Rumours have began to surface that the Primate Joseph Dixon, the cleric who was born 1806 in the Coalisland
area and gave his name to the local primary school which recently celebrated its centenary, was actually just ‘a very smart’ monkey.
Local historian and SELB director for the area Simeon Armstrong indicates that the Primate Dixon was never recorded as having spoken – revealing that he just nodded and sometimes flashed a smile of pointy white teeth, which at the time was just put down to his being ‘a very holy man.’
Director Armstrong has told Tyrone Tribulations that
“it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Primate Dixon was a real primate… Sure hi, some of the teachers I’ve seen up round Armagh are just shocking – it’s a wonder the kids can even bless themselves, or eat their own lunches.”
Historical records kept of the man himself, and minutes from parish meetings described Primate Dixon as ‘very good at prayer, football and study’.
The Democrat recorded of him in 1844 at the children’s Feis he adjudicated:
“He has a very piercing, yet intelligent stare. All the local Children have really taken to him because of his quiet demeanour and his opposable thumbs. A man of routine, he always loves a good banana before competition begins.”
He reportedly judged much in a manner to that of Simon Cowell, simply giving a thumbs up or thumbs down gesture.
Also of note, the concerned Brackaville Resident’s Association (BRA) have long spoken of ghosts in the newer housing estates in the area near the other famous ghost that was on the news. This time reports are of three monkeys, hear no evil, see no evil, and one that goes on like Joe Brolly, just jumping about and flapping its arms and whinging a bit.”
The case has been given all the more credence due to events also found in newpapers of the time. Armstrong uncovered an article titled ‘circus masters drinking leads to one too many escapes’ which wrote of numerous escapes in Dixie Duffin’s circus in and around the town in 1805. One such mass escape week saw lions getting lost outside Edendork chapel, eels slipping off near Ardboe, and a few cowboys going on the run somewhere around the Moy. The article goes on to detail how one chimpanzee managed to escape with a few black shirts and pairs of black trousers near Tessies Sibin on the Clonoe road.
Catholic Church rep for the area, Cardinal Shin, has said the allegations are complete and utter tripe:
“Are you even a real journalist? He was a huge pillar in the community, a man who gave his name to the place of education here… he was a noted Professor of moral philosophy- you boys would want to check your moral standards. Get out! And put those biscuits back down there!”
Worried Coalisland residents have signed and handed in a petition to local undertaker Padjoe Dorman, demanding that he maintain a consistent facial expression whilst out and about in the town.
Dorman, who claims he has absolutely no special ability to predict when old people will expire, has been accused of worrying hundreds of pensioners since he expanded his business last month by adding on an extension at the back of his premises. 77-year old retired wrestler Kenny Campbell from Annagher told us of his ordeal:
“I met Dorman outside the butchers on Christmas Eve and he winked at me with a smirk on his face. Then he says ‘I hope ye get time to ate that ok’. He’s trying to scare us into the grave. Some operator.”
81 year old Mary McAleer from Newtownkelly added to the catalogue of complaints:
“That man has me tortured. At the local nativity play in the Primate Dixon school he kept looking over at me and sizing me up and down, like as if he was measuring me. Then he nodded at me and closed his eyes really slowly. I’m not imagining it. I didn’t sleep for days after it and had to get nerve tablets. To be honest I’m still not well.”
Dorman has denied any accusations of skulduggery:
“I’m just a friendly fellow. I’m an ‘Island man to the core and I love my people, alive or dead. And to show no ill feeling towards those on the petition, if any of them die within the next five years, I’ll throw in a free embalming session. Now, you can’t get much better than that.”
Dorman also added he has opened an off-licence at the back of his premises.
Last night it emerged that the world’s wisest man is currently living in Brackaville and has lived there all his life. This startling claim was backed up by his wife who says he probably knows everything about everything. Bus shelter painter Leo O’Hanlon (66) maintains he can solve every problem on the planet and beyond, from global warming to not losing odd socks. Leo makes most of his proclamations from a bar stool in any of Coalisland’s famed watering holes.
“Aye he’s some pup,” claimed borderline alcoholic Jemmy Kettle. “Just last night he solved world hunger. Leo says if you plant more oranges, peas, spuds and stuff like that inside greenhouses in Africa then the searing Sahara heat will not affect them. The man’s a genius. On Friday he told us how to beat Kildare. It was simple really but brilliant thinking. He said if you take your points the goals will come. Lo and behold, that’s what happened. This stuff must be filtering back to Mickey”.
O’Hanlon also claims to have solved the recession. He suggests that the bankers do about 140 or 15o charity walks each and the money raised pays off the national debt. His sister, Jackie, added:
“This man’s vast intellect knows no bounds. I remember when he was about 20 or 22 and he was able to answer about maybe a dozen puzzles on Catchphrase on the TV, sometimes even before the contestants did. We used to just stare at him in awe. You could nearly see his brain moving. When he was in P6 at the Primate Dixon the teacher said he was “hateful but potentially bright” in the school report. We knew we had a star on our hands, right here in Brackaville too.”
O’Hanlon was too inebriated last night to comment but even in that state he was able to offer brilliant advice to the girl in Landi’s about how to sprinkle the chips with just the right amount of salt using an unusual wrist action, before being barred for lewd remarks.
Tensions were electric in Coalisland at the tail end of the week after it emerged that local stage expert Jim Farrell was overlooked in the Academy Award nominations for 2013 for best actor. Despite coming up against competition from Daniel Day Lewis and Denzel Washington, Farrell was convinced that his portrayal of ‘Dinger Campbell’ in Dig Her Up (the story of an ex-UDR man who settles in Coalisland and convinces the locals to dig up the rich coal resting under Annagher leading to great riches for the town but succumbs to a bout of consumption which was lying dormant in the pits since the 1920s) was enough to at least earn a nomination never mind lift the damn thing itself.
“Ah what do you expect from them Yanks. They’ve never wanted a Coalisland man about the place. My father used to tell me about his father who was headhunted by Hollywood producers ever since his take on Jesus in the Primate Dixon’s nativity play reached global news. They flew him over to Amerikay but as soon as they heard his accent he was ostracised. And these were the days of silent movies. Same with me. The Tyrone Times said my performance was ‘unusual, unforgettable and jaw-dropping‘. The Ulster Herald said, ‘his performance was fine – I could hardly tell he had a stutter at all.’ What more does the Academy want? Just because I haven’t checked into an addiction clinic or had follicles from my bollocks transferred to my head shouldn’t exclude me from getting recognition from the world’s theatrical critics. Bastards the lot of them.”
Supporters of Farrell’s work have said they’ll block the road from Coalisland to Dungannon tonight in protest, probably for a lock of minutes around midnight. On a brighter note, Farrell has promised to make his debut as a leading actress in June when he plays ‘Susie McIntyre’ in Balls To That (a young Edendork girl decides to spend her summer holidays in Downings instead of Bundoran and has a romance with a billiard-playing ex-priest) which will screen in Aughnacloy, Beragh and Newmills.
Inspired by the goings on at the City Hall in Belfast earlier in the week, a group calling themselves the Coalisland Restoration Appreciation Party (CRAP) have stormed the Brackaville Social Club tonight, demanding that the Brackaville Owen Roes flag hanging from the guttering is removed before Monday morning or they ‘take her down’ themselves. CRAP spokesman, Jab Herron, claimed they were willing to tolerate the flying of the flag in the midst of the local club’s failed assault on the Ulster title but now that it was at an end, there was no reason to keep it up.
“It’s bloody ridiculous. Brackaville is really the outskirts of Coalisland. We call it inner-city Coalisland where the shanty town type families scrape together a living by doing odd jobs like collecting golf balls. Now and again we do tours out to Brackaville for the Primate Dixon ones to show them what happens if you don’t do your sums and learn the english. Recently, we discovered that a few Brackaville residents were making forays into Coalisland under the cover of darkness. They were probably drinking the slops in bars or hanging around the back of Landi’s for scraps. We need to be vigilant about that. However, this flag flying craic must stop. Sometimes we have to travel through Brackaville to get to other places. We don’t need to see those dirty flags goading us. Provocation, all from a movement to follow a team bate by a river in Armagh.”
Brackaville Disaster Fund spokesman, Harry Gillis, sees it differently.
“Them fcukers would paint over us if they could. We are Brackaville. We are a people. This great run that the Owen Roes lads performed was a real lift for the community. Ok, we’ve had to start us a disaster fund to cover the expenses of every family in Brackaville heading to the final last week, but we can survive without tourism from the Island. We have the golf course and a lock of other lads doing stuff like welding. Them hoors are just jealous that we had Sean McNally, probably the best footballer in Tyrone ever after Iggy Jones. We shall not be moved. The flag stays. No surrender.”
CRAP have given Brackaville 48 hours to comply or they will dam Barrack Street, cutting off vital supplies like soda bread and the Irish News.