The chief of NI Vehicle Testing Agency has confirmed they have proof of underhand dealings at Cookstown Vehicle Test Centre after a bogus car wreck they put through was passed with only a couple of minor recommendations suggested.
The undercover operation involved four men pushing and sliding a 1975 blue MG B GT V8 Zeldzame Classic with no tyres, windows, engine, seats and lights up to the test centre in the Tyrone town.
Jack Magee, who has worked for the MOT Agency since 1988, was amazed at what occurred when the green light was indicated, signalling their turn:
“The sparks were flying off the base of the car as it was literally scraping along the ground. The examiner did an emissions text even though the car wasn’t even on due to the absence of an actual engine. He then got me to put on the lights etc, despite the fact that it obviously had no lights. It was astonishing. He even put it on the suspension and break test which caused a major crack right down the middle of the car. She passed, just needing a new tyre and a back wiper the man said with a wink.”
Sceptics have been speculating that the 100% pass rate has given Cookstown a reputation for passing anything shaped like a car, encouraging mass tourism in the town as people travel from as far as Kilkeel and Portrush to get their vehicle passed. Omagh MOT mechanic Larry Taylor is seething at their approach:
“We can’t get anyone to go through our garage at all now. I heard of a boy who welded four sheets of metal together and stuck four bicycle wheels on it and it passed too. Unbelievable, like.”
Tyrone Tribulations received pictures of two cars passed today, below:
News emerged last night that an unemployed mechanic from Clonoe is apparently 116,263rd in line to the throne.
“It’s a massive responsibility hi”, admitted Daragh ‘Red Boy’ Loughran cheerfully. “There’s a huge expectation on me that if something happens to the Queen, Prince Charles, William and 116,260 others, then it would be down to me to run the show. And let’s face it, the Queen’s not getting any younger is she, so that’s almost one off the list already. Won’t be long boys, won’t be long”.
The Northern Ireland Institute of Genealogy confirmed the news last week that Loughran was related to the monarchy through a distant relative on his father’s side who was related by accident to Edward VIII.
52-year old Loughran, an active member of Sinn Fein since joining the party in 1987, has had his commitment questioned by other members and close friends since making the announcement.
“Aye, maybe it’s a wee touch embarrassing what with all the demonstrations and the marches I’ve attended over the years. Then there was the handlin’ with all graffiti and vandalism. And the trouble with the police. But that was all just a misunderstanding sure. I was actually shouting ‘Love the Queen’. They just misheard me, that’s all. She’s a nice wee woman. And I’ve always loved Helen Mirren”.
“People have questioned me about my values, but sure, why can’t I be a Republican at the same time as being King of England? What’s wrong with that? And anyway, if my principles don’t fit with my lifestyle, I can always change them”.
Sheila, Loughran’s wife of 30 years, was doubtful of her husband being able to make a smooth transition from unemployed layabout to head of a 600-year old world-renowned royal dynasty.
“For a start, he’d have to learn how to use a knife and fork”, she said. “Jaysis, you should see that wan eating his tea. It’s like a Labrador eating custard. How’s he supposed to have lunch with the likes of David Cameron and Ronald Reagan if he insists on licking all the gravy off his plate? Maybe the Palace staff could sort something out and get one of their footmen to bate his dinner intae him. That might work”.
She confided that Loughran was already preparing for the role.
“Aye, he’s hard work. He’s started walking around with his own toilet seat the bollix, and every time I get back from the shops he keeps asking me, ‘Have you travelled far?’ I’m getting fed up with it”.
Loughran however rejected the concerns.
“Eating won’t be a problem. Sure, loads of them soldier boys in London love eating beef, which I do too. I’d fit right in hi, once they got the crown re-sized. And I’d be head of the British government too, so it’d be free Tayto for all, and I’d abolish annual MOTs. They’re a pain in the hole. £350 it cost me last month. Oh aye, and I’d do something about Irish independence too”, he added hurriedly.
In preparation for receiving a call from Buckingham Palace, Loughran confirmed he had removed ‘Men Behind The Wire’ from his iPhone playlist.
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.