The various current O’Neill family nicknames within the county are to be phased out and replaced with sub-clan names based on general physical characteristics.
The O’Neill Lineage and Genealogy Society have agreed that many of the current nicknames are either outdated or clouded in mystery as to their origin. They are to be re-classified on the 1st of October, categorised by location. O’Neill households are to receive official documentation within a fortnight, adding that there will be no appeal procedure for any disgruntled recipients.
The following list summarises the main changes:
O’Neills from Omagh, Plumbridge, Strabane, Dromore, Gortin and Fintona and any towns and villages west of these: The big-boned O’Neills. These O’Neills have a remarkably consistent characteristic across all families – they all have large behinds. We considered calling these clans ‘The Big-Arsed O’Neills‘ but considered that to be too crude for general consumption.
O’Neills from Carrickmore, Pomeroy, Greencastle, Galbally, Aughnacloy, Ballygawley and surrounding area: The Long-Nosed O’Neills. This breed have long, pointy faces and a matching oblong noses which makes them excellent tax-collectors or traffic wardens.
O’Neills from Dungannon, Donaghmore, Brackaville, Cookstown and Coalisland: The Square-Headed O’Neills. The O’Neills from this area have distinctive square heads, often causing difficult childbirths for O’Neill mothers. They are not to be confused with the oblong O’Neills just west of this area.
O’Neills from Ardboe, Moortown, Clonoe Parish, Moy: The Yellow O’Neills. These clans have a natural tanning during the summer, often caused by their tendency to sunbathe at the Lough shore. However, over the winter, their skin turns a remarkable yellow colour and are often wrongly diagnosed with jaundice despite being perfectly healthy. We considered naming them the Banana O’Neills but that threw up too many opportunities for people to poke fun at.
Any other O’Neills not covered by the above areas are to contact the O’Neill Society for re-classification as well as providing a photo for the same purpose.
Prominent historians have warned that, unless a strenuous breeding programme and grant-incentive scheme is put into place immediately, many of the ancient O’Neill clans will die out within the next 100 years.
The study was commissioned by Des O’Neill who has been working to reunite many O’Neills across the planet in order to piece together the history of the famous Ulster dynasty since the Flight of the Earls in 1607.
Des, of the ‘Well-Hung’ O’Neills, has applied for a breeding grant but also lamented the obliteration of his own clan:
“The Well-Hung O’Neills were an important sept back in the 1500s. Back then the chief would hire a few of the Well-Hungs to entertain visitors from Spain and France, especially their women folk. I think I’m the last Well-Hung O’Neill in Tyrone and maybe the world. I’m still under 50 and a single man so there’s hope for me yet. I’m just putting those facts out there. Under 50, single and a Well-Hung O’Neill.”
John O’Neill of the ‘Lazy-Arsed’ O’Neills, near Brocagh, has also warned the O’Neill Society that he is the last of the Lazy-Arsed sept unless a local woman takes a chance on him before he slips into dotage.
“I’m 71 but there’s a wee bit of energy in me yet. I was one of seven brothers but none of us could be bothered wooing and courting women, preferring to just sit about and watch Glenroe. But I hear there’s a grant for this and if preserving the Lazy-Arsed clan means I have to shower a couple of times and buy a flower or two, then it’ll be worth it.”
Hugh O’Neill, of the ‘Fat-Gut’ O’Neills near Eskra, maintains they’re the strongest line of the ancient family with over 200 in their numbers and growing every year but maintained the grant money should stave off complacency.
Meanwhile, the Quinns, McCanns, McLaughlins, Donnellys, Campbells and Taggarts have also applied for grants.
An Italian cyclist, who arrived in Ireland this week to attempt a dry run of the Irish leg of Giro d’Italia later in the year, became the unlucky recipient of Coalisland’s first parking ticket during a shopping trip in the town today.
Giovanni Sherri (28) was told by the warden that his bike was badly parked up against a wall outside Dorman’s Pharmacy and was issued with a £60 on the spot fine as well as a verbal warning about future conduct by warden Joe Quinn from the town himself.
Bystander and local man Kieran Corr (64) saw the whole incident pan out:
“I had just been saying to myself that the bike was badly parked. It had only the handlebar against the wall, instead of both wheels and the seat too. It was an accident waiting to happen. Thank God that traffic warden appeared out of nowhere and saved the day. We in Coalisland pride ourselves on our perfect parking tradition. How would he like it if we went to Italy and made spaghetti out of bits of string? Local customs must be upheld.”
Corr refuted suggestions that a spoof warden was used to get the media off their backs due to their suspiciously clear record. There were also reports of the warden Quinn buying a round of drinks in O’Neill’s later:
“Nonsense. OK, he was a local lad but he has an official yellow jacket, clipboard and ticket book. “
Meanwhile, Sherri admitted he enjoyed his time touring Tyrone and especially liked Stewartstown, describing it as ‘like something from 100 years ago’.
“I even met my far out relatives, the original McSherrys, who emigrated to Italy in the 1600s because they liked ice cream, meatballs, the mafia and fighting lions.”
He later admitted he wouldn’t be back.
Despite repeated warnings to evacuate the area coupled with gusts of up to 85mph, three Carrickmore tourists continued to ‘drink on’ in a beer garden in downtown New York, sparking public statements of disbelief and awe from the highest authorities.
Barney Shields, Tommy Gormley and Kyron Woods had flown out to New York for three days on Sunday on a post-season blow-out which they had planned for ages. Despite warnings of treacherous conditions and the unmissable wailing sirens, the three Carmen men headed on down to O’Neill’s Pub anyway on 37th Street for a ‘lock a pints‘ as the storm hit the city, maintaining that they were always going to get the most out of the much-anticipated trip.
Woods, 36, who’d never set foot outside of Carrickmore before, explained their stance:
“We’d been looking forward til this for ages, boys. There’s no way a drop of water was going to spoil my three days in Amerikay. The Yankee barman wasn’t prepared to stay on after our 5th pint with the wind gathering an all but we toul him to leave us the keys. A nice man, he agreed and ran off. The beer garden was a bit ropey what with the umbrellas flying about, falling bricks and the sheets of hard rain but sure it was no worse than playing Derrylaughan down by the shore on a similar day in March.”
An impressed President Obama mentioned the threesome’s actions during his national address this morning:
“….and some say we are a weak nation. If that’s how the world sees us, well then it’s time we borrowed the willingness to stand firm in the face of adversity from those three Carrickmore heroes in 37th Street. The world watched as they faced up to Hurricane Sandy and said, ‘we ain’t going nowhere’. Up the Carmen I say. Up the Carmen.” (great applause and chants of ‘Carmen’ from Congressmen and women)
Woods, a little perplexed by Obama’s comments, told us:
“I don’t know what he’s waffling on about. I’d already bought six rounds. Them there hoors had only bought four rounds each. I wasn’t leaving til it was all evens. There’s nothing worse than being stung when doing rounds.”
Shields and Gormley were too delicate this morning to comment.