News leaked from the Ulster GAA offices are suggesting that if Tyrone achieve a highly unlikely victory over Derry in Omagh in the preliminary round of the Ulster Football Championship, their quarter final tie against Antrim will be played at Windsor Park in Belfast, home of Linfield and the Northern Ireland soccer team.
Due to the long grass in Casement Park, Antrim have been frantically searching for an alternative venue for their home fixture and were reportedly considering playing the game around the back of the Andersonstown Leisure Centre on a concrete surface.
Heroically, Linfield FC have stepped in to save the day and have offered to let out their pitch for three hours at 6pm on Saturday 25th May for £300 an hour as long as the anthem is played by a flute band and that any national flags are restricted to the Ivory Coast or Italian ones.
Cross-community guru Alastair Jacobs admitted that this may be the greatest single world event in recent times, rivalled only by the fall of the Berlin Wall or the Mandela presidency.
“For Linfield and the IFA to open up their hallowed ground to the gaels of Tyrone and Antrim is an emotional gesture. GAA fans will get to taste really good burgers and stuff.”
Unfortunately, the Ulster GAA Council have been asked to provide their own goalposts. Unable to do so, Ulster officials have asked players and umpires to use their imagination.
A Coalisland stove-fitter is said to be still in an agitated state after he received a Northern Ireland soccer scarf from his long-standing wife, with the Derry-native maintaining it was an innocent error.
Terence McNeill, who has a season ticket at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and was mascot for the Republic of Ireland v Malta in 1988, had to leave his watering establishment last night well before throwing out time due to relentless slagging and continuous playing of ‘God Save The Queen’ by the pub’s resident DJ.
Still seething, the multi-lingual handyman fumed:
“How did you think I’d react? She even got it signed by the NI squad and it also had a personal message from Kyle Lafferty. Imagine how a Moygashel True Blues Flute Band member would react if he woke up to a Carrickmore GAA jersey as his main present. He’d be as ripping as I am.”
Close friend and drinking partner Noel Devlin admitted it was the best Christmas night ever in O’Neill’s pub in the town:
“When word got out that Mrs McNeill had made the fatal error, we decorated the pub with pictures of Billy Bingham and kept chanting ‘Stand Up For The Ulster Men’ every time he stood up to go to the bar or toilet. We’d like to thank Mrs McNeill for a wonderful Christmas.”
Meanwhile, local photographer Olly Kerr has issued an appeal for unwanted boxer shorts as he didn’t get the amount he’d expected and had thrown hundreds of old ones out last week in preparation for a new batch.
Inspired by the South Pacific islands at the rugby World Cup, Tyrone senior finalists Trillick have spent the last week tidying up a pre throw-in routine, hoping to nurture a sense of fear in their opponents Killyclogher.
Named ‘The Trillifandango”, the routine merges Irish dancing, rave, rap, line-dancing, jiving, and general jumping about during a 4-minute performance. Mattie Donnelly heads the dance formation after a competition to see who had the longest tongue. Lee Brennan had the shortest and will be at the very back.
Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland soccer team have sent Trillick a good luck telegram. Trillick’s last title in 1986 coincided with Northern Ireland’s last appearance at a finals tournament and were consequently twinned with each other in 1998. Unfortunately Killyclogher were twinned with the England rugby side the same year.
A Derrytresk Health and Safety Officer, in his first formal job, appears to have dug a hole with a family spade behind the stand ‘to see what their turf was like’ which led to a large crack forming in the West Stand, affectionately known as ‘The Kop’.
Fergal Fitzgerald (24), who qualified as a structural engineer last month, was given the task of overseeing a new toilet which was to be built behind the stand after a report in the Belfast Telegraph indicated a rise in weak bladders amongst Ulster men in 2015.
Witnesses suggest Fitzgerald said something about wanting to know if Belfast had ‘good burning turf‘ before digging furiously on his own behind the now-damaged stand with a spade from the boot of his car.
Fitzgerald’s university lecturer, Professor Lingard, maintains he is not surprised with the development:
“Fergal is a very clever man and qualified with a First but has a weakness for turf and peat. For part of his Field Work during his final year at Queen’s University we took his class to Pisa in Italy to examine the Leaning Tower. When my back was turned he started digging with his ‘family spade’ around the tower because he wanted to know what Italian turf was like to burn. He nearly toppled the thing. The Italians weren’t very happy.”
Despite good character references, a Loyalist paramilitary group called ‘We’re Not Brazil We’ll Kill Ye’ issued a statement warning Derrytresk residents to stay away from Windsor Park and that anyone seen in the ground wearing a checked shirt and carrying a spade will be deemed a legitimate target.
A youth football team from Outer Coalisland have challenged the Brazil football team to a game, ‘any time they want, day or night’.
The bold statement came from local boys’ team Brackaville Rockets, just hours after the host nation’s calamitous 7-1 defeat at the hands of Germany at the semi-final of the World Cup earlier this week. The young team have gone so far as to promise to take it easy on Brazil, and that they would even be prepared to give them ‘a 2-nil start’.
“It’s true”, said team manager and father of one of the players, Danny Suddan. “We sent a fax to Pele asking him to bring the team over here to play our lads. We have a grand stadium in Brackaville with a quality pitch, or at least it will be just as soon as we’ve cleared off all the dung and the burnt-out Nissan Cherry. We’ll show him and them Brazilians a thing or two. Did you watch thon match of theirs against Germany? Our boys have nothing to fear. It’ll be a fair match. As long as they get enough toilet breaks throughout the game and a wee cuddle from their mums from time to time, they’ll have no problems. And our lads will be fine too”.
He went onto provide his own analysis of Brazil’s failure at the hands of Germany.
“If they’re ever going to win the football World Cup they need to stop with the bull fighting and flamencos and suchlike. They’re not focused enough. If they can’t even spell the ‘Brazil’ what hope have they got? They should never have been beat by seven goals. Germany are nothing special. Although I suppose they do have a bit of history destroying countries. If Brazil want to learn some proper lessons about a lacklustre midfield or squandering chances they should speak to our Northern Ireland team while they’re here”.
Suddan has also promised that if the Brazil team agrees to the match, that he would be willing to give Pele, ‘a few wile hints and tips about his bedroom problem’.
The news that 11 new super-Councils are to be created throughout Northern Ireland from the existing 26 and that each is to be given extended powers, has resulted in hundreds of people throughout Tyrone believing that the Councils are actually to be granted magical superpowers.
Following the publication at the weekend of a survey by the Irish Council for Statistics, it appears that entire villages have caught the wrong end of the stick, with an alarming 16% of residents believing that council staff might turn into levitating, shape-shifting, fire-breathing oddballs, all at the tax payer’s expense.
56-year old Harry Patterson of Cabragh told us,
“Being given superpowers like time travel and trigonometry and the like is a bridge too far. It’s a breach of my human rights. I don’t want them council ones spying on me when I’m out in the shed doing stuff. Not that I’m doing anything wrong like. And certainly not with that woman from next door. There’s nothin’ wrong with being neighbourly, you know”, he said defensively.
The view was shared by Jacinta Ferguson, a 42-year old housewife from Urney.
“It’s a waste of damn time. I don’t want the council coming round, self-spawning all over my front garden or manipulating gravity and stuff, when all I want is my gutters rodded. They should get their priorities right”.
“If they end up having superpowers like Spider-Man there’s no saying where it could end”, agreed Tony Laverty from Windmill. “We can’t have people suddenly going into slow motion like in ‘The Matrix’ at the drop of a hat, can we? It would be like that TV programme where all them weird-looking hoors have amazing superpowers. ‘Mastermind’, that’s it”.
“We might end up with Barry McElduff waltzing through Carrickmore wearing a Batman outfit, and then where would be?” declared Deirdre Hughes from Drumquin. “I have no wish to see that man in tights, let me tell you that. I’m not making that mistake again. If them councillors want a superpower then they can go and teleport themselves to feck”.
Some were more circumspect, with a keen interest in what the superpowers might be.
“Will you maybe be able to get x-ray vision specs from the council?” enquired a 58-year old man from Trillick who didn’t want to be named. “That would be handy right enough, for, like, all sorts of things. And would you be able to see through like material, like say, I don’t know, clothes and suchlike? Just asking”. He added, “And a couple of them super-strength ones like The Hulk could rightly work some wonders for the St Macartan’s hi. Has anyone told Mickey Harte about this?”
58 year old Rebecca O’Neill from Brantry however was much less positive, snorting,
“They should go and speak to the Roads Department. Have you seen the state of my street? In my opinion they’ve been practising invisibility for bloody years”.
The new councils are expected to come into effect in a few months time.
A study carried out yesterday by the Northern Ireland Institute of Studies confirmed that the majority of people in Tyrone continue to stuff themselves senseless in an effort to get through all the left-over Christmas food before it goes past its sell-by date.
“Christmas itself was bad enough, but this is beyond a joke”, complained 54-year old Nuala O’Neill from Brocagh, through a mouthful of Tesco’s ‘Taste The Difference’ Plum Pudding. “I nearly gave myself the boke after eating a dozen roast potatoes out the fridge that had been there since Boxing Day. To be honest they were completely rancid, but they needed eaten. Can’t have these things going to waste you know”.
Mary Gough from The Moy agreed.
“I ate half a Christmas cake last night and then found out it can last for years. That wasn’t great news after having worked my way through the last of the turkey. We’ve had turkey sandwiches, turkey curry, turkey pasta, turkey stew, and turkey surprise. I eventually ran out of ideas and ended up making turkey meringue pie. Quite nice actually”.
“The worst of it is I just can’t get rid of the stuff”, complained Sean McKenna of Aughabrack. “Someone gave me a tin of Marks & Spencer All-Butter Shortbread as a Christmas present, so I gave it to my ma as a gift on Boxing Day. Turns out she gave it to her niece on New Year’s Eve, who gave it to her daughter on New Year’s Day, who then gave it back to me as a present at the weekend. Feckin’ cheapskates”.
Marian Quinn from Cappagh admitted:
“I sent my 7 year old cub to school with fifteen mince pies for his packed lunch. Only two days to go before the sell-by date, so they needed used up. I know he’s allergic to pastry, but sure, he’ll manage fine”.
32-stone half-man, half-spacehopper Sidney Clarke from Ballygawley, said,
“I found a couple of smoothies in the fridge my mum had left and if truth be told I was wanting a more healthy diet for the new year anyway, so I got tore into them. I never realised one was clotted cream and the other pure goose fat. Tara. I got through three Cadbury’s selection boxes getting rid of the taste though, so it wasn’t all bad”.