By Landan Seamy
Local spy Sean McGrinny suspects that the anti northern bias in the GAA is even more entrenched than he had previously suspected.
“I heard that RTE is looking for ideas for new programmes to air during the championship season this year so as work in my line tends to be quite slack during Lent when people go off the beer I came up with an idea and decided to research it.
“My idea was to do a programme a bit like the part of Question of Sport when they ask what happens next. I recorded some matches and then looked out for fouls. I would pause the play as soon as I spotted one with the intention of asking “What will the referee do next?”
“When I spotted a Dublin, Kerry or Mayo hallion infringing the rules of our national sport I would pause the video with the intention of jotting down which of the four options the referee would go for:
(a) free with no card
(b) yellow card
(c) black card
(d) red card.
“To my dismay, however, half the time the cynical southern ref would just ignore it and that wasn’t even one of the options. This totally spoiled my idea but having 5 options on the screen would look too messy.
“I also noticed that any time a northern player accidentally infringed the rules there would be a certain black card so again that doesn’t help my programme for it became too easy to predict. The programme would end up going like this:
“Sean Cavanagh accidentally touches some Free Stater. What will the referee do next?”
“Issue a black card”
“Some people may think I’m biased but that’s wrong. Take the Tipperary and Derry match last summer. I looked at it again and Tipperary got far more frees than Derry and I’m saying that as a Tyrone man who has as healthy a dislike of Derry ones as any of my neighbours.
Sean’s wife Kate, who has asked to remain anonymous, has said that she thinks her husband is on to something but suggests that he has not quite hit the nail on the head this time.
She has looked at the videos too and has noticed that it is just the most handsome players that are treated harshly by the referees.
“Of course it is correct to say that lots of cards are issued to players like Sean Cavanagh, Tiernan McCann, Mark Bradley etc” she said. “Strictly speaking however” she continued “The reason why a disproportionate amount of northern players are getting the cards is just that most of the handsome players come from up here.”
GAA headquarters were today said to be frantically searching for an alternative location for RTE’s live broadcast for the All-Ireland Final replay after over 3cm of Joe Brolly’s slabbers fell onto the studio floor before, during and after the drawn final, causing permanent damage to the extensive electronic equipment.
Inside sources maintain the biggest deluge occurred at half time when the Dungiven barrister considered the possibility that supernatural forces were preventing Mayo from gaining their first All-Ireland title since 1951.
Cameraman and ex-Leitrim great Gerry Sullivan explained:
“Even when he arrived he started slabberin about how deadly Dublin were, calling them the second coming and stuff like that. Spillane nearly broke his hip slipping on the Derry man’s drool as he arrived into the studio. At half time, a quarter of our electronic devices were saturated in saliva.”
Michael Lyster attempted to persuade Brolly to don a see-thru bib for the after-match analysis but was thwarted after being electrocuted by Joe’s mic.
An RTE meteorologist confirmed that over 3.2cm of slabber fell in a 3-hour period in the studio, similar to the amount of rainfall collected in the whole of Strabane during the same period. DNA experts believe only 2.9cm of the drool was from the Brolly gene with the remaining 0.3cm shared between O’Rourke and Spillane.
Producers have since vowed never to allow Brolly and Martin McHugh to appear in the same studio at the same time.
It has emerged today that a Tyrone-born priest deliberately tripped Lee Keegan after communion during Sunday Mass in Westport, the day after Mayo dumped Tyrone out of the All Ireland series.
Keegan, the impish half back who expertly hounded Sean Cavanagh during the game, was said to be ‘shook up’ but has vowed to return to Mass this weekend nonetheless. Fr Jordan, a Trillick native, has denied any wrongdoing whilst claiming it was six of one and half a dozen of the other.
An on-looker added:
“It was a blatant trip. Keegan went sprawling onto the lap of the sacristan, Mary Boyle, and he’s not that type of worshipper. Fr Jordan was in foul form and I’ve no doubt it was related to the previous day’s result. His homily was all about the pulling and dragging that goes on in the fires of hell and stuff like that. A weird performance altogether.”
A close relative of Keegan also accused Fr Jordan of purposely gouging Keegan in the eye whilst giving communion although the Mayo half back is refusing to comment on the details.
This is not the first time Fr Boyle has courted controversy after a Tyrone defeat. In the aftermath of the semi-final loss to Kerry last year, the priest reportedly stormed into the Spar in Westport and kicked down the Kerry Butter stand, causing over £35 worth of damage. He was also accused of giving Armagh natives stricter penances after confessions during the height of the Tyrone/Armagh rivalry of 10 years ago.
Meanwhile Colm Cavanagh has come under fire in the Cavanagh household after the video showed him laughing at Keegan performing a WWE move on his brother Sean. Neighbours suggested there has been a simmering rivalry between the brothers ever since Sean gave Colm one of his All-Stars as a birthday present last year.
Calls have been made from various senior figures in Ulster for Enda Kenny to withdraw the remarks he made last night at a Fine Gael rally in Castlebar when he described the locals as All-Ireland Champions in whingeing.
The Taoiseach, who hails from Castlebar and played Gaelic football for his local club Islandeady, was referring to those who keep moaning about not having enough money and stuff and complaining about banks etc but appears to have bestowed the accolade of national champions without producing any definite evidence.
Fergal Jordan, a fourth cousin of Mickey Harte, fumed:
“This is just typical of the anti-Ulster prejudice that exists down there in Dublin. Has Mr Kenny ever sat on a wall in Fintona and listened to the brilliant whingeing we can do? Too warm, too cold, too poor, too rich, bad TV, young ones nowadays, priests, police, politicians, celebrities, cakes, Garth Brooks, price of coal, global warming, dentists, doctors, death….we can whinge as good as anyone in Ireland and we’ll stand up to anyone who says anything else.”
Jordan, who complained about the length of time this interview was taking, added:
“And was there a back-door system in place? Who did Mayo beat to become All-Ireland Champions? How much money were the Dubs given to improve their whingeing? And I hear Mr Kenny said something about the cynical whingeing in the north, suggesting we’re not really whingeing at all but putting it on. If Mr Kenny maybe did a bit of canvassing up here in Tyrone he’d not be so rash to award his home county with that prestigious title. And by the way, we’re all fine Gaels, not just him and his party.”
Sinn Fein have been asked to boycott future RTE debates until Mr Kenny apologises for the remark and holds an open All-Ireland Whingeing Championship with full provincial and back-door draws.
Colm O’Rourke, the ex-Meath hatchet man and RTE pundit, has admitted to feeling ‘mightily relieved’ and ‘a little bit embarrassed’ after finally getting to the root of the ‘bad smell’ which he originally thought was following the Tyrone football team around the place.
O’Rourke, who visited his GP in the aftermath of the Tyrone/Monaghan quarter final after a particularly bad stench, was told by his doctor that the smell was in fact emanating from his own mouth, known in the medical world as Orificium Manuritis, or ‘talking dung’ in layman’s terms.
A friend of the Navan headmaster told us:
“Colm is a happy man tonight. He couldn’t understand why the foul smell would worsen every time he analysed Tyrone games. Don’t get me wrong, the smell was always there no matter what he was harping on about but any time he mentioned the ‘T’ word it went into overdrive. He thought it was coming from the Tyrone squad but we now know he was just spouting shite from his own orifice. It’s a great relief for everyone. Orificium Manuritis is apparently contagious, especially amongst journalists, so it’s important to manage the outbreak.”
RTE have promised to help O’Rourke during his rehabilitation process and will bar him from analysing Tyrone games for 24 months.
Meanwhile, a source from within the Tyrone camp has revealed that Mickey Harte has called an emergency squad meeting this week after watching last week’s ill-tempered semi final between Mayo and Dublin. It is thought that Harte believes Tyrone are ‘still too nice’ to compete with the big three and has called in trainers from the other semi finalists to share their acute expertise in diving, feigning, sledging and off the ball skulduggery which was brilliantly executed on Sunday, at the highest level.
The Tyrone County Board have confirmed that they will not overturn their decision to appoint a man with two turned-in eyes as one of their inter-county umpires for 2015.
The controversial decision came to light at the weekend after the umpire, who was officiating at an Under 16 game between Brocagh and Eglish, incorrectly awarded five goals and sixteen points over the course of an hour’s play.
Mayo, Donegal, Dublin and Kerry have already made an official complaint to Croke Park although Derry County Board explained they’d ‘wait and see how it goes’.
Pat ‘The Squint’ Kelly from Aughabrack will officiate his first National League game on February the 1st between Kerry and Mayo which will be televised live, a fact that worries close friends and relatives of The Squint.
First cousin and ex-referee John Quinn urged the county board to rethink the decision:
“No harm to The Squint but he’s the worst umpire in the country and probably across the globe. I took him as one of my umpires to Coalisland for an underage game against Edendork and on three occasions he flagged a wide, a point and a goal at the same time. The fella is seeing 2 or 3 balls every time play comes near him. It’s not his fault but surely umpiring is the last job he should be at.”
Kelly, who has wrote-off nine cars and hospitalised a barman during a game of pub darts, will take the train to Kerry to be safe.
Tyrone County Board confirmed they are firmly behind the turned-in eyes community and have pleaded with the GAA family to give Kelly a chance.
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’.
A devious plan to introduce Peter Canavan as a second half substitute in the All-Ireland Minor Final was foiled this morning when the hairdresser in charge of managing hair implants on the aging ex-Errigal Ciaran forward spilled the beans during a random gossiping session during the haircut of an Irish Times journalist. Josh McCann, who has been a local hair expert since primary school, says he’s glad his conscience is now clean:
“I was approached by these three men wearing red and white balaclavas and they stuck me in the boot of the car, driving me to a ‘mysterious location’ they said. I had a fair idea they were bringing me to the Moy as there was a deadly stench of chickens and I could also see the ‘Welcome To Moy’ sign when I got out. They then said they’d pay me £100 if I made a bald man hairy again and to ‘make sure the hairstyle was fairly hip, like Tyrone hip’. I couldn’t turn down that enormous amount of money so I agreed eagerly.”
It wasn’t until the first hair replacement session that the shocking truth dawned on McCann:
“Well I set up shop anyways and didn’t I get a quare shock when Canavan hopped onto the chair. He didn’t speak and one of the men in the red and white balaclavas stood nearby, waving five £20 notes. I did the best I could and by the second session he looked like a 17-year old from Brocagh with the bobbed blonde highlights and all. He rolled back the years as he jinked his way out of the studio, locks flowing carelessly behind him. I nearly shed a tear. It was like watching Elvis one more time.”
Unfortunately, an Irish Times journalist caught wind of the scam after seeing an unidentified player at Tyrone’s media night put on a pair of slippers after training and then take a drag on a tobacco pipe when he got into his car. One visit to the only hairdresser in Ballygawley did the trick. McCann feels a weight lifted off his shoulders:
“To be honest I was panicking. What if the glue holding in the hair softened in the rain or the close-in camera caught his long nose hairs or bushy ears? There’s no way they’d believe it was Gary O’Neill from Brocagh. I would also like people to know I will not use the £100 for food and stuff but will instead stick it all on Mayo to win the game by 30 points.”
Tyrone play Mayo in the minor final this Sunday. Peter Canavan will be doing media work for various outlets wearing a monkey hat.
Dungannon & South Tyrone Council confirmed last night that they intend to issue a new wheelie bin to all rate payers, specifically to collect materials relating to Joe Brolly.
The bright red wheelie bin, already coined ‘the Brolly Trolley’, is being hurriedly distributed over the next few days in anticipation of another verbal tirade from the Under-12 manager and some-time RTE commentator at next weekend’s televised minor final against Mayo, Brolly’s last chance for another lambasting of Tyrone in 2013.
Refuse Department spokesman Sean McKenna said,
“There’s been a tara amount of stuff just dumped over the past month. On Monday, a 90-foot tall wicker man was found in Aughabrack with a wee plate of biscuits at the bottom and a sign saying ‘For Joe Brolly’, to entice him inside. These things have to be disposed of. Someone even dumped a 48-inch plasma in Parkanaur because Joe Brolly had appeared on it. People need to wise up. In the meantime, they’ll get a Brolly Trolley to put everything in”.
An increasing number of wax dolls have also been found dumped by the sides of roads throughout the county, with Omagh Arts College confirming that they have received record applications for their ‘Voodoo For Beginners’ classes.
“People were getting jabbed with all the needles falling out of the wax dolls and suchlike”, said McKenna. “Their wee wax faces were all sort of pinched and rodent-y lookin’, so we can only assume they’re of Joe Brolly. They’re a health hazard. They need to be safely disposed of”.
Council refuge workers also said they had seen a rise in the number of umbrellas being discarded because Tyrone supporters dislike the ‘brolly’ association, and there are reports of people nervously throwing away broccoli because of the possible connotations with the RTE commentator. However, there have been some positive developments with weekend fighting in places like Brackaville and the Washingbay having all but stopped. A spokesperson for the PSNI said,
“We’re always accusing these sorts of people of too much brawling, and we think they’ve got it confused with ‘Brolly-ing’. They’ve stopped in case people accuse them of siding with yer wild-eyed shouter off the TV”.
Unconfirmed rumours from Dublin confirmed that in case of another furious outburst from Brolly next Sunday, RTE pundits Pat Spillane and Colm O’Rourke have both requested Brolly Trolleys that they can use to hide in.
*TT would like to reveal that this will be the last Brolly-related post this year. We are over it.
The Ballygawley strimming war has worsened this morning with the news that a man was seen strimming his hedge at 5am this morning in torrential rain. Reports suggest tensions are beyond repair as news reaches us of women out with chainsaws pruning garden shrubs.
The strimming conflict, which began a year ago to the day, escalated after a man was criticised for strimming his hedge on a Sunday by the PP. A supportive neighbour reacted to the public criticism by restrimming a hedge that was already strimmed the following Sunday night in total darkness. Peter McGlone, a local poet, reckons the village is beyond repair:
“Someone has to shout ‘STOP’. Ballygawley is being ripped apart by this strimming war. People are trying to out-annoy each other with louder strimmers. To see Seamus Kelly out strimming this morning in a holey vest at 5am and it pouring was one of the saddest and most dangerous sights I’ve ever witnessed. It’s out of control. Just last month a man strimmed the whole time during the Tyrone/Mayo game with the strimmer connected up to loudspeakers. I thought I’d seen it all in Ballygawley after 77 years. Madness.”
Mary Quinn, a 41 year old circus ballet dancer, maintains we’ve seen nothing yet:
“Thon bollix Kelly has upped the ante with that 5am stunt. I’ve just been on to a boy in Tattyreagh on Gumtree and purchased a second hand petrol Husqvarna chainsaw for a hundred pounds. He says it’s the loudest yoke on the market. I’ll be out strimming my Cherry Blossoms at midnight tonight. Have a piece of that. Tattyreagh here I come.”
BBC, UTV AND RTE have been chased from the village in recent weeks when trying to report on the skirmishes. However, Ross Kemp was spotted up a tree with earmuffs on just outside Quinn’s Corner.
“Ah I didn’t really watch it. I was glued to Celebrity Big Brother live feed.”
PETER CAMPBELL (88) CLONOE
“To be honest I missed the whole thing. I got parked in Clonliffe College and opened the picnic the wife made me. 24 sandwiches, 4 packets of Kimberley Mikados, 3 flasks of tea, 5 Paris buns and a slap of potato salad. By the time I finished that lot off it was well into the second half.”
GEOFFREY MCELHINNY (56) STRABANE
“Disappointed. Himself will be in the house now every weekend with that big oul grumpy head on him watching cowboys films.”
MARY SCULLION (44) ARDBOE
“What did ye expect from a group of lads wearing bras. Bras! In my day the jersey was made out of aluminium and the chest would be scored off you. Not even red and white bras like”.
PETER MOSSEY (56) PLUMBRIDGE
“Maurice Deegan. Pure and simple. The bollocks could only point the one road. And Maurice isn’t the name of a good referee. You’d need a Pat or a Mick. Not Maurice.”
P O’NEILL (70) DERRYTRESK
“I blame Datsun Donaghy and that Cavanagh song. I had binoculars with me and swear I saw Sean humming that buckin song. It went til his head. Them binoculars are some job. Makes the TV seem really close.”
PADDY DONNELLY (38) DONAGHMORE
“That Greencastle girl who drove up Croagh Patrick scudded us.”
DANNY DEVLIN (36) GREENCASTLE
“Gingerism. Them Mayo ones are well known for their ginger discrimination. They targeted Peter Harte straight away. The poor wee ginger genius didn’t stand a chance. I saw them giving him dirty looks during the parade.”
RON MCGINN (51) DRUMQUIN
A fairytale story of epic Hollywood proportions has developed this week with the news that Datsun Donaghy, a fictitious character and the brainchild of bespectacled Donaghmare man Conor Grimes, may have forced his way into Mickey Harte’s plans for Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final.
Datsun attended a county training session at Garvaghy at the weekend in order to promote his new single The Sean Cavanagh Song when a minor injury to a Tyrone forward left Harte with no option but to ask Donaghy to just ‘stand in the corner for ten minutes’. A Tyrone backroom member takes up the story:
“It was a stray ball by Peter Harte that started it. They players were told not to hit it to Donaghy as he might get hurt so Mickey was giving Peter some bollocksing. All of a sudden we saw this big arse shield the ball, a swivel, and the ball sailing over the bar like a Frank McGuigan special and Conor Gormley grasping at thin air. I swore I saw a tear trickle down Mickey’s cheek.”
Harte wanted to make sure it wasn’t a one-off.
“Mickey instructed his midfield to hit Datsun with the ball every time and the result was the same, the arse would extend out and over the bar. He had 4 men hanging out of him at one stage and none could handle that manoeuvre. We even got Joe McMahon to give him a few verbals about Donaghmore and family, but still the result was the same. That arse is the next big thing. I’d argue it’s more valuable than the Cavanagh Shimmy. In the course of an hour he scored 0-13 and only took 3 steps – talk about economical.”
It is reported that a couple of East Tyrone corner forwards on the panel are understandably unhappy with this development, pleading with Harte not to start a fictitious character over them.
In Mayo, a state of panic has been declared as Horan and his management team scour the county for a similar sized corner back.
Despite founded allegations of an anti-Tyrone vibe emanating from the GAA hierarchy this year, the Red Hands have been hit with a further sanction with the news that the county side must step down and be replaced with an entire Aughabrack side.
Bans for Penrose and Gormley coupled with a media witch-hunt in recent weeks have seen tempers simmering but today’s news has left the county reeling. Local Aughabrack wrestler, Barney McGill, reckons it poses a few problems:
“This is some handlin. Sure we haven’t played together as a club since 1996. Rounding up 15 lads on the morning of the 25th will be some operation. The wemen have a big role here. They need to keep their men in the house on Saturday night before the game. Mayo boys like Aidan O’Shea wouldn’t be out slapping stout into him 15 hours before the game.”
McGill reckons the average age of the side will hit 49 with the entire full back line aged 71, 66 and 59 respectively.
“Ach it’ll be great getting out from the Sperrins as ten of us haven’t been as far as Dunnamanagh. We’ll be able to take home spices and stuff from Dublin. I hear this Mayo side are good but we hold no fear. Don’t forget the slaughtering we gave Owen Roes in 1988. I’m just wondering – who has the jerseys?”
The GAA have refused to reveal why this latest sanction has occurred but warned Tyrone that ‘there’ll be more of where that came from if we hear any more yappin’.
On the plus side, Brian Dooher will be making a comeback even though his years of service has left him bent double and using a stair lift for any upwards movement.
A 28 year old former Miss Greencastle caused chaos on the hills of County Mayo at the weekend after driving up one of Ireland’s tallest mountains in a Nissan Cherry.
Susie McGurk, who briefly hit the headlines in August last year after driving all the way to Dublin in first gear in a Datsun Sunny, was eventually stopped by the Mayo’s Mountain Rescue Service which was patrolling Croagh Patrick.
“To be honest, since the handlin’ to Dublin last year, I solved it by driving everywhere in fifth gear”, said the Greencastle woman, “And most of the time it works. But this business about driving from Greencastle to Mayo and then up Croagh Patrick has me really affronted. Especially as I only meant to go to Gortin to get some mince”.
McGurk set out on Monday lunchtime and drove for nearly three hours.
“Aye, looking back on it, for a trip to Centra it did seem a wee bit odd”, admitted the hapless McGurk, “But I just thought it was the roadworks on the Blackbog Road slowing everything up”. McGurk soon found herself driving up a rocky mountain path at a 60-degree angle. “Really, I’ve felt worse going over them speed bumps in Carrickmore. I thought nothing of it. The first thing I knew something was wrong was when I saw all these people walking around in bare feet looking exhausted. I thought I had driven into Stewartstown by mistake. It was only when a goat jumped onto the windscreen that I knew something was wrong. So I took it a bit easier and dropped her down into fourth”.
The mountain rescue workers, dressed in bright orange overalls and hard hats, revealed that McGurk did nothing for cross-county relations when she was eventually stopped. McGurk was alleged to have shouted,
“Are you the guys from The Village People? Get out the feckin’ way ye feckers. The Weakest Link starts at 5 o’clock”, before sliding backwards into a ditch, a sheep, and three hill walkers. “Well, there was something wrong with the stupid car”, said McGurk. “This big pillow burst out of the steering wheel for no reason after I bumped into something. Might have been a bull. What’s that all about?”
McGurk is due to sit her driving test next month.