The Dungannon Tourist Board yesterday launched its campaign to bring in European residents to the town.
Under the slogan ‘Come to Dungannon – More than just a big Tesco’, the Board is particularly keen to invite Portuguese, Polish and Lithuanian citizens to the town.
“We’ve lots to offer newcomers”, said Community Liaison Officer Jill Moody. “We have the leisure centre, a roundabout with butterflies on it, and we’re hoping to get a Poundland soon. Dungannon really has got it all. Walk around the town and it’s just a sea of Tyrone faces everywhere. We’re proud of our town, but we want some multi-cultural influence as well. Come on world, what’s wrong with Dungannon? Come and see what we’ve got to offer.”
A spokesperson from Dungannon & South Tyrone Council told us:
“We’re right behind this campaign. Dungannon’s a great place to live and work. Whether its strolling through Dungannon Park, shopping in the Linen Green, or slaughtering chickens by the thousand, Dungannon’s got the lot”.
Local people out shopping on Saturday afternoon appeared to support the initiative. “Hi carumba!” said Granville local Enrique Gomez. “Thees eez wanderfuel news. We mus ‘elp all zeez people to come to our wanderfuel Dunganning. Arriba arriba”.
The view was shared by life-long Caledon resident Magda Adamczyk. “I am wirry hippy to hear ziz. I sink I will celebrit with big plate of beef goulash”.
The news was not met with universal approval however. 32 year old pencil sharpener Mickey Girvan of White City roared:
“You don’t want to encourage that sort of behaviour. Some of them foreign types are already all over the country. Imagine a whole nation of people going and putting down roots all over the place. You wouldn’t catch the Irish doing that. We keep ourselves to ourselves. Next thing you know they’ll be opening their own pubs. The cheek of it”.
Sean Duggan, a 54 year old sparrow trainer of Drumquin agreed. “I don’t trust them foreigners. I went on a big trip last summer. Terrible experience. Weird people with odd habits, eating inedible food. And I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. Last time I go to Coalisland for a holiday”.
All roads lead to Greencastle this weekend in what is sure to be one of the biggest bargain days of the calendar year at the foothills of the Sperrins. Car merchant and general wheeler and dealer, Diarmuid Donnelly, has promised to put an entire fleet of FSOs, the famous Polish car manufacturer, up for sale at half price following a fatal error in translation yesterday morning. Donnelly, who famously sold a decrepit Lada to the Vatican in 1986, stands to lose thousands of pounds on the transaction but feels he has little other option.
“Some handlin. I left our blade to do the bartering as she has an O Level in Latin in 1977. Last time I do that. I’d my eye on the Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych (FSO) motors for a long time now as they’re the type of cars that would look well on the roads around Greencastle. I ordered, or well Deirdre did, 100 of them in all kinds of colours. They arrived within hours on a boat from Poland. I nearly choked when I saw they were all left-hand drive. 100 left-hand drive FSOs! When I phoned up the Poles they were unrepentant, claiming that we didn’t stipulate it was Greencastle Co Tyrone, not Greencastle Co Donegal. I was still a bit confused but they put the phone down and I wasn’t paying for another phonecall. I’m in enough debt.”
The FSOs will sell at £3000 tomorrow in his big field, with first come first serve. Donnelly is expecting a quickfire sale:
“Hotcakes at that price. Fair enough the left-hand driving will be a bit of a bollox initially but I’ve asked the council if it’s OK to drive on whatever side of the road we want, maybe on the left at the weekends or something at that. The new roundabout planned for the top of the village can be driven around anti-clockwise and the other one at the bottom can be approached either clockwise or anti. I can’t see many problems, well no worse that the current standard of motoring around here.”
Gate opens at 7am.
There was a sense of unease in Dungannon today after last night’s annual Scrabble tournament saw a foreign victor for the first time since its inception in 1984. With Matel announcing that they were allowing proper nouns, Polish native Wojech Wasnickski (19) romped to the title, beating 10-time champion and ex-schoolteacher Colm Doris (55) by over 100 points in the final. Wasnickski admitted afterwards that he simply spelt out the names of places from home as well as a few cousins’ first names. Doris said he was finding the whole thing a bit shambolic.
“Listen, everyone knows I’m the smartest in Dungannon. I’ve won this thing ten times. Last year I used words no one around here had ever heard of such as ‘ladylike’ and ‘apologetically’. Now these buckin rules have changed and yer man Wasnickski was in his element. I think he was making half them names up. He scored 122 points for Aleksandrów Kujawski. He says it is near Warsaw. Like for Jaysus’ sake. The longest we have is Loughmacrory or Castlecaufield. He then scored over 200 points for his cousin’s name, Benedyck Banaszynski. The most I managed was 43 for Iggy Jones. I’d have doubts that this Benedyck lad exists atall.”
Wasnickski goes on now to the county final as hot favourite where he’ll met the champions from other areas including three-time champion Hettie Horridge (82) who emerged from the Moortown heat yet again, winning her final with the word ‘budley’. Although not existing in the Oxford English Dictionary, local words are allowed as long as they’re placed in context by the user. Her explanation of “My husband has some budley on him” was found to be an acceptable usage.