson for Dungannon & South Tyrone stated that they knew nothing of the campaign and had never heard of Tyrone Tribulations.
Tyrone Tribulations Global Media Ltd, which owns Tyrone Tribulations, continues to be based in a corner of Dungannon Library until such time as they can afford to buy their own computer.