A Drumquin man’s family is blaming modern society after their son was caught with insurance, tax and MOT certificates, good tyres as well as a full tank of clean diesel.
Jeremy Maguire, a 26 year old joiner with no convictions since 2008, was stopped by police whilst travelling at 34 mph on the Dregish Road at 9pm on Sunday night for a random spot-check.
Onlookers described confusing scenes as police officers were seen nodding their heads in approval while rifling through documents and joking with the driver, at one stage giving a high five to the ex-Drumquin full back soon after the diesel was dipped.
Maguire’s father Pat, who did time for driving a pick-up with no tyres in 1988, admitted he felt ashamed walking around the local Spar this morning:
“People just kept staring or shaking their heads. I bought The Irish News, a pint of semi-skimmed and three apples and was charged £8.33. Everyone just stood there ready to light on me if I questioned the tally so I just paid it in silence and dandered out a broken man. Our Jeremy has always been a bit strange – filling up the windscreen washer regularly with the correct stuff and all.”
Mrs Maguire, who refused to be officially interviewed, blamed modern society on her son’s tendency to stick to the rules and has warned other parents to be careful of the dangers of YouTube and social media.
PSNI confirmed this evening that a car was stopped last night in the Dregish area and given the all-clear following a stringent spot-check including an emissions test.
The bi-annual change of clocks brought havoc throughout Tyrone once again, amidst mass confusion as well as some confrontational scenes.
Following news on Sunday that a local bookmaker was caught out after forgetting to change his clock, many residents, furious at having an hour taken away from them, vented their anger at farmers, who they blame for the twice-yearly clock change. Three people staged a mildly-irate protest outside a farm in Cloughfin, with banners saying ‘It’s Our Hour – Leave It The Feck Alone’, and, ‘You Can Take Our Sleep But You’ll Never Take Our Freedom’.
Demonstrator Claire Doherty from Dregish, said,
“Who do thon farmers think they are taking an hour off everyone? Them with their farming ways, tootling along in their tractors all deliberate-like, just to annoy other road users. If it’s an extra hour in the daylight they want why can’t they just change their own buckin’ clocks?”
The farmer in question, 62-year old Kieran Gormley,told us:
“It’s got bog-all to do with me. Why would I want to lose an hour? I like my bed as much as anyone else. Or did we gain an hour? I always forget. What time is it anyway? If I’ve missed Bargain Hunt I’ll go off the bap. I’ve only just got the clocks all up to date from the last change. Some handlin”.
Technology has particularly given problems across the county, with one man from Drummurrer locking himself in his bedroom for sixteen hours with a baseball bat after believing a very meticulous, time-conscious burglar had broken into his house and changed the clock on his television and mobile phone, when in fact they had automatically updated themselves.
A family of seven from the Washingbay had their own problems.
“It was tara”, said mother-of-five Teresa McKernon. “All of us changed the big clock in the kitchen without realising everyone else had done the same thing, so we all went to to bed at 3 o’clock in the afternoon thinking it was 10pm. Thinking about it, the day did fly by. We were making our supper when we were still half-way through our chicken dinner. My husband was putting his pyjamas when he was eating his sherry trifle”.
A man from Gortin, 37-year old Sandy McMaster, also got caught out by the change.
“There’s was something last night on ITV+1 I wanted to see but I hadn’t got round to changing the clocks. I didn’t know whether to turn it on at the right time, the hour before, or the hour after. My head nearly exploded trying to work it out. Damn farmers”.
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.
A man was hailed as a local hero today after the Guinness Book of Records confirmed his entry into the world record books for hitting the snooze button on his alarm clock an incredible eighteen times in one morning, before actually waking up and getting out of bed.
The young achiever, Caleb McGonnell, an unemployed fence-sitter from Dregish, finally woke up at 11.48am on Friday to a round of applause from his family and neighbours and a bacon sandwich from his mother, all of whom who had watched disbelievingly as he continually hit the snooze button on his Telechron 7H241 radio alarm clock an astonishing eighteen consecutive times before promptly falling back to sleep again.
“It was amazing”, said proud mother Martina. “After he did it for the tenth time we knew something special was happening. That’s when we put the call in to RTE and phoned round all the neighbours. I feel tara because for a long time I’ve been calling the cub a shiftless, good-for-nothing, lazy-arsed hoor, and all this time he’s been hiding his true talent. If only I’d known. It’s the proudest day of my life. It would be amazing if he got asked onto ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. He would look brilliant. Or he would do if he could stop clawing himself in his sleep”.
“I’ve done this at only 23 years of age”, said a delighted Caleb. “And to be honest I think my best years are ahead of me. I really believe I’ve more to give. Sleeping my way into the record books wasn’t too hard”, he said modestly. “When the alarm goes off, it’s all about trying to pretend you’re still asleep, hitting the snooze button, and then whipping your arm back under the covers before it gets cold”.
Dregish locals have already started an on-line campaign to have the activity made into an officially-recognised sport, and McGonnell’s family have created a team in readiness for the Commonwealth Games in case the men’s 100 metres sprint gets cancelled due to lack of interest.
Meanwhile according to sources, McGonnell is refusing to rest on his laurels, and is apparently already hard at work considering another bed-based activity for the record books which is being kept tightly under wraps, but apparently involves something to do with lying on his arm until it goes numb.
A local clairvoyant has given in to pressure to stop pestering the souls of the departed after numerous complaints were made via another medium.
58-year old Nuala Brannigan from Dregish has been communicating with the spirit world for 35 years, but agreed yesterday to give it up after an unprecedented number of complaints.
Niall O’Neill, an 800-year old ghost originally of Cloughfin, said,
“She’s a pain in the arse. She’s always on the ouija board asking what the football results are going to be, or the Lotto numbers. As if we know. Just last week she was wanting to know where she had put her Heat magazine, and then blaming us lot for having shifted it. Gadzooks. Can she not just leave us alone? We’re fed up with being pestered. I’ve a whole lock of haunting and ghostly rattling to be getting on with and can hardly do it with that woman bending my ear all the time. And anyway, what’s a Heat magazine? And a football?”
550-year old hangman Ezra Maguire agreed.
“In the olden days people used to enquire about loved ones they had lost or maybe the whereabouts of a sentimental family heirloom. This woman’s constantly demanding ‘horse race winners’ this, or ‘Winning Streak’ that. Anyway, what century is it?”
Conor Kendall, who died in a baking accident in 1963, told us:
“I came into limbo expecting to get a bit of peace and quiet, and it’s nothing of the sort. I’ve got a ‘ghostly haunting’ exam this Friday and I haven’t even bought any chains yet”.
The challenges of being from another world were also pointed out by Kevin the Terrible, a former Viking from Urney who died in 2009.
“It’s not easy being spooky”, he agreed. “Last night I was out working walking the ramparts near the Rock for about eight hours. Jaysus, I was foundered. Well, I would have been if it wasn’t for the fact I’m already dead. It took my ectoplasm an age to thaw out. And to cap it all I had that woman Brannigan inside my bap asking where her car keys were”.
In her defence, Brannigan replied,
“Ah, come on. All I’m after is a wee bit of information most of the time. Where’s the harm in that? It’s the only option I’ve got, because the internet signal in Dregish is rubbish so I can’t get Google. And I’m hardly going to go all the way to Dungannon library to find out how to change the sump on my washing machine if I can get it from the undead”.
The ghost world confirmed that the last straw came on Monday after Brannigan spent over an hour harassing spirits about a number of different topics, including whether Tyrone’s new A5 road extension will ever get built, what setting to use for making a Baked Alaska, and the answer to Channel 4’s Countdown conundrum.
Parents woke up on Boxing Day to a subtle shift in the balance of power between them and their offspring, with the fact having dawned on children that their parents can no longer control their behaviour with the warning of Santa not coming unless they’re good.
“It’s tara”, bemoaned Claire McCausland from Cloughfin. “I’ve been using Santy since the start of September to get my three cubs to do my bidding. It’s been grand. Plates cleared, clothes tidied away, and all in bed by 8. Now I’m hiding in the utility room fearing my own safety. This morning they all watched ‘Home Alone’ and it must’ve given them ideas. That’s why my husband’s now walking about covered in treacle out the larder and feathers out one of my best cushions. Honestly, it’s like ‘Lord Of The Flies’ out there”.
Angela Morgan, a worried mum of two from Tullyhogue, agreed.
“Our Ralph sneezed three times this morning and didn’t cover his mouth once. How am I supposed to deal with that? He’d never have got away with that a week ago. I tried telling him that the Easter Bunny won’t come but it fell on deaf ears. I’ll be scraping mucus off the sofa for months”.
7-year old Simon McCoy, a full-time child from Dregish, said,
“Easter Bunny? No-one’s going to fall for that oul’ mince. What would I be doing with Easter Eggs when it’s like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in here. Jaysus, I’ve more chocolate than I can shake a stick at”,
he said, as he tried to climb up the living room curtains holding two fistfuls of Celebrations.
Ebenezer O’Neill, a child psychologist from Aughabrack, said,
“It’s gradually dawned on children that now that Santa’s passed out all the toys, they’ve got the upper hand. Plus they’ve got time off from school and the constant sugar rush of eating two selection boxes an hour. If you combine that lot with the ideas they get from playing ‘Grand Theft Auto’, it’s the perfect storm. No wonder the part-time PSNI have been called in”.
The PSNI confirmed that several children had already been apprehended for offences such as splashing in puddles whilst wearing only slippers, not wearing scarves when it was close to freezing, answering back, not finishing their breakfast, drawing all over the back of Grandad’s head with Magic Marker when he was asleep, and vomiting into mummy’s make-up bag.
Results of the recently published 2011 census have produced some surprising results, including the finding of a previously undiscovered village just outside Omagh.
Largybeg, just two miles east of Omagh, is thought to have lain undiscovered since the dark ages until census takers happened upon the 200-strong village two years ago. Local man Ezekial O’Neill, a 54-year old wizard, was very philosophical.
“Yep, turns out we’ve spent the last five centuries worshipping Sperrin, god of the pollan fish and patron saint of the hot cross bun, when we should in fact have been worshipping this other god. Canavan I think his name is. We feel tara embarrassed.”
“We’ve come a long way you know”, said Barabas McGee, a local leper, in defence of the village. “The last time someone was hung drawn and quartered must have been months ago. They just get hung these days. I think it’s great news. All the menfolk I’ve spoken to are really happy and gay about it”.
Others however were concerned at the news that they were 500 years behind everyone else.
“Apparently we now have to stop burning witches, which is mighty craic altogether on a full moon”, complained Moses Donnelly, a latrine pit emptier. “Sure, where’s the harm in that? It’s political correctness gone mad. I remember someone in the village saying they tried to bring us into the modern world a wee while back with this fella who came in spouting all the stuff about the new century and all that. Can’t remember his name. St Patrick I think. We don’t hold with all that new-fangled dung”.
“It’s tara. There’s a clatter of stuff I can’t do now. We’re told there’s laws against cousin-marryin, and you can’t drink until you’re a certain age”, said 7 year old chimney sweep Ezra Coyle. “And how am I supposed to sacrifice a goat on the altar every week if I’m not allowed a knife until I’m 18? Sperrin will go off his bap. Thou had better believe it”.
Since being discovered, many in Largybeg have wasted no time in catching up to the 21st century, with some unfortunate consequences. Last Monday, 26-year old Jebediah Connelly, a part-time minstrel, was given a £20 fine for ‘sexting’, the sending of obscene messages and pictures by mobile phone, after he was caught in Omagh tying rude drawings to an iPhone and hurling it at a female passerby.
Omagh Town Council have pledged to help integrate Largybeg into the local community, as soon as the local outbreak of bubonic plague has subsided. They will play a gaelic football game against Dregish next week.
County Tyrone’s highest-ranked tennis player, Connor Muldoon from Dregish, has once again failed to make it to the final stages of Wimbledon.
Whilst official world rankings only include the top 1,000 players, it is believed that Muldoon, whilst number 1 in Tyrone, ranks approximately 6-millionth in the world. He tried to enter this year’s Wimbledon tournament on the wild card entry system, but was rejected on the grounds of not having the necessary funds to travel to London, lack of an authenticated playing record, and for not having a tennis racquet.
“I’m devastated”, said the forlorn player. “I really thought that this was going to be my year. With Roger Federal and the other one already knocked out, I could have gone all the way. If I had just got in in the first place”.
Muldoon was originally tipped to win the tournament by bookies in Omagh as somewhat of an outsider at odds of 10,000,000 to 1.
“That proves my point, see?” said Muldoon. “A 1 in 10 million chance. That means even the bookies think I’ve got a chance. And they haven’t even seen me play. I’m deadly. And thon strawberries and cream are quare. I’d be horsin’ them into them by the punnet. I’d fit right in. And I reckon I could take thon Venus brothers on and give them a right going over”.
Muldoon had plenty of advice to offer the current contenders.
“I’ve been watching the technique of thon Scotch boy Andy Murdoch, and he’s vulnerable”, he said. “When he hits the ball with the bat thing he’s not hitting it hard enough. He should hit it harder. I can hit the ball really hard. They’re my favourites. Bang! Like that. Mighty. And he needs to work on his tantrums. They’re not tantrums. I’ll show him tantrums. If thon referee called one of my hits out I’d drag him off his big ladder and cut the lining out of him. I’d stick that Hawkeye yolk right up his arse. That’d learn him”.
“I’m definitely going to win Wimbledon next year”, said a determined Muldoon. “Once I learn the rules there’ll be no stopping me”.
DREGISH PENSIONER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AS A SUPPORTER
A 71 year old former pillow-fluffer from Dregish has announced he is stepping down as a supporter of the club after 67 years of travelling the county following the Pearse Ogs. Jake O’Farrell has decided to hang up his scarf, following in the recent footsteps of Alex Ferguson and David Beckham. Although Dregish Pearse Ogs were formed in in 1968, O’Farrell says he can remember another team from that area but cannot recall what they were called.
“I just thought the time was right. I take with me many highs like the time we bate Brocagh down at their field, on and off the pitch. The lows are part of it all too and the day we couldn’t field a team for the charity match against the Dublin 1995 side in front of 3000 people down in our field was a bit of an embarrassment. But, I’ll be able to put my feet up by the fire on a Sunday now and not give a buck about the Pearse Ogs. I considered taking a year out and then coming back maybe as a Drumquin supporter but we’ll see. I’d like to thank the club for the displays they put on over the last 67 years in the junior. I’ll not be going up to Castlederg on Sunday. I’m now unattached.”
DERRYTRESK CRISPS AND MINERAL VENTURE ‘A DISASTER’
Derrytresk have pulled the plug on an innovative business venture as it was revealed that they sold only one glass of mineral and no crisps at their home game last week. In an effort to bring extra money into the coffers, Seamie Devlin came up with the idea of setting up a table on the high rampart facing the road with boxes of crisps and a few bottles of mineral to be poured into plastic cups. Chairman Iggy Fitzgerald says enough is enough:
“Total disaster. We spent £16 buying that table and sold one drink. The big problem was that you have to jump a 6-foot ditch to get across to the rampart. Only one man made it. Twelve children had to be pulled out. Mrs Campbell’s dress was ruined though it gave the lads a bit of an eyeful. The second problem was making it back. Our only buyer, Patsy Dooher from Aughabrack, couldn’t get back over the ditch so he had to do a four-mile walked up through Annaghmore and missed the rest of the game and his lift home. All for a glass of brown mineral at £1.”
PHILIP JORDAN, RICEY MCMENAMIN AND HUB HUGHES TO GET SPECIAL MATCH PRIVELEGES
With a combined age of over 100, ex county players Jordan, Hughes and McMenamin are to be given special protection by referees to ease fears of broken hips, arthritis and failing senses. The new rules state that if one of these players receives the ball, opponents are to stand off for five seconds to allow the ageing trio to find their bearings and face the right direction. County chairman Aeneas McLoughlin told us:
“We remember wee Peter’s last few games. It was a bit embarrassing when the ball would come to him and he’d just be staring into space, rambling. His teammates would’ve been calling for the ball but sure he could hardly hear a thing. We’re not going to let our elderly ex-county men shuffle off into the wilderness like that. Last week, Ricey got sent off for taking a nap. The ref had no choice and acted quickly in case it developed into stage two. Last week I heard Jordan, who’s injured, spent the entire game watching the Moy’s warm-up pitch even though no one was on it apart from a couple of cats. Hub keeps complaining about the weather and knitting during a lull in play. These new rules will help ease their journey into the light.”
The Loughmacrory and District Tourism Committee have issued a warning to all residents that people caught with their tongues hanging out whilst concentrating on something will be named and shamed in the parish bulletin every weekend until they stop it. Stating its negative impact on the image of the area, committee chairperson Sally O’Brien highlighted the extent of the epidemic in all aspects of life:
“I’d been noticing a lot of it lately. Even the priest had his tongue hanging out yesterday whilst washing the chalice. Myself and vice chairman Bernard visited the local primary school last week and were shocked to see how bad it had become. The P2 class were doing some sums and every one of them had their tongues hanging out whilst scribbling away. And the sums weren’t all that difficult. What’ll they look like when they move on to long division. To be fair, their teacher wasn’t much of a role model. Her tongue was also hanging out marking them.”
The tongue affair is not restricted to the young. O’Brien described the scene at last week’s Loughmacrory game against Dregish:
“We scored 1-11 last week in the win but I counted that 1-8 of those were down to the opposition rolling around laughing at the tongues hanging out of our players as soon as we’d a chance to score. We don’t want to win the league or championship because of our tongues. If we make it into the Ulster Championship it’ll be picked up by the TV and where’ll we be then? Mickey McGee needs to curb this epidemic now! Someone’s going to lose a tongue.”
O’Brien is realistic about the time scale for change and of certain scenarios that might be beyond repair:
“This’ll take time. People in Loughmacrory have concentrated in this manner for centuries. I also realise that young lads in Sally’s will find it hard to concentrate on their dancing without their tongues hanging out, especially with the drink in them. They have to impress the women with the dancing and if their tongues are dangling out then that’s just collateral damage.”
The Loughmacrory and District Tourism Committee aim to start monitoring motorists doing hard parking next weekend in an effort to curb the tongue problem.
Despite a gap of 160 years, the people of Dregish have finally apologised for cooking and eating a Scottish Missionary on September 13th 1852. The act of contrition occurred as a local witchdoctor, still practising in the area, finally decided that the cannibalistic deed was indeed responsible for their lack of silverware on the football field. He advised that an apology should be issued to help break the lengthy curse.
“I’d heard about the human feasting in Dregish as I child growing up in the area but thought no more of it,” local joiner Pat Bunion told us. “When you think about it we’ve been fairly dry when it comes to success so an apology to the family of Tamish McStocker is worth a punt. I’d heard that only his boots were left and they even tried to chew through those. He was said to be delicious but a little salty.”
How McStocker had annoyed the Dregish villagers is still unclear. Some documentation points to the possibility of him indicating that the women in Drumquin, were he had just come from, were ‘prettier than the Dregish women’.
“There’s a big rivalry between ourselves and Drumquin, especially regarding the women. To be honest, if a man said that today whilst in Dregish he still might get the same treatment. There’d be a short fuse around these parts. There was a preacher from America here last year and he was going on about salvation far too much. We had him boiling in a big pot, alive, before the PSNI intervened. Unfortunately, there’s no place for cannibalism in Ireland these days and we’re poorer for it”
The public apology with be followed up by a ceremony in Dregish involving McStocker’s great, great, great grandson who will be presented with the half-chewed boots his ancestor wore that fateful day. Dregish play Beragh this weekend.