Election authorities are said to be trawling through the current election register after a raft of unusual names were ratified as eligible voters in the upcoming Fermanagh/South Tyrone election.
The constituency, which sees a unionist pact between the DUP and UUP in 2015, will be a closely contested affair with Michelle Gildernew hoping to hold onto her seat despite the two large Unionist parties pulling together as one.
Civil servants have however alerted authorities to several unusual names on some of the voting cards. In Fivemiletown, 17 names have been identified as suspicious including ‘Rover Quinn‘, ‘Blackie King’, ‘Rufus Pollock’ and simply ‘Fetch‘, suggesting that pet animals have been used for voting purposes.
Election director Paula McCabe warned:
“It’s not just animals. We’ve had Abraham Lincoln, Wolfe Tone McCann, Elvis Maguire, E.T Graham, Jaws Murphy and five Rod Stewarts. If these people think they can dress up as famous figures from history, music or TV and try to vote then they’ve another thing coming.”
The high security follows on from the last election in 2010 when 64 dubious names were registered including Giant Haystacks, Pat the Budgie, Napoleon, Fr Ted and Cecil the Fighting Cock.
Last time out, Gildernew won by four votes with the four ‘Harry Potter‘ voters from Benburb possibly swinging the balance in her favour.
Following the phenomenal success of Cathal Coyle’s The Little Book of Tyrone, a Derrytresk entrepreneur has admitted his attempt to cash in on the idea with a local book hasn’t been successful after a month of trading amidst claims of lies and extortion.
The Little Book of Derrytresk was penned by Pat ‘Jam’ O’Neill and retails at the surprising sum of £19.99 despite being only 14 pages long. Local historian and literary critic Jemmy Hanna was not impressed by the publication:
“A score is a bit too much for just over a dozen pages. 8 pages are given over to the Dromid game a couple of years ago and most of that is just pictures of handbags that were possibly used in the attack on Declan O’Sullivan. He’s ripping the arse out of it at that price. The Little Book of Tyrone is brilliant. This one is….middlin.”
Hanna was also critical at the section labelled ‘Famous Sons of Derrytresk’:
“Jam is just making stuff up now to pad the thing out. He says Tom Cruise, Elvis Presley, JFK, Napoleon, Wolfe Tone and Moses can all be traced back to Derrytresk through their DNA. I’m very dubious about this. I do know that Foster and Allen drove past The Hill on the way to a concert in Edendork but that’s as good as it gets.”
Jam O’Neill rebuffed all complaints, issuing the following statement:
“People hate to see you doing well. It took me two full weeks to compile this comprehensive history of my homeland, and £20 is about right. There’s women here that would spend that amount on sun beds and nail brushes. Feck yiz all. We can’t all be Cathal Coyle and him backed by millionaires from America. “
The Little Book of Tyrone can be purchased at many local outlets or here. The Little Book of Derrytresk has been withdrawn from the same outlets.
Pay per view broadcaster SKY TV has reported that it haemorrhaged just under 500 million pounds since 2001 in ‘lost or stolen revenue’ in County Tyrone. Most of it is thought to be attributable to trade in illegal counterfeit box units.
An East Belfast based representative for Sky, Mr Philo-Farnsworth Jenkins, has told Tyrone Tribulations of the frustrations the Rupert Murdoch owned media company has had to face around mid-Ulster.
“We believe that the Carrickmore area is by far the worst offender for copyrighting issues. Only 3% housing we visited have actually admitted to even owning a television set, never mind pay per view packages. The majority even had dishes on the roofs. Our presence is hardly sustainable at this rate. When issuing notices to conform, we have received house-owner names such as Michael Mouse, The Man From God Knows Where, Napoleon Dynamite, Sean South, Vladimir Klitschko, Rupert Murdoch, Rupert The Bear, The Pope, Oz McCallan and we even had a Tiger Woods. It’s really not that funny.”
Jenkins has also spoken about the threats and unsafe conditions his drivers are facing in some parts of Tyrone.
“In the past four months, we have had a penis drawn on Homer Simpson’s forehead on one of our vans, and posters of an Irish footballer called Patrick Spillane stuck to five different windscreens. We’ve also actually had a van clamped by a youth of no more than 13 years of age – from where he got the clamp is still a mystery to the authorities. One of our employees conducting a door to door survey was even threatened with a gigantic wooden spoon as well as a hurling or shinty stick, and told to get out of the area. What is going wrong with NI youth these days? “
Mr Jenkins went on to say that typically the highest TV traffic bracket – week day mid-morning – is associated with a plethora of students and unemployed sitting at home drinking tea. He conceded that 97% of Tyrone homes not having a TV in this day and age is simply not credible:
“When you look at the nationwide viewing figures for Dr Phil, Jeremy Kyle and even Deal or No Deal, if it weren’t for the unemployed these programmes simply would not be on television. They would be replaced with more Homes Under The Hammer type stuff and yet Tyrone bucks the trend completely, with no one watching TV… You can laugh all you like but it is a serious matter.”
Also, despite the fact that GAA clubs throughout the island of Ireland have been offered a discount of some 30% to install a SKY box, only one GAA club anywhere – the PSNI Gaelic Athletic Club – has come forward to apply, though the club’s subscription money remains to be paid.
As local channel Ulster Television prepares to go south of the border, with first programmes due to air on January 1st 2015, UTV are preparing to install barriers and water cannon at their premises. They are expecting loitering and crowds to gather outside UTV house on the Ormeau Road over Christmas, as this can often be a quiet season for protesting.