Barbers and hairdressers across the county are said to be dismayed and worried at the lack of customers in their premises since lock down rules were relaxed.
In what is said to be a related trend, over 300 new 80s tribute bands have been registered in the county, with many groups formed within single households featuring siblings with big hair and imitating bands such as Bon Jovi, Bananarama and Europe.
Coalisland barber John ‘Crowbar’ Timlin fumed at the latest development:
“People would need to wise up. Most can sing for none and although they may look the part I wouldn’t spend a penny on going to see a rake of Gervins singing The Final Countdown. Come and get your hairs cut for feck sake.”
Already, four sisters from Brackaville have received several bookings for their tribute band to The Bangles called ‘Yer Bangles’ after growing seriously big hair over the lockdown, even though three of them are tone deaf.
Meanwhile, a barber in Killyman has been reported for taking a Samurai Sword to customers with more difficult barnets.
A multi-million pound remake of the 1982 hit ‘E.T. The Extra Terrestrial’ will not now be filmed at the foot of the Sperrins due to poor mobile phone coverage.
Steven Spielberg, who has always been a big fan of Greencastle GAA club and once considered making a film about their All Ireland win years ago, is said to be devastated at the decision but admitted E.T. phoning home was crucial to the plot again this time.
Script writer Marie McBurn revealed the difficulties around the poor signal couldn’t be overcome:
“It was just stupid. We tried a few scenes and you’d have E.T. shouting ‘can you hear me now?’ down the phone and moving all over the place to get a signal. It totally ruined the believably of it all.”
The news comes as a big blow to the Greencastle area. Early estimates reckoned the windfall from tourism could have topped over £100m which they had planned to spent on an enormous Christmas tree with massive balls and long lines of tinsel.
In other news, a boy walked the whole half a mile to school last week in Killyman. He became the first child to walk to school since 1998.
Corporate GAA has dripped its way down into grassroots level after it emerged that Derrytresk are to trial a new hospitality package for people wanting to watch their home games in this year’s intermediate league.
The 8-match deal, which will see teams such as Cookstown and Kildress visit the ground, will cost interested punters £400 or £60 per match which will include:
- Free entry to the game
- 50% off crisps and mineral in the first half
- 30p off beer and spirits
- a pre-match tour of the area including the chapel grotto and the River Blackwater
- Prime seats on the rampart
- free entry to cock-fights that weekend
- find the guns in the moss and win a fiver
- 2 JCB rides before and after a game
- Meet the captain for a drink after the game
A spokesman for the club added:
“We need to make it clear that this point that the package does not include a free ticket for the half time draw. That must be purchased separately.”
Meanwhile, Killyman GFC are looking into a similar package for their club as soon as they can find something to include in it.
Brackaville And Newmills To Be Flattened To Make Way For Multi-Million Pound Coalisland International Race Track
Although planning approval has been granted for a £29m Coalisland race track which could play host to international motorsport competitions, residents in Brackaville and Newmills have been informed of the small print which spells bad news for them.
All of Brackaville and most of Newmills is to be flattened to make way for the ambitious venture, with both communities to be permanently re-located to hastily erected shanty houses in Derrytresk and Derrylaughan. For the first months, the evictees will receive a daily £20 food voucher which can be spent in Falls’ shop, excluding multipacks of crisps or 2 litre bottles of anything.
Race track co-ordinator, Becky Campbell, admitted the news might be tough to swallow initially:
“I understand there is some anger being vented towards the plans but if we want the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel knocking around east Tyrone eating chips, something has to give. We’d thought about flattening Killyman or Lower Annagher but they represent vital thoroughfares for us to get to M1 so it’s the only sensible call. “
Wrecking balls are to begin knocking down everything in Brackaville the day after Hallowe’en with the GAA club first on the list for demolition. Locals have vowed to tie themselves naked to the gates of the pitch which has been met with a ‘go for it’ response from the driver of the crane, Coalisland’s Rosie McSherry.
Derrytresk residents are also planning a protest at the arrival of Newmills ones.
Following the news that Bonnie Tyler will perform her classic hit Total Eclipse of the Heart on a boat during the lunar eclipse on Monday, Killyman Social Club have offered Nathan Carter the chance to outshine the global superstar by eating two dozen Wagon Wheels whilst singing Wagon Wheel on the roof of the club during the same eclipse.
Although Carter has yet to agree to the venture, Killyman club officials remain optimistic after reports suggested the country and western singer was seen buying multipacks of Wagon Wheels in Asda last week.
Spokesman Philly McVeigh explained:
“We didn’t think it was right that Tyler hogged the limelight during this eclipse. We considered asking Philomena to sing Blanket on the Ground during a National Sewing Championship to get the whole song theme thing going but Nathan’s probably a bigger draw right now. And a wagon wheel looks like the moon so that’s an even closer link. It’s a tenner to watch him do this great feat as the moon darkens.”
The number 24 (Wagon Wheels) were specifically chosen to represent the amount of hours in a day.
When it was pointed out to McVeigh that the total eclipse can only be seen in America and that, at best, only 4% of the moon will be covered over here, he halted the interview.
This is the second time Killyman will have profited from a celestial event. In 1986 they promised closer views of Haley’s Comet by standing on a beer crate, charging a pound a go. They bought a new dugout with the earnings.
Following news that the PSNI underspent their annual budget to the value of £14 million, insiders confirmed that a massive Easter party and parade has been commissioned by police headquarters in Dungannon with the The Wolfe Tones reportedly headlining a concert which will round off a five-day session.
Faced with either handing back the money to the government or receiving a reduced budget next year, officials in the police force have voted to blow the money on beer, chocolate and concerts in the run-up to Easter, as well as male and female dancers.
A document leaked to our office catalogues what is planned for the 5-day extravaganza which will be attended by over 4500 police officers on off-duty at various times from April 1st-April 5th.
Purchases already made includes:
- 1390 Yorkie and Smartie easter eggs (large)
- 2950 crates of Coors Lite
- 1460 crates of Bitter
- Easter Sunday concert featuring The Wolfe Tones, Moygashel Flute Band and The Portuguese Ukulele Orchestra
- 6 bouncy castles
- A £300’000 firework display of red, white, blue, green and orange colours.
- 1400 new batons
- 2400 new face shields
- 13 water canons from Mexico
- 54 new hair dryers for speed detection
£1 million has also been set aside for a 4000-strong fancy dress party to be held up on Dungannon Hill for police forces across the world with a strict 1980s dress code enforced and music provided by the Village People Tribute Band from Killyman.
A high-ranking PSNI official added:
“Them folks on the hill will see none of that £14 million – a bit like the Northern Bank money I suppose. There’ll be some sore heads on Monday morning. Any remaining money will be spent on upping the Ardoyne overtime for the lads.”
The SDLP, DUP, Sinn Fein and UUP will all sent representatives to the various functions that week to make sure the money is spent wisely.
A Killyman teacher has urged the French Tourist Board to issue a health warning for any parents hoping to purchase tickets for the entertainment resort in Marne-la-Vallée, just a bit up the road from Paris.
Tony McKenner, a 40-year old father of three, was made to go to the attraction as a birthday surprise for his 6-year old daughter and returned vowing never to set foot in any amusements again, even Portrush.
“It’s the most miserable experience anyone could put themselves through. It was bad enough forking out 75 Euros for three sets of Mickey Mouse ears before we’d time to look around us, but then we queued for an hour to get on a ghost train which drove slowly through a house that wasn’t scary. However, I expected all that.”
McKenner maintains he failed to see anyone smile during the 6-hour ordeal:
“Sisters were kicking brothers. Brothers were whacking sisters. Mothers were pulling the ears off children, some which were not their own. Fathers were staring vacantly into the distance, ignoring the pleas of wives urging them to shout at the children with sore ears. All this was happening in the queue for an ice cream.”
The Killyman educationalist believes the resort’s backroom team Photoshop pictures to convince punters that they had a really good time:
“I came off the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast thinking that was dung. We were then handed the photos and I was grinning from ear to ear. Now I’m starting to believe I actually had a really good time. But I know what I saw and experienced and I’m nearly sure it was horrendous. I definitely remember giving the child in the car in front of me the middle finger for shining his laser gun in my eyes.”
McKenner claims the big parade at the end was a celebration of the fact that the ordeal was at an end and that was why parents and children appeared to be generally in good spirits during it.
“I’d imagine it’s worse than childbirth,”
added McKenner whilst receiving a dirty look from his wife.
There have been overnight riots in Coalisland, with three cars burned, two off-licences raided and bricks thrown as far as
the metal bridge, in scenes not witnessed in the town since the height of the troubles even including the year the international music festival turned nasty.
Residents of the town have struck out, with all rational thought dispersing like a plume of smoke, following the reporting on UTV news that Coalisland Silver band, a bedrock of the local community, is no more than a common brass band. Not one of the instruments tested was found to contain silver although almost all members tried to plead the case by sowing off various sizes of miraculous medals.
All band members have been ordered to “hand in their badges and mouthpieces by noon Friday” by the town’s mayor and band’s leader Des Conway, who has marshalled the troupe since 1968. The Tyrone county board are allegedly shocked at the news and have suspended the band from any further performances at St. Enda’s Omagh GAA pitch on match days, despite the fact the band is yet to play at any GAA functions.
Unconfirmed reports suggest the band owes the town’s Credit Union up to £35’000, mostly thought to be on a concept for its new uniform which has remained unchanged since 1968 apart from the time it reverted from black to green for the trip to France in the late 1990s, and back to green again when they got home as the green uniforms had to be sold to pay customs and excise debts for smuggling bangers and flick knives.
The drummer of the band is understood to be housebound, while one young trumpeter has been stuck in his room since the start of the riots, playing the theme tune to The Sunday Game over and over and shaking his head whilst saying “ah naw”.
Local business owner Fabio Landi has shut up shop to band members and told us that there will be no more private late night openings for the band after their trips away to places like Dungannon, Killyman and even Cappagh.
More Power To Your Elbow front man Dixie Wrecker (real name Paddy Quinn) revealed the disgust in the local community following the news and subsequent civil unrest in the area.
“Aye, she’s tara altogether hi. The Antiques Roadshow are for the ‘island next Sunday and the band was due to do the theme tune live for them – you know, that lovely wee E Flat number with the horns. She’s a quare hannalin alright because we’re getting shipped in to give them a dig out, and sure we’re gonna try and ream her aff on the fiddle an the spoons. Its just lethal hi… who wouldha thunk it? I mean there’s all sorts of jokes coming from Clonoe about ‘heavy metal music this’ and ‘there’s more silver in the lough’ that. They’re saying there was probably never even any coal in Coalisland, and they’re calling it “Turf-town” out of pure badness. The towns a tip now with no lampposts still standing and bad words drawn all over the barracks, and not a windee in ‘er.”
With the news reaching towns as far away as Feldkirch in Austria, young women, who at earlier stages of their lives paraded round the town and caused many fights, are now receiving free counselling to cope with the shock. Trocaire and SVDP are also outraged and want to give all the thousands raised for them by the band over the years back to the people who gave them the money in the first place outside the chapel on Sundays for years. They will be handing out fivers after mass this weekend.
The manager of the local old people’s home has also told Tyrone Tribulations ‘they can go an shite’. Coalisland Parochial Centre is holding a sit down protest this Saturday at 3pm. The church has advised that there will be triangle sandwiches, and very strong tasting orange cordial. Patrons are advised to bring their own seats.
A Killyman teacher has declared he is definitely hanging up his chalk for the final time after announcing his 9th retirement in 9 years, much to the mirth of close friends and well-wishers from he local area.
Collie McKenna (68) was the guest of honour at the school’s end of term party in the canteen, just as he was back in 2006 when he announced his first retirement from St Ally’s Primary School in Killyman. Head teacher, and three-time retiree herself Mrs Hull, presented McKenna with a bottle of champagne and lead the singing of ‘Nine Green Bottles Sitting On The Wall’.
Mr McKenna told the assembled crowd:
“This is definitely it. I’ll not be back in September.”
before winking and smirking at the Board of Governors which sparked hysterical laughter and eye-throwing from parents and pupils.
“I’d like to thank the school for taking me back 8 times but I swear I won’t be hammering on these doors in two months. It’s time to let the young ones have a go at this teaching lark. Anyway, the redundancy package this year was the best yet. And I need to go to the toilet three times an hour now.”
Headmistress Hull announced that the job will be advertised in the Irish News next week but added that one of the essential qualifications includes at least 40 years experience in the primary school sector which again was greeted with more laughter, smirks and eye-throwing from well-wishers.
“I know we need to give young teachers a go, however it’s hard to beat experience”
to which a newly qualified teacher from the area replied with ‘bollocks to that yiz shower of gangsters” before storming off.
Sources confirmed that McKenna’s stuff is still sitting on his desk.
The 25-strong Ivory Coast community, who moved to Dungannon 30 years ago hoping to get work digging for lignite at Lough Neagh in a dig that never started, have admitted they are completely in the dark over a rise in goodwill gestures coupled with hate messages since last week.
Tanya Eboue, who has decked her bungalow from top to bottom in Ivorian flags for the World Cup, explained their confusion:
“It all kicked off when we put up the bunting for the World Cup. Within minutes there were a crowd of skin heads shouting ‘yiz fenian feckers’ and stuff like that. We tried to explain that we were just excited about our lads playing over in Brazil and they started laughing and said something about the ‘Mexican taigs down south’ being useless and not being in Brazil. We’re totally confused.”
Eboue, who runs a hairdressers in Killyman, added:
“Then the priest walked by us and shouted in ‘keep her lit’ and ‘chucky air la’ and was winking and pumping his fist. A Sinn Fein politican brought us cakes and mineral. We’re just a bit dazed by what’s going on. What has changed?”
Dungannon DUP politician, Ken Williams, has called for the Ivorian Prime Minister to step in and change the colours of their national flag as it was causing offence across Northern Ireland. In a heartfelt plea, he asked for common sense to prevail:
“Ivorians should know what that flag represents. It’s irresponsible for them to adopt those colours given what has happened here since 1561. There’s a rumour that the man who designed the flag, Kol Toure, married a girl from the mainly nationalist Carrickmore so there’s more to this than meets the eye.”
The Dungannon Ivorians have pledged to offer anyone offended with their national flag a gift of a copy of the Wolfe Tones’ Greatest Hits which has been No.1 in the Ivory Coast since 2001.
A high-profile undercover investigator has shattered an underground refereeing ring in Strabane where up to 30 Tyrone referees meet up weekly and laugh at some of the decisions they made and are going to make the following weekend. Joe Wheeler, the Welsh freelance TV reporter, pretended to show an interest in refereeing this coming season by getting himself into some shape and buying a shiny new whistle.
After an initial vetting service, Wheeler was asked along to the first meeting which was held in an underground bunker on the Urney Road.
“To be honest, the vetting process wasn’t too taxing. They just asked me to blow the whistle three times and point in various directions. That was it. I was in.”
Wheeler was told he’d probably referee a few U16 games in Ardboe to harden him up before embarking on Division Three of the Tyrone All County League.
“They reckoned a few underage games between Ardboe and Moortown would make a man of me. But it was what went on during the meeting that shocked me. All 30 refs took turns in telling yarns about the worst decisions they made last weekend and everyone was bent over laughing. The drink was flying but it was some craic to be fair. One ref said he deliberately turned a blind eye to a player getting the head battered off him because he remembered the lad’s father refused him access to a rampart years ago. They did some guffawing at that one.”
The Welsh reporter was even more astounded when matters turned to this weekend’s matches:
“Remarkably, as well as being given their fixtures to referee this weekend, they were also given a scoreline to work towards. There was a rollover jackpot with all men putting a fiver into the pot which now stood at £490. Anyone who got their score correctly won the dough. A bonus pot of £100 was also given every week to the ref who made the worst decision. This time a ref from Killyman won for sending off a Killeeshil player for wearing ankle socks.”
Wheeler reported that they all agreed to give the following teams ‘a bad touch’ this year: Owen Roes, The Rock, The Moy, Killyclogher, Dregish, Derrytresk, Carrickmore and Kildress.
The Tyrone Referees’ Association were unavailable for comment.
A Derrytresk farmer has sent her husband off to fight for whatever side he wants in Crimea if any combat starts, describing it as a great opportunity for him to see the world and to broaden his horizons.
Danny Hagan (49) was this morning said to be ‘sort of excited’ but ‘mostly terrified’ as he had originally set his sights on a family holiday in Mayo. Speaking from Belfast International Airport, Hagan admitted:
“Aye, it’s a bit of a handlin aright. One minute I’m out lambing with gay abandon in our field and the next I’m sitting here in Belfast with a one-way ticket to Crimea and a ruck-sack filled with tins of corned beef and a gallon of buttermilk.”
The official Derrytresk send-off saw up to 12 people line the streets on both sides waving Ukraine, Russian and Crimean flags at 6am this morning. Reports suggest a row broke out after he left between supporters of the three regions, resulting in one PSNI officer arriving and employing a strong water pistol to dampen down raw emotions.
Cathy Hagan (53) told us this trip will be good for her husband:
“To be honest I always wanted to marry some kind of soldier so this will maybe re-spark the marriage. I was watching him out lambing yesterday and it was doing nothing for me. This is a whole new ball game now. I don’t know who he’ll fight for. Probably the Russians as he’s deadly for the vodka.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin has already acted to secure the services of Hagan by piping non-stop Malachi Cush music through loudspeakers in Crimea as well as inviting Ardboe and Killyman GAA clubs over to play an exhibition game on his arrival in Simferopol.
Homecoming plans have been shelved for a while with Cathy Hagan informing us ‘sure we’ll see how he goes’.
The thieving community across the county last night said it was in crisis as the ever-increasing demands of health and safety tookits toll on the criminal fraternity.
Gang leaders claim that they are getting so many compensation claims in from gang members who have injured themselves that they have no alternative but to insist on taking adequate health and safety measures.
“It’s tara boys”, said Kieran, a crook from Fintona. “In the olden days you could steal a whole lock of cattle in a couple of hours and still be in time for last orders. Now I’m not allowed to do it unless I’ve done a two-week course in feckin’ animal husbandry. What’s that all about? It’s almost enough to force you into an honest living”.
But master-thieves were quick to point out they were merely reacting to changes in society. Bill Fagin, the head villain of a gang of thieves from ‘somewhere near the Dooish mountain’, said,
“It’s not our fault. It’s the claims culture. I’m getting demands for compensation left, right and centre. I’ve one boy who’s claiming five grand for having made him ‘allergic to the dark’, and another claiming the same amount after the eejit swallowed nearly a litre of red diesel when he was siphoning it out of a digger near Glenelly, and had to have his stomach pumped. That’s why we now give them manual handling training on how to lift a stolen plasma TV. They might hurt their backs and make a claim. Some handlin’. Literally”.
He went on,
“We can’t have them boys stumbling about in the dark on a remote farm in Killyman or somewhere when they’re trying to steal a lorry. They might bump into something and injure themselves. That’s why they need to wear the hi-viz jackets. And put up floodlighting. Or even better, come back and do it in the daylight. Safety first boys, safety first”.
But most thieves have condemned the actions as being over the top, and for compromising their chances of a clean getaway.
“We had one boy breaking in through the first floor window of a factory in Lissan last week”, confided Hugh, a swindler from Tattyreagh. “But he took so long filling out his ‘Working at Height’ form and putting up scaffolding that he got caught. Jaysus, in the good old days we just climbed up the drainpipe”.
Fully-qualified thief Declan from Plumbridge, was resigned to the changes.
“Aye, I suppose now I’m all trained up I won’t injure myself. I was breaking and entering into a big house in Donaghmore last month and although the risk assessments took over an hour to complete, at least I knew I’d be safe”,
he said, before being led back to his prison cell to complete a two-year sentence.
84 year old Terence McVeigh has surprisingly lifted the Tyrone’s Sexiest Farmer 2013 title after impressing judges with his handling of livestock, machinery and general working attire during an observation at his farm on the Moy Road last week. McVeigh, who was previously a finalist in 1963, beat off stiff competition from six other finalists, including the former Miss Levi Jeans of Kildress 1988, Masie McGinn.
Judges delivered their verdict at a packed field in Clogher, after a final parade of contestants around the yard, to a stunned silence. Apart from Kildress’s McGinn, Augher blonde bombshell 23-year old Jenny McKenna was also a bookie’s favourite having just taken up farming last Summer in order to win this competition.
Paddy Power spokesperson Deirdre McAlinden told us:
“It’s a great result for us but there’s something fishy about this. McVeigh has a permanent stoop, just the one eye and hasn’t washed his farming since the mid-70s. Jenny McKenna was 6-1 on and just last year won the Augher Rear of the Year. It makes no sense at all, though we’re sucking diesel financially.”
When asked to explain their scoring, a rather evasive Tom Mulholland remarked:
“It was an easy decision. Ask any woman – the way to a Tyrone girl’s heart is how a man dungs out the yard. McVeigh may have taken three hours to do it, but he was meticulous. He was covered head to toe in manure and sweat but sure isn’t that one of the best sights any man, woman or beast wants. McKenna may have the painted nails, designer jeans and high heeled wellies but she was trying to shear a bull when we arrived down. And let’s be honest, Miss Levy Jeans of Kildress 1988 has let herself go a bit.”
McVeigh said he was going to celebrate his success with a ‘slap of buttermilk and potatoes’. He also stressed that supplying ‘a baste of a turkey’ to the Mulholland household every Christmas was coincidental.
He wins a year’s supply of wellington boots.
The Moy, a south-east Tyrone hamlet famous for being near Benburb, was this morning said to be in total depair after their senior football side were narrowly defeated by nine points in their semi-final yesterday. Only one local resident has ventured out of their house so far today to buy bread and stuff. She reportedly gave the fingers to a car that beeped at her, suspecting it to be an Eglish rapscallion.
Gregory Jordan, a 49 year old Far-East Christmas pantomime villain, reckons it’ll take a long time to get over this:
“This is worse than I dreaded it would be. We really thought this was the year. 1920. 19 buckin 20 was our last title. There’s a boy up the road there who says he remembers it. He’s in his 70s so it’s quite possible. He always says that in 1921 there was a curse put on the area by a witch doctor from Charlemont after an altercation between himself and the local PP over who wrote the words of ‘Blanket On The Ground’. I’m starting to believe in it. This is cat. I’d made 600 paper hats for the final with ‘The Moy Are Lethal’ on them. I’d say we’ll not recover from this til about 6pm or so.”
Local communities have since rallied around with supplies of spuds, joke books and toilet rolls delivered by the good people of Killyman on a big lorry. Donaghmore’s Malachi Cush has promised to take part in a ‘Cheer Up’ concert, committing himself to singing a rap version of the aforementioned ‘Blanket On The Ground’.
Susan McKearney, a 71-year old Gospel reader, acknowledged the goodwill gestures from neighbours:
“It’s very thoughtful. But it’ll take more than Cush rapping, Andrex Puppies and Kerr’s Pinks to get over those Carmen hoors’.
Moy PRO was unable to comment as he’s somewhere ‘on the continent’.
Brocagh twins, Peter and Paul Ward, were this afternoon said to be in hiding after their mother ‘got a bit mixed up’ and sent her first-year sons to St Patrick’s Academy in Dungannon in school skirts and blouses. Frances Ward maintains she got confused due to the fact that their three older sisters also went to the same school and that she was not trying to save money on uniforms in the hope that no one would notice.
“Ah come on, I’m not that stingy. It was a very understandable mistake. I was used to the girls getting ready for the bus and simply threw the hand-me-downs to the twins. I did think something was wrong but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. They’re quiet lads so they didn’t complain. I’m told the Carnan ones on the bus gave them deadly abuse.”
Reports from the school suggest they were immediately put in detention for “Brazen Tomfoolery”, breaking the previous record of 3 hours for a first year in the school, a record held by a boy from Killyman who fired a tin whistle in bad temper at the principal in 1981. The Wards’ detentions were rescinded after the truth was revealed.
Frances Ward’s neighbour, Packie Quinn, disagrees that it was an honest mistake:
“That woman is the most miserly living being in Brocagh. I know rightly she didn’t want to fork out for a new set of uniforms and so thought no one would bat an eyelid. Them poor lads are mortified. Bad enough the uniform but why did she plait the longer haired boy? She was up to her work.”
In other educational news, Tyrone schools are considering bringing back slapping for ‘acting the lig’ or ‘slabbering about their holidays’.
East Tyrone Council last night confirmed that it intends to phase out ‘Kill’ or ‘Kil’ prefixes or suffixes to all place names in Tyrone over the next 12 months, and replace them with ‘something nicer’.
Over-excited councillor Paddy Donnelly explained the thinking behind the idea.
“Places starting with ‘Kill’ is a hangover from the times when people were cuttin’ the lining out of each other during the times of the pollan fish riots and such like. We’re more civilised now. It’s time to move on”.
Pointing out the fact to Donnelly that ‘kill’ is a derivative of the Irish ‘cil’, meaning ‘church’, was met with scepticism.
“What? Don’t take me for a mug. What’s churches got to do with killing each other, except when it comes to getting out the car park after mass on a Sunday? ‘Kill’ frightens young children and old people, plain and simple. I’ve seen pensioners quaking in their shoes walking into Killyman. And what about people’s human rights? They might get all intimidated and start thinking of killing and death and stuff. We’d get the blame if someone suddenly went mental with a big stick in Kildress and slaughtered pets. Or should I say, ‘Quaredress’.
Under the proposal, all place names that start with ‘Kill’ or ‘Kil’ are to be replaced with nicer, more tourist-friendly words. From 1st January 2014 ‘Killeeshil’ is changed to ‘Lovely-leeshil’ and ‘Killyclogher’ becomes ‘Prettyclogher’.
“Think it through”, insisted Donnelly. “Tourists will love coming into Kissyman. We’ll be fightin’ off Americans off with a stick. It sounds deadly. So does Drumnacuddly. If them ones in Derry can mess about with all their ‘London Stroke Derry’ stuff, we can do the same. It’s a winner”.
The initiative coincides with a re-vamp of the Tyrone Tourist Board advertising campaign. The previous slogan which has been used since 1987, ‘County Tyrone: For All Your Bog Requirements’ will be replaced in 2014 with the more welcoming, ‘Come To Tyrone. You’ll Never Get Better’.
A man returning from a holiday in London is thinking about complaining to the Lord Mayor’s office after having been treated with courtesy and friendliness throughout the visit.
63 year old Patrick Dunn from Killyman worked in Cricklewood in the 1970s as a bricklayer and labourer, and expected a very different type of reception from the one he received when he went for a month’s holiday in May to visit some of his old haunts in north west London.
“Thon feckers couldn’t have been nicer”, complained Dunn. “What’s that all about? I remember the times when the Irish were treated as proper outcasts. I was fully expecting some old-fashioned discrimination so that I could go into O’Donnell’s Bar in Kilburn and moan about it. I couldn’t, could I? Everyone was lovely. And also because they’ve turned it into a delicatessen”.
In an effort to experience more traditional discrimination, Dunn met up with a West Indian friend of his and after finding a stray collie dog went to look for bed and breakfast accommodation, expecting to be given his marching orders very quickly.
“Jaysus, did the first door we knock on not offer us 50% off for 3 nights and that the dog would be most welcome”, said a disappointed Dunn. “What’s the world coming to? They were so lovely I ended up staying for a week. Evil hoors. They were even calling me ‘Mister Dunn’. Mister Dunn? I thought they were takin’ the haun out of me, but then they said they they didn’t want to call me Paddy for fear of offending me. And Paddy’s my bloody name. What about my rights? Where’s all the old-fashioned intolerance, eh? I was even getting offers of work without so much as asking for it. I’m a brickie by trade. I build walls. But I got offered full-time work as a plumber, a vet, a systems analyst, and a Boeing 747 pilot. I couldn’t believe it. What’s the world coming to? It was a nightmare. Especially the jet lag after flying jumbos all day”.
“I don’t know. They bloody love the Irish over there”, lamented Dunn. “I won’t be going back”.
Dungannon court yesterday heard how aged Killyman Pharmacist, Mal Le Chien, allowed a local serial gossiper read the prescription book every day in exchange for a kiss on the cheek. The accusation was heard after the woman in question, Mary Gilroy, decided to ‘land him in the s**t’ after he allowed one of his hands to wander during the daily peck on his choppers. A packed courthouse heard how Le Chien fed Gilroy’s love of chit-chat by offering her his indecent proposal:
“I’d been coming in to the chemist for tablets to ease my woman’s problems and had built up a customer relationship with Mal. After a few weeks, and knowing of my penchant for tittle-tattle, he said he’d let me see his prescription book for everyone in the Killyman area as long as I planted the lips on him once a day. It was too good to turn down. Ha! – the things I saw. Finally, I understood my Mrs Donnelly had that oul sour bake on her. She’s a chronic migraine sufferer. Still didn’t stop me roaring at her in the morning even harder. Gary Taggert was taking viagra and him with no woman at all. Made no sense to me but at least I knew how to behave around him. Drove him mad I did with the low tops and winks. Fr Jackson’s itchy arse was causing him some bother going by the ass-cream he was picking up fortnightly. That fairly affected my communion-going habits. I had a head start on everyone.”
The agreement came to an end when Le Chien attempted to take things to the next level and laid a hand on her hip during the kiss.
“Typical man. He thought I was turning up to see him. Only for the free gossip I’d never be seen near than oul whack. One day he dropped the hand on me. Well, that was that. Everyone knows I’m a hateful warbler in these parts so I had nothing to lose. This oul pervert needed to be exposed. Sure he himself takes five aspirin every morning cos he’s on a bottle of brandy a day.”
The case continues tomorrow when Le Chien takes to the stand to explain how the amount of hypochondriacs in Killyman drove him to drink.
Popular Killyman postman, Nat McVeigh, was tonight considering tendering his resignation to Royal Mail after failing to deliver the same letter to the correct address for the 77th time earlier today. The letter, believed to be a Littlewoods catalogue bill, has been processed so many times now as “Return To Sender” that the address is almost impossible to make out now.
“It’s like some kind of mental block and it’s destroying me. I deliver the letter and two days later it’s back in my sack again having been recycled through the whole system. My wife says I’m a hateful balax at the best of times but my constant dark mood is making life unbearable at home for everyone. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve sent the cat soaring through the Killyman air at 6pm as I walk though my gate.”
The address which just states ‘Mrs McVeigh, Laghey Road’ happens to be the same road the experienced postman lives on, alongside four other houses all owned by unrelated McVeighs. Killyman is a quiet hamlet and sometimes the mysterious letter is the only mail to be delivered throughout the week.
“I just cannot fathom it. I’m sure I’ve delivered it to each of the other houses at least four times each. Mattie McVeigh at number 3 is getting pretty angry. He warned me that if I deliver it again he’ll blow my brains out. It’s a treacherous job now. I joked with the wife yesterday that maybe it’s our bill. She laughed at me, dressed in a new silk petticoat and diamond slippers, and said we couldn’t be affording Littlewoods stuff before running off to do something important.”
McVeigh will attempt his 78th delivery tomorrow with a special mass celebrated that morning for his intentions.