The organisers of ‘Santa Comes To The Island’ have admitted they should have given the event a bit more thought after Santa was forced to leave under cover around the back of the hall.
Pat Quinn, a joiner who was asked to play Santa at short notice, turned up in a red Brackaville GFC coat buttoned to the top and sporting his trademark thick black handlebar moustache. To add to the visual disappointment, organisers forgot to put together presents for the children and had to resort to lifting things around the hall to present as gifts including used bulbs, screwdrivers, Allen keys, foldable seats and old newspapers.
Mother of 6, Patricia Lyons, maintains it might take a long time for her children to get over this:
“I paid £8 per child and all they got was a small used bowling mat, masking tape, a spanner, yesterday’s Irish News, a bottle of Lucozade already open and a stick – all presented by Pat Quinn. Even the children were saying ‘Well Pat’ when sat on his knee, and him with the black moustache from ear to ear and the Brackaville coat on him. A complete farce. He didn’t even say ‘ho ho ho’ .”
Organisers managed to get ‘Santa’ away from the baying crowd by turning off the lights for three minutes, throwing the hall into a mass of screams and crying children. Quinn was bundled into a blue Ford Ka and was last seen speeding up the Brackaville Road with his £500 appearance fee on the passenger seat.
Despite initially telling parents that their children were just spoilt, organisers announced they will refund any unhappy customers with free mineral tomorrow if they call between the hours of 7am and 8am.
The family of Gregory Grimes, the first boy to achieve an A in the 11+ in Pomeroy since 1986, have said they’ll be gone from the village by the weekend and hope never to set foot amongst the “tightest shower in Ireland”. The remarkable turnaround by the Grimes’ seemingly surrounds the level of generosity in the village after young Gregory travelled from door to door last Saturday morning to inform the locals of his top grade in the ‘qualifying’ tests. Gregory’s father Kieran, a former A grade student himself and current Pomeroy tourism officer, claims they’ll never return to Pomeroy whilst there’s a breath left in his body:
“I loved Pomeroy. The mountains, the Diamond, Philomena Begley. We had it all. Well, all that’s wiped from my memory ever since young Greg, the first A in Pomeroy in 27 years, returned on his travels last Saturday with £3.56 in his pocket after telling his good news to 36 houses around the centre of the village. Three buckin fifty buckin six buckin pounds. Themuns couldn’t be happy for ye. The Kavanaghs down the road actually tapped him up for money for to pay the electricity meter. Paddy Devlin, and him a doctor too, gave him 11p after fumbling around in his suit jacket for fifteen minutes. The headmaster himself didn’t even open the door even though I could see him duking from the kitchen window and him boasting about our lad’s result at the shop this morning thinking he’s King Dick. What a begrudging, tight-fisted shower of glipes. Young Gregory, God bless him, was happy with the money and went out and bought a bottle of Lucozade and a giant Snickers. I’m not hanging around to count the pennies after his Confirmation. They can go and shite.”
No one from Pomeroy was prepared to officially comment on the Grimes’ plans to move off but the headmaster was reported to have said the following, on hearing about the A grade the previous night in the pub from the school secretary: “that wee Grimes lad needs taking down a peg or two. Who does he think he is? You’ll get nowhere reading books and spelling things correctly. He’ll be thinking he’s all it. We don’t need that sort in Pomeroy.”
The Grimes family are due to settle in Carrickmore.