Following an investigation into long-forgotten by-laws in Tyrone, researchers have announced that Ian Paisley Jnr, MP for North Antrim, is the rightful heir to the Freedom of Coalisland, a title last awarded in 1791 to President George Washington.
In addition, the ancient ruling states that a local farmer with a surname beginning with ‘O’ or ‘Mc’ must supply a donkey for Paisley to ride through the town at his own leisure on Sundays.
And in a final twist, researchers have discovered that anyone who displays any signs of disgruntlement at the award is to be tied to a lamp post in the middle of the town and stoned for three hours.
Local shopkeeper and former footballer Jackie O’Neill told us through gritted teeth:
“This is absolutely splendid news. I can think of no better sight than Paisley on a donkey sailing down the Main Street on a Sunday, maybe popping in for a Choc Pop or a packet of Hula Hoops. You’ll find no argument from me anyway. I’m fine with it,”
before smashing the cup he was drinking tea out of by squeezing it too hard.
Local farmer, Leo McCann, came forward this morning with an offer of a donkey from his extensive range of animals. McCann, who was released under the Good Friday Agreement, maintains he’d be honoured to see Paisley striding around on his ass:
“I just hope he’s OK with the fact that he’ll be on a republican ass. It’s called Rebel and has been dormant for a few years now but as I said to the wife this morning, he hasn’t gone away y’know. He’ll take the big man’s frame no bother.”
Paisley has yet to comment on the award but sources close to the DUP man claim he was delighted at the news and hopes to canter down the Lineside this weekend and pop into Landi’s for their famed sausage supper and a can of Lilt. Unfortunately, he was disappointed to hear the cinema had closed down.
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.