In what has been described as a ‘less than enterprising move’, Ardboe man Franklin O’Hagan has locally made no secret of the fact that he has been adding food dye to clear diesel, and plans to sell it out the back of his home-house.
Mr O’Hagan, who has invested in a sea container (for use as an office), a till for storing cash and printing receipts, 100kg of red food dye from China, and a special unit complete with gravity-fed fuel pump, is adamant that there is a demand for his product.
“\Lucksee, sure the whole country’s couped with prices of everything going up and no one knows when it will stop. There’s many’s a man on the breadline, and I’m not that far off it myself, hi!”
Despite friends and family warning him that buying clear diesel and colouring it made no financial sense, O’Hagan fumed:
“Half the country is trying to get back on the red, and sure nowhere seems to sell it anymore. What I’m doing is completely legal. I buy the clear diesel and pay the proper price for it, so no issue there with customs. I then choose to add the food dye to what is legally mine, again no issue, and then I sell her off to the punter at cheaper red diesel prices.”
When pressed further that this would mean a financial loss for him, and he is likely to lose everything, including his mother’s house, he told us that we were just jealous, and that he also has a shipment of green food dye on the way, for the “Mexicans coming up here til get cheaper stuff”.
In other unrelated news, Ardboe has seen a decrease in midges in recent weeks coupled with an upturn in tourism.
Several filling stations are being investigated this morning after customers complained of having less fuel in their tanks leaving the pumps than they had before they arrived.
Service stations across the county were inundated with complaints, with one punter from Auchnacloy claiming he had 88 miles on the clock when he arrived but left the forecourt with only 80 miles on it after sticking a tenner of diesel into his 1998 Nissan.
Johnny Campbell explained:
“I couldn’t believe it. I’ve to drive from Aughnacloy to Dungannon and back today so wanted to stick a tenner in to get the gauge over 100 miles. I couldn’t believe it when I drove off to find out the pump had actually sucked diesel out of the motor. I could even hear the sucking sounds at the time but thought it was just a new system they were using. Shower of robbing hoors.”
All of the main fuel companies have denied sucking the diesel and petrol out of vehicles but warned customers that they wouldn’t rule it out down the line.
Questions are being asked about the ability of the current Tyrone Tourism Marketing Team to promote the county effectively after their much-awaited 2022 campaign kicked off with an unveiling of their new flagship poster.
The controversial design, which depicts a man apparently about to urinate in a field, a diesel laundering operation as well as a brawl between Tyrone and Dublin GAA teams, all done on Microsoft Word, was unveiled to a limp round of applause at a socially distanced event in Augher’s Main Street.
Defending the images, PR coordinator Johnny Copeland explained:
“That man isn’t going to the toilet. He’s just relaxed by staring at the field and has maybe undone his belt. The diesel shed perfectly displays Tyrone’s industry and the match epitomises the fighting spirit of its Gaels. These snowflakes need to wise up.”
It has since emerged that the chief designer is a fella McGuckian from Ballinderry and may have sabotaged the whole operation. He was last seen driving in the direction of Magherafelt ‘laughing his head off’ according to pedestrians.
Meanwhile, a competition to pick Tyrone’s loveliest married couple has been put on hold after only three couples entered, with two of them separated for nine and twelve years respectively.
A Drummurrer stove-fitter has admitted to having recurring nightmares over Brexit, adding that he might have to find another trade if the vote to leave the EU gets the green light. In addition to his personal doomsday scenario, he predicts the end of the lucrative diesel smuggling business which has kept the county in the top ten of the most wealthy regions of the world since 1990.
Terence McNeill, who turned 49 last week, is fluent in six languages as a result of his stove-fitting escapades and has recently started coaching exam students for their GCSEs in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Latvian and Lithuanian.
However, the part time piper admits his gravy train is about to come to an end:
“If we leave the EU I’m bucked to be honest. I make a mint fitting stoves for the Eastern Europeans who are mad for the Irish stoves. And the Latvian women seem to take a liking to my lean, mean physique. And it’s not just me who’ll suffer. The whole diesel smuggling enterprise will be shattered if that imaginary border is stiffened again.”
It is estimated that McNeill’s stove fitting empire is worth £5m, £3m of which he has invested in top quality chickens, hens, pheasants, cocks and ostriches.
A Brexit Yes vote will also leave many families simply relying on child benefit, grants and the dole without the smuggling extras supplementing their dubious allowances.
“Tyrone needs to think long and hard about this, especially our Unionist brethren. They are driving around on dodgy diesel too y’know. Don’t bite the hand which feeds you, Arlene..”
…….added McNeill before going off to shout at his cocks for not strutting correctly.
An anonymous Dublin-based GAA official issued a stark warning that if the UK leaves the EU, ‘any team from the occupied six will receive untoward media attention from RTE and harsh calls from referees, unlike the present‘.
84 year old Terence McVeigh has surprisingly lifted the Tyrone’s Sexiest Farmer 2013 title after impressing judges with his handling of livestock, machinery and general working attire during an observation at his farm on the Moy Road last week. McVeigh, who was previously a finalist in 1963, beat off stiff competition from six other finalists, including the former Miss Levi Jeans of Kildress 1988, Masie McGinn.
Judges delivered their verdict at a packed field in Clogher, after a final parade of contestants around the yard, to a stunned silence. Apart from Kildress’s McGinn, Augher blonde bombshell 23-year old Jenny McKenna was also a bookie’s favourite having just taken up farming last Summer in order to win this competition.
Paddy Power spokesperson Deirdre McAlinden told us:
“It’s a great result for us but there’s something fishy about this. McVeigh has a permanent stoop, just the one eye and hasn’t washed his farming since the mid-70s. Jenny McKenna was 6-1 on and just last year won the Augher Rear of the Year. It makes no sense at all, though we’re sucking diesel financially.”
When asked to explain their scoring, a rather evasive Tom Mulholland remarked:
“It was an easy decision. Ask any woman – the way to a Tyrone girl’s heart is how a man dungs out the yard. McVeigh may have taken three hours to do it, but he was meticulous. He was covered head to toe in manure and sweat but sure isn’t that one of the best sights any man, woman or beast wants. McKenna may have the painted nails, designer jeans and high heeled wellies but she was trying to shear a bull when we arrived down. And let’s be honest, Miss Levy Jeans of Kildress 1988 has let herself go a bit.”
McVeigh said he was going to celebrate his success with a ‘slap of buttermilk and potatoes’. He also stressed that supplying ‘a baste of a turkey’ to the Mulholland household every Christmas was coincidental.
He wins a year’s supply of wellington boots.
Ross Kemp, the award winning investigative journalist famous for “Ross Kemp: In Afghanistan” and “Ross Kemp: The Middle East” has admitted he faces his toughest assignment yet when he attempts to infiltrate the Galbally underworld of diesel and poitin.
Kemp made it clear that he expects a frosty reception but is determined to crack what he calls ‘the most dangerous place in Europe’ or something like that.
“Listen, I’ve done all the war torn areas on this planet but wherever I went people would always mock me and ask why I haven’t been to Galbally. Even one of the Taliban boys had a picture of the Galbally football team in his car. It’s an itch I need to scratch and it’s happening next year. Galbally, I’m coming for you.”
In a show of defiance, three Galbally boys sitting on a stone wall ‘keeping watch’ told us where they think Kemp can jump:
“If a boy from Eastenders thinks he can come over here and clean up the place, he’s going to be sorry lad heading back over the Irish Sea, probably with a bottle of strawberry poitin in his back pocket.”
“This is just David Attenborough all over again. He came over here in the 80s to study us for the BBC. He ended up in Tally’s the whole week on the pure stuff and driving around on the ‘home-brew fuel’ as we call it. The program was never made. It’ll be the same with this Grant Mitchell boy- we’ll have him slamming down the craytur and shouting ‘yahooooo’ at Cappagh wemen by midweek. I hope he brings his ma Peggy for the craic.”
Meanwhile Cappagh brothers Brian and Mark Hurl have released their song aiming for an Ireland Christmas No.1 called ‘These Are A Few Of My Hatefulist Things’, made famous by Julie Andrews but with a Cappagh slant. As a teaser, they have released their opening lines:
Checkpoints on corners with long diesel dippers
Cleaning the clubhouse and using paint strippers
Wemen on tables when Gareth Brooks sings
These are a few of my hatefulist things
Paddy Power is offering 1000-1.
The once-famous Brackaville ghost, who drew millions of people to the area in 2009 after making a few appearances, has announced that unless people start showing her a bit of respect she will pack up and head to Stewartstown who would be crying out for a bit of supernatural shenanigans. ‘Lily’, who says she’s about 200 years young or thereabouts, claims bad manners and general begrudgery has made her life a living hell:
“Ignorant shower of ungrateful living people around here. Yes, they were all over me when the crowds were flocking to the Mullaghmoyle Road after I made a couple of midnight danders outside the house. They couldn’t get enough of me. It was Lily this and Lily that. Newspaper people from England and all. Then I started to hear the grumblings from jealous women up the road who simply didn’t like the thought of their husbands and boyfriends talking about me all the time. Then the men turned on me too in order to placate the women. I’m off. People just drive through me now.”
Lily claims she was also being used as a scapegoat for every misdemeanour in the area from tax evasion to smuggling diesel:
“Yes, that’s correct. Men were being done for non-payment of TV licences, insurance or diesel and in court they’d plead innocence by saying ‘it was the ghost that done it’, claiming I was stealing documents and letters or leaving illegal fuel lying about. The powers-that-be would buy into it for fear of being haunted if they didn’t believe in me. As if I wanted to be at that craic at my age. All I want is a pint in Campbells and a round of golf up the road. I’m 200 for God’s sake.”
Lily claims she may move to Stewartstown before the year is out:
“That is maybe the fresh challenge I need. Sure foreigners don’t even go there. I’d shake that town up.”
We took a scoot out to the market in Cookstown to collate the hopes and wishes for 2013.
“Wouldn’t it be great if ourselves and Augher finally put our differences behind us and mixed next year. At the church the Clogher ones still sit on one side and the Augher folk on the other. There’s no intermarrying. We drink stout; they stick to triple X. The brawls on the streets are now a daily occurrence. Let’s pray for peace and try to endure those fcukers for 12 months.” GERDY MCNABB, CLOGHER
“A good looking priest. We’ve been starved out here in Donemana of young virile clergy. In fact, the last PP was so old he still read in Latin. Someone like the boy out of The Thornbirds would be deadly. Get me up in the morning, hangover or none.” MARY MAGUIRE, DONEMANA
“Bring back hanging for cattle rustling and trespassing.” DAMIEN COYLE, PLUMBRIDGE
“The government to turn a blind eye to women who bate the shite clean out of their husbands. That lazy hoor of a man I have needs a quare hiding to get his arse into gear on a Saturday. Say, once a week would be great.” NOLEEN MURPHY, EDENDORK
“Women wearing less in and around the streets. There are women now with jumpers and coats on even in the summer. If the powers taxed the amount of clothing you wore, they’d be more inclined to wear loose blouses and skirts. I’m 88 but I’d make more of an effort to get out to the shops if the women would shed a few layers. Not the fat ones though.” CATHAL JACKSON, DONAGHMORE
“Mickey Harte to pick players from the south east of the county. What did we ever do on him eh? There’s talk that he ruined his motor driving at 60 down the Annaghmore Road during the 80s. Well, that’s what we deal with day in, day out. We all drive 1990s motors from Lithuania now. Don’t hold it agin us Mickey.” FRANCIE O’NEILL, DERRYTRESK
“The price of diesel to come down a bit in Castlecaulfield. Might as well hope to grow wings. Miserable bastards.” SUSIE FOSTER, CASTLECAULFIELD.
“A traffic warden in Coalisland. In fact, anyone official at all. Even a TV licence man. Just for the craic.” JUSTIN LAVERY, COALISLAND
“A gay bar in Kildress.” ANONYMOUS, KILDRESS
A guide to What’s on in Tyrone for the weekend Sat 6th – Sun 7th October:
Suckin Diesel Debut In Clubland
New Moortown band – Suckin Diesel – make their first public appearance in Cookstown tonight. Describing themselves as a mixture of Eileen Donaghy music rapper-style classical jazz, the loughshore boys use only tools they picked up in one of their da’s sheds. Paddy Quinn is lead singer and also plays the chisel. Francey Devlin is on empty crate, Mary Hagan is on hammer and hubcap whilst the joker of the pack, Red Harry O’Donnell plays the welding mask and spade. More Power To Your Elbow, move over! They will also perform in Cappagh beforehand (see below).
Pomeroy Train-Spotting Convention
Tomorrow sees the 19th annual PTSC extravaganza behind the Post Office in Pomeroy tomorrow morning at 8am sharp. Although no train has passed Pomeroy since the late 50s, fanatics still gather once a year with binoculars and sandwiches in case they catch a glimpse of one that was running late perhaps. For thrills and spills, come to Pomeroy tomorrow morning. No mention of the hill/mountain debacle allowed.
Seskinore Peter Canavan Lookalike Competition
The third Canavan lookalike competition takes place in the parish hall in Seskinore tonight (9pm). Last year’s winner Harry Tully is a firm favourite to win it for the second time of asking. Last year’s victory was all the more surprising as Peter himself took part and only finished third. This year’s winner gets a pound of mince.
Cappagh World Record Attempt
This evening (7pm, chapel car park), Cappagh will have the Guinness World Record officials in the vicinity as Peter Hampsey attempts to suck the diesel from 40 cars in three minutes. Using just a bit of plastic piping and a bucket, he’ll attempt to drain over three dozen family vehicles by sucking the fuel and letting it low into the aforementioned container. Police are not welcome. Sucking Diesel will perform their hit record ‘Tramp On, Boss” during proceedings.
Derrylaughan Healing Weekend
Derrylaughan GFC are staging a weekend of healings and cures at their well-being centre on the edge of the lough. Using the powers of Lough Neagh and the mythical curing properties of the Holy River, organiser Dermot Brannigan claims all ailments are treated from bunions, verucas and facial warts to consumption, laziness and having quare notions. Entry is free and only a donation of £20 is required. All monies will be used to get water for the Holy River which dried up in 2001.
An estimated 40’000 visited Coagh yesterday, including people from France, after the news broke that the local filling station had boldly SLASHED their diesel prices by 0.002p per litre. Queues were backed right up to Cookstown as drivers filled up anything they could to avail of the unexpected bargain at Henry’s Store on the Urbal Road. Declan Herbert, a retired gardener, took no time in stocking up on fuel:
“I got a text message from my neighbour and immediately thought someone must be dead. I couldn’t believe my eyes when he told me Henry’s had cut the clear stuff by 0.002p per litre. It was a dream come through. I threw the family into the back of the yoke and gave them all a barrel to look after. We must’ve taken 4000 litres back with us, spending the guts of £5000 but it was worth it. Christmas will be a bit bare this year in the house. There’ll definitely be no turkey but look at all that diesel. Now I just need to buy a diesel car and other dieselly stuff.”
Punters were dealt a slight blow though when paying for the bought diesel. At the till, they were informed of the small print which stated that for customers to avail of the 0.002p reduction, they had to purchase £20 at the hot food counter. Eyewitnesses confirmed reports that mini-riots broke out in the garage as families fought over cooked turkeys and Irish stew in order to reach the £20 quota. Shelf-stacker Gerry Turbett observed the scenes:
“There was carnage in there. People were in a bad mood already because they’d spent hundreds of pounds on diesel only to be told they needed to buy another £20 of meat. Tempers were frayed and I personally saw one woman battering another repeatedly on the ground with a leg of lamb. It was frightening. People were climbing over the counter and stuffing pork chops down their trousers etc before others got to them. Coagh was a quiet town and the only bad thing to happen here was when a fella was caught looking at his neighbour getting ready with a pair of binoculars, the dirty bastard. But, listen, you don’t turn your nose up at a 0.002p diesel sale. “
Henry McCracken released a statement yesterday thanking all customers for their purchases, claiming he’d sold £1.3m in diesel and £9000 in hot food during a 6-hour period yesterday. He added that you could buy two bottles of water for a pound today, as long as you also purchased 3 items from the hardware store.
Shamed Loughmacrory surgeon Peter Whittle has vowed to clear his name after being accused of using clear diesel in his Vauxhall Zafira on the Omagh to Cookstown road last month. In the first of its kind in the greater Loughmacrory area, Whittle was dipped as he made his way to Cookstown to buy a pair of ill-fitting jeans for a dance from a Pakistani merchant on one of the stalls at the world-famous market, and was found to be completely innocent.
“I was being flashed at by cars for about half a mile so I slowed right down to 80 thinking them bastards had the hair drier out. It wasn’t until the traffic came to a standstill that I realised they were dipping. My life flashed before my eyes as I knew I was on the clear, legit stuff.”
For fear of serious slagging if the word ever got out, the Loughmacrory medic tried everything to convince the PSNI that he was a hardcore red-diesel dealer in order to save face.
“I threw everything at them. I even gave them the address of my farmhouse hidden around the back of my garage which is packed to the rafters with red, green and all manner of dyed fuel even though I own no agricultural machinery at all. I fix legs for feck sake. I also admitted I was making poitin and was, in fact, half-cut at the time. They just laughed and said ‘you’re clean’ and told me to drive on. Most of Loughmacrory were pulled over at the side of the road and getting details taken. They just shook their heads as I drove past. I was mortified. In order to mend my family’s fine name, never again will I go legit.”
Whittle’s immediate family refused to comment but one uncle did remark that he wasn’t surprised at the news as “young Peter was always a bit odd like that. The sort of boy who never worked whilst signing on. Wouldn’t marry the cousin. His shame knows no bounds.”