A Portsmouth-born man has admitted defeat to the Fairies after he was forced to abandon his recently-purchased house at the foot of the Sperrins due to smoke blowback from his chimney.
Hank Robson, a father of four, admitted he was repeatedly warned by an old woman from the area not to cut down a whitethorn tree which she maintained would annoy the Wee People who reside undetected around the Cranagh vicinity.
“I just thought she was an oul crank as she always had a bottle of gin in her hand. She was screaming things like ‘the wee ones will kill ye’ and stuff like that from the top of a hill when she saw me sawing down the bush.”
Using the wood, Robson lit the fire in his new house but suffered dreadfully from blowback, despite the chimney being clean and there being no breeze. After seven days of the house covered in soot and a thick black smog in every room, Robson admitted defeat and will return to Portsmouth in the morning:
“What kind of a place is this? I thought the Conservative Party were bad but the Wee People have the area terrorised. And the worst thing about it is that everyone says they don’t believe in them because the Parish Priest condemns it but secretly they all do. I’m outta here.”
This is not the first time the Wee People from Cranagh have made their mark on intruders. In 2003, a Donald Trump golf course was built in the area with seven lone whitethorn bushes chopped down during construction. During the first round ever played on the course, seven players were killed by lightening whilst an American disappeared in a bunker. The course was immediately bulldozed.
Director Rian Johnson has refused to confirm or deny that some of the scenes for the upcoming instalment of the Star Wars series may be filmed in Balix Hill near Plumbridge despite rumours that the new film will be named ‘Star Wars 8 – The Battle of the Balixes’.
Balix, sometimes named Belix or Ballix, has long been touted as the perfect location for a Star Wars film such is the out-of-this-world atmosphere and the remarkable number of natural C-P3O and Chewbacca look-a-likes in the area.
Set designer Harry Devlin is confident that the Star Wars production van will be pulling into Plumbridge within a month:
“We need to get in there now before the holiday season begins and the throngs of tourists start to flood The Plum, Cranagh and Glenelly. We’ve already done a few runs to the area and are pleased to see hundreds of natural Chewbaccas to choose from at short notice, from both sexes. And in Balix Hill we have the ideal location for inter-galactic battles.”
This is not the first time that Balix Hill has captured the imagination of the world’s top film directors. In 1966, Sergio Leone apparently filmed over 400 hours of footage in the area for his masterpiece The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. He admitted years later that he was forced to abandon filming and head to Rome and Madrid after failing to find anyone to play The Good despite hundreds of the other two roles readily available in the area.
Clint Eastwood however fell in love with the area and is often spotted during the winter months roaming about Glencoppogagh on his own with his trusty dog, Dog.
The Chief Executive of the Mid Ulster Council has been accused of allegedly demoting the status of Tyrone’s largest towns to just ‘hamlets’ or ‘villages’ as well as harbouring long term plans to relocate half of Tyrone into Derry over the next ten years.
Anthony Tohill, who played a major role in the simmering rivalry between Tyrone and Derry during the mid 90s, has yet to be caught red-handed but veteran council member Declan Rafferty maintains you couldn’t trust him despite having no concrete evidence.
“I’ve had my suspicions about that Swatragh man since he landed the job. No Derry man should be in such a powerful position over Tyrone affairs. There was that time he teased us about Ballygawley being a town. Sure nothing came of that. Now there’s talk he’s downgrading Omagh, Dungannon, Cookstown and Coalisland to just small villages. He’ll be officially labelling them shit-holes next.”
Another committee member who wishes to remain nameless reveals he overheard Tohill deliberating whether or not to swallow up Greencastle, Kildress, Cranagh, Cookstown and Glenelly into County Derry.
“Not only that but I believe he’s to award Draperstown city status with all the benefits that entails. This man is a tyrant and will stop at nothing until he has dismantled Tyrone. Apparently he’s to re-classify Pomeroy as a shanty town. He’s worse than Cromwell.”
Committee members predict a stormy meeting when the council meet up at the end of the month to discuss Tohill’s motion to permanently close the M1 before the Tamnamore roundabout on the Belfast side and replace it with a mud road for horses and carts.
Meanwhile, Tohill’s PR team maintain there is no truth in the rumours and wanted to remind people that he even has some Tyrone friends.
By Landan Seamy
As proof that Sean Cavanagh is on the side of the righteous, reports are coming in of his face appearing in unexpected places all over Tyrone.
Tyrone people have often been given stick that unlike all of their neighbours the county doesn’t have a saint of its own. This may be about to change.
Mary Lannigan from Moy has reported that she spotted his face on a Tayto crisp.
“Normally” she explained “I wouldn’t be seen dead buying a packet of Armagh crisps but I made an exception this year as they exited the competition so early. I took out a crisp only to see Sean Cavanagh smiling back at me. I was overcome with emotion and would have kept the crisp as proof for RTE but I was very hungry and it was the biggest crisp in the packet.”
As a sure sign that the reports are genuine many of their incidents seem to occur at a time of great despair. For example a young farmer from Cranagh, 60 year old Enda Killen, was quoted as saying
“This is the worst summer in my farming career. I was out in the field a few days ago looking up at the sky in disbelief wondering if the rain would ever cease when suddenly the clouds merged into a formation that looked wild like Sean Cavanagh and Mickey Harte holding a cup. I’m not certain if it was the Sam Maguire but it definitely looked bigger than the McKenna Cup”. “Mark my words”, Enda added “those two men will go places”.
One of the most unusual experiences came from a farmer near the border with Monaghan. The Aughnacloy man who wishes to remain anonymous said
“I’ve been keeping the cows in the byre this year due to the wet weather. On the Monday after the Tyrone match I was woke up at an unearthly hour to hear them out of the byre, running round the field turning it into pure muck. I was convinced it was spiteful Monaghan wans behind it but when I went out I could distinctly see Sean Cavanagh’s face in the muck. There was one cow in particular that was running round in circles as if she had BSE. When I got up close I could see that she was just adding the finishing touch by placing a halo over his head. I went and called my wife. She could clearly see the face although she argued that it might be Sean’s brother Colm. We went and called our neighbour to decide and she confirmed it was definitely Sean but to our surprise she also pointed to a corner of the field where a few calves had formed a gorgeous picture of Tiarnan McCann with his lovely hairdo almost perfect. That should put a stop to all the slabbering of O’Rourke and his ilk.”
By Fr Riddle Lynn (guest journalist from portglenone.wordpress.com)
As a result of the unpleasantness which inevitably arises in the Portglenone area, at the very mention of the topic of Antrim and Derry, we decided to ask our readers to tell us what they felt were the 20 most influential things ever to have come out of County Tyrone.
We received literally some replies, most of which were either unprintable or illegal and one involving a goat which, quite frankly, was not even physically possible. Our Pointless Statistics Team once more got on the job but when they were finished, they put together this table of results in offending order;
20. West Tyrone Constituency Boundary: The relatively new parliamentary area has been cleverly passing itself off as France for some time now resulting in its attracting thousands of tourists expecting to see Eurodisney and The Eiffel Tower. The disappointed pilgrims are forced to make do with an electricity pylon in Urney and Eurospar, Omagh.
19. Cranagh: The village adjudged by National Geographic Magazine as ‘the furthest you can go out of the way before you start coming out the other side’.
18. Paul Brady: The curly, surly ginger, singer/songwriter and professional ‘Bosco’ impersonator who brought us the classic refrain;
I wanna take you to Coalisland
And count the off-licences per man
And in the evening when the sun goes down
We’d rip the ATM from the local filling station
17. Making Pat Spillane Puke: A classic reversal of the normal pattern of Pat Spillane making everyone else hurl their fadge.
16. The Place Name ‘Sandholes’: Deriving from the Old French ‘Sans Houlles’, meaning ‘Without Arse”, the area is credited as the home of the design of cheap supermarket denim which reduces ‘buttock protrusion’ in male wearers over 35 years of age.
15. Splash: The popular Saturday night, light entertainment programme where fading celebrities imitate their own careers by falling unceremoniously from a great height without being touched in an attempt to garner advantage which is scarcely deserved. The format is based on the career of Brian Dooher. (Apart from the great height bit obviously)
14. The Carnteel Road: By an amazing freak of geography, motorists travelling directly from Aughnacloy to Dungannon will pass the end of the Carnteel Road on no less than 14 occasions.
13. The Place Name ‘Orritor’: For the sheer joy of positioning a district which sounds like a body cavity in close proximity to another called ‘Sandholes’.
12. Sir James Cricket: A comedian who has sustained a 40 year career with an act based entirely on a humorous tea-towel which my mother brought back from Westport in 1972. Don’t come here.
11. Benburb Sunday: A day where children up to the age of 12 were rounded up by monks and made to pay to slide down a hill on a carpet of rough hardboard resulting in semi-permanent scarring of skin tissue on the thigh and elbow.
10. Dennis Taylor’s Wiggly Index Finger: Widely regarded as being amongst the finest of the gargantuan-spectacle wearing ball potter’s eleven fingers.
9. Penfold from Dangermouse: No list would be complete without the pint-sized, sidekick, cartoon-moaner and his hilarious catchphrase; “Carrickmore Gaelic Fudball Club”.
8. The Amazing Disappearing Letters ‘T’& ‘W’: Used to such wonderful effect in the pronunciation of places such as ‘Cookson” ‘Stewarson’ and ‘Twincamton’.
7. Eugene McMenamin’s Unfeasibly Black Eyebrows: The Strabane based MLA holds the distinction of having been balancing two ‘Granny Grey Beard’ caterpillars on his forehead since 1984.
6. The Red Hand of Ulster: Yeah, thanks a bunch for that!
5. The Carland Bypass: The wonderful decision to remove the one corner which broke the utter monotony of driving between Cookstown and Dungannon.
4. Eponymously Titled Products which are now Defunct: Tyrone Brick, Tyrone Crystal, Tyrone Power, Tyrone Moderate Alcohol Consumers.
3. Consilio et Prudentia: Although also the names of two Late (possibly ex) (possibly Latex) Nuns from Loretto convent in Omagh, this is actually the irony valve straining motto of the county translating as…wait for it…no I’m serious….”Wisdom & Prudence”.
2. The Untimely Demise of Tyrone Tom’s Red Shorts: The ill-thought out decision to use the Greencastle man’s iconic shorts as an agreed alternative to the Union flag on Belfast City Hall.
And of course topping the list
A Tyrone employer is lamenting the loss of traditional skills in the area after finding a teenager using the back of his i-Phone to hammer nails into a plank of wood.
Frank Hooley, who runs a small joinery business in Cranagh, took on his nephew, 17 year old Aiden Lennox, as an apprentice to help the family out. He soon discovered that he had set his expectations too high.
“We were making a carcass for a chest of drawers and I told him to nail a plank of two-by-four to the base. Christ, did I not turn round and see him trying to push the nails in with the back of his phone. I told him to use the feckin’ hammer which was sitting right next to him. He went and spent the next ten minutes googling “how to use a hammer” on his phone. Then he tried to use it holding the wrong end. Daft bastard. He ended up trying to glue the nails in. Thon young cubs of today haven’t a clue” said an exasperated Holland. “I gave up and told him to go and get some more nails from the workshop. Did he not ask me whether we could just get some emailed through? Jaysus”.
In his defence, the young apprentice said,
“It’s easy for him taking the haun out of me. How am I supposed to know what a ‘hammer’ is? And the one he gave me must have been broken. It didn’t even come with a joystick. We weren’t all born a thousand years ago. And I had no training neither. How am I supposed to use a great big heavy thing like that to hit one of thon wee spiky sharp things. What are they called again?”
Lennox fared no better after having been found asking one of the other staff if they had “anything for making a bumpy bit of wood smooth, like a flat thing with a rough scratchy thing stuck to the top of it”. It subsequently transpired he was looking for a piece of sandpaper.
One of the smallest villages in Tyrone, Cranagh, have today unanimously rejected the digital switchover movement and vowed to keep their analogue aerials flying high for the foreseeable future. The tiny Glenelly Valley community are reported to be the only settlement refusing to make the switchover in the UK, although what they plan to do in its place remains unclear.
“It’s a load of balls,” claimed 92-year old native Maire Ni Houlihan. “Pure dung. Testicle talk. Remember the time they were going to dig up half of Tyrone for lignite – well this is the same shite. It’s a scam. Everyone knows no one pays their TV license in Cranagh so this is the government’s way of grabbing our dough. That Thatcher girl is capable of anything. They turned off BBC2 last week but so what. I’d rather watch my piles enlarge than that. We’re not for changing.”
The pigeon-Irish speaking villagers are holding a meeting tonight to see what they can do to entertain themselves in the days, months and years to come when the analogue signal dies. The 66-strong population are confident they can fill the void with good old fashioned pulling together and creating ad hoc entertainment. Community Centre manager Harry Johnstone has already drawn up a ‘Roster of Enjoyment’ for every night in the week.
ROSTER OF ENJOYMENT
MONDAY – Yarning about old days and making scarves. Roll call and notices about births, deaths and birthdays.
TUESDAY – Strong man and woman competition. Barrel lifting and staring competition. Moroccan-themed smoking.
WEDNESDAY – Midweek Reflection. Tales about banshees, leprechauns, graveyards and digging up men. Punishments for bad children.
THURSDAY – Recitations for different age groups. Irish dancing. Disco dancing. Samba dancing. Dirty Dancing. Stretching.
FRIDAY – Blind Man’s Buff followed by bottles of stout and babycham for the women. Romance time for the older ones. Children in bed by 8.
SATURDAY – Sports. Football, cricket, rugby, bowls, wife-lifting, synchronised swimming, polo and Jack Changes.
SUNDAY – Holy day. No shouting, kissing, rowing or general bad manners including wind breaking.
“I firmly believe our decision to go digital-less will instigate further such stances across the county,” added Johnstone. “Cranagh is the guinea pig here but also the flag bearers for not bending over and allowing the politicians to tell us what to watch. We’ll be the most cultured village in Ireland. We don’t need TV! To be honest, I’ll miss Joe Mahon’s programme but sure the 3G signal is great here and I can watch it on my…….sorry….delete that there.”