Knick-Knack sellers in traditionally Protestant areas of Tyrone have been caught cashing in on the latest demographic figures for NI by targeting the Catholic majority, according to bargain hunters this morning.
The census figures, detailing the religious make-up of Northern Ireland were published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) on Thursday. Already, a charity shop in Sion Mills was forced to close after they started selling biographies of previous Popes as well as flashing Virgin Marys, incurring the wrath of several loyal pensioners who ended up stoning the windows.
Moygashel native and former UDR man Willie Black admitted he bought in a load of knee pads for kneeling in the church, from China, after he heard the census results:
“You have to be ruthless in this business. If there are more of themuns, there’s no point in me selling novelty sashes and UDA badges any more. I might have to move to Eglish though for my own safety.”
In Newmills, the local pub was selling Guinness with shamrock heads on them in a change from their usual English bitter and a packet of pork scratchings.
Meanwhile, Protestant schools have started teaching the letter ‘h’ the same way as Catholic schools in case their bosses are Catholic in the future.
Recent research shows that there are now close to 10,000 people in Tyrone who have become millionaires from selling pallets.
The data, produced by the Research Institute of Northern Ireland, confirms that every single person in Tyrone now knows at least one person who knows someone who has made a fortune selling pallets.
This however is contradicted by the 2011 census returns. Those who confirmed their occupation as working in the pallet sector usually had other jobs which appeared to be relatively menial and low paid, including tree watcher, banana straightener, and bed tester, clearly inconsistent with a millionaire pallet tycoon.
Anecdotal evidence however suggests that there is indeed an abundance of people who know people who know someone who has somehow managed to create a personal fortune from selling pallets.
“Aye, it’s a mystery”, said local Omagh economist Seamus Ramirez. “All these millionaires and yet none of them seem to be spending any of their hard-earned pallet money in the county. I can’t understand it. I’ve yet to find one of these pallet magnates”.
Benburb man Kevin Brady however countered this.
“Oh aye. My granda knows a fella who knows a boy who drinks in the McGovern Arms in Benburb. John Joe. Quiet guy, sits in the corner. Not much to look at. But my granda says he’s made a fortune selling pallets, so he has”.
Further investigation at the Benburb hostelry did indeed contain a man in his late 60’s, sitting in the corner and answering to the name of John Joe. The alleged millionaire, who was clearly in the advanced stages of inebriation, said,
“Eh. What? What parrots? I’ve not been selling no parrots. Not this week anyway. Are you from the Social? There’s no money to be made in carrots. Unless you’re a rabbit. Are you selling rabbits? I used to have a parrot. Are you two twins?”
Despite the other occupants in the bar confirming that the man seemed to spend all day every day in the same seat in the same bar, they also confirmed in a conspiratorial whisper that he had indeed made a fortune selling pallets but that he “didn’t like to go splashing it about”.