Barry McElduff plans to appeal his straight red card after a tempestuous politicians’ Greens v Blues charity game ended a draw this morning in Stormont gardens. Greens captain, Gerry Adams, was also yellow carded late on for a late tackle on Peter Weir despite denying venomously that he wasn’t even in the vicinity at the time of the alleged attack.
Windy conditions and a mudbath pitch greeted the small crowd in attendance as respective captains Adams and a fit-again Peter Robinson exchanged gifts before the kick-off, refereed by ex-politician Basil McCrea. Robinson set the tone for the game by breaking in half Adams’ present of a Clontibret shillelagh.
It was Robinson who opened the scoring for the Blues with a towering header from a Mike Nesbitt corner. The two celebrated in front of the partisan crowd by playing mock flutes whilst Jim Allister marched behind banging on an imaginary drum. Arlene Foster, who didn’t start the game, spent the entire first half trying to warm up along the touchline.
A stern half-time talk by joint-managers Martin McGuinness and Alex Maskey appeared to work wonders as the Greens stormed out of the blocks in the second half with a previously ineffectual Colum Eastwood rattling the crossbar and an offside goal ruled out, initially finished by Michelle O’Neill who was causing big problems for the Blues up front.
O’Neill was not to be denied after curling a splendid free kick inside the near post after Alex Attwood was fouled by Gregory Campbell. Campbell was booked for using inappropriate language to ref McCrea for the free. O’Neill was also yellow carded for taking her top off in celebration which proved to be a popular decision by both sets of supporters.
Despite Foster, sufficiently warmed up at this point, bolstering the Blues attack in the last ten minutes with her bulldozing approach-play, the game remained devoid of goals but not action as McElduff received his marching orders for a scything tackle on Sammy Wilson whose shorts were completely torn off in the incident, exposing his backside again to the crowd.
The final whistle was greeted by a free-for-all with Michelle Gildernew and Jo-Ann Dobson pulling the hair off each other whilst Jonathan Bell, who played as a lone striker, was booked for firing what looked like small wooden sticks at his team-mates.
Peter Robinson received the player of the match award for his long punts up the field to Dodds.
Standard Of Football On Life Support After Tyrone Woman Knitted Three Jumpers In Clones During Ulster Final
The quality of Gaelic Football on display today is to be addressed at Congress this year after it emerged a 61-year old widow from Aghyaran knitted three adult jumpers in the Gerry Arthurs Stand in Clones during the Ulster Final between Donegal and Tyrone.
Minnie Devine, who hasn’t missed a Tyrone game since 1977, admitted she only took up knitting this year because she found herself falling asleep watching games on TV and was afraid it might happen at a live game. Devine suffers from a severe sleep-walking condition and feared walking around the stadium or even worse onto the field if she nodded off in Clones.
“It’s true. I knitted 3 full length Aran jumpers and would have managed a fourth only the last 10 minutes made me look up a few times. Something has to be done about this. I saw a man two rows in front of me write three chapters of a novel he was working on. I even witnessed Martin McGuinness playing games on his phone during the first half, Angry Birds I think. He was blowing something up anyway and cheering.”
Mrs Devine will bring the jumpers to the GAA Congress this year and give a speech on the state of the game as well as raffling the sweaters to raise funds for the new Aghyaran Crematorium.
Meanwhile, GAA officials are considering employing a range of tactics to entertain the spectators during matches this year if games continue to disappoint, including scantily-clad country woman/men cheerleaders dancing to Nathan Carter albums, Irish Army air-battle fictional re-enactments over Croke Park and having random seats wired up to provide electric shocks in order to keep fans on their guard throughout the 70 minutes.
They have also reminded punters that any booing will be drowned out by sheep noises.
Following Arlene Foster’s comments that St Patrick’s Day was ‘too gaelicised’for unionist and loyalist communities, it is believed that Stormont have speedily passed a motion to re-brand St Patrick in time for 2017.
Early signs indicate that a bowler hat and a white horse may be added to murals depicting the Englishman who was kidnapped by Irish pirates and hated snakes. Omagh-born designer, Kieran McKinstry, revealed he has already submitted three sketches after being commissioned by the NI Assembly.
“Foster and McGuinness just said to ‘Prod him up a wee bit’. Foster wanted him sitting on a Lambeg drum but McGuinness felt that wasn’t very realistic so I decided on the horse and the hat. He already wore a hat anyway so it’s wasn’t too much of a stretch to visualise it.”
If successful, government officials will investigate the possibility of merging St Patrick’s Day and the 12th of July, maybe having it around the 14th of May and calling in Paddy Orangeman Day. Gertie Mullan of Dungannon was suspicious:
“Paddy Orangeman Day is a con. Everyone knows that if this happened the whole island will be stocious drunk that day, both sides of the divide, and then Stormont will pull a fast one and bring in water charges or internment or something with no one sober enough to argue or rally against it. They’re a pile of crooks.”
Meanwhile, recent papers found in a well in Downpatrick indicate that St Patrick hated the shepherding and was often caught lying down on the job eating fish and drinking rainwater behind trees.
The bar manager at Bar 15 in Belfast confirmed this morning, with the aid of CCTV footage, that a group of co-workers from Cookstown managed to break the 2-hour barrier for non-verbal communication on their annual night out in the big city.
The 5 workers from ‘That IT Shower’ on Molesworth Street all managed to ‘check in’ on Facebook, post a combined 45 pictures of their cocktails on Instagram and browse the latest developments on the Strictly Come Dancing potential line-up on Twitter for two hours and five minutes before a Team Leader asked the rest of the group if anyone wanted another drink.
Waitress Abba Edberg from Sweden added:
“It was a quite remarkable feat. When they all took an individual selfie within the first five minutes I knew we could be onto a new world record here as they spent the next 25 minutes checking to see who liked their picture. Then the Instagramming started and it was all downhill from there. They are a resilient bunch. Oh how we cheered behind the bar when they reached the 2-hour mark.”
One of ‘That IT Shower’ workers told us this morning that it was the best staff night out ever. Billy Sheehy (40) remarked:
“It was deadly craic. I got 210 likes for my selfie, 44 likes for an Instagram of my Margarita with sepia filter and how I laughed at some of the comments on Twitter about Daniel O’Donnell’s appearance on SCD. We’re just a mad bunch of lads and I cannot wait personally until next year’s do. I’m suffering today though…my battery’s dead.”
The previous record for staff night out non-verbal communication occured in 1998 at the joint Sinn Fein and DUP fancy dress party at Stormont which lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes, ending when Martin McGuinness told a dirty joke about a woman in Portrush.
Police in Mid-Ulster have admitted they’re at breaking point after it emerged Garth Brooks will not be hosting a 5-day concert series in Croke Park and will be performing for 3 days instead, sparking riotous scenes across Tyrone.
UN troops have been mobilised and are currently making their way across Lough Neagh by boat and are expected to reach the western coast by 5pm GMT,
Local journalists confirmed the first rioting occurred outside a music shop in Coalisland with locals pelting the store with anything that came to hand from children’s dummies to hubcaps. One resident, Ronald McSherry, explained their anger:
“We’ve been talking about this for months now and all for what? 3 lousy days? Personally I’m not going myself as I hate his music but that’s besides the point. We’re being trampled over again and if we don’t stand up to the authorities now it’ll be something else next. Music shops all over the county are going to get some touch tonight.”
When it was explained to McSherry that the music shop in question, Pat’s Island Records, doesn’t sell tickets and just deals in trumpets and bugles he turned on this reporter and accused me of being ‘one of them’.
Riots have also broken out in Cookstown, Omagh, Strabane, Dungannon, Pomeroy and a hedge was set alight in Cappagh. Fire fighters who arrived on the scene to put the fire were pelted with turf by locals singing ‘Friends In Low Places’ in an angry tone.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has appealed for calm across Mid-Ulster and has promised to put on a free live concert in Donaghmore on those two days featuring Malachi Cush, Hugo Duncan and Philomena Begley, with unlimited hotdogs for all attendees if they stop rioting.
Meanwhile a Garth Brooks spokesman has confirmed, that in order to calm tensions, they’ll possibly consider doing an over-the-Internet concert from his home if riots continue into a second day.
In a move which has been described as ‘draconian’ and ‘pure mad’, Stormont officials have moved to ban anyone from photo-bombing in county Tyrone.
Photo-bombing, the modern phenomenon of unexpectedly dropping in behind someone being photographed, has been on the rise in the county ever since mobile phones replaced Polaroid instant cameras in 2008 as the most popular camera device in homes.
A government insider informed us today:
“Photo-bombing is a throwback to the bad old days. Our many communities don’t need this and that’s why from today anyone caught photo-bombing will be gathered up in unmarked jeeps and interned indefinitely. We want these people off the streets and Tyrone is a good place to start off as there seems to be a rash of photo-bombers all over that land. Ireland says NO to photo-bombers. We might need to re-word the Good Friday Agreement just.”
Initial reports gathered from Twitter and Facebook suggests there have already been three photo-bombers arrested – in Ardboe, Galbally and Loughmacrory, sparking outrage and spontaneous bonfires in all three regions. Galbally tourism director Jill Maguire is adamant there will be resistance to the government’s latest initiative. Using a voice-warp microphone she told us:
“Them boys sitting up in Belfast are out of order. I can’t believe Martin McGuinness has sanctioned this move, and him a serial photo-bomber at football matches and christenings. We’re sending this message out loud and clear – we will not be moved. We’ll be photo-bombing like mad tonight all over the county.”
Although rumours of a continuity photo-bombing group forming in Brocagh are wide of the mark, there has been a rash of digital cameras and balaclavas bought in Dungannon, Cookstown and Omagh today in an obvious show of defiance. PSNI have drafted in 40 UN troops to help monitor the situation. A county holds its breath.
A recent report into the On The Runs (OTRs) in Ireland has confirmed that of the 177’000 inhabitants in Tyrone, almost 100’000 are on the run from something or somewhere. This startling revelation has thrown the Civil Service into chaos as they attempt to examine each case individually, originally thinking they were dealing with only 200 cases.
Chief civil servant Valerie McMahon listed a few of the reasons for the rather large tally of OTRs in the county:
“This is a bit of a nightmare. We asked around Galbally and Moortown for information on who was on the run and nearly every household had a couple of OTRs. In one lane in Galbally, there were 16 on the run from the TV licence man, 12 on the run from their wives, one on the run from buying a round and another dozen on the run from their drunken antics at recent weddings. And that was just the men. We met a woman from Cappagh on the run from her sister after leaving on a pair of straighteners and burning a hole in her Frankie Goes To Hollywood sweatshirt. Categorising these is going to be a logistical hell.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is said to be livid at the suggestion that those on the run from stealing Choc Pops from a local garage in Pomeroy is to be given the same category of offence for those on the run from sticking up Union Jacks in Carrickmore. An insider told us he pleaded for the downgrading of ice lolly thieves:
“Marty went clean mad at Peter Robinson when it was revealed that an on the run Choc Pop burglar would receive a category 4 OTR status, the same as the two fellows from Newmills who put up three Union Jacks outside the toilets in Carrickmore. He says that the deadly summer we had last year left men and women fierce hot and that the ice lolly makers were cashing in on climate change, especially in Pomeroy with it being so high up and all. He didn’t go as far as condone the theft of Choc Pops but intimated that a blind eye should be turned, especially if the OTR is over 70.”
Meanwhile, a traffic warden who nearly gave a ticket to a vehicle in Coalisland last week and went on the run after being spotted licking his pencil by locals, has been told his OTR status will be quashed if he returns to his home in Banbridge.
Former US diplomat Richard Haass has admitted defeat for the second time in a couple of days after his efforts to resolve the Ardboe Christmas Tree dispute ended in several parties tearing the heads off each other.
The argument revolved around who will turn off the lights on Ardboe’s first ever Christmas tree. Mickey Coleman, Brian McGuigan, Barry Devlin, Adrian McGuckin, Chris Lawn, Tom McGurk, Malachi Cush, Ronan McSherry, Dennis Taylor, Kevin McAleer, Mickey Harte, Pope Francis and Billy Ray Cyrus were all named as interested parties, each putting forward viable reasons for pulling the plug out.
Haass, who admitted Ardboe was a ‘wild place’ on a par with Kosovo and Sierra Leone, was able to narrow it down to four celebs after intense negotiations:
“We managed to rule out McGuckin and Lawn as we suspected they were there to sabotage the event, being enemies in some shape or form. The cost for the Pope was astronomical. Apart from the flights, the pot holes would wreck the popemobile. No insurance around here. Harte, McAleer, McSherry, Taylor, Cush and McGurk were ruled out next during the eel-skinning demonstration.”
With Coleman, McGuigan, Devlin and Billy Ray Cyrus left, tensions were beginning to reach boiling point with accusations of bribes and counter arguments over ancestry muddying the waters.
“I thought dealing with Robinson and McGuinness was tough. These guys are stubborn. It ended up in a bare-knuckle contest between all four.”
Haass left the scene an hour into the free-for-all, admitting defeat and vowing never to return to the island again.