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
Imagine the thrill of lying in bed on a windswept December night listening to the hair raising howls from the moors as the wolves hunt their next victim. If local conservationist Pat “the wild man” Devlin and his 11 friends have their way this is what the future could hold for parts of Tyrone.
Pat and his team say plans to bring wolves back to Caledon and Benburb are “at an advanced stage”.
“People claim that we have not thought this through”
“but we have watched all the Jurassic Park films and know how things could go wrong so to be on the safe side we have chosen 2 areas with sparse populations and with absolutely no players on the Tyrone county squad. Both places are practically in Armagh anyway so I don’t see what all the fuss is about”.
Pat is convinced that there’ll be no disaster anyway.
“Whilst the cynics just see problems I just see benefits for the local economy. Just think of the euros and dollars pouring in. If some of that money crosses the border to Armagh then good luck to them. People have asked me if I’ll be introducing lions and tigers next. That’s just pure ignorance. Those animals never lived in Ireland. The gist of my plan is to return, to their natural habitats, the animals dispossessed by Cromwell”.
Pat has met with some opposition from local farmers and mothers with young children.
“I can understand their concerns” he sympathises “but they’ll just have to get on with it”.
“People say he’s crazy” added Sean who like some of the other 11 is actually one of Pat’s sons.
“But when has a madman ever influenced 11 others. As my father keeps reminding us 12 is a respectable number. Jesus had 12 disciples; Jacob had 12 sons; Christmas has 12 days and the 12th is one of the biggest days in the northern calendar”.
“And on that last fact” interrupted Pat,
“if our fellow county men don’t stop moaning I’ll take the idea to Paisley’s country. It’d actually save us all a lot of time for once we rescue the wolves from the zoo we’d practically be in Antrim already”.
When pressed to state when exactly the wolves are to be “returned” Pat smiled and tapped his nose before saying “plans are an at an advanced stage but if I gave you an exact date the big noises in the zoo in Belfast would probably try and stop us“.