With county football starting opportunities limited, Ronan O’Neill has decided step away from the county scene to focus on his two greatest loves – Omagh GAA and dabbing.
The St Enda’s star, whose skilful approach to the game is under appreciated in the modern era, will throw his lot into trying to win the championship with his beloved Omagh as well as becoming the face of Dip Dabs, the fruit flavoured sherbet dip, in Ireland.
Gareth Shields, O’Neill’s long time agent, admitted this could be the start of a promising modelling career for the handsome ex-Omagh CBS starlet.
“Dip Dabs are still massive in Tyrone. The amount of young ones running around Omagh with white stuff under their noses is testament to that. Ronan can now send sherbet consumption in GAA circles into the stratosphere. That dab he did in Croke Park years ago was a genius marketing move from the lad.”
One of O’Neill’s toughest markets will be the greater Tattyreagh area who are notorious Sherbet Dip people. Many still remember the 1987 incident when a Dip Dab merchant attempted to sell his wares under the counter at the missions and was set alight by a gaggle of elderly worshippers.
Rose-scented toilets, no yellow M&Ms and ham from Greencastle-born pigs are just three of the unreasonable demands made by various members of the Omagh senior team which left the Teamtalkmag crew scuttling around all day to make sure events ran smoothly tonight in Bundoran.
An insider at the venue leaked the unusual requests made by the county champions, with Joe McMahon surprising organisers with his acute taste.
The list included:
Joe McMahon – a gin slushy machine; food served by buxom women over the age of 50; dressing room at 34 degrees celcius; chicken legs heavily seasoned; an assortment of chewing gum and a box of toothpicks. 20 white kittens and 100 white doves as well as vitamin water to bathe his dogs in.
Ronan O’Neill – 1 large plush and animal print (cheetah, leopard) throw rug for his dressing room, must be clean as he will walk on it barefoot; 4 small, clear, square vases with white tulips, no foliage (2nd choice: White Casablanca Lilies no foliage, 3rd choice: White Freesia, no foliage); 1 professional quality steamer; 1 Vicks steam inhaler and food items should be fresh and covered by clear plastic wrap at the dining table
Paddy Crozier – A jar of quality honey; plastic drinking straws; 1 pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream; 16 cans Sugar-Free Red Bull; large fresh jumbo shrimps with cocktail sauce and plenty of lemons and 1 jar of banana pepper rings
Justin McMahon just asked for one electric three wheel mobility scooter.
Kyle Coney is favourite to pick up county player of the year, with the Teamtalkmag team odds on for the GAA news outlet gong for the 19th consecutive year.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire, who attended the McKenna Cup gaelic football final in Newry, is said to have mastered the mid-Ulster vernacular after spending only two hours in the company of GAA aficionados.
Despite a drab, one-sided game, Brokenshire appears to have come away from the fixture all the richer from the experience and was even heard to say to his taxi-driver this morning ‘two hands for f**k sake‘ when his driver attempted to steer with one hand.
His advisor and former Conservative back-bencher, Tim Battleford, admitted he was shocked at how quickly Brokenshire has embraced his new surroundings, especially after last night’s attendance in Newry at the Tyrone/Derry final:
“We were watching the tennis this morning and he just jumped out of his seat and shouted at the umpire ‘away a that a ye referee ye bollocks’. The umpire hadn’t done anything wrong. Then when we were driving to the airport he saw a lollipop man stopping traffic and he shouted out the window ‘Hi linesman, are your f**king eyes painted on?”
Later, at Aldergrove airport, Brokenshire reportedly became irate at the length of time it was taking to get his satchel through security and was heard to roar “Let it in ta f**k wud ye“, a phrase he supposedly heard someone in the crowd shout at Colm Cavanagh as Ronan O’Neill made another fruitless run in the full forward line.
Brokenshire was also spotted chatting up his cousin this morning, probably another after-effect from the McKenna final.
An Ulster Council officer was said to be ‘comfortable’ this morning after he received serious burn damage to his hands and fingers seconds after drawing the tubes that sees Derry play Tyrone in next year’s Ulster Championship.
The draw, which was transmitted live on RTE2, also pitted Armagh against near neighbours Down to create two mouthwatering and lucrative fixtures for the Ulster Council. To his credit, the officer completed the draw process despite further damage to his hands when it emerged the Armagh and Down tubes were freezing cold.
An RTE studio manager attempted to explain the accident:
“It must have been the studio lights that made the Tyrone and Derry tubes heat up to 80 degrees celsius. Also, because of the length of time the draw took, the Armagh and Down tubes were like icicles by the time he got to them. That’s our explanation anyway. The Ulster man got a bit of a shock but he soldiered on through it, God help him.”
Meanwhile, neighbours confirmed that immediately after the draw was made Ronan O’Neill was spotted doing several dabs as he ran around his garden. Zachary Quinn from Gortin, a neighbour and friend, added:
“He was even doing dabs when he was getting into his motor this morning. He seems really pleased about something.”
Finally, RTE confirmed that Joe Brolly is to be given a specially-commissioned seat made of velcro to stop him sliding down off his seat in 2017.
Businesses and institutions across Tyrone reported high levels of sickness today as well as low levels of production after over 298 workers from Derry failed to show up for work.
In addition, several teachers from Dungiven, Ballinascreen and Swatragh locked themselves in school classrooms and toilets in schools in Omagh and Dungannon, with many other Oak Leaf educators handing out detentions to Tyrone students for soft offences including ‘looking at the teacher’ and ‘smirking’.
Although impossible to prove its legitimacy, business owners believe the unusual levels of absenteeism may be related to a soaking many supporters received at a match in Celtic Park in Derry yesterday where Tyrone edged past Derry in a close affair for the first 15 minutes.
The CEO of engineering company Sowerpreen, Plunky Donaghy from Dungannon, remarked:
“We had 13 phoning in sick today, from Ballinderry, Slaughtneil, Garvagh and Moneymore. All of them said they had the flu after getting a right drenching in Celtic Park yesterday. It was quite a coincidence. The six who did make it in were hard to find today, one of whom locked himself in the crane. I honestly don’t know what is up with them.”
Omagh Principal Mr Harry McClune also added:
“The Derry teachers were in wile bad form today. There must have been heavy traffic or something today over the Sperrins. Mr Barton from Lavey dished out 52 detentions, including two each to every member of the MacRory GAA team. Poor Tommy O’Neill, a brother of Tyrone player Ronan O’Neill, got a detention for smiling out the window. We’ll probably appeal that one.”
The Tyrone Employment Agency have urged Derry ones to return to work tomorrow and if they have problems walking in through the main entrance they can use the back door.
Meanwhile, Club Tyrone are looking into an old GAA rule from 1888 which states that if you defeat a neighbouring county five times in the one year, you get to reclaim 600 acres from the losing county around their natural border. Ballinderry residents are currently ‘expecting the worst’.
Fears that Croke Park and Clones will become awash with dance-inspired celebrations this summer were realised today in Dublin after Ronan O’Neill performed a ‘Dab’ which involves tucking your head into your elbow whilst leaving your other hand pointing up at a 45 degree angle, after his crucial second half goal.
The Dab, which has been performed by many sports stars across the planet, is reportedly only the first in a line of unusual dance-inspired celebrations already being secretly practised at Tyrone’s state-of-the-art training ground in Garvaghey, after Mickey Harte goes home from training.
A Tyrone squad insider told us:
“If you think that was bad, count your blessings that Conor McAliskey didn’t score that volley he attempted. I’ve seen his celebration. It involves twerking in front of the goalkeeper and it isn’t a great sight. I can see him getting a few kicks up that hole of his, but not before he has inflicted his routine on the rest of us viewing public.”
Additionally, it appears that Darren McCurry has perfected the Gangnam Style dance for any goals, which sees him practically prancing around Croke Park in a horse-trot. Sources claim that the Tyrone backroom staff are worried about quick kick-outs if McCurry does find the net as the Edendork man may only be halfway through his routine at that time.
Our source added:
“Colm Cavanagh has mastered a line-dancing number with his brother Sean but the odds of that dance being seen in the championship are minimal for the foreseeable future given Colm’s defensive responsibilities.”
Fortunately, Harte is unaware of the current craze and reportedly thought O’Neill was just shy after hearing the crowd cheering for his goal, thereby hiding his face.
Further reports indicate that Owen Mulligan is flat out training in order to force his way into Harte’s plans. Close friends indicate that he swears he has ‘rakes of dance moves’ lined up, some of which may need a parental guidance warning. He is also reportedly looking into backdating some of the celebrations for great goals he scored earlier in his career.
Tyrone County spokesperson Mary Fitzgerald admitted ‘we’ll not be doing that again‘ after the senior squad’s Secret Santa ended in bitter acrimony and fist-fighting.
The new county bonding initiative, which sees a player secretly pick a team mate’s name out of a hat at the end of November and then anonymously buy a present for them, is a staple festive gesture in offices and businesses across the planet.
Fitzgerald explained how the event began in bad taste at the county’s centre of excellence in Garvaghey:
“First out of the hat has Tiernan McCann’s present. Someone had bought him a pair of hair straighteners and a mirror. McCann never smiled once when on stage to collect his and even muttered something about them being ‘them oul shite Boots ones anyway‘ under his breath. I could see Colm Cavanagh a bit more red-faced than usual in the crowd.”
Apparently, the worst reaction was Mark Bradley who received a ladder and a note which said ‘that is for when you’re washing the skirting boards‘.
“Bradley went clean mad when he saw Ronan O’Neill smirking and went over to him and battered the head off him with the ladder. Then when Sean Cavanagh got his present, a scuba-diving outfit, the place erupted with players loyal to the captain slapping away at some of the new-comers to the squad who were chief suspects.”
The Secret Santa session was then immediately halted after Mickey Harte received his present, a Nazi soldier fancy dress outfit. Fingers were pointed at some of the Ardboe players not in the squad any more, who had somehow managed to sneak the present into the bag via a current player’s cooperation.
Meanwhile, in some good news the initiative raised £300 for charity. This year’s chosen charity is The Midges Conservation Trust.