An old Ardboe republican, John Joe McGraw (82), has denied attending the Irish Cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran and was instead, according to him, trying to court on old widow from Windmill he has been chasing since 1957. Rumours began to spread early yesterday evening that McGraw had been spotted on BBC sitting amongst the Glentoran supporters ‘laughing his head off’ as they sang songs about the Queen and East Belfast. McGraw was quick to deny the accusations:
“What the hell would I be doing at Windsor Park and me from Ardboe? If there was a soccer match in my garden I’d take the air rifle out and burst the ball. I know exactly where I was yesterday. Mrs Coney was hanging her briefs on the line as it was a quare day for the drying. I spotted her and made a beeline for her house, fixing my hair with a bit of spit. She was on my knee by the time of the Angelus. I knew her deceased husband – as miserable a hoor you’d ever have met. Anyway, have you seen the supposed man I was meant to be on Tv? Sure he’s from Turkey or something.”
A 1950s border campaign comrade remains skeptical. Peter Pollock, an 88 year old retired widower, is sure he saw McGraw during a break in play in the second half:
“To put it finely, he’s talking bollocks. I saw him laughing his head clean off during a rendition of God Save The Queen. Then in the second half he was clapping away as the Glentoran supporters sang something about the Pride of East Belfast. He’s some boy. See that story about Mrs Coney – a lie. He’s been chasing her since ’57, even after oul Mick Coney married her. She’s not interested. I know. I tackled her at Christmas up in the Windmill. What took him to Windsor I’ll never know. Peace process gone mad.”
Glentoran Supporters’ Club have refused to confirm McGraw was part of their Green Army that day but do admit the presence of a man in their end of the ground who ate eels in a bap at half time.