Following an investigation into long-forgotten by-laws in Tyrone, researchers have announced that Ian Paisley Jnr, MP for North Antrim, is the rightful heir to the Freedom of Coalisland, a title last awarded in 1791 to President George Washington.
In addition, the ancient ruling states that a local farmer with a surname beginning with ‘O’ or ‘Mc’ must supply a donkey for Paisley to ride through the town at his own leisure on Sundays.
And in a final twist, researchers have discovered that anyone who displays any signs of disgruntlement at the award is to be tied to a lamp post in the middle of the town and stoned for three hours.
Local shopkeeper and former footballer Jackie O’Neill told us through gritted teeth:
“This is absolutely splendid news. I can think of no better sight than Paisley on a donkey sailing down the Main Street on a Sunday, maybe popping in for a Choc Pop or a packet of Hula Hoops. You’ll find no argument from me anyway. I’m fine with it,”
before smashing the cup he was drinking tea out of by squeezing it too hard.
Local farmer, Leo McCann, came forward this morning with an offer of a donkey from his extensive range of animals. McCann, who was released under the Good Friday Agreement, maintains he’d be honoured to see Paisley striding around on his ass:
“I just hope he’s OK with the fact that he’ll be on a republican ass. It’s called Rebel and has been dormant for a few years now but as I said to the wife this morning, he hasn’t gone away y’know. He’ll take the big man’s frame no bother.”
Paisley has yet to comment on the award but sources close to the DUP man claim he was delighted at the news and hopes to canter down the Lineside this weekend and pop into Landi’s for their famed sausage supper and a can of Lilt. Unfortunately, he was disappointed to hear the cinema had closed down.