Most Coalisland residents have breathed a sigh of relief after a giant steel device which appeared in the town three nights ago has been revealed as a car parking ticket machine and not an object dropped by aliens.
Over 400 residents had already packed up and were preparing to leave the town to go to Brackaville or Newmills for fear of being abducted and probed by aliens after the mysterious monolith puzzled local experts since Sunday night.
A candlelit vigil in honour of possible aliens was held last night outside the egg factory but was interrupted during the third decade of the rosary after someone stuck a pound in the machine and got a three-hour ticket pass.
Local sky expert Terry McNeill from Drummurrer, who owns three pairs of binoculars and visited Houston in 1988, added:
“Some are relieved but I can’t deny that I’m disappointed. I really did think this was it and was totally prepared for a probing session. I’d already told the wife that it’s likely they’ll need a boiler fitted and probably would be three light years away before she’d know I was gone.”
Since the truth was uncovered, the ticketing machine was hatcheted for three hours before being set alight.
A well known metal detecting activist and part time stove-fitter is said to be in hiding after he destroyed over 300 chains of turf near his home in Drummurrer.
Terence McNeil, who can read newspapers in 32 different languages, was adamant that a rich bogland was sitting on top of some kind of metal monster, hinting at the possibility of a hidden underground world or perhaps even real gold.
His long-suffering wife, Alisha, admitted she did believe her husband was onto something:
“I heard the bleeping of the metal detector myself. It was going clean mad in that bog so he had the whole family out digging like bastes. Terence was sure it was maybe a helicopter shot down in the 70s or perhaps some kind of Celtic underworld, with the bones of leprechauns a possibility. It wasn’t until it starting bleeping in the house during the night that it finally dawned on me.”
The source of McNeil’s incessent beeping appears to be a new pair of steel toe cap boots he purchased at Cookstown market at the weekend which he has worn non-stop since.
Bog-owner Patsy Corr is currently seeking legal advice after over £300’000’s worth of turf was destroyed due to McNeil’s digging frenzy.
“That bollocks and his steel toe cap boots. When I get my hands on him, he’ll be needing his metal detector to locate my steel toe caps from his backside.”
McNeil has promised to pay the arrears and has advised his daughter that her wedding may be downgraded next year.
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‘.
One of Tyrone’s most accomplished linguists, Terrence McNeill, is currently floating in a capsule in space as he prepares to become the first Irish man to work on the International Space Station.
McNeill, who can fluently speak over six languages from his stove-fitting experiences in Dungannon, will install a state-of-the-art stove in the Russian quarter on board the ISS after winning the contract from another tender in Lithuania. The Drummurrer man was rocketed off into space from Houston last night and is currently aiming to park his space capsule ‘Meenagh’ some time tonight if he can line it up correctly and soberly.
His wife, Anita, revealed it was a great honour for their family:
“We always knew he was deadly at the stove fitting and deadly at the languages so he’d be a deadly boy for fitting stoves up there for the Russians. I can’t relax though til he parks it as he’s liable to have a couple of drinks on him and might overshoot the parking bay and blow the whole thing up. I hope not. I also hope the diarrhoea has cleared up.”
McNeill underwent 3 weeks of intensive training in America before the launch and although he failed 90% of the tests, the Drummurrer man convinced NASA officials he’d work it out up there as he was ‘good at thinking on his feet’. At a packed conference he explained:
“I’m sure it’s just like parallel parking. I’ll put the shoe to the burd, get her docked and then pile into the ISS with my tools and get wired into the stove. I’ll be out by Monday I reckon. I’m just worried about the diarrhoea.”
McNeill has promised to tweet aerial pictures of Drummurrer, Annaghnaboe and Cloghog from space.
Multi-lingual stove-fitter Terence McNeill from Drummurrer has been labelled a modern day Santa Claus after he treated a Dungannon bar to a round of drinks after finding out during his lunch in McFinn’s Pub that he’d won £5 on the Euromillion Lottery.
McNeill, who has been nominated for Tyrone Man of the Year because of the gesture, maintains anyone else would have done the same:
“I was just overcome with emotion. There was just myself and another lad in the bar at the time so I bought a Coke and he wanted a Sprite Zero. I got £3.20 change as well so I was able to bring home 6 packets of McCoy’s Beef Crisps for the wife and kids. I’m just that sort of guy. My da always says you can’t take your money to the grave.”
Dungannon Lord Mayor Arthur McGuinness reckons the story of McNeill’s generosity will be spoken about for years to come and might even rival that of the nativity itself:
“For a man from Drummurrer to come to Dungannon and fit stoves is great in itself. For a man to come from Drummurrer and spend his Euromillion winnings in a bar in Dungannon is just something that warms your heart. There’ll be a film about this yet.”
Although McNeill appreciates the good wishes as well as his nomination for Man of the Year, he added that anyone else attempting to tap him up will be shot.
His winning numbers were 1, 2 and 4.
The final family yet to receive a grant have announced that a £3000 cheque arrived this morning for the upkeep of a badger sanctuary in their garden. This news means that every family in Tyrone have now received a grant for something in the last ten years, ranging from ‘keeping an eye on Lough Neagh for invaders’ to ‘looking after the Strabane Christmas Tree’.
Economic sceptic Professor Harry Brown maintains this handing out of money for anything has to stop.
“I thought I’d seen it all until I met Paddy Grant from Brocagh last week. He told me he’d received a grant for being a Grant. Then there was Mary Shackleton up near Glenelly who pocketed £5000 for speaking three words in Irish every day – ‘tá mé anseo’ (I am here). She’s originally from Plymouth in England and lives alone apart from a wild cat that visits. That’s just madness.”
Professor Brown appears to be in the minority though as several awardees came forward this morning to defend their funding. Noel McGrinn from Dromore explained:
“The professor should learn to wind his neck in and maybe research a wee bit as to why these grants are handed out. For example, I get £1500 a year for making sure I preserve a small patch of grass around my back that a local holy woman claims St Patrick urinated on during his travels across Tyrone. There were no toilets in those days so her ‘vision’ might actually be true. I think that’s money well spent by the Department of Granting and we’re preserving a small bit of Ulster culture.”
The highest award this year was for Drummurrer handy man Terence McNeill who received £30’000 for pacifying local roosters and hens by singing soothing lullabys like Humpty Dumpty and Three Blind Mice.
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 Pomeroy technician revealed he has been commissioned to build a new studio at RTE for Brolly, Spillane, Lyster and O’Rourke to re-enact key moments in games which are being shown exclusively live on Sky TV. The GAA announced earlier this week that 14 matches will be shown on Sky Sports. These consist of eight Saturday evening matches in the All-Ireland qualifiers, two All-Ireland football championship quarter-finals, and two Saturday evening and two Sunday provincial championship games.
However, Leo Devlin, who built a hen house for one of RTE’s senior producers in 2011, has been asked to construct a makeshift studio which will see the Sunday Game quartet act out vital plays from these Sky matches for RTE viewers such as goals, points, blocks and shoulders to compliment their commentary.
“I was told that people might get bored of watching Spillane and co just sitting there watching a match, telling us what is happening. What is proposed is that, say for example Meath is playing Tyrone, O’Rourke will turn up in his Meath gear, Brolly in a Tyrone top and shorts, Spillane will dress as a referee and Lyster can be the umpire or something. They will re-enact key scenes from the game so that viewers can almost visualize the match if they cannot afford Sky or work that remote controller they have. It’ll be some craic with them boys, especially if it’s a sending off for a decapitation or a kick in the balls.”
RTE have refused to confirm the existence of the new studio but admitted it’ll be hard for their viewers to stick looking at Brolly’s facial gurns and general slouching:
“We do need to offer something different. We did a dry run and O’Rourke never moved a muscle for two hours. He made a 3-15 to 4-18 game sound like a 0-0. They’ll be turning over to reruns of The High Chaparral on TG4 in their droves unless we spice it up a bit.”
Devlin also confirmed that a Drummurrer man has been granted permission to fit a new stove in the studio.
A Drummurrer handyman has returned home after a year working in Dungannon able to ask ‘do you need a stove fitted?’ in half a dozen languages much to the amazement of his family and friends. Terrence McNeill, who got a bus to Dungannon after being told about it by his uncle who went there in 1992, claims to have fitted over 600 stoves in 300 days and rewired almost 200 houses whilst immersing himself in the local culture.
“Jays it’s a deadly place, boys. I met Jamaican women dancing in Woolworths, Lithuanian men playing didgeridoos and Portuguese ladies taking the heads off each other outside the Fort. And they’re all mad looking stoves fitted. I learned Russian, Swahili, Spanish, Latvian, Bulgarian and English just by listening whilst fitting stoves or rewiring.”
McNeill reckons it’s a cultural and financial experience no one should miss out on.
“People talk about recession this and economy that. Well, Dungannon is having none of it. This place must be a bit like Saudi Arabia or Australia. Everyone is loaded. I’ll be telling all the young ones of Drummurrer, Clonoe, Derrytresk and even Coalisland to get on that bus. It might seem like a world away but look at me now. I’m a multi-lingual genius and people keep asking me to say things in different tongues at parties and social gatherings.”
McNeill admits that re-adjusting to life in Drummurrer has been difficult:
“Aye, the slagging takes a bit of getting used to. If you slagged the Russian women they’d wreck you so I cut it out completely in Dungannon. Back here, they’ve been calling me things like ‘Einstein Features’, ‘Bollocksy Bill’ and ‘marble mouthed hoor’ just because I’m deadly at the languages. Also, it’s like learning another language in Drummurrer. Mad way of talking.”
Terence has also had to combat the ferocious reaction by his wife after he brought home a Jamaican woman ‘for a bit of craic’ instead of towels and rock.