The family of a Derrytresk joiner have reassured friends and family that reports of a breakdown are wide of the mark, after the news that One Direction’s Zayn Malik is leaving the band with immediate effect caused confusion between various organisations.
Patsy Fitzgerald (49), who had no previous knowledge of the band, experienced a breakdown just as Stephen Nolan announced the news on Radio Ulster yesterday morning. Fitzgerald phoned his wife in obvious distress, informing her that he didn’t think he could go on any further. Debbie Fitzgerald (48), a One Direction fan who was at the time trying to let the surprising news of her favourite singer’s decision sink in, panicked and immediately phoned the Samaritans who arrived with Fitzgerald within 20 mins on the Annaghmore Road.
“I’d been ignoring the oil light, break light, water light and heating light on the Datsun for months but it finally all packed in this morning. Conked out. I phoned herself to get someone to tow me in but before I knew it a man and a woman arrived and put their arms around me and told me it’d be ok…that these things take time to heal. I just wanted the motor towed to be honest.”
The Samaritans persisted for two and a half hours, trying different tactics to reassure Fitzgerald that he’d get over this eventually and to think of the good things he had in his life.
“I found myself blurting and crying, thinking about the money I’d have to pump into the motor now to fix it. Thank God these Samaritans were about or I’d probably have headed to the club and gambled my sorrows away.”
The confusion worsened after the AA arrived to help Fitzgerald with the 1988 Datsun with the Samaritans angry that he hadn’t told them he was an alcoholic.
A high-profile undercover investigator has shattered an underground refereeing ring in Strabane where up to 30 Tyrone referees meet up weekly and laugh at some of the decisions they made and are going to make the following weekend. Joe Wheeler, the Welsh freelance TV reporter, pretended to show an interest in refereeing this coming season by getting himself into some shape and buying a shiny new whistle.
After an initial vetting service, Wheeler was asked along to the first meeting which was held in an underground bunker on the Urney Road.
“To be honest, the vetting process wasn’t too taxing. They just asked me to blow the whistle three times and point in various directions. That was it. I was in.”
Wheeler was told he’d probably referee a few U16 games in Ardboe to harden him up before embarking on Division Three of the Tyrone All County League.
“They reckoned a few underage games between Ardboe and Moortown would make a man of me. But it was what went on during the meeting that shocked me. All 30 refs took turns in telling yarns about the worst decisions they made last weekend and everyone was bent over laughing. The drink was flying but it was some craic to be fair. One ref said he deliberately turned a blind eye to a player getting the head battered off him because he remembered the lad’s father refused him access to a rampart years ago. They did some guffawing at that one.”
The Welsh reporter was even more astounded when matters turned to this weekend’s matches:
“Remarkably, as well as being given their fixtures to referee this weekend, they were also given a scoreline to work towards. There was a rollover jackpot with all men putting a fiver into the pot which now stood at £490. Anyone who got their score correctly won the dough. A bonus pot of £100 was also given every week to the ref who made the worst decision. This time a ref from Killyman won for sending off a Killeeshil player for wearing ankle socks.”
Wheeler reported that they all agreed to give the following teams ‘a bad touch’ this year: Owen Roes, The Rock, The Moy, Killyclogher, Dregish, Derrytresk, Carrickmore and Kildress.
The Tyrone Referees’ Association were unavailable for comment.
Derrytresk anthropologist, Felix Hughes, was on the receiving end of an ear-bashing from the new PP last Sunday after he was spotted by early-rising parishioners cutting his hedge on the roadside between the hours of 6am and 8am on the Sabbath morning. The bold and brazen 70-year-old was reportedly “going buck mad” with a scythe in the semi-darkened mist, his comb-over flapping manically in the fearsome Sunday wind. Local busybodies, a gaggle of holy women in their 60s, reported the events to Fr Duckingstool who originally hails from Clonmore. He used his homily to take public issue with Hughes’ dawning activities:
“Well, well, well. I’ve seen it all now. My retired predecessor warned me about the Hugheses. Didn’t bother with the Dues he said. Didn’t receive confession he said. Didn’t spend much at the Mission stalls he said. But never once did I expect to hear the news I heard this morning. Cutting the feckin hedges they told me. Poor Susie, and her with the women’s troubles, said she nearly crashed her bike into the whin bush at the bottom of Hughes’ rampart. Bare-chested she said. Comb-over dancing wildly in the young foggy sky she said. Damnation awaits Felix Hughes.”
Adoring parishioners gawped in disbelief as the details of Hughes’ toils were played out in all its heathenly colour. Piecing together all reports, it appears that he was scything away for the guts of two hours that morning, greeting shouts of derision from mass-goers with either the middle finger or a show of his arse. Although Felix himself wasn’t present at the service, his wife and children were made to endure the whole sordid detail by standing up at the request of Duckingstool. The Good Father is reportedly considering returning to Armagh after the shock and is contemplating cursing the Derrytresk GAA club for the next half-century.
Hughes refused to comment on the whole shenanigans, instead firing a warning shot over reporters with his air rifle he uses for nicking school children who walk over the grass on the other side of the hedge but still on his land.