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.
Tensions are running high tonight in Ballinderry after a leaked document from the ‘maps department’ at Stormont indicates that Ballinderry will now be considered wholly in Tyrone, starting from August 1st, after a re-alignment of the Ballinderry River.
The Ballinderry parish has long straddled the Tyrone border with the sizeable Ballylifford village until now claimed as being on the Derry side with Derrychrin, a much more civilised community, on the Tyrone side. The Ballinderry River was seen as the natural geographical border but that is about to change with the proposed new route for the river. A Tyrone county council spokesman told us:
“If the rumours are true, then this is class news. Everyone knows that the best looking women at the Greenvale come from the Derry side of the river. Our parents didn’t allow us to fraternize with them for obvious reasons. More importantly, Ballinderry’s All-Ireland title in 2002 is now on our records. We will be parading that team around Omagh tomorrow week. I also believe they won 12 Derry titles. Those sides will now play our champions for that same year. The 1927 fixture will be hard to fix up against Donaghmore Eire ogs.”
Not all welcomed the news with such good humour. An elderly local, named simply as “McGuckin”, reacted angrily:
“Balls to this. We won’t go down without a fight. We used to bate the shite out of them Moortown and Ardboe ones on the field. We’ll do the same on our doorsteps when they come for us. We’ll lay waste to the land as a last resort. There’s no way I’m shouting for the red arses next year. Yiz can take Derrychrin but we’ll be Oak Leafers til the deathbed.”
The PSNI have issued a warning to anyone resisting the swtichover that they will be dealt with severely. On August 2nd, houses north of the river will be searched and any pictures of Dana, Seamus Heaney, Henry Downey, Enda Muldoon or Conleith Gilligan will be destroyed. Small statues of Frank McGuigan and Chris Lawn have been sent to all households in the present Derry region of the parish to help them acclimatise to the new changes. The whole of Lissan might be given to Derry as a thank you.