In a blatant two fingers at the international country and western singer Garth Brooks, Pope Francis is expected to churn out renditions of The Dance, If Tomorrow Never Comes and Friends In Low Places during his appearance at Croke Park this Saturday.
Brooks, who famously refused to sing at the GAA headquarters in 2014 because of booking issues, is reportedly primed to sue the Vatican for copyright if the Pontiff goes ahead with his proposed gig at the weekend.
This latest incident further deepens the rift between the Holy Father and the King of Country and Western after the Holy See issued a warning 4 years ago to the American.
Sister Julie Graham from county Antrim, a fan of both men, admitted it’s a dream come true if Francis begins his speech with the lines: “Blame it all on my roots/I showed up in boots /And ruined your black tie affair”
“People wonder what heaven looks like. Well, if the Holy Father ‘slips on down to the oasis’ during his time at Croke then that’s paradise right there. It would be pure deadly.”
Insiders maintain that Francis may avoid court proceedings by changing certain titles to the likes of ‘Friends In High Places’ and the like.
Following on from the news that the Tyrone senior team regularly pray together before big games, it has emerged that the Supreme Pontiff is monitoring the situation and was spotted wearing a Tyrone jersey with ‘McCarron’ on the back of it.
Sources from inside the Vatican revealed that the Bishop of Rome now considers the Tyrone county team’s run as the greatest thing to happen to religion in Ireland since Pope John Paul II downed a gin and tonic in Cagney’s Bar in Drogheda during his 1979 visit.
Pope Francis’ closest Irish friend, Monsignor McCrory from Dungannon, added:
“He’s Tyrone mad, ever since he heard about the rosary craic. He even hates Armagh now which is a bit problematic seeing that’s the seat of the Primate of All Ireland. Francis has been watching videos of old matches and says his favourite players are Ricey McMenamin and Harry McClure.”
Meanwhile, it has emerged that some fringe Tyrone players are now going to Mass up to 3 times a day in between training in order to force their way onto the starting 15. Sources also claim that Darren McCurry has been saying ‘Amen’ louder than anyone else in recent weeks, hoping for a quarter-final start.
Finally, Ardboe have denied allegations that Kyle Coney was removed from the panel last year for failing to know the Third Glorious Mystery – The Descent of the Holy Spirit. There were claims that Coney thought the 3rd mystery was Hub Hughes’ point in the All Ireland final of 2008.
Pope Francis’ expected trip to Ireland is in jeopardy after Argentina mauled Ireland in the Rugby World Cup today with one leading cleric in the county reportedly telling his mother that ‘he needed be thinking we’ll be waiting on him at the airport’.
Francis, born in Buenos Aires and named Jorge Mario Bergoglio before changing it overnight recently, was allegedly seen jumping up and down and giving the fingers in the Vatican TV room when Ireland’s Madigan missed a penalty in the second half, much to the annoyance of a group of Irish ecological students who had been granted a private audience. Vatican officials confirmed two bodyguards had to evict a Strabane 22-year-old after he became embroiled in verbals and ‘extreme sledging’ with the Pope who reportedly gave as good as he got.
Gerty McCabe, a 54 year old devout Catholic from KIldress, admitted:
“I’ll be giving Mass a miss now for a fortnight. How do ye like them apples, Francis? And it’ll be a long time til I be hanging his picture up again. Canavan’s up on the mantlepiece. I’m sorry Peter for turning my back on you. We can only ask for forgiveness.”
Early reports suggest an off-licence in Dungannon was ransacked immediately after the game and all bottles of Argentinian wine smashed with a message daubed outside reading ‘yer wine is shite, Argentina’. Owner John McCrea lamented:
“Yes, they wrecked my shop. Their wine may be shite, but now it’s in shite.”
Meanwhile a Tyrone GAA backroom team member has been drafted into the Republic of Ireland set-up after they drew Bosnia and Herzegovina in the play-offs for the European Championships. His brief is to find out as much about the girlfriends, wives and mothers of the Bosnian players through social media outlets. A ROI soccer team spokesman added:
“That’s where the Irish rugby team went wrong. This man is meant to be brilliant.”
Pope Francis, who has been lauded as one of the more progressive popes in recent centuries, surprised worshippers during an open air Mass in Philadelphia with an audible outburst during a minute’s silence for private intentions.
The Pope, who momentarily forgot he had a microphone wired into his robes, finished the silent minute with a quite clear ‘C’mon Urney te feck’ before blessing himself and carrying on with the rest of the ceremony.
Urney supporter and jersey washer Harriet McElhinney is adamant that, as expected, God is on the side of the West Tyrone men as they prepare for the Intermediate final against Edendork:
“We’re not getting complacent or anything but surely this is a sign that the man above is watching over us in our pursuit of senior status. Pope Francis is obviously keeping a close eye on Urney St Columba’s this year. I’d say he’s not overly fond of Edendork what with their gambling and all in that bingo hall. And St Malachy wasn’t half the man Columba was. Sure didn’t Columba build a monastery in Derry with his own hands, plastering it himself and him with his back broke from rowing back and forth to Scotland for sand.”
Papal officials confirmed Francis did not know his microphone was on at all times and apologised to Edendork players, officials and supporters, adding that McCurry would ‘take some watching’.
Meanwhile, the Vatican have granted Urney an audience with the Pope this week but have yet to decide whether or not to accept the gift of a bottle of home-made poitin after recent figures suggested 98 bottles of wine are consumed per person in the Vatican per year. Pope Francis maintains accepting the gift would be a bad start for his ‘Go Sober In October’ initiative.
Despite pronouncements from pulpits across the county this evening during various masses, Pope Francis has moved quickly to deny that he sanctioned ‘kicking Derry people in the testicular reason for slabbering and stuff‘.
Following on from his views on smacking children and boxing anyone who slagged his mother, thousands of mass-goers believed clergy when they sanctioned the use of the foot on the nether regions on anyone from the other side of the Sperrins in the name of The Holy Father.
Depsite the Pope’s statement tonight, it has been reported that hundreds of kicks have been dished out already to Derry ones who have strayed into Tyrone territory, especially around Cookstown and Ballinderry. Fr Toner, an 88-year old priest from Carrickmore, has urged his parishioners to ignore the Pope’s denial:
“The Pope is just backing down because of a media backlash since the smacking children thing. He has got cold feet but I urge my flock to stuck to the original message. And remember what I said, steel toe-capped Doctor Marten’s are the best job.”
When questioned by parishioners on how severe the kick should be, Fr Toner said it is in direct proportion to the slabbering:
“Depends on the level of tripe coming out of the Derry man’s mouth. If he’s just slagging family members and stuff like that then just a flick to the knackers is enough. However, full-on oral manure deserves a crippling and prolonged hammering.”
Spokesmen for the Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis has nothing against Derry people and that he really loved Dana’s All Kinds Of Everything from the early 70s but wasn’t as fussed on The Undertones.
The NI Anger Hotline have confirmed they received 492 calls from chastised husbands since Sunday after George Clooney confirmed he is to marry in Venice in a couple of weeks.
The 53-year old actor, who rivals Pope Francis, JFK and Paddy Heaney for room space on the mantelpieces in living rooms, was still considered an eligible bachelor by the majority of hopeful women in the county.
Tom Quinn, a Derrylaughan window fitter, fumed:
“Herself has been a bear since Clooney announced his intention to marry a girl in a fortnight. She’s snapping at everything and giving me dog’s abuse for even breathing. It’s a bit humiliating like. We’ve been married 14 years and she still thought she’d win him over by taking him to Derrylaughan for a feed and a few pints.”
Clooney, who once described Plumbridge as comparable to ‘roasting delicious white marshmallows‘, has been asked to reconsider his proposal by a couple of sisters in Clady:
“George’s head is cut. He’s marrying some oul blade who’s probably after his dough. What’s wrong with Clady women? Too good for them, Clooney? If he goes ahead with this then he’s just another selfish man and I’m destroying all my copies of ER and the Oceans films.”
PSNI have urged a bus load of Dungannon women not to travel to Venice to protest outside the ceremony. The 22-strong crowd have already booked a Chambers bus and plan to set out tomorrow with placards reading ‘Clooney, You’re Acting The Dick This Time’, ‘Don’t Do It George’ and ‘No Fracking Here’.
Ardboe officials were said to be ‘preparing for the worst’ after local footballer Timothy McGuckian mistakenly upset two different religious groups whilst shopping in the Spar for wheaten bread and a litre of milk. Sandbags and GPS devices have been purchased in case a navy onslaught starts this weekend.
The unfortunate series of events began when McGuckian contemplated buying a few sweets for his grandson who was suffering from a bad cold at the time. On being offered a couple of penny chews by the shopkeeper, the ageing footballer remarked:
“Ah feck no, sure I hate chews. They’re annoyed wee buggers and you can’t get rid of them”.
Jewish Rabbi Fredrick Hughes, who happened to be purchasing a pound of mince at the time, mistook the word chew for an attack on his religion and immediately informed the PSNI as well as leaders in New York. Within three minutes of the first incident, McGuckian again managed to alienate another religious grouping after innocently commenting on a new brand of white bread made by local man and aspiring baker Sean Teague. Whilst feeling the breads on offer, the full forward remarked:
“ah no, not Teagues. I hate Teagues. They charge ye through the roof for a heap of dung.”
Unfortunately Fr Quinn, thinking this was an attack on his fellow worshippers, or taigs as they are referred to by non-catholics, overheard the remark and immediately ex-communicated Timothy and anyone related to him.
The Vatican are reportedly considering issuing a Papal Bull, allowing neighbouring townlands of Ballymaguigan and Moortown the religious freedom to invade Ardboe and ‘drive the heathens into the Lough’ according to a spokesman for Pope Francis. Ardboe retaliated with a promise that the area isn’t into the racism at all and it was simply a dialectal confusion. He added that there was ‘no money in racism anyway’.
Pope Francis sprung a surprise on Sunday after he slipped in the canonisation of Brian Dooher at the last minute towards the end of the high-profile celebration for the declaration of sainthoods for Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.
800’000 pilgrims were left confused after the current pontiff, before wrapping up the mass, said something under his breath about a third sainthood before pretending to cough and then making a joke about Italian women.
This morning, Vatican officials finally confirmed that Francis had canonised a vet from Donemana who goes by the name of Dooher:
“Yes, Brian Dooher becomes the fastest tracked saint ever what with his plentiful miracles in the white jersey of his county. We researched this thoroughly and the point he scored against Kerry in 2008 was from the boot of a god. We normally wait for years after they’re dead but Dooher was a special case. He has been sent the certificate anyway so that’s that.”
Pope Francis was worried about the reaction to the news especially as Mother Teresa has yet to receive the honour, deciding to slip it in with a well-timed cough and outrageous joke about local female ‘pastatutes’ in the red-light districts. A Mother Teresa supporter from Poland fumed:
“It was a dirty trick alright with the fake cough. Then the joke but he’s a bit of a slagger anyway so we didn’t bat an eyelid at that. If this Dooher boy was any good then why are his club Clann na nGael in the junior division?”
Ballygawley held a vigil on Sunday night in protest at the canonisation after they revealed a petition to have Peter Canavan made a saint in 2005 was dismissed by the Vatican back then as ‘pure mad’.
Following the news that Garth Brooks has sold out for a fifth night in Ireland this summer, the Vatican have sent a stark warning to Brooks’ PR team that they will take a dim view of any more concerts, which threatens to break the Pope’s record of a 3 million audience in 1979.
Brooks will play to almost half a million fans in July and music experts reckons he could sell out 10 times that if he really wanted to, although today’s statement from Pope Francis has put an end to that idea promptly. A Vatican insider, nicknamed Fr Hurson from Edendork Co Tyrone, told us:
“Yes, we take great pride in the 3 million Pope John Paul II pulled in in 1979. If Brooks thinks he can ride in on his stetson and top that then he’s deluded. Just in case he is a Catholic, we will excommunicate him if he has any more concerts. We have friends in high places, Brooks.”
Fr Hurson continued:
“Like, he’s being a bit of a dick about this. JPII pulled in 300’000 in Galway alone. Let’s see Brooks do that on a cold windy day in Tuam. Some chance. That day, tomorrow or not, will never come. Pope Francis is ripping about this.”
Meanwhile, Derrytresk GAA are confident they can secure the presence of Brooks for the opening of their third Guinness pump in the bar during his stay in the country. Club secretary Hughie Hanna is cocksure of his services:
“We emailed him last week and asked would he come to the Hill for the unveiling of the third Guinness pump in the clubrooms. He hasn’t replied but as my ma used to say ‘no news is good news’ so we’re fairly sure he’ll do it. He’ll get sandwiches and mineral and maybe he’ll hum us a tune or two.”
Former US diplomat Richard Haass has admitted defeat for the second time in a couple of days after his efforts to resolve the Ardboe Christmas Tree dispute ended in several parties tearing the heads off each other.
The argument revolved around who will turn off the lights on Ardboe’s first ever Christmas tree. Mickey Coleman, Brian McGuigan, Barry Devlin, Adrian McGuckin, Chris Lawn, Tom McGurk, Malachi Cush, Ronan McSherry, Dennis Taylor, Kevin McAleer, Mickey Harte, Pope Francis and Billy Ray Cyrus were all named as interested parties, each putting forward viable reasons for pulling the plug out.
Haass, who admitted Ardboe was a ‘wild place’ on a par with Kosovo and Sierra Leone, was able to narrow it down to four celebs after intense negotiations:
“We managed to rule out McGuckin and Lawn as we suspected they were there to sabotage the event, being enemies in some shape or form. The cost for the Pope was astronomical. Apart from the flights, the pot holes would wreck the popemobile. No insurance around here. Harte, McAleer, McSherry, Taylor, Cush and McGurk were ruled out next during the eel-skinning demonstration.”
With Coleman, McGuigan, Devlin and Billy Ray Cyrus left, tensions were beginning to reach boiling point with accusations of bribes and counter arguments over ancestry muddying the waters.
“I thought dealing with Robinson and McGuinness was tough. These guys are stubborn. It ended up in a bare-knuckle contest between all four.”
Haass left the scene an hour into the free-for-all, admitting defeat and vowing never to return to the island again.
We emailed leaders and celebs across the globe to get their take on Clonoe’s victory over Carrickmore in the county final yesterday. Here is a sample response:
“Holy fook – the carmen were defeated? God darn it. I’d a dollar on Team Barney to bring home the bacon. You do the Math. Have a nice day.” President Obama
“Wonderful news. Do I prefer the O’Rahilly’s over Carrickmore? That would be an ecumenical matter. Let’s just say their weekly donations are healthier. There’s a lot of money in Clonoe. The McGraths and all.” POPE FRANCIS
“What?” Paul McCartney
“Stunning. To see the wee faces of the Clonoe ones brought a tear to my eye. Time for Brocagh, Derrytresk and Derrylaughan to get up off their arses and donate their players to Coney Park. Like feeder clubs. Feed the O’Rahilly’s.” Bob Geldof
“Wow. Just wow. LOL. WTF?” MILEY CYRUS
“Jaysus.” Pope Benedict XVI
“Great to see a six-county team prevail again. Another blow to the republic. No surrender.” SAMMY WILSON
“I’d say Tessie’s got some hammering last night. They’ll be ripping in Falls’ Bar.” VICTORIA BECKHAM
“I regret giving Big Oz the advice about using cooking gloves.” PAT JENNINGS
“What?” JENNIFER ANISTON
“Shocked. Gormley was the toughest marker I ever faced. Showed a healthy interest in my ma too.” LIONEL MESSI
“I’d like to echo Sammy’s comments. Up the Wahillys.” JAMIE BRYSON
“Catch yerself on Bryson.” BARRY MCELDUFF
A Ballygawley clergyman has been told by his peers to cut out the singing parts during any service due to complaints from the congregation that it was setting off hearing aids and bothering babies. Fr Shelvin (61) has been PP in the area for a few years and often sang up to 50% of the mass, even bits of his homily. The church sacristan, Maggie McAleer, maintains it was about time action was taken:
“I vividly recall the first time I heard him sing. It was like a cross between a cat in heat and rubbing a shovel fornenst metal. He’d be singing nearly every bit of it too, even whilst dishing out the communion. At the end everyone used to roar ‘Thanks be to God’ but I think they meant it in a different way than oul Shelvin thought they did. People would run from the building, weans crying and pensioners banging their hearing aids. You’d think in Maynooth they’d practise the singing a bit during those seven years”
Reports suggest a recording was sent to the current Pope who supposedly cursed in Italian before slapping a ban on him singing until he was trained up by one of those singing priests. Shelvin is reluctant to follow orders:
“These Ballygawley ones would need to lighten up a bit. When I was seven I won the Quinn’s Corner ‘Sing Like Baby Elvis’ competition with a spirited rendition of Wooden Heart. You don’t become a bad singer overnight like. I’ve sent Pope Francis a tape of me singing ‘The Heat Is On’ and ‘The Final Countdown’ in the bath this morning. Who does he think he is anyway – Simon Cowell? I’ll be singing this Sunday so the people of Ballygawley can lump it.”
Bookies reckon there’ll be no drop in numbers as Shelvin does Mass in 23 minutes on average, more than half the time of the other boy in the parish. Skin-coloured camouflaged earmuffs will be sold outside though by McAleer with funds going towards 100 pairs of gutties for the local walking club.
A black card will be used in gaelic football from January next year. Motion 4 proposed that a new ‘black card’ be introduced to deal with a specific category of foul, relating to ‘cynical behaviour’ and was passed with a 82% majority at the GAA Annual Congress in Derry today. We gauged reaction to the historic decision across the globe:
“Hell yea! Delighted to hear the dudes in Derry passed this. A victory for democracy. We need to show the dissenters the error of their ways. Had this not been passed we would have considered air strikes on the new Garvaghey complex. Here, I bet you Ricey’s glad he retired when he did.” PRESIDENT OBAMA, USA
“Bastards, hi!” NADINE COYLE, DERRY
“Mmmm. Do you know who’s been given the gig for making the black cards? Interesting.” SEAN QUINN, FERMANAGH
“O mama. This is just the beginning. Get me in and I’ll have a baseball-type musical jingle as the ref digs around looking for the correct card. Will it be red? The music builds. Will it be yellow. Faster, faster. It’s black. Pantomime booing. Great TV. I like the idea of the hooter at the end. I’ll get women in hooter T-shirts to do it. Kerching! Nailed it!” LOUIS WALSH, MANCHESTER
“I’m undecided. Up the Carmen.” POPE FRANCIS, ROME
“What colour will the black cards be? I hope it’s pink. I love pink.” JORDAN, ESSEX
“Abusive language? Does that include ‘nordie bastards’? BONO, DUBLIN
“You can’t say black!” JOHN TERRY, LONDON
“I hope Conor Gormley brings a cushion to the games. He’ll be spending some time sitting on benches. Cute though.” KATY PERRY, CALIFORNIA
In a moment of weakness, perhaps brought on by the stress of his new job, Pope Francis the First admitted to an aide that he fears Cookstown Fr Rocks will tumble back down to the Intermediate grade having learned nothing from their previous foray into the senior grade a couple of years ago. The Argentinian Pontiff has never hidden his admiration for the Fr Rocks as well as his love for San Lorenzo, his local soccer side. Under his previous name, Jorge Bergoglio, the former Cardinal would combine watching his home team with scouring the Internet for a live stream of Cookstown’s league and Championship outings.
“Ah he’s mad about them Father Rocks”, admitted his best friend Fr Toto Schillachi. “There bes times when you’d catch him dreaming mid-service and you know it has dawned on him that the Rocks are playing a league match that day, probably against the likes of Killeeshil or Urney. One day, in Buenos Aires, he had the whole school dressed in blonde mullets singing ‘Mugsy’s Blue and Navy Army’ in Latin. It was quite a spectacle. He’s a quare eejit.”
Reports that he fears for Cookstown’s ability to stay in the senior grade has come as a blow for the busy market town although early signs indicate it will make the Rocks more resolute to keep their place in the top grade. A club insider remarked:
“Listen, it’s great that His Holiness is part of the Azzuri Army but we can do without the negativity. He should stick to the praying and we’ll do the playing. At the same time, he’s welcome down at Convent Lane any time he wants. It’s usually only a fiver in to club games.”
The Pope celebrated Cookstown’s All-Ireland last month with a slap-up feast of Cookstown Sizzlers, champ and a glass of Buckfast.