It was revealed yesterday that the two-year sponsorship deal between current sponsor Hunky Dorys and Tyrone GAA football is unlikely come to an end following a bold offer from local Urney chip shop owner, Pearse Donnelly.
In front of disbelieving county journalists at a hastily-convened press conference in Omagh, a proud Donnelly said,
“‘Pearse’s Cheesy Peas’ is one of the biggest chip shop businesses in upper north-west Tyrone”, he said, “But I’m ambitious and it’s time to take on the world. I want a ‘Cheesy Peas’ in every town and village within a 3-mile radius of Urney by 2018. That’s right lads, you heard me. We’re going all the way to Clady”.
Donnelly was at pains to point out the range of products available in his chip shop, and in particular his ‘Cheesy Peas’ speciality.
“Them Cheesy Peas is world famous. They’ve even got onto the television a couple of months ago. They’re perfect for the lads”. He explained, “Them boys need fattening up. It’s fine giving them a lock of crisps, but that doesn’t keep them warm, does it? I saw Ciaran McGinley training up at Garvaghey the other week and the lad was foundered, you could tell. His legs were blue. He needs a big feed in him. And a slap of my Cheesy Peas could sort him out no bother. My passion for Cheesy Peas is mirrored in the management and team’s passion for the GAA in Tyrone. We’re a perfect match. In the meantime me and the family are switching to Tayto. That’ll put the wind right up whoever owns Hunky Dorys”.
Critics have pointed out that the peas are of the processed variety, and that the cheese isn’t cheese at all, but from a Latvian-based manufacturer of a substance which translates as, ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cheese, Dairy, Or Killed Someone By Now’.
“Listen, luminous orange cheese is neither here nor there”, said Donnelly. “That’s the natural colour of cheddar. You learn that when you’re in the business. My customers aren’t complaining. You should see my shop on a Friday after midnight. People are fighting over Cheesy Peas. When you see grown men hoofing each other in the groin just to get to a portion of the stuff, you know you’re onto a winner”.
The deal between Hunky Dorys and the club was signed in 2012 for a two-year period for an undisclosed sum, but considered to be six-figures.
“Six-figure deal?” snorted Donnelly. “So what? I’m offering a seven-figure deal. £700 a year for three years. That’s got a seven in it. And don’t forget I’m offering unlimited cheesy peas to every player and a 25% discount for their families and all club officials. Beat that, Hunky Dorys”.
Donnelly denied that the TV appearance he referred to was an episode of ‘Watchdog’, when three people were taken to hospital with gastro-enteritis in February after having consumed extra-large portions of Cheesy Peas.
Neither Hunky Dorys or Tyrone GAA were available for comment.
A Moygashel woman is preparing for the biggest challenge of her life as she frantically looks for increasingly inventive ways to avoid family arguments breaking out on Christmas Day.
“I offered everyone round on Christmas Day in about August and then forgot all about it”, bemoaned 34-year old Rachel McNally from Moygashel. “Jaysus, what was I thinking? It’ll be like managing the G8. My da’s not talking to my brother Frankie since he sold that field that never belonged to him, my other brother Paul lost the family car on a game of 25’s which his wife Paula’s still not forgiven him for, and my mum’s not talking to my da since he went and hired that 19 year old Latvian girl to help dung out the shed. One word from anybody and it’ll be like a feckin dynamite. I’ll be lucky to get through the day alive”.
McNally has previously resorted to a variety of methods to ensure arguments don’t spoil the day.
“The last few years I’ve opted for themed Christmas Days which have worked quite well. 2012 was the ‘Monastic-Themed Christmas’ when everyone had to dress as a monk and took a vow of silence for the day. It went surprisingly okay, other than the v-signs that Frankie kept making to his ex. And the rabbit punch he got from my da on the side of his head when he was half-way through his turkey. Still, he never made a sound. Fair play to him”.
“2011 was fine as well, which was ‘Games-Themed Christmas Day”. We had a 3-hour game of charades and a 2-hour game of Pictionary, and then for the Queen’s Speech we came together and shouted abuse at the TV”.
Rachel’s plan for 2013 is an ‘Alcohol-Themed Christmas’.
“To be honest I’ve run out of ideas, so I’m going to get everyone as drunk as possible, as quickly as possible”, said McNally. “I’ve already loaded up the cake with nearly a pint of sherry, and we’re going to have tequila shots all the way through dinner. If I can get everyone completely hammered then the sooner everyone passes out, the better. Not sure how Granny Gormley’ll cope. She’s 96 and took the pledge 70 years ago. Still, it’s worth a go”, she said hopefully.
In 2010 McNally opted for a disco-themed Christmas Day with flashing lights and a smoke machine, which ended abruptly after she forgot that her sister was an epileptic and brother-in-law Dennis was a chronic asthma sufferer.
A Drummurrer handyman has returned home after a year working in Dungannon able to ask ‘do you need a stove fitted?’ in half a dozen languages much to the amazement of his family and friends. Terrence McNeill, who got a bus to Dungannon after being told about it by his uncle who went there in 1992, claims to have fitted over 600 stoves in 300 days and rewired almost 200 houses whilst immersing himself in the local culture.
“Jays it’s a deadly place, boys. I met Jamaican women dancing in Woolworths, Lithuanian men playing didgeridoos and Portuguese ladies taking the heads off each other outside the Fort. And they’re all mad looking stoves fitted. I learned Russian, Swahili, Spanish, Latvian, Bulgarian and English just by listening whilst fitting stoves or rewiring.”
McNeill reckons it’s a cultural and financial experience no one should miss out on.
“People talk about recession this and economy that. Well, Dungannon is having none of it. This place must be a bit like Saudi Arabia or Australia. Everyone is loaded. I’ll be telling all the young ones of Drummurrer, Clonoe, Derrytresk and even Coalisland to get on that bus. It might seem like a world away but look at me now. I’m a multi-lingual genius and people keep asking me to say things in different tongues at parties and social gatherings.”
McNeill admits that re-adjusting to life in Drummurrer has been difficult:
“Aye, the slagging takes a bit of getting used to. If you slagged the Russian women they’d wreck you so I cut it out completely in Dungannon. Back here, they’ve been calling me things like ‘Einstein Features’, ‘Bollocksy Bill’ and ‘marble mouthed hoor’ just because I’m deadly at the languages. Also, it’s like learning another language in Drummurrer. Mad way of talking.”
Terence has also had to combat the ferocious reaction by his wife after he brought home a Jamaican woman ‘for a bit of craic’ instead of towels and rock.
Tensions were rising throughout the day as the Galbally Roads Council buildings came under attack from a snowballing mob after pictures on Facebook showed a gritter in force outside their offices in the early hours of the morning. Galbally Roads Council have consistently stated they haven’t had any grit-salt since they ran out during the sharp frost in 1984 and that they’d sold the gritter itself fifteen years ago to some boy in Latvia. They also claim that the next shipment of salt is not expected until 2018. However, clear images displayed an old decrepit gritter spraying salt ‘like mad’ around the front car park of the Council offices. The local PP, Fr Gary Sheehan, was unimpressed:
“What a shower of wankers! We’ve been driving on glass for 28 years now in the winter because them lads said the salt had run out and the next batch was to be a fair few years away. That’s OK. I can accept that. But the pictures taken last night by a few revellers coming home from the Galbally Arms tell a different story. It’s clear now that them wretched tramps have been gritting their own premises and probably around their own houses using the same gritter that was apparently tearing up Latvia. I’m going to snowball the bollocks off them.”
The Galbally Roads Council vehemently deny the existence of the original gritter and initially contented that the lads were making stuff up or blattered out of their heads. When presented with the photographic evidence, chairman Kevin Molloy took a different stance:
“Ah Jays, that could be anywhere. Sure there’s another place called Galbally in Limerick. That might be their offices. Even if it is our building, that could well be some kind of ghostly apparition from the previous gritter than was here or some kind of time warp thing caused by the solar flares or the Internet photoshopping or something. The divil a bit of it. Sure where’s the gritter now then?”
A mass gritter-hunt has begun in the townland with hundreds of Galballians combing the fields and barns for the phantom gritter. The Facebook page which revealed the initial image has been inundated with comments with the majority just simply stating ‘bastards’.