Witnesses described scenes in Augher as ‘like a pile of heavyweights brawling’ after the failure to thank a motorist who let another driver out of a side road ended in six arrests and a smashed windscreen.
Jackie Wilson, a 44 year old plumber from Fivemiletown, admitted he flipped after another driver declined to show his hazard lights despite being let out of a junction near the Clogher Rd roundabout.
“I stopped for about 10 seconds to let the bastard out. He sneaked out safely and I did think it odd that he didn’t raise his index finger to acknowledge me. I was sure he’d turn on the hazard lights as a gesture of gratititude but instead he put shoe to the burd and drove off.”
Wilson went on the explain how he chased the offender until they stopped at a junction, got out of his car and pulled the 62-year old retired teacher, Harry Jones, through the wound-down driver’s window.
“I admit I threw a real wobbler. Unfortunately the man’s three sons were also in the motor and they piled on to the fight too. Several bystanders got stuck in too, just for something to do I think.”
Jones, who is being treated for a bruised backside after being dragged through the window of his motor, revealed his hazard lights were broken anyway and that he definitely did put his finger up. He received three penalty points and a £120 fine for the hazard light malfunction.
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.
Election authorities are said to be trawling through the current election register after a raft of unusual names were ratified as eligible voters in the upcoming Fermanagh/South Tyrone election.
The constituency, which sees a unionist pact between the DUP and UUP in 2015, will be a closely contested affair with Michelle Gildernew hoping to hold onto her seat despite the two large Unionist parties pulling together as one.
Civil servants have however alerted authorities to several unusual names on some of the voting cards. In Fivemiletown, 17 names have been identified as suspicious including ‘Rover Quinn‘, ‘Blackie King’, ‘Rufus Pollock’ and simply ‘Fetch‘, suggesting that pet animals have been used for voting purposes.
Election director Paula McCabe warned:
“It’s not just animals. We’ve had Abraham Lincoln, Wolfe Tone McCann, Elvis Maguire, E.T Graham, Jaws Murphy and five Rod Stewarts. If these people think they can dress up as famous figures from history, music or TV and try to vote then they’ve another thing coming.”
The high security follows on from the last election in 2010 when 64 dubious names were registered including Giant Haystacks, Pat the Budgie, Napoleon, Fr Ted and Cecil the Fighting Cock.
Last time out, Gildernew won by four votes with the four ‘Harry Potter‘ voters from Benburb possibly swinging the balance in her favour.
News coming through that Sean Cavanagh may be on his way to Beragh. More shortly
Reports emerging that Owen Mulligan has been looking at an estate agents shop in Ardboe, sparking rumours of a transfer out east
TRANSFER! Joe McMahon has made the move down the road to Drumragh for six bags of coal and two VIP tickets to see Nathan Carter in Drumragh College.
We return to the Owen Mulligan story. He was in fact just looking at his reflection in the window and not property browsing.
More on that Sean Cavanagh move to Beragh. Beragh officials are prepared to offer their historic Standing Stone as well as three months of home heating oil for Sean’s services. There appears to be a hold up due to Cavanagh’s demands that his brother Colm goes too. Beragh don’t want Colm.
Noises made about Tommy McGuigan moving to Trillick. More on that later.
Sensational news emerging that Derrytresk have bid for Kerry’s Declan O’Sullivan. More later.
Trillick’s Jewish community have announced they will not renew their season tickets if McGuigan moves out west. Deal off.
The O’Sullivan to Derrytresk story is gathering legs as reports are confirmed of a Kerry reg car speeding up from Dromid towards Ulster.
TRANSFER! Moy have sold Philip Jordan to a knackers yard.
Owen Mulligan has been spotted chatting to Donaghmore‘s chairwoman Debbie Donnelly, sparking rumours of a move to St Patrick’s.
Declan O’Sullivan has been spotted buying a bottle of mineral in Cavan Town. Deal closing in.
The Mulligan story has been quashed after it was confirmed he was just chatting Donnelly up.
Beragh have backed down and are prepared to take the two Cavanaghs in exchange for the Standing Stone and the Drumnakilly Devil.
O’Sullivan spotted in Fivemiletown asking for directions to Derrytresk. Onlookers say he looks excited.
TRANSFER! Omagh have bought Moortown underage sensation Paddy Quinn for a packet of Haribo and two VIP tickets to see Nathan Carter play at Drumragh College and have promised to have him speaking English by Christmas
Ageing journalist Ronan McSherry seen buying a Brackaville jersey in Dungannon, sparking rumours of a sensational comeback.
The Cavanagh to Beragh saga has taken another turn as it emerged that Cavanagh’s wife doesn’t like the shops in Beragh.
Owen Mulligan spotted playing bingo in Edendork Hall, suggesting of a move to St Malachy’s.
Carrickmore have made a bid for entire Clonoe team.
Cash strapped Clonoe have accepted Carrickmore’s bid for their entire team in part exchange for Conor Gormley.
The Rock have denied rumours they are in the market for a new lawn mower, stating ‘we are happy with the mower we have.’
Mulligan will not be going to Edendork. He was simply checking out the talent at bingo in a Wayne Rooney sort of way.
Philip Jordan has failed his medical at the knacker’s yard
Cavanagh to Beragh is off. Mrs Cavanagh has complained about the climate up there.
Conor Gormley has been revealed as a Clonoe O’Rahilly player at Tessie’s, the only one left, sparking wild scenes of jubilation. Ruthless manager Cassidy says ‘he’s better than the shower we had anyway”.
Tommy McGuigan has controversially tweeted ‘punch a Ballinderry man today #dicks’.
One hour of the Tyrone Transfer Window left
TRANSFER! Ryan McMenamin has been sold to Uruguay. Uruguayan manager Hector Solaris reckons he’ll give them ‘that 1954 bite back’. McMenamin learning Spanish.
Tommy McGuigan spotted with a t-shirt which says “Why Always Me?” on the front of it.
Declan O’Sullivan arrives in Derrytresk
Declan O’Sullivan leaves Derrytresk in tears. They were just messing.
Urney have announced they will not be buying anyone in this window. Restless locals storm embassy.
TRANSFER! Colm Cavanagh has been sold to Beragh on a free.
TRANSFER WINDOW SHUT!
New rules introduced by the EU via Stormont will see the village of Fivemiletown in Tyrone renamed Eightkilometretown from next Monday.
Council workers were today hard at work changing signage in and around the town to ensure that the Ulster councils do not fall foul of a new
EU directive designed to ensure consistency and transparency across European members, which includes the standardisation from imperial measures to metric.
Fivemiletown is not the only location in Tyrone affected. Sixmilecross village today similarly becomes Ninekilometrecross, whilst one of the county’s best-known visitor attractions, the Beaghmore Stone Circles, a site of significant archaeological interest, becomes the Beaghmore Kilo Circles. Retail outlets are also affected, with Poundland in Dungannon’s Scotch Street changing to Gramland from next week.
Other plans which may be introduced over the next twelve months include driving on the right hand side of the road, horsemeat being sold throughout the county, again, and compulsory three-hour siestas on any day the sun comes out.
Local Tyrone councillor Enda McMann confirmed the changes:
“It makes sense. Sort of. If we’re trying to encourage Johnny Foreigner to come and visit the county we don’t want him all confused with the inches and the miles and driving on the wrong side of the road and suchlike. We want him thinking it’s just an extension of his own country. That’s why this time next year places like Cappagh and Galbally will have pavement cafes, street artists, and a branch of Harrods. A bit like Donaghmore really”.
“Imagine walking through Greencastle up to your arse in Michelin-starred restaurants. That’s what it’ll be like. And the Garvaghey complex will probably get bulldozed and turned into a big marina with million pound yachts and pedalo boats and things. Yep, we’re going the whole nine yards. Sorry, metres”.
As part of the re-naming programme, all possible racial references will be removed to ensure that no-one can take the slightest offence, with plans already under way for the River Blackwater to be re-named the River-Of-Non-Defined-Origin-Water from October.
A young couple from Tyrone hope to make it big in the charts by launching their debut single which could also put Coalisland firmly on the pop music map.
Using a cover version of the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers classic ‘Islands in the Stream’ with amended lyrics, Killian Grugan and Clare Toner, both from Brackaville, will release ‘Island in the Stream’ next month, inspired by the heavy rain experienced by the town in recent weeks, when at one stage Main Street almost turned into a river.
Unemployed sandwich-filler Toner, 22, agreed to share the lyrics of the first verse, which retains the same tune as the Dolly Parton version:
You do something to me that I can’t explain
Maybe it’s the people or the pelting rain
Or our Belfast links, it’s fifteen minutes there and back
Disneyland has nothing on our Newell Stores
Tiger Woods once played at Brackaville’s golf course
And our wemin he loved, Coalisland girls are mad for craic
The chorus then goes on:
‘Island in the Stream
Of that there is no doubt
Come see our deadly Spar
Take a lovely cruise on our quare canal
And we’ve the Central Bar, ha ha
And the Yankee Star, ha ha
Other verses remain a secret but Toner revealed,
“We’ve done a whole verse on the parking facilities in the ‘Island, and we were going to do more on transport links but we couldn’t think of a word that rhymed with Ulsterbus”.
She went on to explain how the idea came about on the spur of the moment.
“One day we popped into O’Neill’s when it was bucketing down for a quick one, and we had this wile idea. Let’s put the ‘Island on the map. They were playing Dolly Parton in the background and we both love Dolly so what better way to big up the ‘Island than re-writing one of her best songs? To be honest we were hammered by that time, but fair play we’ve carried it through. We’re going to be the biggest boy/girl pop group since them ones like Sonny and Cher, or Cagney and Lacey.”
Grugan, 24, a full-time ear defender, responded to questions over the accuracy of the lyrics, saying,
“Aye, well maybe a fifteen minute round trip to Belfast is stretching it a bit, but we’ve got to appeal to the tourists from Americay. That’s why we’ve mentioned the canal, see? And I’m sure I heard that Tiger Woods once played golf here. Or maybe it was Darren Clarke. Or somebody”. He went on, “There’s plenty songs that have put places on the map before. Where would London be without ‘The Streets of London’, Glasgow without ‘I belong to Glasgow’ or New York without ‘Viva Las Vegas’? Even ‘Mountains of Pomeroy’ made Pomeroy world-famous”.
Hopes are high for interviews in the London Times, Le Monde and the Coalisland Post. If the single is successful, the duo intend to record another re-written Dolly Parton classic entitled ‘Nine To Five-miletown’.
The recent spike in petrol and diesel costs have witnessed new and mostly unsuccessful ways to travel from A to B in the county. Just last week, our cameras witnessed one man from Coalisland spend £120 filling his Datsun Sunny before pushing his motor into Roughan Lough in disgust. Jackie Carr, a 70 year old plasterer, almost made his way to do a job in Donaghmore later in the day using an inventive mode of transport:
“I’m not spending any more of my dole/work money on petrol but I’m too old to walk any distance. So I got an old ironing board and tied two hungry labradors to the front of it. I then asked my grandson to run ahead of the dogs with a couple of raw rump steaks hanging out of his back pockets whilst I sat on the ironing board. We got as far as Newmills before the dogs caught up with the lad and near ate the arse clane off him. To be honest the ironing board was in bad shape by then anyway. The sparks were annoying motorists behind. Back to the drawing board for me.”
Other unsuccessful attempts to avoid the rising cost of fuel saw a teacher from Augher jump the whole distance to Fivemiletown until exhaustion set in halfway down Clogher Main Street and a sales rep from Glenelly float in a bucket down the Glenelly River to his office in Plumbridge before being capsized by a big shoal of salmon.
The rising number of horses parked outside the Ulster Herald offices in Omagh suggests all is not lost. One journalists, nicknamed ‘McSherry’, said he’s never felt freer:
“I rent a mare from a boy in Stewartstown and it’s working out rightly. There’s no better feeling than galloping through Pomeroy and Carrickmore with the wind in yer hair and my laptop flung over me shoulder, sticking two fingers up at the motorists and their dear diesel. Picking up the manure is a bit of a handlin but sure it’s swings and roundabouts. I think it’s a horse anyway.”
The PSNI last night confirmed that they were investigating complaints that an unseemly cyber-war between two neighbouring villages had spiraled out of control, endangering relations within public houses and family households in the extended area. Hundreds of complaints had been filed regarding the ugly tit-for-tat typing which was apparently initiated when the Augher Community Twitter account claimed the Mid-Tyrone Belle competitor from Clogher was a rank outsider in the competition and posed the question whether she should ‘tog out atall with thon head on her’, all in 140 characters.
The Clogher Antique Tractor Appreciation Society (CATAS) Twitter account soon responded in kind and claimed that the Augher Belle was ‘fond of the lads’ and ‘would know her way around the St Macartan’s senior and reserve side rightly, including the subs’. From there on in it developed into a name-darkening session with words like ‘thunder thighs’, ‘face for crimewatch’ and ‘dirty fecking hoor’ tipping the debate into the realm of the macabre.
“Social networkers need to realise they can hurt thousands with the click of a button,” said the Augher Lord Mayor Justin Asken, “that young Clogher girl doesn’t need such negative attention, especially after the incident with the Fivemiletown Hockey team in the Drum Manor Forest Park last week.”
The PSNI have warned both twitter account holders that they are monitoring the situation and that if the cyber-war continued, they’d “award the Plumbridge Belle the title without hesitation despite her reputation for ridin anything within a 30-mile radius.”