The bi-annual change of clocks brought havoc throughout Tyrone once again, amidst mass confusion as well as some confrontational scenes.
Following news on Sunday that a local bookmaker was caught out after forgetting to change his clock, many residents, furious at having an hour taken away from them, vented their anger at farmers, who they blame for the twice-yearly clock change. Three people staged a mildly-irate protest outside a farm in Cloughfin, with banners saying ‘It’s Our Hour – Leave It The Feck Alone’, and, ‘You Can Take Our Sleep But You’ll Never Take Our Freedom’.
Demonstrator Claire Doherty from Dregish, said,
“Who do thon farmers think they are taking an hour off everyone? Them with their farming ways, tootling along in their tractors all deliberate-like, just to annoy other road users. If it’s an extra hour in the daylight they want why can’t they just change their own buckin’ clocks?”
The farmer in question, 62-year old Kieran Gormley,told us:
“It’s got bog-all to do with me. Why would I want to lose an hour? I like my bed as much as anyone else. Or did we gain an hour? I always forget. What time is it anyway? If I’ve missed Bargain Hunt I’ll go off the bap. I’ve only just got the clocks all up to date from the last change. Some handlin”.
Technology has particularly given problems across the county, with one man from Drummurrer locking himself in his bedroom for sixteen hours with a baseball bat after believing a very meticulous, time-conscious burglar had broken into his house and changed the clock on his television and mobile phone, when in fact they had automatically updated themselves.
A family of seven from the Washingbay had their own problems.
“It was tara”, said mother-of-five Teresa McKernon. “All of us changed the big clock in the kitchen without realising everyone else had done the same thing, so we all went to to bed at 3 o’clock in the afternoon thinking it was 10pm. Thinking about it, the day did fly by. We were making our supper when we were still half-way through our chicken dinner. My husband was putting his pyjamas when he was eating his sherry trifle”.
A man from Gortin, 37-year old Sandy McMaster, also got caught out by the change.
“There’s was something last night on ITV+1 I wanted to see but I hadn’t got round to changing the clocks. I didn’t know whether to turn it on at the right time, the hour before, or the hour after. My head nearly exploded trying to work it out. Damn farmers”.
In an attempt to do something different from the run-of-the-mill GAA fundraising attempts such as Strictly Come Dancing or blue-collar boxing, the Derrytresk club have been accused of taking the whole reality genre too far after 34 players were hurt to varying degrees whilst participating in Splash! (At The Hill). The format closely mimicked the ITV version where Tom Daley teaches celebrities to dive into a swimming pool. In order to keep it realistic as possible, club officials convinced one of the local Dalys to judge the competition, despite being a non-swimmer himself. Eventual winner, Pat Fitzgerald, criticised the rushed format and maintains he may never play again.
“It was a bitter-sweet victory like. I knew we were in trouble when I saw the set-up in the middle of a field. They’d gotten a telegraph pole, lodged it 5 feet down into the ground and a big nine metre ladder for climbing up. Once you got up there you had to balance on top of the pole and dive into a family-sized paddling pool, filled to the brim with cold water and suds for effect. Poor Harry Corr was the first man up and him 61. The screams when he hit the pool will live with me forever. I still hear him in my dreams. But people had donated good money to see this and we couldn’t back out now, especially with the Italian tourists in the area for the pipe-smoking competition. I don’t know how we’ll field a senior side this year. There were thirteen broken legs, ten shattered collar bones, eight hip breaks and five lads are being counselled for the trauma of being up at the top of the pole looking down at the blood from the lad before. By the time the last lad jumped there was no water left in the pool even. It was kamikaze stuff. I’m banjaxed.”
Despite the negative reviews, the club have said they made £30’000 and are contemplating doing ‘Splash! (At The Hill) 2‘ with the camogie team, although maybe using a smaller pole.