Monaghan officials have described as ‘cynical’ the move by Tyrone to hire Conor McGregor as the car park attendant for their championship class in May in Omagh, with special responsibility for buses.
McGregor, who recently found himself in a spot of bother after an altercation with a bus in America, will reportedly be paid £10 an hour for the day, funded by a special collection made at a Club Tyrone meeting in Garvaghey last week which raised £2m in 10 minutes.
Monaghan GAA vice chairman Pat Shovelin maintains it’s a sign that Tyrone and Harte are feeling the pressure before the big occasion:
“It’s a form of dirty tricks. But we’ll be prepared. We have already attached cages to all the windows on our bus and Dick Clerkin has promised to arrive early and stand beside McGregor in case he tries something like he did in the States. Our Dick isn’t afraid of anyone.”
Additionally, over 4000 Ricey McMenamin masks will be handed out to the crowd on the day which has been renamed ‘Ryan McMenamin Appreciation Day’, in another move which has been described as ‘intentionally intimidatory’ by Monaghan officials.
Meanwhile, Kevin ‘Hub’ Hughes has been drafted in by Harte to help out Stephen O’Neill in coaching forwards how to become more accurate in front of goals.
Tensions were said to be high tonight in Garvaghey after Tyrone County Board officials asked the county squad to pay £5.99 towards the snorkels and flippers needed for the match in Omagh to take place tomorrow night.
A star player, who wishes not to be named but is from Edendork, explained how players were shocked to see county board heavies arrive in sunglasses to collect the money:
“They did a number on us. About six big lads from Omagh and Tattyreagh arrived like juiced-up bouncers and demanded we all pay £5.99 for the wet gear. I could see the county board officals hiding behind a wall watching. Fair play to wee Mark Bradley. He said ‘no I’m not, you rotters’, but the biggest heavy with a tattooed neck lifted him and stuck him in the bin. It’s a shocking state of affairs.”
Sean Cavanagh negotiated the cost down to £4.99 which received a round of applause from his brother and the McMahon brothers.
The snorkel charge is the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures after players were asked to cut the grass at Garvaghey last week. Unfortunately, over £300’000 worth of damage was caused when an unnamed player, believedly from Clonoe, tried to mow the 3G pitch.
By Landan Seamy
As proof that Sean Cavanagh is on the side of the righteous, reports are coming in of his face appearing in unexpected places all over Tyrone.
Tyrone people have often been given stick that unlike all of their neighbours the county doesn’t have a saint of its own. This may be about to change.
Mary Lannigan from Moy has reported that she spotted his face on a Tayto crisp.
“Normally” she explained “I wouldn’t be seen dead buying a packet of Armagh crisps but I made an exception this year as they exited the competition so early. I took out a crisp only to see Sean Cavanagh smiling back at me. I was overcome with emotion and would have kept the crisp as proof for RTE but I was very hungry and it was the biggest crisp in the packet.”
As a sure sign that the reports are genuine many of their incidents seem to occur at a time of great despair. For example a young farmer from Cranagh, 60 year old Enda Killen, was quoted as saying
“This is the worst summer in my farming career. I was out in the field a few days ago looking up at the sky in disbelief wondering if the rain would ever cease when suddenly the clouds merged into a formation that looked wild like Sean Cavanagh and Mickey Harte holding a cup. I’m not certain if it was the Sam Maguire but it definitely looked bigger than the McKenna Cup”. “Mark my words”, Enda added “those two men will go places”.
One of the most unusual experiences came from a farmer near the border with Monaghan. The Aughnacloy man who wishes to remain anonymous said
“I’ve been keeping the cows in the byre this year due to the wet weather. On the Monday after the Tyrone match I was woke up at an unearthly hour to hear them out of the byre, running round the field turning it into pure muck. I was convinced it was spiteful Monaghan wans behind it but when I went out I could distinctly see Sean Cavanagh’s face in the muck. There was one cow in particular that was running round in circles as if she had BSE. When I got up close I could see that she was just adding the finishing touch by placing a halo over his head. I went and called my wife. She could clearly see the face although she argued that it might be Sean’s brother Colm. We went and called our neighbour to decide and she confirmed it was definitely Sean but to our surprise she also pointed to a corner of the field where a few calves had formed a gorgeous picture of Tiarnan McCann with his lovely hairdo almost perfect. That should put a stop to all the slabbering of O’Rourke and his ilk.”
An RTE insider confirmed to us this morning that Des Cahill, Ciaran Whelan and Kevin McStay have put together a video sequence which they say shows Tyrone’s assistant manager Gavin Devlin cynically using a remote control in his ear to operate a flock of birds throughout the entire game yesterday. Shane ‘Cake’ Curran, however, has refused to buy into the idea and blames the Catholic Church and Fianna Fail for Tyrone’s surprise progression to the semi final.
The birds, numbering 20, remained on the field until mysteriously flying off over Hill 16 in the direction of Ardboe as soon as the referee blew the full time whistle. Our informer added:
“Yes, they’ve a pile of footage which shows Devlin talking into his ear piece and then you see the birds patrolling the Tyrone goalmouth, making it seem more congested than it really was. Very cynical by Tyrone when you see it. McStay has a big electronic screen with triangles and all drawn on it to show the Devlin system. It really is very professional.”
Our source revealed that Ciaran Whelan ‘went clean mad’ when McStay showed him his theory and smashed a monitor he was using to show how Tyrone cynically wore a red strip to make Monaghan think they were playing Louth.
“Whelan went berserk. His nostrils were the size of apples. Even Des Cahill was tutting and saying ‘them poor birds’ and stuff like that.”
Sources in Ardboe confirmed that Devlin was a deadly man for the birds in his teens.
The RSPCA are also looking at footage.
Malachy O’Rourke was said to be furious this morning after his bin remained full to the brim despite a Thursday morning collection in the Ballygawley area.
This follows a spate of unusual incidents for the Monaghan manager living in Tyrone territory including the half a litre of his 2-litre milk delivery which was already drunk before he got up on Tuesday morning. O’Rourke also chased three teenagers who were rifling through his recycling bin on Monday apparently looking for shredded pieces of tactics and team notes.
A neighbour and close friend of the burly multi-countied manager and ex-player added:
“I warned Malachy about living down around these parts. These Tyrone ones will stop at nothing. I think the bin not being emptied was a big thing for him. He’d ate a lot of steaks and them wrappers from the butcher can stick like mad to the sides of the bin and then attract maggots. And he’s deadly for the Biker crisps, the spicy ones, so rubbish can fairly build up in a fortnight and he’ll have to wait til the end of August now. He’s livid.”
Locals also confirmed an incident on Wednesday evening when O’Rourke spent 45 minutes driving around the Ballygawley roundabout as cars refused to let him turn off onto the road to his house. The Monaghan boss reportedly had to sit down for two hours with dizziness before tackling his steak.
The O’Rourke family spokesman denied the rumour that a man with a Mickey Harte mask was spotted looking through Malachy’s bedroom window this morning at 6am but added a bouncer was being hired for the rest of the week.
In a bid to boost ailing attendance figures at Croke Park, GAA officials are offering spectators at this weekend’s All-Ireland quarter finals the chance to experience game-play on a different level by providing every supporter with 3D glasses as well as wireless earphones in order to hear the sledging at close quarters.
Figures released confirmed that only 4033 Tyrone fans made their way to Croke Park last weekend for the qualifier clash with Sligo, prompting head-quarter officials to think outside the box in an effort to attract the hordes of Tyronians who descended on Dublin during the last decade.
Head of Sustainability in Croke Park, Aisling Mulcahy, revealed:
“We’re acutely aware that there are around 40’000 Tyrone supporters sitting at home watching the matches on TV who could potentially be here eating corned beef sandwiches and drinking mineral for just £30. So we’ve decided to offer a viewing feast by having players wear 3D strips and spectators will be provided with appropriate glasses. So the next time Sean Cavanagh pulls down Conor McManus, you’ll get the feeling he’s dragging you to the ground. We expect fireworks.”
Mulcahy also revealed that Bluetooth and wireless technology will enable fans to hear everything that’s said on the pitch by purchasing special headsets:
“This is a game changer. If Dick Clerkin is slagging Peter Harte about being ginger or something, you’ll hear every last detail including Harte’s reply which will probably be something about the name ‘Dick’. Certain words will be bleeped out for under 16s using our digital delay contraption.”
Mulcahy stopped short of confirming the possibility of a Gladiator style decision on the referee’s performance at the end of the game with supporters asked to give either a thumbs up or down on the whistling official. The RSPCA warned that the lion might not be satisfied with the man in the middle and may go roaming into the stands.
Glasses will cost £20 and headphones retail at £15. A combo deal can be purchased for £34.99.
A West Tyrone elderly care home have confirmed there will be a thorough investigation after chain-smoking pensioners, who wished to kick the habit, were given e-cigarettes with cannabis trace since February 2013. Subsequently, the National Care Home Awards Committee have taken back the trophy Strabane Last Legs Care Home won for the ‘happiest residents’ section for two years running.
E-cigarettes, or personal vaporisers, are a battery-powered device used mostly by those who wish to kick the smoking habit. Strabane Last Legs Care Home were lauded as pioneers in elderly smoking cessation initiatives after they introduced the e-cigs onto their premises for their 64-strong smoking residents.
Care home owner Mrs Donnelly admits it all makes sense now:
“I did struggle with understanding the change in atmosphere since we introduced the e-cigarettes back in 2013. General moaning was almost completely wiped out and even the grumpiest were smiling away at nothing. Little did we know that all 64 smokers were off their heads on marijuana.”
Although Donnelly was unwilling to identify the name of her supplier, she did admit they were bought off the back of a white van with a Monaghan reg near Clady.
The National Care Home Awards Committee will re-run the competition after admitting they were also a bit bewildered by the mood in Last Legs:
“We couldn’t believe how happy these people were. There were 95-year-olds up dancing to Bob Marley music and eating crisps and sweets. How were we to know that they had been spliffing away like terrors? I even heard a pensioner tell one of the workers to ‘chill out, man’ after he wouldn’t take his bath at the designated time.”
Strabane Last Legs Care Home revealed they have decommissioned the e-cigs and have buried them on a hill near Beragh.
Records were broken this week after a fire department employee was given his P45 in just 48 hours on the job due to dialectal differences which saw firemen pour fuel on the flames of a lorry as well as almost setting a depot on fire.
Trevor Farrell successfully applied to the Monaghan Fire Brigade last June, becoming the first Tyrone man to work in this depot since the great fire of 1988 near Clones which was started by a fireman from Trillick.
Trevor explained why he applied in the first place:
“Here I had no notion of doing that aul DCPC shit (The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence for all professional bus, coach and lorry drivers), what a waste of time, boy. I saw that the fire department was taking people on so be Jaysus I applied for the post and didn’t I get the job”.
On Trevor’s second night of his new job his week, he was on phone duty when a call came in about a truck on fire out by Balls Cross.
“Oh be God I was all excited, lad. I was waiting on that call since I started the new job. I tell ya, if I hadn’t got that call I was going to start a fire myself. No point in having men sitting around doing feck all like. Anyway I called out to they rest of the lads to get the plant lit up and blow her for Balls Cross. Well Jaysus after the boys left I went outside to find every fecking shrub in the station garden on fire. I wonder to meself ‘what kind of thick glipes am I working with’.
Long serving fire officer David Boyle was on duty that night. He recalls:
“I was in the office when the call came in. Trevor told us to light the plants up and get to Balls Cross. Sure be Jaysus we thought that it was strange but we poured fuel over the plants and lit them and we were soon off to Balls Cross. Anyway we were half way out the road and that nutcase Trevor kept shouting down the two-way radio to “keep her lit boys, that road is clean and green”. Well never before did we here the likes of that. Sure for feck sake we had to stop by Foyles Filling Station to get drums of clean diesel and green diesel”.
Trevor had a different take on events:
“Ah be the Lord Jaysus the boys told me the were running five minutes behind because they had to stop to diesel up. What sort of bullocks doesn’t refuel the plant up when he comes back to the yard? I told them boys to get there quick and keep her lit until I got there”.
Fire Officer Jonathan O’Neill gave his views on the calamity:
“We wondered what kind of crazy dick that Trevor fella was. We radioed back to him that it was a Sawyers lorry on fire. All we could here from him was ‘oh Lord Jaysus lads, I’m on my way flat to the mat boys, I’ll keep her lit’. We never had to keep a fire lit before, and that man Trevor was on his way and he wanted to keep it lit so we started to pour the clean and green diesel over the lorry”.
Trevor remarked on his arrival at Balls Cross:
“Well feck me, how them thick runts got a job with the fire brigade is beyond me lad. Every fecking time the flames started to die down them crazy bastards put more fuel on that lorry, and they said it was my fault that lorry and fridge was burned to the ground”.
A disappointed Sawyers spokesperson added:
“Gutted boy, fucking gutted. I bet that Trevor fella worked with McBurnley Transport, fucking gutted.”
Sawyers Transport Lurgan has ordered a full investigation.
Garda in Monaghan also threw in their penny’s worth when adding:
“There won’t be an investigation because we don’t know if we should investigate the man that told them to keep her lit or the shower of savages that kept it lit”.
MJM Training confirmed that Sean is booked in next week to sit his DCPC.
Monaghan fire department revealed they have four officers off sick with burns after Trevor told them to ‘keep the toe on her boys’.
In a proposal some are calling one of the most important peace gestures in Irish history, Tyrone and Armagh GAA boards are considering combining their potential July 12th Round 2 Qualifier clash with the Twelfth celebrations on the field of play.
The scenario will only take place if Monaghan defeat Armagh in their replayed Ulster semi-final this weekend, with bookmakers reckoning this scenario will be the likely outcome.
Both county board met yesterday to thrash out an agreement on the proposal with the following details confirmed as definite:
- Instead of St Michael’s Enniskillen, the players will march behind a lone Lambeg drummer, playing any tune he likes
- Both sets of players will march wearing a sash in their county colours
- The National Anthem will be replaced by The Sash My Father Wore
- A bonfire will be lit in the corner of the field at half time with no flags to be burnt, just rubbish and spare tyres donated by spectators
- Free beer cans for all in attendance
Tyrone spokesman, Kenny Nelis, explained the gesture:
“We in the GAA pride ourselves with forward thinking and this is just a natural extension of that. There are other proposals we are considering so don’t take that list as a definite. There’s talk of marching back to the changing rooms after the game is over, if the players are fit for it. This will be a special day for everyone.”
A stumbling block has surfaced though as Armagh have demanded they walk their tradition route on the outside, closest to the crowd. However, Tyrone are refusing to also give up their right to the outside lane and there are concerns there’ll be a stand-off. PSNI officials have reminded both county boards that they’ll employ water cannons if an impasse is reached on this issue.
The Ulster Council have confirmed that for the potentially fiery Monaghan/Tyrone game they’re considering replacing St Michael’s Enniskillen Band with the infamous Coalisland Silver Band whose drummers are known for their fighting skills and general ‘taking no crap’ appearance.
The move comes after Armagh and Cavan players brawled just as the young Enniskillen band prepared to launch into The Boys of the County Armagh for the pre-match parade. A flag dispute has been identified as the reason for the punch-up but body language experts agreed that a few heavy hitters along the back line of drummers would solve any future disagreements.
Marching band fanatic Frank Hurson from Pomeroy explained:
“It is an old tactic we have used up in Pomeroy for decades. If there was a chance of things kicking off between two rivals, we’d (Pomeroy Pipe Band) have replaced our whole rear drummer line with the drummers from the Coalisland Silver Band. Rumour has it they were much sought after in Uruguay and Chile during the 1960s when their club football pre-match parades were riddled with mass brawls and maimings.”
Ardboe octogenarian Felix Quinn reminded authorities of the importance of a muscular drumming corp. Remembering the Battle of the Battery in 1971 when Moortown and Ardboe players fought for four hours after a musical difference during the parade, he warned:
“It’s vital the Ulster Council act now. In ’71 the Moortown lads objected to our flute band playing ‘Mary, The Moortown Harlet’ around the field even though it was a favourite around our parts. They charged at the drum lads at the back but we had infiltrated the musicians with our toughest reserves. Bloodbath. The Coalisland Silver Band are ideal for these Monaghan mountain men.”
Meanwhile, rumours persist that Mickey Harte will make a few fringe players camp out overnight in Clones in order to secure the outside line during the parade. He has denied meeting with Ardoyne protestors to ask for tips.
In what has been described as an unfortunate flashback of the Cavanagh/McManus incident highlighted on RTE by a manic Joe Brolly in August, an unlucky marathon runner from Clontibret was unceremoniously rugby tackled by a Moy spectator just five yards from the finishing line during the Dublin Marathon on Monday, preventing the runner from completing a personal best after his 9th attempt at breaking the four hour barrier.
Although police have refused to charge the Moy marauder, Bingo Hughes is adamant his assailant will pay for his moment of madness:
“I’ll get that boy in the long grass. Funnily enough I’d been thinking that this could happen throughout the whole run. Any time I saw a Tyrone jersey in the crowd I’d be cowering for fear he or she should leap at me without notice. But I didn’t think I’d be vulnerable after 25.9 miles and with a rake of stewards manning the final few yards.”
The tackler in question, Tam Jordan (55), admits the whole occasion got to him:
“To be honest I was just out doing a bit of window shopping looking for dungarees and stuff when I notice this marathon was on. So I watched a bit of it close to the finishing line and as soon as I saw this boy heading for the finishing tape with the Monaghan jersey on him I had this natural impulse to leap out of the crowd and drag the hoor down. I cannot explain it. Then I gave him a couple of digs in the ribs. Mad stuff altogether, like an out of body experience.”
Bingo has since contacted a Dungiven barrister who reportedly rubbed his hands and said something about his appearance fee in Tyrone talk nights doubling yet again.
Bingo Hughes’ official finishing time was 4 hrs and 1 second.
Eyebrows were raised yesterday in the county over leaked plans for one of its councillors to visit Florida as part of a fact find on behalf of East Tyrone District Council.
Copy travel documents showed that recently-elected mid-Ulster Councillor Seamie ‘Red Boy’ McCloy, intends to spend three weeks in Florida next month at a cost of £8,500 at the taxpayer’s expense, conducting a feasibility study on importing bog and peat back to Tyrone rather than producing it locally.
Challenged on the abundance of it which already sits in the county, McCloy retorted,
“Jaysus. That’s the whole point of the visit, isn’t it? How do we know whether it’s feasible without going to see it? We need a bird’s eye view of the area to assess potential for excavation. And if the best way of doing that is from the top of a 300-foot high mega-rollercoaster, then that’s just pure coincidence. Getting bog from America might actually be cheaper than producing it locally. Or something like that”.
The colourful councillor has continually courted controversy since making the headlines in 2012 when he was found in the ladies’ cloakroom of the Council offices wearing an odd number of socks. He has since been embroiled in an embarrassing incident at a farm near Windmill which he claimed was simply him ‘being overly-friendly with a labrador’.
“It’s all nonsense”, said an angry McCloy, thumping his desk so hard that several bottles of suntan lotion fell off. “And anyway, the judge ruled not proven, so go and feck. I’ve dedicated my life to Tyrone, trying to raise it up to the standards of the nice Ulster counties like Derry, Sligo, Monaghan and suchlike. That’s why I need to go to Florida for three weeks. Or four depending on the complexities. And the weather”.
Questioned about whether the Galbally man was going on the trip to get away from the controversy around some of the decisions he has made since moving into office, McCloy was uncompromising. Wearing an enormous foam hand and jabbing the big sticky-out finger to make his point, he said,
“Listen. Do you think sat in a jumbo for 8 hours is going to be fun? The only movie they’re showing is ‘Les Miserables’, and I can’t stand the Germans. I’ve made mistakes in the past. I’ll admit it. But all I’m trying to do is modernise the county. And if ‘Naked Tuesday’ is a wee bit too much for some of thon puritans in the East Tyrone Council offices, then they should wise up. The Florida trip is pure business, nothing else. I’m certainly not looking forward to it. I’ve got a mountain of work to do. And I’ve only got three sleeps to go before I leave”.
The councillor also faced criticism earlier this year for going to New York City on 17 March to explore the possibility of the importation of Guinness to the county.
Gildernew’s Building Supplies have admitted that they attempted to cut costs by using frozen trifle and jelly to build a new estate out the Monaghan Road last year. Suspicions were raised when house-owner Kieran Copney noticed his children licking the walls more often than what would be usual in South Tyrone. After further investigation, the Copneys discovered other shortcuts had been made in a desperate attempt by Gildernew’s men to save money during these times of austerity.
”Holy God. Bricks made of trifle. Have you ever heard of that before? Only in Aughnacloy. To give them their credit they seem to have made a quare job of freezing it permanently and soothing out any wobbliness. And in the summer time there was a gentle whiff of whipped cream and custard which disguised any natural wind breakage from the wife and children. But, they could have told us like. The cement seems to be made from porridge and Ready Brek too.”
Building Control have made further investigations into the affair and released some startling discoveries:
”After a thorough investigation, it appears that some of the rafters in the attics were made from solid French loaves, filled with some kind of polyfill. Many of the windows were plastic with cling-film over it to give off a sparkly kind of look. It was some job.”
Gildernew’s issued a statement today defending their choice of building materials, even going on the offensive regarding other dubious practices from rival firms.
”If those children hadn’t started licking all the walls, familes on the Monaghan Road would’ve lived in domestic bliss without knowing the truth. Now they’re expecting an interior wall to start wobbling at any moment. It’s all psychological. This sort of practice has been going on for years. I know of a B&Q out near Omagh that sold sheds made out of out-of-date tortillas. There’s a housing estate in Coalisland made from liquorice.”