In the lead up to the mouth-watering All Ireland semi-final against Dublin, we look back at the 2008 All-Ireland semi-final side and find out how they have fared since that successful campaign:
The Newtownstewart giant, whose save in the All-Ireland final that year is a thing of legend, found time away from the limelight hard to embrace, initially. Family and friends looked on in sympathy as Pascal would stand in the garden at any time of the day or night, shouting at people to fire something at him so he could catch it or parry it away; glass bottles, squeaky dog toys, old tins of lynx Africa – you name it. Eventually, he managed to dust himself down, gave one glove to Niall Morgan and one to Red Mickey and move on with his life. Packie now runs a memorabilia shop which has Gooch Cooper’s eyeball as its main attraction.
RYAN ‘RICEY’ MCMENAMIN
His greatest on field moment came when allegedly he had Alan Brogan’s girlfriend’s phone number written on his wrist and stared Brogan out while he checked the digits…this may not be true but it’s a great story. The tigerish Dromore defender gave manys a forward nightmares in his day. Ironically Ricey is now the proud owner of the ‘Sleepeasy Pillows’ franchise across Ireland. This business venture came after a stint in Hollywood when he played the part of an angry dog in many mafia films. His ‘Ricey Krispies’ cereal idea, which was just like ordinary Rice Krispies except they had the odd nut or bolt in it for a sense of adventure, was soon halted after a rash of law suits. Ryan is also an avid panto participant, and likes to pot native plants in his wee back shed.
The Omagh full back continues to defy medical and scientific recommendations and still togs out for the county. Wikipedia has never been able to ascertain his real age, ranging from 29 to 55. Justin has never been able to pass through security checks at airports and has broken over 12 of their machines to date due to the amount of metal in him. His Christmas party trick of having all cutlery magnetically stuck to him has worn thin recently as family have resorted to eating with their hands.
From The Moy, Mellon hit the big time when he scored the first 2 points in the 2005 final. The versatile villager unfortunately got lost one night coming out of Tomneys. The story goes that he followed a three legged dog over the Armagh border in 2011, never to return. He was last spotted on St Patrick’s Day on a tractor during the parade in Armagh, looking sad and unkempt. Some say he has Stockholm Syndrome and is starting to admire his captors. Mellon was also an avid strawberry taster before his capture, and could tell exactly how many days old a given berry was just by sniffing it.
The Errigal half-back, who spectacularly found the net against Dublin in the rain in 2008, is currently earning his coaching badges and is set to manage Accrington Stanley in England this year. Harte, who had to work harder than any other player because his uncle used to give him a skite on the back of his head if he didn’t, aims to manage is home county eventually when Mickey retires in 2035. He is due to launch a new range of fragrances for men next Valentine’s Day.
Carrickmore’s rock in the centre of the defence, like McConnell, has found post-county fame tough. He reportedly had nightmares over his block in the 2003 final, and in his dreams McDonnell scored. Due to his sleepwalking, he now has a restraining order against him, preventing him coming close to ANY McDonnell in Armagh between 10pm and 8am on any night of the year. Conor often wakes up in a cold sweat like in one of them 80s ‘Nam movies, and curses Ciaran Gourley for not marking up even though the Rock man was nowhere near it. No one really knows why he claims Ciaran. Some claim Gourley kept him up all night before the final, listening to his complete Philomena Begley collection full blast. Gormley had to sleep on a blanket on the ground, in foetal position, as he still sleeps now (when he can get some sleep that is).
This teak tough defender epitomised Mickey Harte’s mantra of transitioning from defence to attack. In some 73 Championship appearances for the Red Hand County, he never once lost possession, by either kick or hand pass. This unfortunately troubled him after he hung the boots up. Jordan melted down his 3 Celtic crosses and sold the gold, which he used as capital to open a fantastic wee pizza shop in the Moy. The downside to the story comes in the fact that Philip refused to give any pizza to anyone. When the shop was finally repossessed, Jordan hollered in court “Why should I give anything away, I never gave a thing away in my whole life. Go get your own… and by the way – its got nothing to do with money, I couldn’t care less about the money”. His cash payments for articles in the Irish News, and appearances on The Sunday Game now keep him afloat. He is best friends with Diarmuid Marsden’s brother, who is also called Philip. Jordan narrowly escaped a mauling after waving at Derrytresk supporters during a Moy win.
Ever hear of BBC’s Homes Under The Hammer? Well, Colly has nothing to do with that at all. In fact quite the opposite. After helping to dismantle Kerry three times in the noughties, Colly started his own demolition business and has several multi-million projects all over the world. When interviewed recently, he maintains his favourite demolition to date was against Dara O Se in Croker.
ENDA MC GINLEY
The man known on the team as “Thunder” consistently broke the hearts of opposing teams. The then Pope was asked to look into the fact that every game Enda scored in, Tyrone went on to win, and decreed it was a Category 5 Miracle, in line with finding a sweet in an jacket you haven’t worn in a while, or coming across a shopping trolley with a pound still in it. McGinley wisely exploited his heaven sent supernatural gifts, and set up a dating channel on late night TV. “He Who Scores Wins” is a massive hit in Essex.
The man, The Legend. One of the finest things God ever covered in skin, Dooher needs no introductions from plebs like us. Last word on the Clann na Gael veterinarian was that he punched a pregnant cow when it was misbehaving. The cow split down the middle, formed two whole new cows and birthed triplets. The farmer was obviously delighted. It is rumoured he has since been frozen in a cryogenic chamber, should Mickey Harte ever need someone to take a really tough training session, or the county ever goes to war.
Penrose hasn’t been seen since 2008. A keen hide-and-seek specialist, Martin hid for 45 hrs outside in his garden in order to break the World Record but never returned. The time now stands at 9 years and people around Carrickmore say he lets yelps out of him to let you know he’s still about, hiding. Of course, Penrose was well known for his speedy legs and small centre of gravity and once scored a famous goal by running under Seamus Moynihan’s testicles unchallenged.
JOE MC MAHON
Oooh… this is a great one! Last year Joe was walking through TK MAXX in Belfast, looking for a pair of cheap Calvin Klein boxers, when he was spotted by David Benioff, and immediately asked to play FIVE different characters in the hit TV show game of Thrones by the writer. His rustic, rugged, hard as nails, Iron-age looks captivated the American instantly. It is understood Benioff was later furious when Joe shaved off his beard for a family christening, so as not to spook the child, but as the director started to shout at big Joe he soon silenced as the beard grew back instantaneously, this time with thorns in it. Needless to say Joe got a pay rise, a new house and Benioff now avoids him at all costs for fear of his life.
TOMMY MC GUIGAN
After his pot-luck, but sexy goal in the ’08 All Ireland Final, Tommy unexpectedly went on to train boxers such as Carl “The Jackal” Frampton and David “The Haye-maker” Haye. Unfortunately Tommy doesn’t know a whole pile about boxing and both have slipped down through the ranks recently. Tommy, who is now known simply as ‘Shane’ is still a deadly fella, but shouldn’t be training world class boxers.
Sean is playing yet and still has pure jet black hair much to the annoyance of the McMahons. Sean has kicked 16,253 balls from that shimmy since the Armagh quarter final, but his wife says his shimmy when asked to do household chores is less admirable. We wont say too much more about him at this juncture as we are due to interview him at his home in the coming weeks, and don’t want to spoil it…
COLM MC CULLAGH
The remarkable McCullagh had to leave the field early in the ’08 final due to a dodgy curry he had the night before in Drumcondra when he sneaked out for an hour with Mulligan. Unbeknownst to most, Colm was the source subject for that Brad Pitt film about the man getting younger the older he got. McCullagh now looks like a 12-year-old and, remarkably, is even faster than he was in 2008. For charity, he ran 100m whilst his club showed Usain Bolt running his 100m simultaneously on a big screen. Despite a scorching start, Colm had to retire after 50m due to a dodgy Indian he had the night before. He is currently studying for his 11+.
Notable mentions to:
OWEN MULLIGAN – Came on in the final that year. Currently a best-selling novelist and aims to bring out his latest raunchy novel – The Real Cookstown Sausage – in 2020. Can be seen in LacyLadys Male strip bar every Thursday night in London for a small fee of 500 quid. Mulligan was also caught last year hiding in the toilets at Croke Park til everyone was gone, running onto the field and doing that famous double dummy over and over and staring blankly into Hill 16 til the lawnmower man asked him if he’d no home to go to.
KEVIN “HUB” HUGHES – Hughes, whose iconic point in the 2008 final finally killed off Kerry, currently works for NASA as a meteor spotter. To date, he has spotted well over 3000 meteors as well as 4 O’Neills balls he launched throughout his career. Hub’s attemp to become an Olympic javelin thrower ended prematurely after a near miss with a pile of school children when practising in his back field last year.
STEPHEN O NEILL – O’Neill, player of the year in 2005, became a male model in London’s West End and a fashion icon for that mountain look. Returning to Ireland in 2013, he and Francie Bellew tour the country telling stories about their rivalry. To date, Bellew hasn’t said anything and sometimes sheds a tear during O’Neill’s recollections. Stephen’s favourite bar of chocolate is the Bounty, but he hates coconut by itself.
PETER DONNELLY – Peter still currently holds two county records: The biggest pike ever caught at Roughan Lough on open day, and the closest to the pin at the 16th at Dungannon golf course – even though he teed off from the 7th tee box. He has helped atheletes such as Mo Farah avoid journalist’s questions over the past 18 months, and once ate a whole box of Celebrations on Christmas Eve, which unsurprisingly led him to missing Christmas dinner the following day. His ma wasn’t happy and his da was buckin livid. He likes to collect newts in jam jars, and is said to be the driving force behind that whole mental world class race track at Coalisland’s old clay pits, fair play to him.
BRIAN MC GUIGAN – Brian had to change his name to Ryan to keep Japanese tourists away from his place of work. He wanted to get out of the bar trade after US college agents kept plaguing him on “parting with secrets on how to be the perfect quarter back” despite him never having watched a game of baseball in his life. He used to serve anyone who ordered a raw Jameson for free, and often brings up a packet of Jafa cakes to Mickey Harte’s house of a Wednesday. He was put out by Mickey’s wife recently when she discovered a wee note pad and dictaphone hanging from his three quarter zip top from Begley’s shop with the words “Ardboe Senior Champs 2017 PLAN” on the front of the notes.
Compiled and researched by Aughohilly Schniffles & Gombeen
By Lee Turavod.
PSNI Communications Director Eamonn Lowe today unveiled a PSNI scheme to tackle the bickering, in-fighting, back-stabbing and outright violence that is currently tearing the county apart.
Tens of thousands of Tyrone fans are now returning to the fold having spent most of the current decade’s “wilderness years” relentlessly deriding the team’s style of play and arguing with family members, work colleagues and “anyone who cares to listen” for up to 16 hours a day that it’s time for Mickey to go.
Tyrone’s success in the last two years has prompted a dramatic u-turn by many of these fans but this is actually the root of a massive spike in incidents ranging from fairly run of the mill drunken punch-ups to full-scale pitched battles between the two categories of Tyrone fans.
According to Eamonn Lowe, the perceived hypocrisy on the part of the previously disillusioned Mickey-baiters is just too much for the Mickey-loyalists to bear.
Eamonn Lowe and his crack team of PSNI boffins have seemingly conjured up the solution. A special PSNI unit will tour the county in the next few weeks in a brand new Polygraphmobile offering a free lie detector test to anyone wishing to categorically prove that they remained 100 percent loyal to Mickey Harte during the long, lean and often bitterness drenched years since 2008.
This will then allow married couples, families, workforces to finally bury the hatchet, as those supporters who achieve 98 % or above in the 100 question test will then be given special status and responsibilities. These men, women and children will have their foreheads tattooed with a specially designed effigy of Mickey Harte’s face and will go out into their communities to absolve non-believers/ traitors of the guilt and shame they’re carrying.
PSNI psychologists pinpoint the “terrible burden” of these treacherous feelings as being the root cause of the anger and violence that currently erupts whenever the topic of the Tyrone county team is mentioned. The PSNI hope this new scheme will allow the whole county to once again unite behind Tyrone and Mickey Harte in time for the Croker semi-final at the end of August.
When pressed on how this new scheme will impact on the ultra hardliners who no longer even acknowledge that Tyrone ever won Sam and appear to believe that Tyrone actually lost to Donegal in their Ulster Semi-Final clash in Clones four weeks ago, Eamonn declared:
“There are some people on the extremes of society who we simply cannot reach…these people need to take a long hard look at themeselves…that is not our job.”
The Poygraphmobile will begin criss-crossing Tyrone from tomorrow. It begins in Moy before finishing up in Castlederg on the 32nd.
The PSNI in Tyrone have begun Operation Tight Trunks this afternoon after three days of complaints from women regarding the re-emergence of 1980s GAA shorts in the county due to the recent good spell of weather.
Already there was been several arrests after clothing offences in Carrickmore, Trillick, Brocagh and Galbally. Reports of sporadic fighting in Omagh, Cappagh and Gortin have also been confirmed, mostly between 80s short wearing men and more fashionable younger males.
Pomeroy fashion guru Mary Grimes admitted she fully supports the PSNI initiative:
“Enough’s enough. Whilst Plunkett Donaghy and Prince Kevin McCabe looked the part jumping like salmon into the Clones air in the 80s, it’s just wrong today. Half them shorts are ripped and torn in the wrong places. The last thing I need to see whilst nipping out for a bag of plums is the other variation of the same fruit swinging in all directions no matter where you look. Men of Tyrone, get with the times.”
Grimes was also scathing of the inability of local men to realise they had probably put on weight around the waist since their 80s heyday, even though they were rightly tight back then.
“The Carrickmore ones are the worst. They’re like hot pants on 50 year old men.”
Gok Wan, the fashion consultant, has turned down the chance to hold a ‘Wearing Modern Shorts’ seminar in Edendork Hall next week, citing the fact that he was ‘chased out of it’ after trying a similar attempt in Kildress last year.
Hundreds of aspiring astronomists from as far away as Iceland and Japan were left disappointed after several Twitter photos of an apparently crystal clear vision of the Aurora Borealis in East Tyrone turned out to be a false alarm.
The chance of seeing the incredible light show caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere and collide with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen brought hordes of visitors to the area on Good Friday, only to be told it was simply one of the McAliskeys burning all the brackens up the moss.
Falls’ Bar, though, has reported record takings as over 1300 budding stargazers took refuge in the pub before getting a taxi back to Aldergrove Airport.
Local man and part time badger-catcher, Felix Hagan, said the mistake has caused untold damage to the roads around the lough:
“At one time I counted 766 people standing on the Ferry Road looking at the moss on fire, taking photos and stuff. Half of them were Asian and there were even ones from Donegal. When word filtered through that it wasn’t the Northern Lights at all but McAliskey up to no good again, they all marched down to Falls’ Bar for refreshments. I hope they weren’t looking cocktails or anything fancy. But they tramped the road into shite.”
Several hundred are reportedly staying another day in the area due to flight delays, with many looking forward to the Derrylaughan/Aghyaran game halfway up the country. Tyrone GAA officials were quick to announce that all Division 2 club games will see an entrance fee of £20 for this weekend alone and that the presence of 550 wealthy tourists was just a coincidence.
Dublin, who extended their unbeaten run to 30 games after a win over Cavan in the Allianz League opener, are said to be spooked at the news that Owen Mulligan may return to face the champions on Saturday night in Croke Park.
Mulligan, who has reportedly shed 3 stone by running up and down Cookstown Main Street during the middle of the night, memorably tortured the capital’s team in 2005 over two games including a goal which some describe the greatest they’ve seen in the famed headquarter turf. His 1-7 in the replay cemented the Cookstown man as Dublin’s nemesis that year.
A Dublin backroom member told a reporter this evening:
“This is a spanner in the works. We know we can handle this current Tyrone crop but Mulligan is a different species altogether. Paddy Christie told me recently he still wakes up in cold sweats about that goal. Coman Goggins took to sleepwalking straight after that game. And if Mugsy has shed three stone he’ll be hungry.”
Dublin’s 30-game unbeaten record in league and championship, going right back to March 1st, 2015, sees them as odds-on favourites for Saturday night’s clash despite Mulligan’s imminent arrival. Taking advantage of the bookie’s odds of 2/1, dozens of Cookstown punters have lumped on Tyrone due to their hero’s physical conditioning. Close friend and chronic gambler John Datsun explained:
“It’s like Rocky 4. Owen is going to kick that big Russian’s arse, or Jack McCaffrey as we know him as in Ireland. You should see Mugsy carrying in 6 kegs at the one time into the bar. He’s a pure beast right now and he hasn’t eaten in weeks. He’s gonna ate the leg clean off Michael Darragh MacAuley.”
Mulligan is also reportedly sporting a new look which will remain under wraps until he runs out onto the pitch, if this story is true at all.
Darren McCurry is apparently unhappy at the prospect of being benched in favour of the former All-Star, with the Edendork sharpshooter cryptically tweeting ‘what a load of bollocks #nevergoback #yourepastit #sticktopullinpints’
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire, who attended the McKenna Cup gaelic football final in Newry, is said to have mastered the mid-Ulster vernacular after spending only two hours in the company of GAA aficionados.
Despite a drab, one-sided game, Brokenshire appears to have come away from the fixture all the richer from the experience and was even heard to say to his taxi-driver this morning ‘two hands for f**k sake‘ when his driver attempted to steer with one hand.
His advisor and former Conservative back-bencher, Tim Battleford, admitted he was shocked at how quickly Brokenshire has embraced his new surroundings, especially after last night’s attendance in Newry at the Tyrone/Derry final:
“We were watching the tennis this morning and he just jumped out of his seat and shouted at the umpire ‘away a that a ye referee ye bollocks’. The umpire hadn’t done anything wrong. Then when we were driving to the airport he saw a lollipop man stopping traffic and he shouted out the window ‘Hi linesman, are your f**king eyes painted on?”
Later, at Aldergrove airport, Brokenshire reportedly became irate at the length of time it was taking to get his satchel through security and was heard to roar “Let it in ta f**k wud ye“, a phrase he supposedly heard someone in the crowd shout at Colm Cavanagh as Ronan O’Neill made another fruitless run in the full forward line.
Brokenshire was also spotted chatting up his cousin this morning, probably another after-effect from the McKenna final.
Owen Mulligan, Philip Jordan, Hub Hughes and Brian McGuigan are set to become the latest big name sporting stars to make their way to the Far East as Shanghai Emmets splashed out on all four in the hope that GAA rivals soccer as the biggest athletic attraction in China.
Early reports are sketchy but rumours suggest Mulligan, whose blonde locks are revered east of India, will be able to command upwards on £500’000 a week for the Emmets – making him comparable to the wages of Messi, Ronaldo and Roger Federer in world sport.
Killeeshil’s Kevin Hughes, whose nickname ‘Hub’ translates as ‘accurate one’ in Chinese, has reportedly spent the last week learning all the dishes in his favourite Silver Chopsticks Chinese Takeaway in Dungannon in their native language. Close friend and fellow ex-Killeeshil great Michael Hagan admitted it’s a big move for the 2003 All Ireland man-of-the-match recipient:
“It’ll be hard being away from loved ones but if Hub plays about 20 league and championship games out there, he’ll come home with around £10m tax-free. He’ll be able to buy Killeeshil and maybe a bit of Cabragh too. That’s as long as he’s not dropped.”
Jordan and McGuigan are said to be already on their way to the land of the Red Dragon in order to do a few laps at Chinese altitude. Their first game is against the Guangzhou Evergrande Pearses is due to be played in three week’s time.
Former county stars Ryan Mellon and Chris Lawn have been playing in China for over twelve months already for the Beijing Guoan St Mary’s, taking them to the Intermediate title. Due to his natural leadership tendencies, Lawn is reportedly already an Emperor, the first Moortown man to be so.
Following the postponement of the replayed Tyrone final between Killyclogher and Coalisland, a Tattyreagh priest warned the Omagh club that the weather will never be kind to them as long as they continue to pay homage to St Enda, the patron saint of flooding and drenchings.
St Enda, who was a lethal soldier in his day until his sister told him to quit the killing, was known for his ability to conjure serious bad weather, whether it was a call to military arms or the building of new monastery somewhere on an island. Fr McCabe maintains he lectured Omagh GAA officials that they’d have bad luck with his name:
“St Enda was a disaster with the weather. He once commissioned the building of a grotto in Glenelly and three men working on it perished with the cold, and it the middle of July. It’s no wonder that the Omagh pitch is no better than Dungannon swimming pool on its best days.”
However, the Chairman of St Enda’s in Glengormley Co Antrim maintains that this theory is ‘a load of shite’ and that ‘Omagh was always a bog of a field, saint or no saint’.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that a misunderstanding between county officials resulted in an alternative venue being overlooked in the event of bad weather. When asked to book a Plan B for Sunday, the treasurer hired London-born Plan B – the hip-hop recording artist – who insisted he was still paid for flying over to Omagh at short notice for what he thought was the half-time show.
Finally, Frank Mitchell has denied reports that he told Barra Best to tell Adrian Logan that Sunday would be the warmest day of the year. Logan has shouldered a lot of the blame for Sunday’s fiasco after tweeting his followers to bring their sun lotion on Sunday as he had it on good authority it’d be a scorcher. Mitchell and Logan fell out last year over the paying of a round of drinks at the George Best airport.
Standard Of Football On Life Support After Tyrone Woman Knitted Three Jumpers In Clones During Ulster Final
The quality of Gaelic Football on display today is to be addressed at Congress this year after it emerged a 61-year old widow from Aghyaran knitted three adult jumpers in the Gerry Arthurs Stand in Clones during the Ulster Final between Donegal and Tyrone.
Minnie Devine, who hasn’t missed a Tyrone game since 1977, admitted she only took up knitting this year because she found herself falling asleep watching games on TV and was afraid it might happen at a live game. Devine suffers from a severe sleep-walking condition and feared walking around the stadium or even worse onto the field if she nodded off in Clones.
“It’s true. I knitted 3 full length Aran jumpers and would have managed a fourth only the last 10 minutes made me look up a few times. Something has to be done about this. I saw a man two rows in front of me write three chapters of a novel he was working on. I even witnessed Martin McGuinness playing games on his phone during the first half, Angry Birds I think. He was blowing something up anyway and cheering.”
Mrs Devine will bring the jumpers to the GAA Congress this year and give a speech on the state of the game as well as raffling the sweaters to raise funds for the new Aghyaran Crematorium.
Meanwhile, GAA officials are considering employing a range of tactics to entertain the spectators during matches this year if games continue to disappoint, including scantily-clad country woman/men cheerleaders dancing to Nathan Carter albums, Irish Army air-battle fictional re-enactments over Croke Park and having random seats wired up to provide electric shocks in order to keep fans on their guard throughout the 70 minutes.
They have also reminded punters that any booing will be drowned out by sheep noises.
An independent journalist from Omagh has finally released a body of work he undertook over a year ago which reveals the financial advantage the Dublin GAA team has over the rest of the country.
In a remarkably detailed document, John McGorry explains how:
- Dublin players sleep in an oxygen chamber over night
- Some players rest in an ice compartment for up to three days after an injury
- Meals are delivered to their houses/workplaces and are fed the food by Vietnamese women spoonful by spoonful
- They are given free new Sunday clothes, every Sunday
- Their toenails are cut to suit their boots
- They have been given eye treatment better than 20:20 vision
- Their wives, girlfriends and boyfriends are given shopping tokens at the start of every month for to the value of 4000 Euros
- They’ve been given mobile phones with pre-installed numbers for the Taoiseach, Westlife, Boyzone, U2 but not Bono, Conor McGregor, Robbie Keane and others
- They can use the bus lane without prosecution
- They have a private suite in Coppers and only nurses or pre-vetted mature students can visit
- And other stuff
“I’m not going to spoil my sales of the book by revealing too much but that is the tip of the iceberg. You should see their teeth. I know of one of their forwards who has 44 teeth, simply because he asked for them, and he’s a real biter so I can see why. The advantage they have is astronomical. One of their All-Star half-backs has a £3m wrist watch which tells the time in 45 different languages.”
McGorry’s book, called ‘The Well To Do Boys In Blue’, also explores how a handsome corner forward has spent over 500’000 Euros on liposuction, botox and colonic irrigation in order to maintain his film star looks.
The book goes on sale in September in all good book stores.
A Drummurrer stove-fitter has admitted to having recurring nightmares over Brexit, adding that he might have to find another trade if the vote to leave the EU gets the green light. In addition to his personal doomsday scenario, he predicts the end of the lucrative diesel smuggling business which has kept the county in the top ten of the most wealthy regions of the world since 1990.
Terence McNeill, who turned 49 last week, is fluent in six languages as a result of his stove-fitting escapades and has recently started coaching exam students for their GCSEs in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Latvian and Lithuanian.
However, the part time piper admits his gravy train is about to come to an end:
“If we leave the EU I’m bucked to be honest. I make a mint fitting stoves for the Eastern Europeans who are mad for the Irish stoves. And the Latvian women seem to take a liking to my lean, mean physique. And it’s not just me who’ll suffer. The whole diesel smuggling enterprise will be shattered if that imaginary border is stiffened again.”
It is estimated that McNeill’s stove fitting empire is worth £5m, £3m of which he has invested in top quality chickens, hens, pheasants, cocks and ostriches.
A Brexit Yes vote will also leave many families simply relying on child benefit, grants and the dole without the smuggling extras supplementing their dubious allowances.
“Tyrone needs to think long and hard about this, especially our Unionist brethren. They are driving around on dodgy diesel too y’know. Don’t bite the hand which feeds you, Arlene..”
…….added McNeill before going off to shout at his cocks for not strutting correctly.
An anonymous Dublin-based GAA official issued a stark warning that if the UK leaves the EU, ‘any team from the occupied six will receive untoward media attention from RTE and harsh calls from referees, unlike the present‘.
Damian Barton, the Derry manager who has been given an eight-week ban as a result of his involvement in an on-field melee in the McKenna Cup final against Tyrone, has been caught red-handed attempting to sneak his way onto the sideline for the match against Tyrone again tomorrow night.
Cookstown plumber, Leo Padraig McCaffrey, who was fixing Barton’s bath revealed that the Newbridge man was in the midst of a cunning plan:
“I was unclogging Barton’s bath when I heard a man with a strong Ardboe accent in the room adjacent to it. Although I had a fistful of blondie hair in my hand, I made my way over and saw Barton in an Ardboe jersey saying “I’m Kyle Coney, ghost oh boys” and stuff like that. I clocked on straight away what this gangster was at and toul him that Coney doesn’t play for the county any more.”
McCaffrey explained how Barton became a bit flustered, denying he was up to anything untoward at first, and then trying to tease out of him who is on the panel but was injured at the minute.
“I was having none of it. He was getting more desperate as I stood there shaking my head and then let rip calling me a typical Tyrone bollocks and was foaming and spitting and stuff. I hope Mickey appreciates what I have done.”
Barton has denied trying to gain access to the Tyrone dug-out and has promised to sit quietly in the crowd tomorrow. GAA officials, however, are investigating a Derry sub who has been named as Dickie Rock from Magilligan.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Nesbitt has been asked to refrain from hogging the hospitality prosecco tomorrow.
The Tyrone County Board have assured Croke Park that their new mascot, Red Hand Man, won’t be appearing again this year after he goaded the rival Derry supporters with obscene hand gestures and verbals of a questionable nature.
The mascot, which is a large foam red hand placed over the head and body of a mystery person, ran onto the pitch with the team at the start and even took part in some of the warm up routines, much to the amusement of the children in the 5000-strong crowd at Owenbeg.
After Derry’s second goal in the first half, it was evident that the mascot was somewhat upset with the scoreline, as he folded in three of his massive foam fingers, leaving 2 large red fingers protruding in the air in front of the Derry support. Johnny Kearney from Knockloughrim explained:
“It was an obvious 2-fingered gesture at us, hi. I had to cover my wee lad’s eyes. Two boys from Swatragh were about to jump over the fence to give him a hiding, only he shouted that he was just letting us know Derry had scored 2 goals in case we couldn’t count. We didn’t know if that was an insult or not so we let it go.”
Later in the game, after Tyrone had taken the lead following a remarkable comeback, it appeared the mascot appeared to get carried away and, using his loudspeaker inside the costume, shouted over to the Derry support, ‘ha ha yiz inbred hoors‘, according to sources.
Ground security managed to pull Red Hand Man to safety as missiles such as blue rope, hammers, Mars bars, cans of Lilt, bales of hay, spanners and front wheels of wheelbarrows rained down from the stand as over 60 men tried to jump over the fence at the final whistle.
The Tyrone Board apologised for the mascot’s antics and added that he’d been drinking whiskey inside the costume as well.
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.
Mickey Harte has been offered another two years at the helm of the Tyrone Senior football team despite a brave but ultimately disastrous bid for the job by Brocagh man Charlie McGorry.
McGorry (61), who started showing an interest in GAA after watching the Dublin/Fermanagh quarter-final in August, was told he did not need to turn up for the interview part of the process following a calamitous practical when he was asked to take the senior panel for one coaching session up in the Garvaghey complex.
A member of the squad, who wished to remain anonymous, explained:
“It was a shambles. The county board told him to bring his own bibs and cones. Didn’t he turn up with bibs you’d put on a child and a packet of ice-cream cones. It was obvious that this man had never kicked a ball in his life.”
Things went from bad to worse when he produced from his bag a Black & Decker 18V Ni-Cad Cordless Drill Driver from Homebase, telling the players that he had been instructed to do some drills.
“It was at this point that we realised Mickey was safe for another while. I wouldn’t let this eejit train an under-8 side. He even brought us crisps for afterwards and they were all McCoy’s Salt and Vinegar. Mickey never gets us Salt and Vinegar as he says they’re fattening. He brings ready-salted Weightwatcher’s crisps.”
Meanwhile, Gavin Devlin has denied prepping McGorry for the job and therefore purposely sabotaging his chances of usurping Harte.
After a series of baffling decisions in the All-Ireland Semi Final yesterday, Maurice Deegan was added to the list of public figures that Tyrone people are not to send Christmas Cards to whether they know them or not.
Deegan, who has reportedly been given the freedom of Kerry to herd goats down any town’s Main Street, becomes the 10th GAA figure on the list joining luminaries such as Paddy Heaney, Ciaran Whelan, Colm O’Rourke, Pat Spillane, Paddy Russell, Charlie Redmond, Declan O’Sullivan, Joe Brolly and Kevin McStay.
Tyrone Post Office PR Sammy Hurson reminded the public that there’ll be regular checks at their depots throughout December:
“We can confirm that Deegan has been added to the list so we’ve hired a few extra workers to make sure no Christmas Cards slip through and make their ways to these dastardly men. Any cards addressed to the ten men will be burned on the spot and filmed on YouTube.”
With Brolly and Heaney having a rash of Tyrone relations, the PO have suggested donating the price of a card and stamp to the Strabane Donkey Sanctuary or to sponsor a an eel up at the fishery in Toome.
Meanwhile, Deegan has been given the freedom of Kerry ‘For Services To The Kingdom’ according to a Kerry newspaper. The ‘Kerry Kop’ states that Deegan will be free to herd goats anywhere he wants as long as he uses a bit of blue pipe to shepherd the goats and not a stick or a quad bike.
Sources confirmed that Deegan is unaware of the offer but is unlikely to accept the offer after turning down a lifetime membership of the Mayo Supporters’ Society in 2013.
In a gesture of provincial solidarity, the Derry County Board have asked their supporters attending the weekend’s minor semi-final to weigh in behind their great rivals and eternal enemy Tyrone by waving their flags upside-down in the senior game.
The Derry flag, which has the red section closest to the flag pole, or stick, can easily be transformed into a Red Hand flag by holding the flag bit in both hands and have the stick then pointing straight up, making sure the white bit is on the left hand side, or right depending on how you look at it.
Derry County Board Flag Monitor Joe Henry McCrayon added:
“We sort of can’t get our heads around how it will look but it should resemble a pile of people just holding sticks in the air. Unless someone can come up with a better idea we’ll go with this one.”
The origins of having the red bit closest to the Derry pole as opposed to Tyrone having the white part fernenst it is shrouded in mystery. A local Derry myth tells the story of a match between Derry and Tyrone in 1906 when both supporters arrived with the same flag and a fight ensued between supporters, teams and officials as to who devised the red and white flag first. Legend says Tyrone gave in first during the brawl so they were made to use the white flag of surrender closest to the pole.
Alternatively, others say the white first for Tyrone was to signify purity and innocence in how they play the game whereas the Derry red represents the colour of card they’re used to getting.
Either way, Derry are expected to give Tyrone ‘a bit of stick’ the Sunday in a literal sense.
RTE face a backlash from the GAA fraternity after it emerged this morning that they will demand Tyrone appear on the field in the semi-final against Kerry wearing a sack cloth each and with ashes on their hair. In addition, there will be deferred coverage of the game after the watershed in case children are influenced by their dasdardly deeds.
RTE spokesman Noel Custard explained:
“Years ago the sack cloth and ashes were a sign of genuine repentance. Now, we’re showing a little mercy to Tyrone by just making them wear ashes on their heads and will forego the need for them to sit ashes as well as that will mess up the Croker turf. Bad enough they’re on it with their northern ways.”
The game will also be aired after 9PM.
Additionally, the Bishop of Dublin will bless the field before the game and will celebrate a decade of the rosary with the Tyrone squad in the midfield area in order to exorcise any previous misdemeanours.
“We’re only interested in maintaining a fair and just society which maybe the northerners aren’t used to. No cute hoors or fraudsters down here atall.”
Malachy O’Rourke was said to be furious this morning after his bin remained full to the brim despite a Thursday morning collection in the Ballygawley area.
This follows a spate of unusual incidents for the Monaghan manager living in Tyrone territory including the half a litre of his 2-litre milk delivery which was already drunk before he got up on Tuesday morning. O’Rourke also chased three teenagers who were rifling through his recycling bin on Monday apparently looking for shredded pieces of tactics and team notes.
A neighbour and close friend of the burly multi-countied manager and ex-player added:
“I warned Malachy about living down around these parts. These Tyrone ones will stop at nothing. I think the bin not being emptied was a big thing for him. He’d ate a lot of steaks and them wrappers from the butcher can stick like mad to the sides of the bin and then attract maggots. And he’s deadly for the Biker crisps, the spicy ones, so rubbish can fairly build up in a fortnight and he’ll have to wait til the end of August now. He’s livid.”
Locals also confirmed an incident on Wednesday evening when O’Rourke spent 45 minutes driving around the Ballygawley roundabout as cars refused to let him turn off onto the road to his house. The Monaghan boss reportedly had to sit down for two hours with dizziness before tackling his steak.
The O’Rourke family spokesman denied the rumour that a man with a Mickey Harte mask was spotted looking through Malachy’s bedroom window this morning at 6am but added a bouncer was being hired for the rest of the week.
In a bid to boost ailing attendance figures at Croke Park, GAA officials are offering spectators at this weekend’s All-Ireland quarter finals the chance to experience game-play on a different level by providing every supporter with 3D glasses as well as wireless earphones in order to hear the sledging at close quarters.
Figures released confirmed that only 4033 Tyrone fans made their way to Croke Park last weekend for the qualifier clash with Sligo, prompting head-quarter officials to think outside the box in an effort to attract the hordes of Tyronians who descended on Dublin during the last decade.
Head of Sustainability in Croke Park, Aisling Mulcahy, revealed:
“We’re acutely aware that there are around 40’000 Tyrone supporters sitting at home watching the matches on TV who could potentially be here eating corned beef sandwiches and drinking mineral for just £30. So we’ve decided to offer a viewing feast by having players wear 3D strips and spectators will be provided with appropriate glasses. So the next time Sean Cavanagh pulls down Conor McManus, you’ll get the feeling he’s dragging you to the ground. We expect fireworks.”
Mulcahy also revealed that Bluetooth and wireless technology will enable fans to hear everything that’s said on the pitch by purchasing special headsets:
“This is a game changer. If Dick Clerkin is slagging Peter Harte about being ginger or something, you’ll hear every last detail including Harte’s reply which will probably be something about the name ‘Dick’. Certain words will be bleeped out for under 16s using our digital delay contraption.”
Mulcahy stopped short of confirming the possibility of a Gladiator style decision on the referee’s performance at the end of the game with supporters asked to give either a thumbs up or down on the whistling official. The RSPCA warned that the lion might not be satisfied with the man in the middle and may go roaming into the stands.
Glasses will cost £20 and headphones retail at £15. A combo deal can be purchased for £34.99.