The news that 11 new super-Councils are to be created throughout Northern Ireland from the existing 26 and that each is to be given extended powers, has resulted in hundreds of people throughout Tyrone believing that the Councils are actually to be granted magical superpowers.
Following the publication at the weekend of a survey by the Irish Council for Statistics, it appears that entire villages have caught the wrong end of the stick, with an alarming 16% of residents believing that council staff might turn into levitating, shape-shifting, fire-breathing oddballs, all at the tax payer’s expense.
56-year old Harry Patterson of Cabragh told us,
“Being given superpowers like time travel and trigonometry and the like is a bridge too far. It’s a breach of my human rights. I don’t want them council ones spying on me when I’m out in the shed doing stuff. Not that I’m doing anything wrong like. And certainly not with that woman from next door. There’s nothin’ wrong with being neighbourly, you know”, he said defensively.
The view was shared by Jacinta Ferguson, a 42-year old housewife from Urney.
“It’s a waste of damn time. I don’t want the council coming round, self-spawning all over my front garden or manipulating gravity and stuff, when all I want is my gutters rodded. They should get their priorities right”.
“If they end up having superpowers like Spider-Man there’s no saying where it could end”, agreed Tony Laverty from Windmill. “We can’t have people suddenly going into slow motion like in ‘The Matrix’ at the drop of a hat, can we? It would be like that TV programme where all them weird-looking hoors have amazing superpowers. ‘Mastermind’, that’s it”.
“We might end up with Barry McElduff waltzing through Carrickmore wearing a Batman outfit, and then where would be?” declared Deirdre Hughes from Drumquin. “I have no wish to see that man in tights, let me tell you that. I’m not making that mistake again. If them councillors want a superpower then they can go and teleport themselves to feck”.
Some were more circumspect, with a keen interest in what the superpowers might be.
“Will you maybe be able to get x-ray vision specs from the council?” enquired a 58-year old man from Trillick who didn’t want to be named. “That would be handy right enough, for, like, all sorts of things. And would you be able to see through like material, like say, I don’t know, clothes and suchlike? Just asking”. He added, “And a couple of them super-strength ones like The Hulk could rightly work some wonders for the St Macartan’s hi. Has anyone told Mickey Harte about this?”
58 year old Rebecca O’Neill from Brantry however was much less positive, snorting,
“They should go and speak to the Roads Department. Have you seen the state of my street? In my opinion they’ve been practising invisibility for bloody years”.
The new councils are expected to come into effect in a few months time.
Management at Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council fear an epidemic of sick workers following news last week that the council staff have an absenteeism rate amongst the highest in the 26 Councils in the North.
Head Councillor Liam O’Donoghue said,
“This has to stop. We’re far too lenient with staff with some of the daft excuses they’re coming up with. I fully intend to deal with the situation, firmly and decisively, just as soon as I get back to work after I bit my tongue last week. It’s really sore you know. I was off on Friday and I could scarcely concentrate on watching the entire Godfather trilogy. It was that bad. Ouch”.
Staff however have protested that the absences are legitimate, and that the Council should be more supportive.
Brian Guthrie, a red tape winder from Caledon said,
“I know I was off all day yesterday, but I tried to get out of bed and my duvet wouldn’t let me. It’s the truth. People think that they climb into bed and the duvet warms them up. Mine doesn’t. It’s the other buckin way around. It’s me that heats the duvet up, and the damn thing knows it full well. It would only let me go once the central heating came on. Narra escape boys, narra escape”.
Marty Murdock, from Galbally, was also off sick at the beginning of this week.
“I couldn’t face going to work on Monday. Jaysus, I had the tara sweats and my head was pounding. I won’t go into the detail but I was in trouble at both ends. I was in Tally’s for a few hours the night before and I think it might have been a bad salted peanut or something. That must have been it, because I didn’t eat anything else. Or I don’t think I did. To be honest I can’t remember a thing”.
Joe McSorley, a scribe from Edendork also had a sorry tale of woe.
“Killeeshil lost to Emyvale on Saturday night at the Junior Championship Final. Do you know how hard that can be to recover from? I couldn’t face it. No wonder I was off on Monday and Tuesday. It would be even worse if I was a fan or I actually liked football”.
Other reasons for staff not turning up at work include life-threatening paper cuts, sore hair, getting lost on the way to work, not being able to decide what to wear, and being kept captive inside their house by a swarm of midges.