One of Tyrone’s most accomplished linguists, Terrence McNeill, is currently floating in a capsule in space as he prepares to become the first Irish man to work on the International Space Station.
McNeill, who can fluently speak over six languages from his stove-fitting experiences in Dungannon, will install a state-of-the-art stove in the Russian quarter on board the ISS after winning the contract from another tender in Lithuania. The Drummurrer man was rocketed off into space from Houston last night and is currently aiming to park his space capsule ‘Meenagh’ some time tonight if he can line it up correctly and soberly.
His wife, Anita, revealed it was a great honour for their family:
“We always knew he was deadly at the stove fitting and deadly at the languages so he’d be a deadly boy for fitting stoves up there for the Russians. I can’t relax though til he parks it as he’s liable to have a couple of drinks on him and might overshoot the parking bay and blow the whole thing up. I hope not. I also hope the diarrhoea has cleared up.”
McNeill underwent 3 weeks of intensive training in America before the launch and although he failed 90% of the tests, the Drummurrer man convinced NASA officials he’d work it out up there as he was ‘good at thinking on his feet’. At a packed conference he explained:
“I’m sure it’s just like parallel parking. I’ll put the shoe to the burd, get her docked and then pile into the ISS with my tools and get wired into the stove. I’ll be out by Monday I reckon. I’m just worried about the diarrhoea.”
McNeill has promised to tweet aerial pictures of Drummurrer, Annaghnaboe and Cloghog from space.
It has been revealed in recent EU cost comparison analysis that a mechanic inNewmills has the second most expensive per hourly rate in Europe, coming behind only a Ferrari garage in Rome.
“Luck-see, there’s a rake of reasons why we need till charge like we do. First you have the dippers about this time of year. They love a bit of overtime in the long evenings. Sure ’cause of the manoeuvres taken to avoid the dippers, we see all sorts through the gates here; new gear boxes, new engines, not to mention fuel filters! That wee Lithuanian lad has been changing one an hour this last week- haven’t ye Dmitri?.”
“Yous boys come here talking about me being dear an all that – sure you just have till look at the bonfires, and the tyres that get used up there, hi. Sure coming up to the twelfth and between now and Halloween you couldn’t keep a tyre about the place for love nor… well, just for love.”
Plumbridge clergyman Fr Butler, nicknamed ‘The Plum’s Prosperous Priest’, has admitted he can’t go past a shop without buying something shiny or golden but has vowed to say longer masses to make up for his lavish spending.
Parish accountant Jack Spratt reckons Fr Butler, who boasts a fleet of Citroen Dyanes and three Saudi Abrabian crowns, has spent almost £1.2m in the last 15 years, mostly the takings from Sunday collections and tenners given to him at weddings or christenings. Also amongst his possessions is a private plane with a Lithuanian pilot and two chairs made from Indian horses.
Butler admitted he might seek treatment for his monetary addiction:
“It’s a terrible affliction. When I was being handed a fiver or tenner after a funeral all I could think about was going into Omagh and buying something shiny like a chain for around me neck or maybe golden tips for my laces. Then ten pounds would lead to me taking the whole of the weekend’s collections and going out to an auction in Cookstown and buying all manner of second-hand shiny stuff like hefty medallions or golden chalices for the house. I was out of control.”
Concerns were raised about Fr Butler’s spending when a school trip to his house revealed the extent of his shopping habits. Master McGrath, principal of Plumbridge Academy, told us:
“I was dumbstruck. House? More like a 5-star hotel. On entering his abode I noticed all the door knobs were made of solid African gold and hanging from the ceilings were the most extravagant Brazilian chandeliers you’ll ever see. It was like a scene out of Dynasty. What came next was a real eye-opener. Fr Butler was sitting at a golden table, wearing a shiny crown made of sparkling jewels as well as a sparkling cloak and his maid was feeding him Jamaican grapes from a massive glittery silver spoon. All he gave the children was a packet of crisps and a Tip Top mineral with straw.”
The shamed clergyman has vowed to make it up to his flock by saying extra long masses and handing out shorter penances after confessions.
Figures released today indicate that MOT inspectors from various inspection garages across Tyrone are amongst the richest people in Europe, rivalling royalty, Formula One owners and international footballers in terms of take-home pay. The controversial statistics come as no surprise to car owners across the county as evidenced by their attitude towards MOT inspectors.
Paddy Hanna, a Brackaville kite-maker, told us:
“Sure couldn’t I have told you that myself. I was failed last week in the MOT centre in Cookstown for having a dirty wing mirror. I took it back yesterday having washed it and he failed me again for having a car park sticker on the wing mirror that was under the dirt last week. Theiving hoors.”
The Italian newspaper El Papar listed three MOT inspectors from Omagh in category 1, earning anything up to £2m a year after tax. Henry Davidson from Drumragh reckoned that was a conservative sum:
“It’s no secret that these men and women are taking backhanders. I see boys winking and bringing through fleets of old Lithuanian motors, and then handing over a brown envelope. The cars drive straight through and come out the other side within 5 seconds. No stopping. Just a line of continuous traffic. And there’s me watching my car getting jerked all over the shop and failing on an air freshener or something. We’re some mugs.”
The Tyrone MOT Union Rep said boys like Davidson need to be careful about making allegations like that about envelopes:
“We’re as clean as you can get. He has probably seen registrations documents passed over or lunches from mummies or something. We’re just tightening up on the whole dirt thing. Some of the cars knocking about are just balls of muck with an engine in it.”
The next richest group from the county were the water filter sellers from the 80s.
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.
The Dungannon Tourist Board yesterday launched its campaign to bring in European residents to the town.
Under the slogan ‘Come to Dungannon – More than just a big Tesco’, the Board is particularly keen to invite Portuguese, Polish and Lithuanian citizens to the town.
“We’ve lots to offer newcomers”, said Community Liaison Officer Jill Moody. “We have the leisure centre, a roundabout with butterflies on it, and we’re hoping to get a Poundland soon. Dungannon really has got it all. Walk around the town and it’s just a sea of Tyrone faces everywhere. We’re proud of our town, but we want some multi-cultural influence as well. Come on world, what’s wrong with Dungannon? Come and see what we’ve got to offer.”
A spokesperson from Dungannon & South Tyrone Council told us:
“We’re right behind this campaign. Dungannon’s a great place to live and work. Whether its strolling through Dungannon Park, shopping in the Linen Green, or slaughtering chickens by the thousand, Dungannon’s got the lot”.
Local people out shopping on Saturday afternoon appeared to support the initiative. “Hi carumba!” said Granville local Enrique Gomez. “Thees eez wanderfuel news. We mus ‘elp all zeez people to come to our wanderfuel Dunganning. Arriba arriba”.
The view was shared by life-long Caledon resident Magda Adamczyk. “I am wirry hippy to hear ziz. I sink I will celebrit with big plate of beef goulash”.
The news was not met with universal approval however. 32 year old pencil sharpener Mickey Girvan of White City roared:
“You don’t want to encourage that sort of behaviour. Some of them foreign types are already all over the country. Imagine a whole nation of people going and putting down roots all over the place. You wouldn’t catch the Irish doing that. We keep ourselves to ourselves. Next thing you know they’ll be opening their own pubs. The cheek of it”.
Sean Duggan, a 54 year old sparrow trainer of Drumquin agreed. “I don’t trust them foreigners. I went on a big trip last summer. Terrible experience. Weird people with odd habits, eating inedible food. And I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. Last time I go to Coalisland for a holiday”.
Following on from his failed one-day stint as a weatherman, Henry Savage lasted no longer this time after landing a prestigious role as a Children’s TV presenter on Kids TV Live fronting a kids’ arts and crafts show between 1pm and 1:30pm. Savage received his P45 before leaving the studio at 2pm after an unprecedented volume of phone-calls were made to the show complaining about the language and actions carried out by the Brackaville Road media man. Kids TV Live Director General Paul Norton explained:
“I don’t think Savage is cut out for Kids TV Live or maybe any other camera work for that matter. The show got off to a good start when Henry used his lilting Irish brogue to instruct the child to paint a picture of an elephant. Perhaps unaware of how sensitive children are these days, he told the first child (who was Lithuanian) that his effort was “pure shit” and that a “dead man would do better”. Lucky young Silvinas couldn’t understand him but the 2.3m viewers did. He then went over to the youngest girl, Emily (age 4), looked at her elephant, burst out laughing and told her “for fcuk sake, I said an elephant, not a deformed dog with a long nose. Away back to yer seat a that a ye. Crap, pure dung,” whilst crumpling the paper into a ball and firing it against the camera. That’s just not on.”
Things went from bad to worse when he asked the children to make stick men out of lollypop sticks.
“The calls really came flooding in when Henry released a torrent of bad language onto the children for getting glue “all over the buckin joint” before accidentally covering himself in the glue with sticky paper, buttons and tinsel clinging to his face and arms. You just can’t shout ‘Holy Mother of Christ, luk at what tiz have fcukin done to me now ye wee bolloxes’. This is live tv. You cannot do that.”
Henry has admitted he has now given up on a career in the media and will look for his old job back in Landi’s.
We took a scoot out to the market in Cookstown to collate the hopes and wishes for 2013.
“Wouldn’t it be great if ourselves and Augher finally put our differences behind us and mixed next year. At the church the Clogher ones still sit on one side and the Augher folk on the other. There’s no intermarrying. We drink stout; they stick to triple X. The brawls on the streets are now a daily occurrence. Let’s pray for peace and try to endure those fcukers for 12 months.” GERDY MCNABB, CLOGHER
“A good looking priest. We’ve been starved out here in Donemana of young virile clergy. In fact, the last PP was so old he still read in Latin. Someone like the boy out of The Thornbirds would be deadly. Get me up in the morning, hangover or none.” MARY MAGUIRE, DONEMANA
“Bring back hanging for cattle rustling and trespassing.” DAMIEN COYLE, PLUMBRIDGE
“The government to turn a blind eye to women who bate the shite clean out of their husbands. That lazy hoor of a man I have needs a quare hiding to get his arse into gear on a Saturday. Say, once a week would be great.” NOLEEN MURPHY, EDENDORK
“Women wearing less in and around the streets. There are women now with jumpers and coats on even in the summer. If the powers taxed the amount of clothing you wore, they’d be more inclined to wear loose blouses and skirts. I’m 88 but I’d make more of an effort to get out to the shops if the women would shed a few layers. Not the fat ones though.” CATHAL JACKSON, DONAGHMORE
“Mickey Harte to pick players from the south east of the county. What did we ever do on him eh? There’s talk that he ruined his motor driving at 60 down the Annaghmore Road during the 80s. Well, that’s what we deal with day in, day out. We all drive 1990s motors from Lithuania now. Don’t hold it agin us Mickey.” FRANCIE O’NEILL, DERRYTRESK
“The price of diesel to come down a bit in Castlecaulfield. Might as well hope to grow wings. Miserable bastards.” SUSIE FOSTER, CASTLECAULFIELD.
“A traffic warden in Coalisland. In fact, anyone official at all. Even a TV licence man. Just for the craic.” JUSTIN LAVERY, COALISLAND
“A gay bar in Kildress.” ANONYMOUS, KILDRESS