Tyrone county officials have admitted to being stretched this week after scrambling to prepare the Healy Park away dressing room to meet the demands of multiple All-Ireland champions and multi-millionaires Dublin.
The Boys in Blue, who thrashed Tyrone last August in between holidays to Dubai and Kinsale, arrive by private jet in Omagh on Saturday night for the second round of fixtures in the National League.
A leaked A4 sheet of paper revealed the extent of the Dublin management’s expectations when visiting county grounds:
– Heated benches
– Unlimited supply of unfiltered Dublin water
– personalised hangers with each player’s initials on them
– newspapers from across the world including the Financial Times
– soothing classical music and strictly no country music
– No member of the public within a 400 year radius
– Framed picture of Bertie Ahern
– 73 degree fahrenheit exactly
– a ping-pong table
– a large urn containing noodles and jellied eel
– two smartly dressed hostesses from Omagh
– a temporary runway for landing and taking off
A Tyrone GAA sources added:
“We’ve been able to meet most of the demands but a few towards the end are proving problematic. We need to get this right or Dublin could throw us out of the Association altogether.”
If all else fails, the Gortin Road will be cordoned off as a temporary landing strip for the Jackeen players.
With the news that a special area of Healy Park is to be designated for Irish speakers for this weekend’s Tyrone/Derry game, over 12 other sections are now under consideration after a raft of applications were submitted, inspired by the initiative of Coirnéal na Gaeilge to promote the use of the Irish language at gaelic games.
Already granted permission for later league games are a Portuguese section, plumber section, gay and lesbian section, section for those earning over £100’000 per annum, ex-prisoner section, Lithuanian section and an area set aside for people from Urney.
Awaiting confirmation are the solicitor section, an area for people recovering from man-flu, undertakers section, a section for children with more than 5 school detentions since 2013 and an area for animals.
Pat Quinn from Urney, a gay plumber who earns over £150’000 a year and possesses a Fáinne Óir (gold fáinne), is deliberating over which section to stand in:
“Officials told me that you cannot move between sections. So whichever one I pick out of the five sections I qualify for, I’ve to remain there for 70 minutes. This is a big decision.”
Healy Park officials have also stated that those in the ex-prisoner section will be in an area exempt from camera footage in case they’re not meant to be out yet. Also, farmers can only bring a maximum of 5 animals in order to dissuade conscientious farmers from bringing heavily pregnant livestock.
There was also confirmation tonight that Derry supporters will be in the new ‘keeping it in the family‘ section which will be available for this match only.
An Omagh pet shop owner has admitted he panicked after burying over 60 pets who turned out not to be deceased but were simply hibernating after a recent cold spell. His family are said to be ‘sleeping with one eye open’ in case he repeats the near-fatal mistake in his own house.
Pat McMinn, who has owned the shop for less than a year, confirmed he was completely unaware that some breeds of hamsters, bats, frogs, mice, squirrels, skunks and hedgehogs can hibernate at short notice after a cold snap, even if only for 24 hours in the case of some hamsters.
“I wasn’t aware of that atall. I came in on the Monday and saw that a rake of the pets weren’t moving, so I put them all in a bin liner and buried them in a field out beside Healy Park. I think there were 23 hamsters, 17 bats, 12 skunks and a pile of squirrels. I was sad enough at the time but just put it down to the circle of life. I was glad to hear they’re all still alive, thanks to the sharp eye of a local farmer who saw a couple of squirrels burrowing upwards.”
Mrs Marie McMinn, who won the 1988 Persil Automatic Best Hands in Omagh award, admitted the family now lived in fear in case he takes another head stagger and buries the lot of them during the night:
“I can’t be sure he won’t make the same mistake again. He’s prone to the panicking. One time he threw a toaster out because it hadn’t popped up inside three minutes.”
Locals reckon the shop won’t last much longer anyway as no one has heard of anyone buying a bat in the area, ever.
Carlito McCabe, who works the scoreboard at Healy Park in Omagh, was described as ‘stable’ today after he was admitted late last night with Repetitive Strain Injury. McCabe, who was on duty during Tyrone’s 5-16 to 0-7 hammering of neighbours Armagh, began complaining on the way home of pains in his wrists and elbows before couping onto the pavement outside The Silver Berch with excruciating stiffness. According to Zappettini & Bradley – this type of injury would be defined as a workplace injury.
Healy Park gateman and close friend, Kieran McMahon, is adamant the Mickey Harte and his Tyrone side should issue a formal apology to his fellow clubman.
“I knew he was in trouble at half time. Tyrone had already racked up 2-10 by that stage and that’s some getting up and down in the cold weather for McCabe. I sent word into the Tyrone changing room at half time to tone it down a bit for McCabe but you know yourself, Mickey can be a headstrong fellow. We saw that when Tyrone scored another goal within 30 secs of the restart. It was a dagger through the heart of McCabe who had only managed to sit down after a boul of soup. I should’ve said nothing.”
McCabe maintains he will seek compensation from the Tyrone County board.
“The elbow is banjaxed. When Tyrone scored their 5th goal all I could shout was ‘Sweet Jaysus and The Holy Donkey’. Them there numbers are heavy. I’ll be expecting a couple of pounds from both county boards. “
Tyrone County Board issued a statement offering best wishes to McCabe for a speedy recovery but told him to count his lucky stars for all those wides in the first half.