A 56-year old farmer from Fintona revealed he has written to the examinations awarding body CCEA to ask if his O Level paper from 40 years ago can be remarked after doubts over the accuracy of grades in 2017.
Patrick Flynn, who scored a C in English Literature in 1977 and was dubbed ‘the smartest man in Tyrone’ by his fellow villagers, maintains he was ‘done up like a kipper’ by the exam board after he thought he definitely scored a B at least.
“Even though I was labelled the smartest man in Tyrone for years back then after getting the C, I knew I’d done a deadly paper and even managed to write a poem that was 14 verses long during it about a Massey Ferguson which had a mind of its own and wanted to be a Lada. We weren’t asked to write a poem at all but I did it anyway to show off my talents. I was gobsmacked when I got the envelope.”
Flynn maintains he has never been able to hold down a relationship since the result due to fears that women were only after him for his brains after word of the ‘C’ grade got out.
CCEA have confirmed that it’s highly unlikely his paper from 1977 still exists but that they’ll look out the back for it anyway.
Meanwhile, schools in Tyrone have confirmed that Tyronish is to be taught as a GCSE this year with the first module teaching pupils how to insult and slag people in their own dialect effectively.
The product, Keeper Clean, has sold over 200’000 units since its launch last week, making the new company, Red Hand Wipes, a profit of £o.5m after tax.
The idea is the brainchild of Phelim McClafferty, who stumbled upon the idea whilst out walking on the Tattymoyle Road earlier in the year. Noting how happy he felt when passing a field with freshly spread manure on it, the Fintona entrepreneur experienced a major brainwave:
“Whether we like to admit it or not, country people have a natural dispensation towards the smell of agricultural produce, and that includes all forms of excrement. It gives us a natural high and is often thought of as an aphrodisiac in some parts of the county. So I put two and two together and got five. To be brutally honest, I’d no idea what I was doing and still can’t make sense of it, but it’s making me a wealthy man.”
Shopkeepers have reported sporadic fights in stores as far away as Strabane over the Keeper Clean Dung-Scented Toilet Roll as shelves are bare within minutes of a refill of the product. PSNI have urged shoppers to stay calm as the company have promised another five million units of the product are in the final stages of production.
Queen’s University chief scientist Dr Hillary Twelvetrees added:
“It makes no sense at all. Walking into one of the bathrooms containing the Keeper Clean Dung-Scented Toilet Roll must be an overpowering experience. The more I think of it, country people are pure mental.”
The toilet roll can be bought for £5.99.
The various current O’Neill family nicknames within the county are to be phased out and replaced with sub-clan names based on general physical characteristics.
The O’Neill Lineage and Genealogy Society have agreed that many of the current nicknames are either outdated or clouded in mystery as to their origin. They are to be re-classified on the 1st of October, categorised by location. O’Neill households are to receive official documentation within a fortnight, adding that there will be no appeal procedure for any disgruntled recipients.
The following list summarises the main changes:
O’Neills from Omagh, Plumbridge, Strabane, Dromore, Gortin and Fintona and any towns and villages west of these: The big-boned O’Neills. These O’Neills have a remarkably consistent characteristic across all families – they all have large behinds. We considered calling these clans ‘The Big-Arsed O’Neills‘ but considered that to be too crude for general consumption.
O’Neills from Carrickmore, Pomeroy, Greencastle, Galbally, Aughnacloy, Ballygawley and surrounding area: The Long-Nosed O’Neills. This breed have long, pointy faces and a matching oblong noses which makes them excellent tax-collectors or traffic wardens.
O’Neills from Dungannon, Donaghmore, Brackaville, Cookstown and Coalisland: The Square-Headed O’Neills. The O’Neills from this area have distinctive square heads, often causing difficult childbirths for O’Neill mothers. They are not to be confused with the oblong O’Neills just west of this area.
O’Neills from Ardboe, Moortown, Clonoe Parish, Moy: The Yellow O’Neills. These clans have a natural tanning during the summer, often caused by their tendency to sunbathe at the Lough shore. However, over the winter, their skin turns a remarkable yellow colour and are often wrongly diagnosed with jaundice despite being perfectly healthy. We considered naming them the Banana O’Neills but that threw up too many opportunities for people to poke fun at.
Any other O’Neills not covered by the above areas are to contact the O’Neill Society for re-classification as well as providing a photo for the same purpose.
Government officials are this week to debate new letterings for learner and restricted drivers after a spate of attacks on inexperienced drivers has been blamed on an online rumour that L plates were used by Loyalist drivers and R plated cars were owned by Republicans.
Transport Minister Martina Mulgrew believes that a new lettering system will put an end to cars being egged and sometimes given the middle finger to:
“Somebody started this rumour about the Illuminati and stuff and that R plates were used by rampant republicans whereas L plates were only used by Loyalist fanatics and that only a few people knew about it. The way young people are now, they believed it straight away without questioning it because it was on the Internet. My son was using an R plate recently and couldn’t understand why he was getting the middle finger from everyone when he drove up the Shankill Road. Even the lollypop lady called him a fenian bastard.”
The newly proposed system intends to replace R with NG (nearly good) and L with BD (bad driver). Local social standards commentator Linda Farrell insists the new system isn’t politically correct enough:
“Being labelled a BD (bad driver) will make them a target for bullies and sneerers. It could easily stand for Bob Dylan, behavioural disorder or Big Dick. You’re opening a can of worms here. Then NG could be interpreted as nice girl or Nazi Germany. We need more time to think this over.”
Meanwhile, a move to force motorists to drive on the right side of the road in Fintona, Fivemiletown and Augher from tomorrow as part of a plan to gradually phase the whole county over by 2020, has been described as a brilliant idea by a man in Clogher.
By Landan Seamy
Local spy Sean McGrinny has reported that the women of Tyrone might be planning another Easter rising. With the 100-year anniversary of one of the most momentous events in Irish history on the horizon and media saturation in full flow, McGrinny maintains there may have been a mobilisation under the radar:
“I know it might sound ridiculous that women could do anything like this. My own wife is a woman” confessed Sean, “and I have stood in loads of queues behind women at bank machines; self service cash outs; and believe it or not I’ve even stood behind a woman ordering beer in a pub in Fintona. I know they’re a bit more reluctant about things but the world is changing. Sure didn’t a woman take charge of the football match between Fermanagh and Queens and she didn’t do too bad at all. Also you often see women on TV winning prizes for all kinds of stuff”.
Sean said that the entire scheme came to his attention when he noticed lots of women walking really fast around Omagh.
“They start out so fast you would think they had to get somewhere in a hurry but if you remain where you are you will see them marching back just as fast in about an hour. They hold their heads up proud and swing their arms like I’ve seen soldiers doing in the movies. They’re obviously training for something”.
Sean became convinced that there was something strange going on after he followed two of the women for a couple of miles.
“Not wanting to frighten them or to let on what I was up to I decided to follow them one night in the dark thinking they wouldn’t see me. I found it very hard to keep up however and as my breathing got heavier one of the women turned around and jumped to the conclusion that I was up to no good. Instead of acting normal they became very angry and started to shout and told me to f*#k off. Eventually one of them recognized me and told me that she would report me to Pauric. I know that this woman’s husband is called Pauric however I also deducted from her menacing voice that there was some sinister veiled threat there.”
Sean ended with a warning that everyone should take care because whilst the first Easter Rising was a pretty good one this one could be deadly with women in charge.
“I would tell the owners of all local businesses to be on the alert around Easter. I know that the men of 1916 took key government buildings like the Four Courts along with places of industry like Boland’s Mill but women might possibly try to occupy smaller places like pastry shops and hairdressers so my warning to everyone is to be on the alert”
The family of a 71-year old grandmother confirmed she’ll never be invited to their Hallowe’en party again after a series of calculated moves to win every party game including putting a magnet in her mouth as well as slobbering into the apple-bobbing bowl.
Margaret O’Flynn, who has over 50 grandchildren, was caught cheating red-handed when she accidentally coughed up a magnet after winning the ‘guess the apple pie slice with 20p in it’ game EIGHT times in succession. Her daughter, Linda (44), added:
“She was sniffing every slice really up close but we just thought she had some kind of elderly 6th sense. Little did we know she had a horseshoe magnet in her mouth and it was moving any time she hovered over the 20p. My children were fairly pissed off after her 5th win in a row.”
Mrs O’Flynn proceeded to ruin the apple-bobbing game by demanding to go first and then coughing, spluttering and retching into the bowl, causing children to opt out of the game every time a new bowl was set up.
“Not only that, but she had her dentures re-set earlier that day so that her mouth opened twice as wide as a normal person’s mouth. There were times she was able to fit THREE apples in it at the one time. No one stood a chance!”
O’Flynn is not a stranger to ruining children’s parties. In 1998 she exposed Santa Claus as her second cousin during his stint at the local Fintona Youth Club by yanking his beard off him as he arrived on stage and calling him a ‘miserable tramp‘, referring to a long-standing family feud over access to a field.
A Fintona family have described how living at home has become a cold and lonely place after their son and daughter bragged online about winning the Ladies Junior British GAA Championship with their Manchester based club Oisín C.L.G..
Brother and sister Jamie Garrity (joint manager) and Caroline Garrity (captain), who joined the club in order to keep in touch with their cultural and sporting roots, have since deleted their Facebook statuses but locals maintain the damage has already been done.
Jamie’s status, which read “British Champions, Get ‘er bucked“, only received one like as well as a torrent of abuse in the comments section underneath, before it was taken off.
The children’s father, Brian, is at a loss to explain the rush of blood to his son’s head:
“It’ll be a long time before things will cool down around here. There’s a lot of anger about and we’ve had to shop in Fivemiletown because of it. People here have long memories. Normally a parent would be proud of their children being successful in foreign lands but just don’t be boasting about it using the B word. Crazy stuff to be at.”
The Oisins now head to Maastricht for the All-Ireland preliminary round with a sizeable contingent from Fintona reportedly flying over to throw their support behind their opponents from Brussels.
An anonymous emailer explained:
“You’d never think a lad from Fintona would celebrate being British champions. You wouldn’t hear the Brussels ladies at that so we’re throwing our support behind the Belgians. That’ll put manners on Jamie and maybe he’ll not be at the bragging next time. Well done and all that but don’t be shoving it in our faces. It’s tough enough Fintona finishing 11th in Division 3 without hearing about them being British Champions.”
Ireland’s Call has been decided upon as the anthem for the Oisín game over in Holland, not helping matters.
Following the news that the Mid-Ulster District Council have decided to reclassify Ballygawley as a town, residents of Seskinore have reportedly become restless after they revealed they have been turned down for the same classification for 45 consecutive years despite being 200% bigger.
Ballygawley, which was a village until recently, is expected to experience a windfall since the declaration, with news of famous celebrities across the globe accessing house prices in the area as well as the attractive categorisation of being a ‘townie’ instead of a plain ‘villager’ or ‘bogman’.
Seskinore Tourism Co-ordinator Jessie Pink admitted that the award was a kick in the stomach:
“We just can’t believe it around here. What does Ballygawley have that we don’t except a massive roundabout? We have a primary school and a church just like them and we don’t have pubs which should be a plus with all the bad press alcohol is getting.”
Ballygawley now joins Omagh, Strabane, Cookstown, Dungannon, Castlederg, Coalisland, Fintona and Carrickmore as Tyrone’s official towns, further enraging Seskinorians:
“Carrick-buckin-more? I’ve a field bigger than Carrickmore.”
Ballygawley is to welcome the new classification by issuing advice to homes on the behaviour expected now from townies. They include:
- Reading up on latest fashions/hairstyles and changing them every 5 weeks
- Cheap tracksuits to be worn after 6pm and on weekends
- Baseball caps with acute peaks at all times
- Women to wear less clothes with a lot more flesh on display
- Women to don baby blue jogging jackets with ‘PRINCESS’ emblazoned on the back
- Poorly dyed blonde hair with split ends and two inch long roots
- To look down on anyone who is intelligent/not from a town
McDonald’s and Burger King are monitoring the situation.
By Landan Seamy
Local Spy Sean McGrinny has contacted the papers to complain that several times in the last week he has noticed police cars doing way above the speed limit, even in built up areas.
“I’ve no idea what they’re up to but I’m sure it’s no good” Sean began.
“On Monday I was feeling totally scundered after the Kerry match so when one of their cars speeded past me I succumbed to an irrational urge to give chase only to find myself flagged down, pulled over, and questioned by the very same policemen that I was investigating.
Later that night I was explaining to my civilian friends in the pub that there’s absolutely no call for this reckless speeding when one of them suggested they could be heading to the scene of a crime in Armagh or Derry or somewhere like that.
I decided to subject this bizarre theory to a test and can now confirm categorically that there’s not a hate of truth in it for on Tuesday morning I made a hoax call reporting that a robbery was underway in Fintona.
I made the call when out walking on the Dublin Road in Omagh and guess what? I saw 2 police cars racing up the Dublin Road with their sirens blaring in the exact opposite direction to Fintona.
To add insult to injury a few hours later as I was sitting down to write up my notes on the episode two big hallions rapped on my door and started giving me jip about the phone call, insinuating that I was wasting police time.
My mind was still on Dublin and the class restaurants they have around Croke Park so I came up with a story that a cousin of mine in Fintona thought that a robbery was underway at the local Indian restaurant. I guessed that would get them off my back but didn’t they only phone their colleagues in Fintona and discovered I have no cousins there and nor is there an Indian restaurant”.
Sean’s wife says she’s baffled by the entire handlin and has suggested that if the constant police harassment doesn’t cease that her husband might look for a new career.
“Where will the people of Tyrone be then” she raged. “There’s no-one in Ireland who has done more research into aliens and ufos and stuff like that than my Sean. My message to the police is to grow up. But if you want Tyrone to be overrun by aliens then by all means continue what you’re doing”.
By Landan Seamy
A 46 year old aspiring secret agent from Seskinore has phoned the Ulster Herman to say he’s “almost definite” that the back door draw is a fix.
Sean McGrinny revealed always had his suspicions when the draw was on TV but then RTE and the GAA colluded to put it on the radio so no-one could see. The full phonecall transcript follows:
“Any old fool could be suspicious” mused Sean “when it was TV. The way they’d be pushing the balls around in a big glass barrel that was see through put doubts in everyone’s mind. But then the southerners thought they’d stifle the questions from the north by transferring the draw to the radio”.
“To my shame” confessed Sean, “I nearly forgot to be suspicious myself until last year when I happened to be in Dublin on the morning of the day when Tyrone drew Armagh. I can’t say why I was there being a spy and all but to cut a long story short I found myself in a pub in Donnybrook and there were some people there who looked wild like RTE people. I can’t recall exactly what they were saying cause I was quite pissed but I’ll never forget the big grin on their faces as they looked at me in my Tyrone shirt. It was obviously all a fix”.
“This year I took the liberty of asking people in and around Seskinore who they thought Tyrone would draw. At least 17 people predicted Meath. 18 if you count my mother in law. That was nearly half of the people I asked. Most of the others predicted Derry. Not a single person predicted Tipperary. What more proof do you want than that? The whole thing is a bloody fix”.
“Why is the draw on at 8.30 in the morning when most people are at work. RTE and the GAA thought they had the whole thing sewn up but they didn’t count on me. Being a spy I’m in control of my own agenda so I got up early on Monday morning and sat down to listen to the ‘draw’.”
“Their first cynical tactic to stop people listening was they delayed the news by talking for ages to someone in Athens about whether or not Greece will default on it’s debt. I mean is anyone in Ireland even remotely interested?”.
“When the draw started I turned the radio to full volume and couldn’t hear a single ball being shuffled during the entire affair. The only noise I could hear was someone making tea in the background. As Tyrone drew Meath someone in the RTE studios shouted “Jesus” in a cynical and shameless attempt to fool people into thinking it wasn’t fixed”.
Sean’s proud wife says that he comes from a long line of shrewd observers. His father was one of the first people in Tyrone to realise that men did not land on the moon. He was famous around Fintona and was once told to leave the pub at 2AM simply for insisting that there was something suspicious about JFK’s assassination. Sean’s grandfather was no cod either and had a theory that it was an emigrant from Tattysallagh who helped Shakespeare write 9 or 10 of his best plays.
A retired Trillick headmaster is currently answering police questions after it emerged he collected over £3000 a year from pupils and their parents ‘for the poor people of Fermanagh’ despite no evidence of such a charity existing as well as the fact that the average family income in Fermanagh has been £4 higher than in Tyrone since 1833.
Master Cuthbert (81), who retired from St Gretta’s in 1989 and set up his own soup kitchen in Ballinamallard with the help of a dubious international grant, is said to have pocketed £60’000 from the Fermanagh Charity from 1965 until 1985 after which he claimed he had solved the Fermanagh poverty issue.
Ex-pupil and general sceptic Harry Brennan admits he thinks Cuthbert pulled a fast one:
“We used to pray 2-3 times a day for the poor people of Fermanagh even though we sort of lived next to them and they had bigger cars and houses. But the Master was very convincing and made us feel bad about not donating by telling sob stories about visiting Ederney and Belleek and the shanty houses and people going to the toilet in open fields. But sure, that was the same up the road in Fintona.”
Brennan also claimed the Master would show pictures of Fermanagh children with sad, dirty faces but now thinks it was just his own children mucking about in his garden.
Master Cuthbert subsequently, on retirement, set up a soup kitchen in Fermanagh with the help of a £30’000 European Charity grant but failed to attract any customers apart from a man from Strabane who popped in each day for a bowl of tomato soup.
Fermanagh Tourism Director Pierce McGrath rejected the notion that Fermanagh ever had a poverty issue and went on to declare that ‘by the state of the people walking around Trillick today, you could be doing with a lock of our pounds’.
A fleet of farmers from Fintona have appealed to their various denominations for guidance on the issue of gay animal marriages in the wake of the up-coming referendum on same-sex human marriage in Ireland later in the year.
Homosexuality in the animal kindgom has been a thorny issue for farmers for centuries, especially bull farmers whose livlihoods depend on the hetrosexual tendancies of their prized possessions. However, recently, farmers who allowed inter-animal marriages on their farms are said to be ‘a touch confused’ as to whether they should turn a blind eye to eloping livestock.
Pat Sweeney, 67, who blissfully admitted to housing gay pigs, sheep and bulls without much thought, revealed he wants to hear the Church’s take on the whole issue of same-sex animal marriage before any more ceremonies are carried out:
“It’s probably not a well-known aspect to farming. We’ve been marrying animals for a laugh for as long as I can remember as did my father and his father before him. Tuxedos, veils, music, confetti, the lot. It adds a bit of spice to the otherwise monotonous routine of farm work. This whole cake stuff and the vote down south has made us a bit more aware of our religious obligations. The Vatican needs to address this issue now.”
Sweeney estimated that one in every three animals he owns is gay although revealed that lesbian tendancies don’t appear to be as strong in sows and ewes.
Fr Lionel Lawless announced this morning he is to fly to Rome immediately to get an answer to what he calls ‘a confusing handlin’.
“We’re not really sure where we stand on this one to be honest. But if it’s decided that same-sex animal marriage is not permitted, we’ll also be asking farmers to reveal the homosexual animals in their care so that people know what they’re eating.”
Farmers in East Tyrone have re-enforced their stance that gay and lesbian animals are welcome on their fields no matter what the Church decides and that they’re secured the services of a rebel priest who’ll perform same-sex animal marriages in broad daylight.
A stricken wind turbine which was felled on Friday on the Screggagh wind farm on Murley mountain near Fintona was said to be a last act of defiance by recently retired All Star defender Conor Gormley, sending out a message to the Tyrone side before they take on Armagh in the McKenna Cup this weekend.
A close friend of the Carrickmore man confirmed it was something Gormley would do and should not be looked on as an act of vandalism but as heroic as Finn McCool or Cuchulainn.
“Aye that’d be Conor alright. He’s not a man for words. I’d say he’s thought long and hard about a parting gift for the current squad, so he has decided to shoulder charge a wind turbine to the ground. He’s some boyo.”
The 80 metre turbine, valued at over £500,000, collapsed on Friday evening, scattering debris over a wide area. The sound of the failing mechanical structure was heard more than seven miles away. Some people said the sound was like thunder.
“I remember him shouldering Oisin McConville in 2003 and it was a similar sound.”
added former county squad player Sean Cavlan.
The Gormley turbine saga puts into the shade Armagh’s Francie Bellew who marked his retirement by clattering into the gable wall of the Crossmaglen PSNI barracks, causing £6000 worth of structural damage.
Shop owners have been urged to remind shoppers that their premises will be open again in a couple of days after police were called to the Spar in Brackville due to a violent brawl over the last tin of Family Circle Delux Edition biscuits.
The incident occurred hours after three brothers in Tattyreagh were cautioned for fighting over a case of Shloer in Omagh earlier in the day. Government officials have called on all retail outlets to remind shoppers that goods will be available for purchase in under 48 hours and that there was no word of an apocalypse or extreme weather conditions for the foreseeable future.
The Brackaville brawl occurred after two neighbours spotted the final tin of Family Circle sitting in the middle of an aisle with a big £4.99 sign dangling over them. Shopper Brian Carland witnessed the clash:
“It was like a scene out of a Clint Eastwood film. The two women were equ-distance from the tin and descended on their prize like rockets. Next, all you could see were hair clips and bras flying all over the shop as they tore strips off each other. The odd thing was that both trollies were full of cakes and biscuits and stuff. Them Family Circle must be good.”
Police warned both women regarding future behaviour and reminded one of the perpetrators that she’d already bought two normal boxes of Family Circle as well as a 5-pack of Ginger Nuts.
Meanwhile a family of four in Fintona are said to be distraught after only managing to secure a 20lb turkey, as their appetites are far bigger now than last year. They are willing to accept generous food parcels.
‘You only had one job‘ muttered a disconsolate bride to her groom outside the church entrance in Fintona this morning after she turned up for her big day sitting in the back of a hearse with her father, with the three bridesmaids already having travelled in the same vehicle to the disbelief of the large attendance.
Pat McGinn, who asked to look after the transport arrangements as a gift to his fiancée, admitted he’d messed up after completely mistaking the wedding car for a Daimler 4 litre V8 hearse 2 bearer with covers with only 33’000 miles on the clock and climate controlled air conditioning with new alloy wheels.
“I wouldn’t be deadly into weddings or funerals. I saw the motor advertised on Gumtree and thought she looked lethal. It was only when the brides turned up looking glum and shaking their heads in the back of the hearse. If that was bad, you should have seen herself ten minutes later.”
Mary Clarke (not taking the husband’s name) admitted it was hard to smile during the sermon:
“I’ll never forget that journey. Sitting in the back of that hearse on a polished wooden mount with my da, listening to panpipes playing Nearer My God To Thee and Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace…..I was fuming. He had one job.”
Hearse driver Kenny Archer added that he felt sorry for the bridal party and has promised to do a deal for the first one to pass on to their eternal reward, when that time comes.
Findings by the Institute of Ulster has discovered that nearly half of all Tyrone men have a genetic aversion to summer picnics.
The report published earlier this week, confirmed a fact which many in the county already suspected, which is that men have a hypersensitivity to sitting in middle of a dunged field eating scotch eggs and cheese and onion sandwiches.
Researcher Wolfgang O’Neill explained,
“These are very unusual findings. Show a Dungannon man a tartan rug and he’s likely to break into a sweat and start muttering about having to clean the gutter or paint the garage. Under laboratory conditions we tested over a dozen men from Fintona, and every single one of them started shouting, ‘the rain’s on its way’, every time we showed them a vacuum flask. Bizarre”.
The study also showed that when the Tyrone men are placed within an al fresco picnic environment, the symptoms of the allergy begin to intensify. These vary, but can include fidgeting, sighing extremely loudly, and looking at watches, to extreme irritability, yelling at children, and and getting blind drunk.
“Aye, that sounds about right”, said chronic picnic allergy sufferer Padraig Kershaw from Omagh. “My wife’s mad for the picnics, so she is. First glimpse of sunshine and she’s got the feckin’ windbreak out. Where’s the joy in sitting in the middle of Dungannon Park surrounded by midges, watching the clouds rolling in, eating tomato sandwiches?”
Another, 52-year old Patsy McGurk from Aughabrack, said,
“Al fresco? Don’t know him. Don’t want to. Know what I hate most about picnics? No back support. It’s worse than sitting on a bloody beach. We’re built for barbeques. If I’m going to get chronic food poisoning, I’d rather have it in my own garden, not some damn field miles from anywhere. At least at home you can have a decent bowel movement in comfort. I’m too old for squatting over a bloody clump of thistles”.
Extreme sufferers of the condition were found to have other symptoms in common, including involuntary shouting, ‘we’d best be getting back’, every time they saw a Tupperware box.
Local man Packie McGinn of Fintona was the surprise winner last night in the celebrated ‘Laziest Arse of the Year Awards, where he won a prize in one of the hotly-contested categories.
The star-studded event, staged at the Glenavon Hotel in Cookstown, was attended by many local celebrities including Seamie Boyle, the Seskinore man who came close to appearing on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies in 2009, and C J Hetherington from Clogher, who featured on last week’s Crimewatch.
The coveted ‘Longest Outstanding Household Chore’ category was eventually won by the 62-year old McGinn of Fintona, after having proven that he had a light bulb in the hallway landing he had been meaning to change since August 2012.
The proud winner declared,
“It’s true. I know it’s nearly two years since it conked out, but I’ve been busy. I’ve had a lot on my plate what with the World Cup and all. And it’s one of thon screwy-in light bulbs, not your traditional bayonet cap, so it probably means a trip to Sammy Trotter’s in Dungannon cause there won’t be one in the garage. Well, there might be, but I’ve not got round to checking. And it means I’ll have to bring in the step ladder from outside, or at least one of the dining room chairs from downstairs. Sure, I’ll get round to it one day soon. The wife’s always on at me about it, but you can’t hurry these things”.
McGinn’s wife, a clearly emotional Bernadette, said,
“This is a bittersweet moment for me. On the one hand, Packie’s never won anything in his life never mind been nominated for such a prestigious award and it’s something that we’ll treasure for the rest of our days. But on the other hand, if I stub my feckin’ toe one more time wreckin’ about that hallway in the dark, I swear to God I’ll take the head clane off the bollix”.
Other chores which were nominated in the same category included a door hinge which has been squeaking for over a month, a child’s game of Operation which has needed new batteries since last Boxing Day, and a kitchen table which has had a shoogly leg for nearly a year.
An inaugural cycling race took place yesterday, in an event designed to compete directly with the Giro d’Italia road race which sees one of the stages taking in Armagh.
Local organiser, Terence Kerr from the Rock, proudly told us,
“It was an unqualified success. I know we only had one person who entered for it who didn’t even finish, but that’s not the point. Well, it sort of is, but you’ve got to try, haven’t you? And what’s so special about Armagh anyway? It’s not a patch on Tyrone. It says in the paper they’re starting the race at the Shambles in Armagh. Why not Donaghmore? You should see thon speed bumps on the main street. Now they’re a proper feckin’ shambles. That’s why we’ve done our own race. Armagh can stick their apple orchards up their holes”.
The lone participant, 32-stone man Sidney Clarke from Cabragh, collapsed with exhaustion just two miles into the 124-mile route.
“I had done all my preparation and loads of training and was taking it all deadly serious”, he admitted regretfully. “In fact I bought so many go-faster stickers out of Argos I couldn’t fit them all on my Raleigh Chopper. And all the gears were working apart from the first and second, so I’m not really sure what went wrong”.
Onlooker Gerard McMahon from Urney confirmed,
“Ah, now poor Sidney wouldn’t be fastest thing on two wheels. Some of the wee’ans coming out of St Joseph’s at home time were going faster than him. The poor man was on the bike for three hours, and that was just going up Pomeroy main street. And I don’t really think the stabilisers helped much. The critter. Sweat was lashin’ off him. He’s a big lad, carrying plenty of beef. By the time he finished, they had to burn the saddle. Tara”.
Kerr advised that the Giro D’Onaghmore race originally attracted interest from over 300 people, until nearly all of them realised the race was nothing to do with collecting their Giro from the post office on a Thursday morning. Plans are already underway for a 2015 cycling event, the Tour de Fintona.
By Aughoughilley Schniffles
It was revealed at last night’s emergency Tyrone County Board meeting that, due to Tyrone’s “higher than expected” scoring concessions in the National Football League Division One campaign, the Red Hand County will be using new 3D print technology to create SIX new copies of Ryan McMenamin.
Tyrone, having scored 140 points and conceded 135 points in the 2014 NFL, will be looking to tighten up for their championship opener which is just a matter of weeks away.
Marty ‘eyebrow’ Canavan, former Trillick U16, Ardboe minor, and Fintona senior full-back, and current chairman of the board, revealed:
“ach aye… no doubt!”
whilst squinting his eyes and scratching his forehead.
“Indeed byjaysis. See, Tony Donnelly said til Mickey at training Wednesday wick ago that lookin at the stats we could be doin wi somehin’… any’hing, y’see. After scoring the last of his 5-18 in an in house match, young McCurry shouted over til Mickey that it was all a bit too easy for him, and that you’d need a clatter of Riceys in the back line, ye’know, til put a bit of bite into the thing, and it all really tuck aff from there hi. Nixt ‘hing we got the printer organised from Germany, an she arrived at Garvaghey the other night and were good till go!”
Operation ‘Ricey-kill’, which kicks into action this week, intends to put a more snap and crack into the fold, with funds reputedly coming from recycled crisp packet moneys of empty Hunky Dory bags that have been left at Omagh’s county grounds since January.
It is anticipated that the 6 ‘Riceys’ will be ready to pop into action for the first week of the All Ireland Senior Football Championship. In a move some will find controversial, initial reports suggest it will cost $6million in titanium alone, shipped from NASA, for the skeletons, with $350,000 worth of hydrochloric acid (also being flown over from the US), for use as the blood – all of which the board insists will be money well spent.
The thieving community across the county last night said it was in crisis as the ever-increasing demands of health and safety tookits toll on the criminal fraternity.
Gang leaders claim that they are getting so many compensation claims in from gang members who have injured themselves that they have no alternative but to insist on taking adequate health and safety measures.
“It’s tara boys”, said Kieran, a crook from Fintona. “In the olden days you could steal a whole lock of cattle in a couple of hours and still be in time for last orders. Now I’m not allowed to do it unless I’ve done a two-week course in feckin’ animal husbandry. What’s that all about? It’s almost enough to force you into an honest living”.
But master-thieves were quick to point out they were merely reacting to changes in society. Bill Fagin, the head villain of a gang of thieves from ‘somewhere near the Dooish mountain’, said,
“It’s not our fault. It’s the claims culture. I’m getting demands for compensation left, right and centre. I’ve one boy who’s claiming five grand for having made him ‘allergic to the dark’, and another claiming the same amount after the eejit swallowed nearly a litre of red diesel when he was siphoning it out of a digger near Glenelly, and had to have his stomach pumped. That’s why we now give them manual handling training on how to lift a stolen plasma TV. They might hurt their backs and make a claim. Some handlin’. Literally”.
He went on,
“We can’t have them boys stumbling about in the dark on a remote farm in Killyman or somewhere when they’re trying to steal a lorry. They might bump into something and injure themselves. That’s why they need to wear the hi-viz jackets. And put up floodlighting. Or even better, come back and do it in the daylight. Safety first boys, safety first”.
But most thieves have condemned the actions as being over the top, and for compromising their chances of a clean getaway.
“We had one boy breaking in through the first floor window of a factory in Lissan last week”, confided Hugh, a swindler from Tattyreagh. “But he took so long filling out his ‘Working at Height’ form and putting up scaffolding that he got caught. Jaysus, in the good old days we just climbed up the drainpipe”.
Fully-qualified thief Declan from Plumbridge, was resigned to the changes.
“Aye, I suppose now I’m all trained up I won’t injure myself. I was breaking and entering into a big house in Donaghmore last month and although the risk assessments took over an hour to complete, at least I knew I’d be safe”,
he said, before being led back to his prison cell to complete a two-year sentence.