Following the news that mid-Ulster has been identified as a “giant hotspot” by scientists studying a gene defect which causes people to grow abnormally tall, a local long-standing old wives’ tale that Finn McCool spent a drunken night with a woman from Cookstown may actually be 100% true.
The gene can result in too much growth hormone, which is produced and released by the pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland just below the brain. It is believed that half the county have the gene though in most cases it’s rarely activated, going by the size of the Tyrone GAA team over the years.
Cookstown shopkeeper Benjamin Sheehy admitted that the development was not news to him:
“This part of the country is full of long, lanky bolloxes. See that man over there browsing around the magazine section, you should see the legs on his wife. Apparently they go the who way up.”
The Finn McCool tale was often passed off as a piece of local fiction but the news from the London School of Medicine Queen Mary appears to verify the story that he had a bit of luck with a local woman a few thousand years ago. Sheehy added:
“I’m not surprised, going by the calibre of men our women tackle outside the Greenvale on Saturday night . Anything goes it seems. McCool knew what he was at when he stopped off here. We’ve a bit of a reputation. Anyway, that’s why the Tall Ships never come here. They’re just normal ships to a lot of us.”
The Tyrone County Board have contacted as many carriers of the gene who are single at present in order to match them up so they may produce a couple of towering midfielders for 2034.
Unicorns, leprechauns, dinosaurs and Finn McCool are still considered as daily threats in Aghyaran after government researchers admitted there has never been Internet coverage in the area since it was bought into the rest of Tyrone by Powerscreen in 1999.
In addition, 98% of Aghyarians still believe the earth is flat and that rain only happens when God is sad. Local headmaster and newspaper reader Master Redmond revealed there is a real need for investment in the area after the recent lunar eclipse witnessed families packing the cars and heading for Strabane in panic:
“Since Powerscreen bought the Internet for this part of the world, many newspapers and encyclopaedia stopped making new material as everything is apparently online now. Well, that has been no good to the people of Aghyaran and it’s a constant struggle in the community to keep people abreast of what is going on. If you inform someone of, say, the International Space Station, people just call you a slabber or ‘away in the head’.”
Aghyaran butcher and local historian Kevin Cutter (66) voiced concerns about the introduction of the Internet and maintains it needs to be slowly drip-fed into the area:
“If someone buys the Internet into this area and all of a sudden we’re told that smoking isn’t good for you or that you can’t get pregnant from kissing, then people will just be fainting and stuff from the sudden wave of revelations. It needs to be fed slowly, maybe starting with the likelihood that banshees are probably made up and take it from there. The bru man is real isn’t he?”
BT and O2 revealed they have no plans to improve their coverage in the Aghyaran area as ‘they’re used to not having it anyway’.
One of the last banshees in the county, the Omagh Banshee, yesterday announced her retirement from general ghouling and wailing in the Omagh area after weeks, if not months, of unsuccessful spooking at night. The ‘woman of the fairymounds’ had serviced the greater West Tyrone area since the Battle of the Yellow Ford in 1598 before concentrating on the county’s capital after the Home Rule Bill of 1886. Recently, though, she had been making sporadic appearances as rumours persisted of ill-health and deteriorating mental capacities.
“The time has come to hang up the comb,” the Omagh Banshee (known as the Oul Hoor in Omagh) told us on a frequency picked up on an old CB. “People are living longer and I’m sitting there whiling away the time hoping for an illness or two to savage a family. There bes days when I just take a chance and yap away outside a house in the hope that by sheer luck someone croaks it. Taking those chances were wrong and I’m just another failed run-of-the-mill mythological Irish spirit”
The Oul Hoor has been suffering greatly from arthritis because of the recent wet summers, making her existence a miserable all-year round affair now.
“It’s just not worth it. My once frightening keen is now like a kettle whistling. The young’uns just fire bottles and shoes at me as they see all the horror movies they want now. I’m just a joke to them. I blame the parents. In their day all I had to do was leave a comb lying about and they’d have nightmares for months. The only way to frighten youngsters now is to steal their computer games or iPhones. I might be a maggot-ridden fictional miserable old woman, but I’m not a thief.”
The Oul Hoor plans to spend her retirement playing bowls and hanging out with Finn McCool, Cathleen Ni Houlihan and Cuchulainn.