Plans are in place to celebrate Tyrone’s latest international superstars after two potholes at either side of the county were placed in the world’s top 5 potholes as judged by road hole experts from across the globe.
At number 4 in the world is a pothole on the Washingbay Rd heading out of Coalisland near the Clonoe GAA grounds. Described by Professor Hogwith as ‘a picturesque hole with views of cattle and diesel spills’ it earned the following rating:
No 4: Washingbay Road, Coalisland, Co Tyrone, Ireland: This is a grade 4 pothole capable of bursting the front and back tyres of a heavy vehicle within 5 seconds of contact. Hidden on a gentle bend, it claims over 200 tyres a day as well as mangling up to 50 bikes weekly. Add in the soft bog land underneath, this hole has the potential to move up the rankings next year if the neglect continues.
Coming in at number 2 in the world is a lethal pothole on the Castlederg Rd just outside Drumquin.
No 2: Castlederg Road, Drumquin, Co Tyrone, Ireland: A solid grade 5 pothole and narrowly misses out as the best pothole in the world. This hole has butchered suspensions of all manner of vehicles including new Scania trucks. On arrival, you are sometimes greeted with the sight of locals bathing in the fresh rainwater within the hole if there is no on-coming traffic. A local schoolgirl was lost for 3 hours in the hole before emerging unscathed. A brilliant monument to neglect again.
The world’s best pothole was found to be in Sydney although Drumquin are said to be considering an objection, claiming the Sydney one is actually a sinkhole.
The existence of mountains in Pomeroy has been declared as thee classic example of fake news according to sources close to the American President, Donald Trump.
Trump, who compiled a list of traditional fake news stories that particularly annoy him, placed the mystical geographical features of Pomeroy at the top of his list and has threatened anyone singing the song in the USA with an indefinite stay at Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Felicity Begley, whose ancestors left Ireland for America in the 1930s, explained how she was lifted and sternly warned in a bar in New York three lines into the traditional song.
“I’d only made it as far as ‘when the maid she bound her golden hair‘ before men in sunglasses started talking into their sleeves in corners of the bar and I was pounced on my these big men in black. I was bundled into a tank and driven to some water-boarding centre and threatened with their torture devices if I didn’t remounce Renardine and those mountains. The thing is, I agree with them….there are no buckin mountains in Pomeroy.”
Trump reportedly deliberated long and hard over the Hills Above Drumquin but relented when a Google Maps image showed some semblance of hills in the background.
The American Government are currently looking into why George Sigerson wrote about mountains in Pomeroy in the first place and are considering the theory he was on the books of Bill Clinton’s grandfather who holidayed in Strabane in 1901.
Following the news that the Argentinian soccer side are to use a concoction of drugs including Viagra in order to counteract the high altitude in Bolivia, Derrytresk senior team are to trial using a similar product to help bring home the points from higher up places like Drumquin, Glenelly and Newtownstewart.
The innovative season-long diet, which also involves a no wife/girlfriend/boyfriend policy for 48 hours before game, is the first of its kind in Tyrone and is certain to prick a few eyebrows as the season progresses. Backroom trainer Harry ‘the buck’ Fitzgerald maintains it’s worth a go:
“If it’s good enough for Messi, it’s good enough for our boys. We need something that is going to raise performances and we think Viagra is the job. We’re hoping to reach heights we’ve never reached before and really stick it to the opposition, especially up in the mountains. We’ve tried it in training and I’ve seen lads do things I’ve never seen done before on a football field. We had balls flying all over the place. We’re trend-setters.”
Unfortunately, not all members of the backroom team are fully behind the initiatve. The new female physio, Katey O’Hanlon, admits she’s had her work cut out during friendlies already:
“This Viagra is playing havoc with the lads’ groins. I’m on the field every three minutes attending to them despite them being hardened athletes. Sometimes I’ve three on the go at the one time and no amount of rubbing seems to settle the issue. But the managers know best. They’re upstanding members of the community.”
Three long-married squad members have asked if the partner ban can be doubled, before AND after the match. Others claim to have side effects such as lack of sleep, with one prominent forward complaining that he’s up all night and another complaining about unusual stiffness for days after.
Derrytresk’s first opponents, Brackaville, are bracing themselves.
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.
In another example of the power of television having an effect on its audience, the PSNI have reported a 500% rise in biting in the county since the news broke of Uruguayan hungry-man Luis Suarez’s attempted to take a lump out of an Italian’s shoulder last week.
The most common scenario at the time of reporting appears to be wives taking lumps out of their husbands after arriving home late from the pub or social gatherings. Other examples include post men and women biting dogs, referees biting serial offenders on the field of play and irritated grandparents gnawing on boisterous children.
Drumquin painter and decorator Kieran McGahey found it hard to contain his anger at the South American’s on-field antics:
“That’s three days running I’ve come home slightly late from O’Kanes only to be met at the door by herself with her teeth stripped already. Last night it was my ear that got a touch. When will this madness end? There are fellas out there walking around with all sorts of organs dented. And it’s the women who are the worst for it. Biting like rabid animals.”
Sion Mills carpenter and Castlederg full forward Francey Lowe described the novel technique now employed by GAA referees:
“We were playing Aghaloo the other night and the ref warned me if I flailed another elbow he’d bite me. I thought he was codding but lo and behold didn’t I flail again and he comes over and bites me on the chest. I was in so much shock I let him do it too. What’s the world coming to? To be fair I fairly behaved myself after that.”
Newtownstewart priest Fr Mackle released a statement in the parish bulletin last night regarding the upsurge in biting. He stated that although he was not condoning the biting epidemic, the clergy will think long and hard about including the technique for those who don’t throw money into the basket.
Henry Savage, from Brackaville Road, was given the job at short notice following the unexpected departure of the previous weatherman. He explained,
“The boy who was supposed to get the weather job suddenly backed out down because he had to rush off to London in a hurry. I think he was changing jobs to a tree surgeon because he mentioned something about a yewtree. Anyway, I was in there like a shot. There’s not much you can teach me about the weather hi”.
However, it quickly became apparent to studio bosses that this was far from the case, and that Savage’s grasp of simple meteorological principles was practically non-existent.
“We had a couple of wee thunderstorms over the weekend there”, said programme scheduler Moira McGurk, “And Savage told viewers that it was because ‘the clouds kept banging together’. For the love of God”.
The live broadcast continued, with Savage instructing,
“Thon trees in Parkanaur are making lots of wind tonight, so wrap up tight. And if you do see the thunderstorm coming, just rush out of the house and start screaming at it. They frighten easily and it’ll probably just move off to the next town”.
In his defence, Savage barked:
“All that stuff about the high fronts and the low fronts is just stuff made up by meteorologists to confuse people. Rain is rain. Anyone in Tyrone knows that. No point going on and on about types of cloud or precipitation or some such nonsense, when everyone knows rain is just the angels crying tears of happiness”.
The studio’s problems became clear during last night’s live broadcast, with Savage telling viewers,
“Ah’m tellin’ yez, last night my yolk was acting up something tara, so it’s a sure sign that there’s quare sunny weather on the way. And have yiz seen the sunset over Clonoe? All I can say is, red sky at night shepherd’s delight. No, hold on. Is it rainbow instead of red sky? Jays, it can be confusing. Ah sure, what do the feckin’ shepherds know anyway? They should keep their noses out of it. Besides, it’s not going to be sunny everywhere. The cattle in Edendork are getting tore into the cud like nobody’s business, which means the rain’ll be shitting it down in Drumquin by lunchtime tomorrow”.
Savage in his final broadcast earlier this morning, confirmed that he expected the forecast for tonight to be ‘dark’.
A swoop on a house in Kildress has unveiled detailed plans to create maximum mayhem on the Down GAA senior football team this weekend ahead of their championship opener in Omagh.
The plot, codenamed ‘Mourne Mayhem’, included the hiring of the Dungannon Silver Band to play outside an hotel on Saturday night in Omagh where James McCartan and his Down team will be staying ahead of the big game. Other subplots included asking some of the best looking women in the county, and men, to seduce certain key members of the Down squad, leaving them physically useless by the time of the throw in.
Triangle player in the Dungannon Brass Band, Declan Murtagh, admitted his conscience got the better of him and drove straight to the PSNI office this morning:
“I was finding it hard to sleep at night. About a week ago we were asked by a man in a Kildress accent to play about twenty tunes outside Silverbirch Hotel at midnight before the game. He said he’d make it worthwhile for us and would throw in boxes of Brasso for us to polish out instruments and stuff. As tempting as that was – every man loves a shiny triangle – I felt bad as my wife’s from Kilkeel. Anyway, I touted.”
PSNI detectives revealed a series of back-up plans were also concocted including getting youngsters to run up and kick important Down players on the ankle in the hotel lobby the morning of the game. Chief Superintendent Sammy Prenter admitted the idea to gather up the best looking people in the county and position them at various parts of the hotel was a clear sign of a great but devious mind:
“This group had drawn up a list of 10 people who they all thought were great-looking and were going to approach them tomorrow to lure Down players back to their hotel rooms on Saturday night and then keep them active til the early hours. It might have worked too. There’s a woman from Urney on the list who’s a real stunner as well as a man from Drumquin who would melt any man’s heart. We got there just in time.”
The Tyrone GAA management team have denied any knowledge of the plot but added that it was great to see no stone unturned.
The news that 11 new super-Councils are to be created throughout Northern Ireland from the existing 26 and that each is to be given extended powers, has resulted in hundreds of people throughout Tyrone believing that the Councils are actually to be granted magical superpowers.
Following the publication at the weekend of a survey by the Irish Council for Statistics, it appears that entire villages have caught the wrong end of the stick, with an alarming 16% of residents believing that council staff might turn into levitating, shape-shifting, fire-breathing oddballs, all at the tax payer’s expense.
56-year old Harry Patterson of Cabragh told us,
“Being given superpowers like time travel and trigonometry and the like is a bridge too far. It’s a breach of my human rights. I don’t want them council ones spying on me when I’m out in the shed doing stuff. Not that I’m doing anything wrong like. And certainly not with that woman from next door. There’s nothin’ wrong with being neighbourly, you know”, he said defensively.
The view was shared by Jacinta Ferguson, a 42-year old housewife from Urney.
“It’s a waste of damn time. I don’t want the council coming round, self-spawning all over my front garden or manipulating gravity and stuff, when all I want is my gutters rodded. They should get their priorities right”.
“If they end up having superpowers like Spider-Man there’s no saying where it could end”, agreed Tony Laverty from Windmill. “We can’t have people suddenly going into slow motion like in ‘The Matrix’ at the drop of a hat, can we? It would be like that TV programme where all them weird-looking hoors have amazing superpowers. ‘Mastermind’, that’s it”.
“We might end up with Barry McElduff waltzing through Carrickmore wearing a Batman outfit, and then where would be?” declared Deirdre Hughes from Drumquin. “I have no wish to see that man in tights, let me tell you that. I’m not making that mistake again. If them councillors want a superpower then they can go and teleport themselves to feck”.
Some were more circumspect, with a keen interest in what the superpowers might be.
“Will you maybe be able to get x-ray vision specs from the council?” enquired a 58-year old man from Trillick who didn’t want to be named. “That would be handy right enough, for, like, all sorts of things. And would you be able to see through like material, like say, I don’t know, clothes and suchlike? Just asking”. He added, “And a couple of them super-strength ones like The Hulk could rightly work some wonders for the St Macartan’s hi. Has anyone told Mickey Harte about this?”
58 year old Rebecca O’Neill from Brantry however was much less positive, snorting,
“They should go and speak to the Roads Department. Have you seen the state of my street? In my opinion they’ve been practising invisibility for bloody years”.
The new councils are expected to come into effect in a few months time.
A gigantic rain cloud currently sitting over Tyrone has apologised unreservedly for dropping almost 4 million tons of rainwater on the region over the past week.
Roisin Devlin, a 3-mile long cumulonimbus cloud, who is currently moving slowly westwards over Omagh at 3,000 feet, made the apology after unexpectedly drenching thousands of unsuspecting residents on Wednesday, who appeared surprised that rain might fall in Tyrone in February.
“Ooh, I was affronted”, squeaked the enormous mass of condensed water vapour. “I thought if I could just make it over to Lough Neagh where I could do my business in comfort without bothering anyone I’d be fine, but I just couldn’t. I was bursting. I got as far as Dungannon before it all just gushed out over a six-hour period. It went all over the place. I’ve never been so embarrassed. Tara”.
The rain cloud confessed that it had not helped the situation.
“I’ve been to see a meteorologist, who was a lovely man, and he said I should cut down on the precipitation. Well, easy for him to say, but see, whenever I hover over sea water up by Donegal and all that lovely stuff starts to evaporate, I just can’t help myself stuffing myself. I’ve no willpower. And I do like coming over to Tyrone. I don’t know what it is about the county, but every time I’m there I just seem to get really full and bloated and before I know it I’ve just lost control. Maybe it’s an age thing, once you get to a certain time of life. I am two months old after all”.
The cloud went on to confide,
“I’ve also been very windy recently. I’m a slave to it. I think it might be hereditary because my grandfather used to be a grade one typhoon in the mid-west in Americay. That’s who I get it from. And I have a cousin over in the south of England at the moment, and he’s even worse. Just can’t keep it in”. The cloud went on, “And do you know, it doesn’t help having a fear for heights. You try looking down from 3,000 feet and see what it does to your waterworks”.
The cloud is currently in a relationship with a bank of fog near Drumquin.
The success of the the BBC’s recent series of Celebrity Come Dancing has kick-started a ballroom dancing revolution amongst men across the County.
Barny Patton, a farmer from Carnteel, admitted that the dancing bug had got a hold of him.
“I’ve always been forward thinking when it comes to technology. I see myself as a bit of a Fred Astaire and having no sense of rhythm whatsoever isn’t going to stop me. And neither is a club foot. Dancing’s class. There’s nothing I like more than slipping into my tailcoats and top hat after I’ve finished rounding up the cattle.”
Asked for his expert view to help make sense out of the phenomenon, Russian-born former top ballroom dancer Demitri Vladovic addedd,
“Them Tyrone boyos are mad hoors for the ballroom. It’s all high kicks and suchlike any time you see a group of men round Dungannon Square. They can’t get enough of it. Walk into Paddy Power in Scotch Street and it’s like Riverdance ”.
“They do the zumba in Killeeshil Community Centre every Monday night, and I reckoned they’d go wild for the ballroom”, admitted dance enthusiast Gareth McAvoy, a 42-year old mechanic from Cabragh . “So I walked straight in and grabbed this big redhead by the waist and leaned her backwards like in thon picters of returning American GIs, until her head was nearly on the floor. Classy? You’d think so, but she didn’t. And neither did the police. £300 fine and an injunction from going within 500 yards of the community centre for the next two years. Tara”.
Sources confirmed that many hen sheds across the County have secretly been converted into make-shift ballrooms.
“I didn’t think much of it to begin with”, said wife Sheila Cunningham. “Why shouldn’t my husband install a 3-foot wide glitterball hanging down from the roof? I just thought it was there to cheer them poor wee chickens up. But when I saw him execute a perfect cross-body lead with reverse turn whilst scooping three dead hens up off the floor, I started to have a few suspicions”.
Other men confirmed that they struggled to find an outlet for their passion.
“I went to Mantis Night Club in Omagh on Saturday”, explained 23-year old slaughterhouse worker Frankie Cush from Drumquin. “I thought it would be the perfect location to throw a few of my new ballroom moves, but it was a fiasco. You try doing the pasa doble to ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ by the Prodigy. I ended up having to switch to the rhumba. I was mortified”.
Meanwhile, the influence of reality television shows continues unabated following reports of a surge in menfolk banning wives from kitchens whilst they have a ‘mad try at the baking’.
Drumquin couple John and Mary Kane celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary yesterday with a word of warning for young people starting out on a marriage today. The happy couple, both aged 71, revealed some of their ups and downs since they were married in 1963 on a cold and frosty morning at the foot of Dooish Mountain.
Mary, an ex-vetinary surgeon, was first to offer her pearls of wisdom:
“It’s not easy, like. Familiarity breeds contempt so you’re best to decide early on that you’re going to annoy this person as often as possible for the rest of your life. If you succeed, reward yourself with a brandy or new lipstick. Little tricks included using the sport section of the Irish News for lighting the fire on a Monday morning before he has read it. It used to drive him to total despair, wrecking the house. I’d be full by midday.”
John, a fighter pilot by trade, also dipped into his treasure box of experience:
“I agree with Mary. The magic goes after three years. Then she becomes an enemy. My war experience helped here. I remember a great piece of advice my father gave me: ‘Marriage is like a game of cards. Starts with two hearts and a diamond and ends with clubs and a spade’. We’ve been metaphorically clubbing at each other for 47 years now. It’s neck and neck for who’ll be left holding the spade.”
John listed selective hearing, secretly hiding the remote when the racing is on and putting empty cartons and packets back in the fridge as key tactics in the long war. Mary added her best manoeuvres as hiding the toilet roll, walking slowly in front of the TV during big matches and leaving no petrol in his car.
John and Mary will celebrate again today with a good old-fashioned argument about the wrong wheaten bread be bought last week.
In the wake of last week’s news of the security services in America listening in on phone calls throughout Europe, an international diplomatic investigation was sparked last night following a confession by a member of staff at the National Security Agency in Washington that he was instructed to secretly listen in on phone calls across County Tyrone.
“Gee, the guys were looking for a dude to secretly listen in to calls in County Teerone, and man, I guess I was the fall guy right from the get-go, being Irish an’ all”, said 28-year old Brent McRobertson. “My great great great great grand neighbour once went to somewhere near Ireland on vacation, so I guess that means I got the Irish blood in me. Anyways, I was listenin’ to all these calls, and seriously, these Teerone guys are crazy. They had all this talk of suckin’ diesel, and I was like, whoa, time check guys! No wonder they’re so unhealthy. That stuff is way disgusting”.
McRobertson said that he initially heard guttural barking and growling noises on the phone, which he initially believed was either interference from a local zoo or satellite disruption, but which subsequently turned out to be two brothers from Augher chatting to each other on the phone. In another phonecall from the Clady area, McRobertson said he overheard death threats being made.
“It was givin’ me the jeepers, man. These guys kept saying they were going to ‘kill Eeshil’ on Friday night, and that they were gonna take a couple of ‘owl blades’ with them. Is an owl blade some sorta bad-ass weapon? Aw man, it sounded like something bad was goin’ down. And who’s Eeshil? Is he some kinda gang leader? That dude’s gonna be history, period”.
McRobertson admitted that despite his Irish credentials he was not completely familiar with some of the local vernacular.
“What’s a ‘buckenbrolly’? Phone call after phone call folks kept talking about ‘that buckenbrolly’, and they were calling it a ‘clift’ which I think means cliff. Is it a place or some sort of geological feature? I tried to find out more on this local social networking site called ‘Slabber’, but it was the pits man”.
One of McRobertson’s colleagues spent an hour on the phone listening to a high-pitched screeching which was later identified as two women from Drumquin arguing about their favourite Nathan Carter track. He was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and had to receive extensive counselling.
Pomeroy, and its famed mountains, was said tonight to be ‘livid’ as news of the route for the Giro d’Italia was released today with Belfast, the Glens of Antrim and Armagh the designated stages. The Italian Quarter in Cappagh are also said to be a bit ‘miffed’, having bought in a lorryload of ice cream for the occasion.
There will be three stages to the race – a 22 km time trial around Belfast, a loop around the north coast and a cross border final stage, with Drumquin also sensationally snubbed despite them even having a song about their hills too.
Patsy Devlin, a cycling enthusiast from Pomeroy, summed up the feelings of his disappointed home-place:
“Some shower. Are they afeard to tackle our mountains? They think they’re deadly climbing the Alps and all but that’s a doddle compared to Grimes’ Hillock or Kavanagh’s Mound. I’d like to see Bradley Wiggles attempt Sigerson’s Hump with buck goats darting at you from both sides or trying to negotiate a spontaneous Philomena Begley concert half way up Cavanakeeran. Wimps. Buckin wimps.”
Drumquin’s Tessie Hurson also couldn’t contain her anger:
“We’re furious. When we heard the Giro was coming here we were sure Drumquin would be first on the list. We even painted the roads with motivational slogans like ‘Keep er lit’, ‘Shoe to the burd’ and ‘Suckin Diesel’. I’ve no doubt the words of The Hills Above Drumquin have put these pansies off: “This life is sad and dreary, and the task of it is sore, My feet are growing weary, I may never wander more;”
Meanwhile, Slieve Gallion locals have welcomed news of the route with Johnny Irwin claiming they never wanted a pile of nosey-parkers sniffing around their braes as “there’s things going on in them there mountains that no one needs to know about” before winking and walking off, smelling of potatoes, malted barley and diesel.
The Dungannon Tourist Board yesterday launched its campaign to bring in European residents to the town.
Under the slogan ‘Come to Dungannon – More than just a big Tesco’, the Board is particularly keen to invite Portuguese, Polish and Lithuanian citizens to the town.
“We’ve lots to offer newcomers”, said Community Liaison Officer Jill Moody. “We have the leisure centre, a roundabout with butterflies on it, and we’re hoping to get a Poundland soon. Dungannon really has got it all. Walk around the town and it’s just a sea of Tyrone faces everywhere. We’re proud of our town, but we want some multi-cultural influence as well. Come on world, what’s wrong with Dungannon? Come and see what we’ve got to offer.”
A spokesperson from Dungannon & South Tyrone Council told us:
“We’re right behind this campaign. Dungannon’s a great place to live and work. Whether its strolling through Dungannon Park, shopping in the Linen Green, or slaughtering chickens by the thousand, Dungannon’s got the lot”.
Local people out shopping on Saturday afternoon appeared to support the initiative. “Hi carumba!” said Granville local Enrique Gomez. “Thees eez wanderfuel news. We mus ‘elp all zeez people to come to our wanderfuel Dunganning. Arriba arriba”.
The view was shared by life-long Caledon resident Magda Adamczyk. “I am wirry hippy to hear ziz. I sink I will celebrit with big plate of beef goulash”.
The news was not met with universal approval however. 32 year old pencil sharpener Mickey Girvan of White City roared:
“You don’t want to encourage that sort of behaviour. Some of them foreign types are already all over the country. Imagine a whole nation of people going and putting down roots all over the place. You wouldn’t catch the Irish doing that. We keep ourselves to ourselves. Next thing you know they’ll be opening their own pubs. The cheek of it”.
Sean Duggan, a 54 year old sparrow trainer of Drumquin agreed. “I don’t trust them foreigners. I went on a big trip last summer. Terrible experience. Weird people with odd habits, eating inedible food. And I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. Last time I go to Coalisland for a holiday”.
Tyrone stepped onto the international sports stage yesterday as the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICGC) announced that its team for the newly created ‘Benefit Fraud’ sport at the 2014 Commonwealth Games comes almost exclusively from Drumquin.
“It’s amazing”, said Roland Quinn of the NICGC, “we scoured the whole of Northern Ireland for the very best to compete on the world stage, and by a remarkable coincidence we found them all in Drumquin. We have to hand it to them – they’ve got some of the best chancers in the world”.
Benefit Fraud will be new to the 2014 Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow next year, starting in July. It has has enjoyed increasing popularity across much of Europe with many hundreds of thousands of amateurs taking up the event, and has now been recognised as an official sport.
Frank Cassidy, an unemployed painter from ‘somewhere near the Dooish mountain’ has been selected for the demanding ‘Doing the Double’ pentathlon event which centres on five discrete disciplines completed over a 3 day period, combining signing on at the Social, going for a job interview and failing, working at a chicken factory, clearing glasses in a bar, and helping to lamb sheep.
“The training’s been exhausting” said Cassidy, “but I’ve been preparing for this for two years and I’m nearly ready. And if anyone asks, you haven’t seen me”.
The gruelling ‘Form Filling’ hurdle event is likely to draw some stiff competition but Martina McCluskey, an unemployed shop assistant of Claragh Road, is ready for it.
“I’ve filled out some of the hardest forms in the whole of the DHS. Have you seen the Benefits for Occupational Diseases form? Jaysus, it’s a belter. It would make your eyes water. But I’m ready for it, even though we know the Jocks are going to be difficult to beat in front of a home crowd”.
“You could say I’ve been training for this event most of my adult life” said Kiernan Donnelly, an unemployed fork lift driver of Baronscourt Road. “Bring it on!” Donnelly has been selected to compete in the arduous marathon event, which is a 26 mile walk undertaken whilst pretending to have a limp.
Craigavon Hospital confirmed last night that it has received its first case of someone suffering from salad intolerance.
“We admitted a 29 year old male yesterday evening where he was treated for a severe adverse reaction to a potentially lethal cocktail which we believe included rocket, watercress and balsamic vinegar” said a hospital spokesperson. “This morning however he has had a big feed and appears to be improving”.
The man in question, bus driver Patsy McGee from Drumquin, gingerly admitted:
“It was tara boys. Yesterday evening the wife gave me salad for my tea which I don’t think I’ve had before, but she was off to the zumba and didn’t have time to make anything else. About an hour later I was having these chronic stomach pains and some mad hallucinations about Kimberley Mikados. I can’t remember much after that”.
Fearful that her husband was having a stroke, his wife Rose immediately dialled 999.
“He was wrecking away in the ambulance, trying to eat the gel for thon defibrillator thing. He was just rambling and kept yelling ‘wagon wheels’ at the paramedic. It got even worse in the ward. He almost dragged three nurses with him trying to escape into the corridor, and there was bugger all out there apart from a fire extinguisher and one of them chocolate machines. They had to sedate him. Poor soul”.
Health officials fear that this could turn into an epidemic across Tyrone, although the intolerance is not thought to be infectious. A woman from Dromore was also admitted to hospital yesterday ranting ‘get me the Tayto’ after having eaten two slices of Ryvita bread for lunch, although the two incidents are not thought to be related.
Derrytresk Townland Committee have called an extraordinary meeting tonight to consider moving the whole area to somewhere west in the county, it has emerged in the last twenty minutes. Listing a plethora of reasons, it appears that the move could take place with immediate effect or at least before Christmas. Committee member Alfie Fitzgerald was adamant the motion will be passed:
To tell you the truth we’re sick and tired of living down here. For ten months of the year the whole place is flooded, turning the turf to shite. Then when the sun does come out for a few days the midges have you ate alive as well as any flowers or plants you foolishly attempted to grow. Add to that you have the roar of the M1 up the road and those bastards driving the trucks from Tamnamore to Cookstown taking a short cut through Derrytresk, bucking up the road which is re-tarmaced 10 times a year. Plus there’s that noise the Lough makes on a windy night. Who in their right mind would want to live here? We’re getting out. Derrylaughan is welcome to it. Them boys would live in their own mess.
Information on where they’re moving to appears sketchy at the minute and how the actual shifting of Derrytresk to another part of the county will take place. Fitzgerald attempted to clarify the situation:
Sure it’ll be no bother. Tonight we’ll draw up the names of all the families in Derrytresk and they’ll receive a letter this week informing them of how and when to get to their new abode. If we have to shift houses brick by brick we’ll do it. Myself and another boy has spotted an area below Drumquin on the map with no name on it. We’ll move there. Listen, the positives outweigh the bother of moving. We’ll be closer to Bundoran for holidays and maybe Mickey Harte will start picking some of our lads. He doesn’t like the East you know. That’s another thing, we’ll be taking the pitch, Church and school as well as most of the blackberries that haven’t been infested with them there flies that are enormous this year.
Derrylaughan Townland Committee chairman welcomed the move, saying they plan to use the extra space to build some kind of Loughshore Visitor Centre to rip off the foreigners or people from the south.
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.