There have been overnight riots in Coalisland, with three cars burned, two off-licences raided and bricks thrown as far as
the metal bridge, in scenes not witnessed in the town since the height of the troubles even including the year the international music festival turned nasty.
Residents of the town have struck out, with all rational thought dispersing like a plume of smoke, following the reporting on UTV news that Coalisland Silver band, a bedrock of the local community, is no more than a common brass band. Not one of the instruments tested was found to contain silver although almost all members tried to plead the case by sowing off various sizes of miraculous medals.
All band members have been ordered to “hand in their badges and mouthpieces by noon Friday” by the town’s mayor and band’s leader Des Conway, who has marshalled the troupe since 1968. The Tyrone county board are allegedly shocked at the news and have suspended the band from any further performances at St. Enda’s Omagh GAA pitch on match days, despite the fact the band is yet to play at any GAA functions.
Unconfirmed reports suggest the band owes the town’s Credit Union up to £35’000, mostly thought to be on a concept for its new uniform which has remained unchanged since 1968 apart from the time it reverted from black to green for the trip to France in the late 1990s, and back to green again when they got home as the green uniforms had to be sold to pay customs and excise debts for smuggling bangers and flick knives.
The drummer of the band is understood to be housebound, while one young trumpeter has been stuck in his room since the start of the riots, playing the theme tune to The Sunday Game over and over and shaking his head whilst saying “ah naw”.
Local business owner Fabio Landi has shut up shop to band members and told us that there will be no more private late night openings for the band after their trips away to places like Dungannon, Killyman and even Cappagh.
More Power To Your Elbow front man Dixie Wrecker (real name Paddy Quinn) revealed the disgust in the local community following the news and subsequent civil unrest in the area.
“Aye, she’s tara altogether hi. The Antiques Roadshow are for the ‘island next Sunday and the band was due to do the theme tune live for them – you know, that lovely wee E Flat number with the horns. She’s a quare hannalin alright because we’re getting shipped in to give them a dig out, and sure we’re gonna try and ream her aff on the fiddle an the spoons. Its just lethal hi… who wouldha thunk it? I mean there’s all sorts of jokes coming from Clonoe about ‘heavy metal music this’ and ‘there’s more silver in the lough’ that. They’re saying there was probably never even any coal in Coalisland, and they’re calling it “Turf-town” out of pure badness. The towns a tip now with no lampposts still standing and bad words drawn all over the barracks, and not a windee in ‘er.”
With the news reaching towns as far away as Feldkirch in Austria, young women, who at earlier stages of their lives paraded round the town and caused many fights, are now receiving free counselling to cope with the shock. Trocaire and SVDP are also outraged and want to give all the thousands raised for them by the band over the years back to the people who gave them the money in the first place outside the chapel on Sundays for years. They will be handing out fivers after mass this weekend.
The manager of the local old people’s home has also told Tyrone Tribulations ‘they can go an shite’. Coalisland Parochial Centre is holding a sit down protest this Saturday at 3pm. The church has advised that there will be triangle sandwiches, and very strong tasting orange cordial. Patrons are advised to bring their own seats.
The Ulster Council have confirmed that for the potentially fiery Monaghan/Tyrone game they’re considering replacing St Michael’s Enniskillen Band with the infamous Coalisland Silver Band whose drummers are known for their fighting skills and general ‘taking no crap’ appearance.
The move comes after Armagh and Cavan players brawled just as the young Enniskillen band prepared to launch into The Boys of the County Armagh for the pre-match parade. A flag dispute has been identified as the reason for the punch-up but body language experts agreed that a few heavy hitters along the back line of drummers would solve any future disagreements.
Marching band fanatic Frank Hurson from Pomeroy explained:
“It is an old tactic we have used up in Pomeroy for decades. If there was a chance of things kicking off between two rivals, we’d (Pomeroy Pipe Band) have replaced our whole rear drummer line with the drummers from the Coalisland Silver Band. Rumour has it they were much sought after in Uruguay and Chile during the 1960s when their club football pre-match parades were riddled with mass brawls and maimings.”
Ardboe octogenarian Felix Quinn reminded authorities of the importance of a muscular drumming corp. Remembering the Battle of the Battery in 1971 when Moortown and Ardboe players fought for four hours after a musical difference during the parade, he warned:
“It’s vital the Ulster Council act now. In ’71 the Moortown lads objected to our flute band playing ‘Mary, The Moortown Harlet’ around the field even though it was a favourite around our parts. They charged at the drum lads at the back but we had infiltrated the musicians with our toughest reserves. Bloodbath. The Coalisland Silver Band are ideal for these Monaghan mountain men.”
Meanwhile, rumours persist that Mickey Harte will make a few fringe players camp out overnight in Clones in order to secure the outside line during the parade. He has denied meeting with Ardoyne protestors to ask for tips.