An Armagh insurance broker has advertised for ‘insurance against heartbreak if Armagh win the All-Ireland’ in his popular shop in the Moy on the Tyrone/Armagh border.
Mal Nichol, who was the first referee to throw the ball up at the start of a game instead of a bishop in 1968, has been accused of winding up locals with his 30-foot digital advertisement in the middle of the village. Local insurance fanatic and Tyrone fan James Donaghy maintains he’s gone too far this time:
“Oul Mal would be tolerated around these parts as an Armagh man because he gives out deadly insurances. He even insured me against the wife. But he’s taking the biscuit now with this heartbreak offer. The small print says he’ll have a doctor x-ray the heart to see how broken it is if Ciaran McKeever lifts Sam in September. He’s just rubbing it in, so he is.”
Nichol was a track record of stoking tensions in the Moy after he advertised an insurance deal solely for Sean Cavanagh, offering ‘a great deal on holiday insurance for a July fortnight in Magaluf‘ in the run-up to the Armagh/Tyrone game on 13th July. Donaghy added:
“I have no doubt that it affected Sean’s performance that day. He had one eye on the insurance deal I think during the game. I even saw oul Mal in the crowd waving documents any time Sean looked towards him. He’s as cute as a fox.”
Nichol refused to talk directly to us but issued a statement informing us that ‘he has the best interests of the Moy populace at heart and would hate to see all the sad faces in September if they didn’t take up his heartbreak offer and Armagh become champions of Ireland’. He finished the fax with a smiley face.
Following their harrowing three-point defeat to neighbours Armagh, it was reported that by midday today only three Tyrone people had ventured out of their house and one of those was to lock the front gates.
The loss, which sees Tyrone exit the championship in mid July, comes on top of the cancelled Brooks concerts, leaving locals with little to look forward to apart from a weekend in Bundoran here and there.
Trisha Mullen from Benburb described the scene:
“It’s a deadly quiet place at the minute. The roads are empty for fear of seeing an Armagh person. No one wants to talk even. I thought I spotted movement in a hedge near Eglish but that could have been anything. My husband did set one foot out but an Armagh Carpets van drove past and he got teary eyed and said ‘feck that’ and went back to bed. There’ll not be many fields cut this week.”
Psychologist and Armagh fanatic Dr Tony Fearon reckons the double whammy of Brooks and Tyrone will have shattered even the most resilient Tyronnie. Speaking from his house in Portadown, he added:
“It’s a severe blow to the Tyrone psyche. All that’s left now is reruns of Glenroe and slagging each other. Rub it up them I say.”
Producers of a remake of The Good The Bad And the Ugly have moved quickly and filmed several scenes in ‘ghost towns’ across the county.
Meanwhile, the Tyrone management have scotched rumours that Mickey Harte plans to give every man in the county a game by the time he retires in 2020, in order to raise spirits. Spokesman Pat Quinn fumed:
“Hardly everyone, like. It’d be suicide sticking a lame 80-year old on that big McKeever lump from Armagh. He’d ate him.”