What started out as a harmless comment on Twitter concerning Madonna’s fall at an awards ceremony during the week has turned nasty with a clear West v East split emerging from the online spat.
Omagh teacher Pat Dougan (@horseitintoye) initiated the debate when he innocently tweeted
“Holy smokes, Madonna fell there on the TV”
at 9:45 on Wednesday night. Within minutes, tension escalated quickly when Mary Farrell (@badgerlass) from Brocagh replied at 9:46:
@horseitintoye Nice comment there, Mr Obvious
Unable to ignore the slight, Dougan retorted:
@badgerlass How about you learn some manners, ye prick
Which led to the following dialogue:
@horseitintoye – Ah, shut up ye grumpy oul bollocks
@badgerlass – You’re some girl. Typical Brocagh woman
@horseitintoye – Say it til my face ye slabber
@badgerlass – Yiz are all the same down there. Tramps.
@horseitintoye I’ll go up there and bate the bollix off a ye
@badgerlass – aye, in yer horse and cart. Don’t bring yer diseases please
@horseitintoye – aye, yer ma is yer sister, dick. Westie pansy.
@badgerlass – stupid hoor.
The high-stakes dialogue continued until after midnight with over 300 twitter users weighing in behind either Dougan or Farrell, with landmarks (e.g. Ardboe Cross v the Tin Men), footballers (e.g. Frank McGuigan v Ryan McMenamin), politicians (e.g.Michelle O’Neill v Barry McElduff) petrol prices and weather all used as weapons in the heated exchanges.
With no let up in the argument the following morning, and amidst threats of ‘arriving up with a crowd of our ones‘ from both sides, Twitter was moved to suspend over 700 accounts from the county for 24 hours in order to dampen emotions and calm the situation.
The Tyrone Tourism Board are to meet this evening to brainstorm ideas on how to repair east v west relations, with a ‘sharing and exchange of home-made gifts’ somewhere near the Ballygawley roundabout the firm favourite.