A Kildress plumbing supplier this morning announced during Mass that he is thinking of not drinking at all this Tuesday. Fr Buckett, who was pontificating during the Homily at the time, had to chastise the left hand side of the church for laughing out loud at Leo McGirr’s proclamation.
Giggling was still heard during Communion with many in the congregation maintaining McGirr’s head was ‘away with it altogether’ and advised him to get professional help. Publicans and off-licence owners have also moved quickly to play down McGirr’s intentions, claiming he is ‘probably and atheist’ or even worse.
The plumbing merchant, who claims to sell the cheapest compression fittings in Ulster, is adamant he knows what he is talking about:
“People are trying to make it out that I am doting or away with the fairies. I even heard my wife say I must be ‘a devil worshipping hoor’. But surely St Patrick didn’t come to Ireland to get people to drink too much on a particular day of the year. He arrived to straighten out places like Brackaville and Newtownstewart and troublesome reptiles. I’m not touching a drop and will honour our patron saint through religious observation.”
Close friend and reality TV addict John Morgan hopes McGirr will change his mind within the next 48 hours for his own sake:
“Leo is always coming out with statements like this. I remember him saying he wasn’t going to get drunk when his eldest child was born. Or he wasn’t drinking when his youngest made her First Communion. No one takes him seriously now as on both occasions he was flat out on the bar stool for 12 hours like any normal person.”
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church have warned people not to lose the message of St Patrick completely by drinking too much but also reminded followers that although Arthur Guinness may have been a staunch Protestant, they’re all Christians together and that Guinness were great sponsors for the Annual Priests’ Convention in Maynooth.
An Urney man, who claims he’s the last living descendant of Saint Patrick, maintains the national saint wasn’t all that fussed on alcohol and was also an opponent of fracking but liked stupid knock knock jokes.
Dessie Jones, who claims a direct lineage from St Patrick and walks around Urney wearing green cloaks, mitre and a staff, reckons his ancestor wouldn’t be all that bothered on the whole celebrations malarky but loved the sort of music More Power To Your Elbow play:
“Aye, stories have been passed down about our Paddy. He was some character by all accounts but a bit ruthless with animals he didn’t like. The snakes didn’t stand a chance as soon as one of them ate a hole in his favourite tunic. Also, one sip of the hard stuff and he was under the table. I couldn’t see him wetting the day with a few black ones but loved the fiddledy dee music and shouted ‘yeoooo’ a lot.”
Dessie was quick to point out that Patrick wasn’t a party pooper:
“No, quite the opposite I’m led to believe. My father said he was supposedly a deadly man for tripping people by sticking a foot out from under a hedge. And he was a sucker for the knock knock jokes. His favourite was the atheist one: ‘Knock Knock‘. ‘Who’s there?’. ‘God‘. ‘Who?’. ‘God‘. ‘Who?’. ‘God‘. ‘Must have been the wind‘. As I said he was some joker, our Paddy.”
Jones reminded people that Patrick had strong views on fracking and wouldn’t be surprised if he made it rain for 200 days on Fermanagh if it goes ahead.
“Two things our Paddy hated. Fracking and people eating with their mouths open. I’m also told he had a brilliant throw and could hurl rocks at police accurately from 100 yards away.”
Urney have confirmed they will honour St Patrick with a whiskey tasting session after Mass.
Following the news that Garth Brooks has sold out for a fifth night in Ireland this summer, the Vatican have sent a stark warning to Brooks’ PR team that they will take a dim view of any more concerts, which threatens to break the Pope’s record of a 3 million audience in 1979.
Brooks will play to almost half a million fans in July and music experts reckons he could sell out 10 times that if he really wanted to, although today’s statement from Pope Francis has put an end to that idea promptly. A Vatican insider, nicknamed Fr Hurson from Edendork Co Tyrone, told us:
“Yes, we take great pride in the 3 million Pope John Paul II pulled in in 1979. If Brooks thinks he can ride in on his stetson and top that then he’s deluded. Just in case he is a Catholic, we will excommunicate him if he has any more concerts. We have friends in high places, Brooks.”
Fr Hurson continued:
“Like, he’s being a bit of a dick about this. JPII pulled in 300’000 in Galway alone. Let’s see Brooks do that on a cold windy day in Tuam. Some chance. That day, tomorrow or not, will never come. Pope Francis is ripping about this.”
Meanwhile, Derrytresk GAA are confident they can secure the presence of Brooks for the opening of their third Guinness pump in the bar during his stay in the country. Club secretary Hughie Hanna is cocksure of his services:
“We emailed him last week and asked would he come to the Hill for the unveiling of the third Guinness pump in the clubrooms. He hasn’t replied but as my ma used to say ‘no news is good news’ so we’re fairly sure he’ll do it. He’ll get sandwiches and mineral and maybe he’ll hum us a tune or two.”
A man from Augher has failed in his bid to avoid paying a £40 debt he owes to a local hostelry by growing a beard and pretending to be his own non-existent twin brother.
Alphy McConnell, an unemployed grass grower from Augher, had worked up a debt of £42.60 at the McGee’s Bar on the Crossowen Road, Tavern comprising 14 pints of Guinness and 9 packets of barbeque-flavoured NikNaks.
Kevin McGee, owner of the bar said,
“That bollox needs to wise up. He came in here with a bad beard and limp, pretending to be this twin brother of his from Clogher, talking with this squeaky accent and looking all shifty. To be fair, a lot of them Clogher ones are like that, so I wasn’t sure at first”.
“He refuses to admit it, but it’s only a matter of time. Alphy could never remember his own name after a few pints, so he’ll struggle trying to remember someone else’s who doesn’t even exist”.
Challenged on his identity, McConnell continued to deny who he was.
“No, it’s definitely not me, I’m my brother Sean. Alphy’s away to Americay to work. Aye. He might not be back. He’s a good boy though. Mighty craic. I wouldn’t pull that sort of stunt, but there’s this boy off the TV news who reads the news right? Everyone thought he was a right clift, so he grew a beard so that people wouldn’t think it’s him. Not that that’s where I got the idea. Or I should say Sean. No, Alphy. Hold on, what did I say my name was?”
McConnell’s mother, 58-year old Oonagh, said,
“That boy’s as thick as mince. He’s even tried that rubbish on with me, just because he scoffed two whole packets of Kimberley Mikados at the weekend and he knew I’d go off the bap. He waltzed in pretending to be his twin bother and expecting his own ma to fall for it. Jaysus, I knew it was 30 years ago but I’d certainly remember if I had pushed more than one version of that eejit out my clacker in Dungannon Hospital”.
McConnell was eventually caught writing out his Christmas cards when he kept having to ask how to spell ‘Sean’.
We took a spin around the county to test the temperature on the Guinness money-spinner ‘Arthur’s Day’.
“Arthur’s Day my arse.” SANDY SAVAGE, NEWMILLS
“To be honest, every day’s an Arthur’s Day in our house. Yer man comes home full of stout after a few in Quinn’s on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then he goes on a charge on Sundays and Saturdays. But listen, being a parish priest ain’t easy.” MRS TONER, BALLYGAWLEY PAROCHIAL HALL
“I think it’s great we’re finally acknowledging the great joy Art McCrory brought us. Mickey’s Day just sounds like a Dublin brothel.” PADDY KAVANAGH, DUNGANNON
“Ach I wouldn’t be up-to-date on Christy Moore’s stuff. Is it any good? Hard to bate Don’t Forget Yer Shovel.” R MCSHINNY, COALISLAND
“The basterd. I left a stocking at the end of the bed last night hoping he’d have left a tin or two in the morning. Nothing”. D DEVLIN, GREENCASTLE
“I hate it. St Patrick didn’t chase the snakes out of Ireland so we could brew stout morning to night. Or, …did he?” G MCCANN, MOY
“I’m sick of these Irish stereotyping holidays. As soon as I finish my pint, I’m going to punch someone with my Shillelagh, begob”. P MURPHY, CAPPAGH SHEBEEN
“They should call tomorrow National Sewage Day. There’ll be some blockages in the morning going by the shower drinking stout in Sally’s.” J MCMAHON, OMAGH
“Ghost-oh” MOST OF ARDBOE
“Bloody hell. Christmas, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Halloween and now this. All holidays invented by the Stormont government boys to fleece us all.” F LOGAN, STEWARTSTOWN
Eyebrows were raised yesterday in the county over leaked plans for one of its councillors to visit Florida as part of a fact find on behalf of East Tyrone District Council.
Copy travel documents showed that recently-elected mid-Ulster Councillor Seamie ‘Red Boy’ McCloy, intends to spend three weeks in Florida next month at a cost of £8,500 at the taxpayer’s expense, conducting a feasibility study on importing bog and peat back to Tyrone rather than producing it locally.
Challenged on the abundance of it which already sits in the county, McCloy retorted,
“Jaysus. That’s the whole point of the visit, isn’t it? How do we know whether it’s feasible without going to see it? We need a bird’s eye view of the area to assess potential for excavation. And if the best way of doing that is from the top of a 300-foot high mega-rollercoaster, then that’s just pure coincidence. Getting bog from America might actually be cheaper than producing it locally. Or something like that”.
The colourful councillor has continually courted controversy since making the headlines in 2012 when he was found in the ladies’ cloakroom of the Council offices wearing an odd number of socks. He has since been embroiled in an embarrassing incident at a farm near Windmill which he claimed was simply him ‘being overly-friendly with a labrador’.
“It’s all nonsense”, said an angry McCloy, thumping his desk so hard that several bottles of suntan lotion fell off. “And anyway, the judge ruled not proven, so go and feck. I’ve dedicated my life to Tyrone, trying to raise it up to the standards of the nice Ulster counties like Derry, Sligo, Monaghan and suchlike. That’s why I need to go to Florida for three weeks. Or four depending on the complexities. And the weather”.
Questioned about whether the Galbally man was going on the trip to get away from the controversy around some of the decisions he has made since moving into office, McCloy was uncompromising. Wearing an enormous foam hand and jabbing the big sticky-out finger to make his point, he said,
“Listen. Do you think sat in a jumbo for 8 hours is going to be fun? The only movie they’re showing is ‘Les Miserables’, and I can’t stand the Germans. I’ve made mistakes in the past. I’ll admit it. But all I’m trying to do is modernise the county. And if ‘Naked Tuesday’ is a wee bit too much for some of thon puritans in the East Tyrone Council offices, then they should wise up. The Florida trip is pure business, nothing else. I’m certainly not looking forward to it. I’ve got a mountain of work to do. And I’ve only got three sleeps to go before I leave”.
The councillor also faced criticism earlier this year for going to New York City on 17 March to explore the possibility of the importation of Guinness to the county.
A local man remains hopeful that he has an opportunity to date a fairly attractive restaurant waitress who served him during a meal, with whom he shared his self-confessed ‘deadly banter’. Plunkett Keown, an unemployed fitter from Galbally, was dining at the popular Viceroy Restaurant in Dungannon on Wednesday night with his sister and brother-in-law, to celebrate Keown’s 27th birthday.
“There was this nice wee piece working the tables, all dolled up in the waitress uniform. To be honest she looked like she’d lie down in nettles for it, so I fancied my chances straight away. I decided to give her some of the famous Keown patter. I like my steak rare so when she asks how I want it I says, “Just wipe its arse and throw it on the plate!”
Mighty! She just stood there and said, “Chips and veg?” So I go straight in again with another beauty, and says “Just chips – I’m on a diet!” bang, just like that. She just wrote it down but I can tell she’s dying to burst out laughing. Later when she came round to take the drinks order I says “I’ll have another Guinness. All this drinkin’s thirsty work!” Even the next table were looking round to see who had come out with that belter. Jaysus, sometimes even I don’t know where they come from. ‘I’m on a diet’! Lethal craic hi!”
Keown tried at various times to catch the waitress’s eye without success.
“She had a face like a pishmire but I could tell it was all an act. She came over to ask if everything with the meal was okay but my mouth was so full of food all I could do was shout “Mighty”, and spray my sister in the face with cheesy garlic bread”.
Plunkett again missed his chance to impress the young woman when she returned to clear the table, to find him licking his plate.
“Wemin like men with a big appetite though. She was probably impressed. And that whiskey sauce was deadly. It’s a shame I spilt so much of it over my dungarees”.
Keown saw another opportunity to make an impression when ordering the dessert.
“This one never fails. I says “I’ll have the strawberry cheesecake – the strawberries are one of my five portions a day!”Jaysus, I was laughing so hard I nearly vomited. I could hardly breathe. By this time everyone’s looking round, obviously loving it. She didn’t laugh but I think she’s probably one of them cool types that’s cracking up on the inside. That’s what it seemed like to me anyway”.
Reflecting on the evening Keown said, “I’m surprised she never asked for my number. I think she’s playing it slow. It doesn’t matter. And anyway, I don’t have a phone”. Keown is currently single and has not had a girlfriend since 2001.
We visited the famous Augher cattle mart this morning to gauge opinions on the recent horse meat debate:
Is it that bad really? Sure in Asia they eat everything and them boys live til they’re 100. Listen, everything will run out eventually and our future generations will be eating each other to survive. I’d eat a man alright. FONZIE MCCLURE, CLONOE
Lucksee, I’ve begun thinking. Like, see them cows in the field, like, how do we know if they’re really cows like? What if they’re horses or zebras dressed up like cows? Them farmers are capable of anything. PADDY HARBINSON, ROCK
I was saying to the wife yesterday at the pictures. What’s in that popcorn? I’m prepared to question everything I eat now. Cream crackers – like is that cardboard or wood? I’ve long suspected an establishment in Omagh was passing off dirty water as Guinness. HARRY CULLEN, BERAGH
If I see one more horse joke on Facebook, i’ll not be responsible for my actions. SUSAN CASSIDY, COALISLAND
Spare a thought for Gavin Devlin. He must be sleeping with one eye open. He’d make one hell of a lasagne though. BRIAN MCIVOR, ARDBOE
What about the donkeys? They always get the raw deal. Even in a scandal like this, no one is thinking about the donkey. I’m sure ass meat tastes just as good too. There’s a marketing opportunity out there for ass burgers. You’ll find perverts buying them and all. MARY MUNROE, CARRICKMORE
A Brackaville couple have set a Guinness World Record after a non-stop arguing session lasting nine days, breaking the previous record set in Brazillia in 1985. Felix and Marjorie McAlinden began arguing two weeks ago after Felix’s failure to bring home wheaten bread from the shops in Coalisland for the second time in a month. In a straw that broke the camel’s back, neighbours maintain that Marjorie let rip on Felix with an outpouring of grief encompassing incidents as far back as their honeymoon in Omeath 15 years ago. Next door neighbour, Gerry Turtle, says he heard the whole thing from the beginning.
“Before the wheaten incident, they seemed like the ideal couple. It was all smiles and hand-holding – something you don’t see a lot of in East Tyrone to be honest. Then, when Felix brought back the milk and firelighters but no wheaten, all hell broke loose. The walls are thin here. I could hear her tapping the table and then quietly, at first, saying “you good for nothing oul bollocks. That’s twice since Christmas. Wheaten f**kin bread. Milk, firelighters and wheaten f**kin bread.” It went on in that vein all night. It was savage stuff altogether, much worse than that couple in Fr Ted.”
The Brackaville community have welcomed the news, claiming one over Coalisland whose only world record was in 1982 when a young lad was judged to look the most like Shakin Stevens. Avid walker Pauline Herron told us:
“You should see the looks of the ‘Island ones. They won’t even talk to us now just because the McAlindens have put Brackaville on the world map. Shakin Stevens knows where he can shove it.”
Having been told by the Guinness company that they were now the record holders, the McAlindens ignored the accolade and continued to argue about Facebook and the fact that Marjorie keeps making Felix look at pictures of babies he doesn’t know.