Election authorities are said to be trawling through the current election register after a raft of unusual names were ratified as eligible voters in the upcoming Fermanagh/South Tyrone election.
The constituency, which sees a unionist pact between the DUP and UUP in 2015, will be a closely contested affair with Michelle Gildernew hoping to hold onto her seat despite the two large Unionist parties pulling together as one.
Civil servants have however alerted authorities to several unusual names on some of the voting cards. In Fivemiletown, 17 names have been identified as suspicious including ‘Rover Quinn‘, ‘Blackie King’, ‘Rufus Pollock’ and simply ‘Fetch‘, suggesting that pet animals have been used for voting purposes.
Election director Paula McCabe warned:
“It’s not just animals. We’ve had Abraham Lincoln, Wolfe Tone McCann, Elvis Maguire, E.T Graham, Jaws Murphy and five Rod Stewarts. If these people think they can dress up as famous figures from history, music or TV and try to vote then they’ve another thing coming.”
The high security follows on from the last election in 2010 when 64 dubious names were registered including Giant Haystacks, Pat the Budgie, Napoleon, Fr Ted and Cecil the Fighting Cock.
Last time out, Gildernew won by four votes with the four ‘Harry Potter‘ voters from Benburb possibly swinging the balance in her favour.
Government officials have told people to be wary of mind-boggling concert line-ups as entrepreneurs make money on interest before cancelling the event late on.
Using the Garth Brooks incident as a template, Omagh man Harry Davidson advertised a ‘Tramping About Tyrone’ weekend festival allegedly featuring U2, Rihanna, Tom Jones, Eminem, Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen and a hologram Michael Jackson all in a 3-acre field near Loughmacrory, costing £300 for the weekend ‘subject to licensing and appearance agreements’. 90’000 tickets were sold within three hours yesterday for the January 1st 2015 event.
One lucky ticket holder, Jane Tohill, told us:
“We know fine rightly this won’t go ahead but you have to take a chance don’t you. Harry once organised a quiz in the pub and won it himself so we know what kind of crook he is. We also know he’ll make a bomb out of the interest from these ticket sales but you’d never forgive yourself if he came good. But it’s not happening is it?’
When contacted, Davidson was honest about his venture. After laughing for five minutes, he confirmed:
“As sure as I’m standing here, this concert is not going ahead. I plan to cancel it in December, probably just before Christmas, which is a rather generous thing to do. They’ll get their refund back to buy presents and I get my interest. Everyone wins. People will always take a chance though, just in case like. There’s that 0.01% chance Tramping About Tyrone might happen.”
Other events recently announced included ‘Beyonce In Brocagh’, (Neil) ‘Diamond Does Dromore’, and ‘Meatloaf In The Moy’ which have all sold out despite zero chance of actually happening although Meatloaf was spotting eating strawberries from a pallet on the side of the road in Eglish last week.
Following the news that Ardboe is to have its first outside Christmas tree, a series of unseemly public brawls have littered American televisions with top celebrities vying for the honour of turning them on. George Clooney, Clint Eastwood, Madonna and Kiera Knightly are all said to be offering their services for free with Adam Sandler promising to do a celebrity eel-gutting extravaganza thrown in if he gets the nod.
Ardboe Christmas Lights chief organiser, Pa Forbes, admitted he wasn’t all that overwhelmed by the interest:
“To be fair, I sorta knew there’d be a deadly rush for the job as soon as it appeared in the Tyrone Times. Liam Neeson was on the mobile by that afternoon, joking ‘I don’t know who you are, I don’t know where you live, but when I find you, I will light them’. I didn’t like his tone so I put the phone down.”
Tom Cruise was another caller but Forbes again turned him down as they’d need a digger to lift him to the light switch.
“Yes, it would look cat with the digger and all. Jennifer Aniston was a favourite of mine but she was was being all prima-donna about it and asked for a big warm coat and a free drink at the Battery. No chance says I.”
Forbes has since created an online poll as to who the locals think should turn them on. Presently it sits as follows:
- Rod Stewart 11%
- Victoria Beckham 3%
- Brad Pitt 16%
- Messi 10%
- Lynette Fay 39%
- Malachi Cush 21%
Of the above, only Fay and Cush have yet to express an interest.
Forbes added that this is a time for cool heads. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been asked to quit the slagging and mudslinging after Jolie accused Pitt of calling Ardboe ‘Arboe’, telling CNN “Ghost-oh, he’s some clift.”