In what is now being labeled as a ‘lone wolf initiative’, Stewartstown have already begun the process of leaving Europe, inspired by the recent Catalonian vote as well as all the talk about Brexit, according to a shop-owner in the town.
A series of meetings for ‘Stexit’ have already been scheduled for next week, including what to call the new independent state, currency and passport issues.
Randy Gillis, who has run the only sweet shop in the town since 1922, admitted he’s excited about the venture:
“We have always felt different to everyone else. We’d see the Tullyhogue and Cookstown ones driving through our town and you’d get an urge to fire stones at them because of their strange accent and eyes. Sometimes we have showered them with rocks. It’s a weird feeling. This is exciting news.”
Early frontrunners for the new name includes The Independent Republic of Tintown and Stewstin.
Coagh have reacted to the news by banning all sellers of tickets for Stewartstown GAA or the newly formed Stewartstown Triangle Band, the first triangle band in Europe.
Stexit is being planned for the day after Hallowe’en.
A misunderstanding in Coagh yesterday saw hundreds of people leaping into the Ballinderry River believing that gold has been found, when in fact a local man had re-discovered a lost piece of music.
Damien Hetherington, a 46-year old candle extinguisher from Coagh, explained,
“Sure, I’ve been looking for my copy of ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet for years. It’s been missing since my big ‘Top Trumps’ clear-out of 1993, but I found it yesterday. Unbelievable. It was hiding underneath my Kajagoogoo collection. I happened to mention to the lads in Donnelly’s Bar that after years of searching I had found ‘Gold’. That’s why I was a bit excited, see? Some chanter thon big Tony Hadley. And the two brothers in it were great as well, until they went to London and turned into gangsters. Ronnie and Reggie. Such a shame”.
“Excited?” said local man Shaun Donaghy, who was in the bar at time. “That’s a feckin’ understatement. He burst through the door of the pub yelling, I’ve found gold! I’ve found gold!” and shouting about how he was going to throw a big party with wile music. Jaysus, he could hardly speak. It was like he was about to soil himself. Before you knew it there was a hundred running down the street and jumping into the Ballinderry River like eejits. There was grown men fighting each other. I’ve not seen anything like it since that time Costcutters started selling king-sized Mars Bars”.
The rumour quickly spread like wildfire, assisted by the knowledge that Tyrone already has gold beneath its hills, with more than one gold mine already in production in the local area. A variety of implements were used to pan for the non-existent gold, including hub caps, colanders, satellite dishes, vases, frying pans, dustbin lids, and in one instance a car door.
The fictitious gold rush also had a strange effect on some, including 74-year old Seamie Faloon, a farmer from Aughabrack, who appeared to have miraculously re-located to somewhere near the Mississippi River in the 1920s.
“Dang”, he said. “There’s gold in them thar hills. I can smell it. But them critters ain’t gonna get no little bitty nuggets cos they ain’t got the Faloon smarts. No sirree. Ah’m gonna get me a l’il piece of purty gold, sure as eggs is eggs. Mighty craic. Y’all”, before sitting down to an enormous plate of grits and beans.
As of this morning, the pan-handling had yielded six tadpoles, a dead pollen fish, and and an old roller-skate.
Controversial plans to double the number of blades on the county’s numerous wind turbines have been met with dismay by many concerned residents.
Leaked documents from the Ordnance Survey Department and Dungannon & South Tyrone Council confirmed that the customary three blades will be doubled to six, under a scheme to convert all of them by June 2014.
“That’s right”, said Councillor Enda McMann. “If we double the blades, we double the speed. That much is obvious. Those massive yolks will just be a blur. Like the propellers on an airyplane. Mighty”.
However, opponents of the programme have produced what they say is incontrovertible evidence that the entire county is already slowly being pushed westwards by the collective power of the ever-increasing number of wind turbines.
Killyclogher businessman and self-appointed community spokesman Terence McNabb, demanded answers.
“You wouldn’t believe it. Tyrone has nearly a thousand of these feckin’ things. On a windy day you can feel the whole county shaking. It’s definitely on the move. You can get sea sick if you’re not careful. Strabane definitely isn’t where it used to be.”
Kevin McGinty, a pig therapist from Coagh, concurred with the findings.
“We drove to Bundoran for the weekend there and it took us two hours to get there on Friday afternoon. When we left just two days later at midnight on Sunday it only took us 90 minutes. Explain that. Tyrone’s definitely getting closer to the coast. At this rate we’ll be in effin Americay. We’ll all be speaking with funny accents and eating burgers and saying ‘talk to the hands’ and suchlike. Something needs to be done”.
Ever-keen to jump on the populist bandwagon, and showing barely the flimsiest grasps of the most basic facts, McNabb said,
“Them wind turbines is already a nuisance without making it worse. It must take a whole lock of electrical power to get thon massive blades turning and for what? To make the place look cuter? They cost a fortune so they do. They’re not cost-effective. If we made them solar-powered they might be a bit cheaper to run. They shouldn’t have gone up in the first place”.
Meanwhile, Dungannon & South Tyrone issued a pamphlet to all households throughout the county asking everyone to play their part in trying to improve the recent poor weather by ‘doing whatever you can to prevent a warm front from meeting a cold front’.
The Tyrone County Board have confirmed that there’ll be temporary checkpoints set up in the Moortown, Coagh, Cookstown, Crannagh and Donemana on Sunday morning to prevent Derry rogues pretending to be from Tyrone in order to experience that mid August Croke Park feeling. There was great anger and embarrassment in the aftermath of the qualifier against Sligo as complaints were made to the Board of Red Hand supporters who didn’t look like Tyrone people, spoke with a completely different brogue and made gulpins out of themselves in general.
Board executive Mary Graham confirmed strong-hand tactics will be employed in the morning:
“Yes, as well as the five venues mentioned, there’ll be surprise checks by boys jumping out of hedges in Greencastle, Kildress, Strabane, Derrylaughan and Newmills. If we catch any Derry natives pretending to be from here they will be made to turn the car around. A slap or two might also be needed for mouthier ones. Also, there’ll be final checks in the Moy and Aughnacloy in case some slippery ones know the back roads. Zero tolerance. They’re not good for our image. Eating butter from the tub with big spoons from the car-boot is something we just don’t do here.”
Late last night, one culprit was caught speeding through Brocagh before being apprehended on the Washingbay Road. Conleith Gilligan (33), wearing a tshirt with “Tyrone Yer On Yer Own” crudely drawn on with matching headband, admitted:
“Yousins don’t know what it’s like, sur. For 10 years we’ve been sitting on bridges and loanans flicking stones and drinking mineral whilst you’re down in Dublin slappin about. I just want a piece of that, what it feels like. Come on hey, just this wan time sur. I’ll behave. I swear”.
Gilligan was made to strip and walk 9 miles back to his homeland with “I’m A Derry Man” written on cardboard around his neck.
A BBC documentary on economic hardships in Ireland has uncovered a previously hidden phenomenon surrounding the eating habits of youngsters going to Brocagh, Aughamullan and Kingsisland schools. The TV show initially wanted to focus on emigration in the area after it emerged that the entire Derrytresk football team are moving to the States soon. However, they soon discovered, by accident, that primary and some secondary school children are being reared on turf in order to beat the recession’s effect in the east of the county. Executive producer Scunthorpe Kilpatrick was taken aback by the discovery:
“We knew something was up when we filmed a few homes going about their normal daily routines. At lunch time, the majority of families appeared to be boiling large industrial pots of what looked like a mixture of moss and turf, slapping it on to plates. After eating, I noticed the children had really black teeth for a while. When we asked what it was they were eating, they passed it off as ‘pate’ which turned out in standard English to be ‘peat’. They were stewing it, boiling it, frying it, baking it, toasting it and sometimes just snacking on it raw. They seemed quite happy.”
It wasn’t until they filmed the children in school that they became aware of the dependance on the natural commodity.
“Even though there were plenty of options in the canteens like lasagne, Haribos or burgers, the children seemed to prefer the turf sandwiches. It appears that what initially seemed like an effort to cut costs is now a staple diet by choice. It’s quite remarkable. I’ve seen children dander out up the ramparts, sit down and chew away on the banks. It’s like a real-life Willy Wonka story.”
Local historian, Felix Hughes, claims it’s the circle of life:
“Every 100 years ago, people down this way rediscover the delicacy that is lowland turf. This usually lasts for about 10 years or so until they go too far and start drinking the water in the ditches and someone gets an awful dose of the skitter. But that’s another five years away in this cycle.”
Hughes was quick to point out that the turf is for local consumption only and that anyone seen trying to eat the turf from foreign places like Coagh, Eskra or Portugal will be shot from a distance with an air rifle.
Tyrone’s first safari park opened last weekend to much controversy about the lack of animals on display and mistreatment of some of the creatures. The 150 acre ‘Lion Thrills in Sion Mills’ Safari Park, which opened just a week ago, is based in Sion Mills close to Strabane, just off the Melmount Road. It is described on the website as being:
‘set in the lush savannah of the Tyrone grasslands where animals are free to roam in their natural habitat, bordered by the meandering Mourne River, the metropolis of Sion Mills, and the Strabane sewage works’.
There have however been numerous complaints from visitors.
“It’s a rip-off”, declared father-of-two Ronan Gormley of Coagh. “We drove about for nearly two hours and saw nothing other than some rabbits and a horse. Call that a safari park? It’s just a big field”.
The heavily promoted ‘Tyrone Zebra’ in particular brought severe criticism, which was described in the zoo’s literature as ‘A slightly rotund breed of zebra having distinctive elliptical or circular black and white markings unlike the striped pattern of its African cousin’.
“It was a fecking cow” said an irate Gormley. “Anyone could see that. Tyrone Zebra my arse. The park was bare”.
Owner and manager Malachy Mullan was quick to defend the park:
“What do you expect? By the time the tourists get here the animals are taking shelter from the sweltering heat of the midday Strabane sun. Too hot and bright for them in May, see? If people want to see the animals they should come back when it’s pitch black”.
Mary McCausland of Fintona was not convinced.
“The so-called ‘big cat’ looked an awful lot like a fat labrador with a big orange woolly scarf round its neck. It didn’t look happy. And anyone can buy an ostrich from that farm near Loughmacrory. It looked ill. It’s a disgrace”.
Mullan vigorously defended his record in the treatment of animals.
“I don’t mistreat animals. I’ve been donating to sick animals for years. I love the critters. They’re my life” said the adamant park-keeper, who also owns the Donaghmore slaughterhouse.
Doubt has also been cast over some of the creatures advertised, which include a white rhino, a ‘rare breed of dodo’ and a dragon.
Mullan also later admitted that the ‘sick animals’ he donated to were predominantly horses that he backed without success at Paddy Power in Strabane.
An estimated 40’000 visited Coagh yesterday, including people from France, after the news broke that the local filling station had boldly SLASHED their diesel prices by 0.002p per litre. Queues were backed right up to Cookstown as drivers filled up anything they could to avail of the unexpected bargain at Henry’s Store on the Urbal Road. Declan Herbert, a retired gardener, took no time in stocking up on fuel:
“I got a text message from my neighbour and immediately thought someone must be dead. I couldn’t believe my eyes when he told me Henry’s had cut the clear stuff by 0.002p per litre. It was a dream come through. I threw the family into the back of the yoke and gave them all a barrel to look after. We must’ve taken 4000 litres back with us, spending the guts of £5000 but it was worth it. Christmas will be a bit bare this year in the house. There’ll definitely be no turkey but look at all that diesel. Now I just need to buy a diesel car and other dieselly stuff.”
Punters were dealt a slight blow though when paying for the bought diesel. At the till, they were informed of the small print which stated that for customers to avail of the 0.002p reduction, they had to purchase £20 at the hot food counter. Eyewitnesses confirmed reports that mini-riots broke out in the garage as families fought over cooked turkeys and Irish stew in order to reach the £20 quota. Shelf-stacker Gerry Turbett observed the scenes:
“There was carnage in there. People were in a bad mood already because they’d spent hundreds of pounds on diesel only to be told they needed to buy another £20 of meat. Tempers were frayed and I personally saw one woman battering another repeatedly on the ground with a leg of lamb. It was frightening. People were climbing over the counter and stuffing pork chops down their trousers etc before others got to them. Coagh was a quiet town and the only bad thing to happen here was when a fella was caught looking at his neighbour getting ready with a pair of binoculars, the dirty bastard. But, listen, you don’t turn your nose up at a 0.002p diesel sale. “
Henry McCracken released a statement yesterday thanking all customers for their purchases, claiming he’d sold £1.3m in diesel and £9000 in hot food during a 6-hour period yesterday. He added that you could buy two bottles of water for a pound today, as long as you also purchased 3 items from the hardware store.