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!”
Documents obtained by Tyrone Tribulations reveal the efforts being undertaken by Dungannon South & Tyrone Council to get ensure the county gets plenty of coverage on the new television channel, Irish TV, which was launched last year.
The confidential paper outlines some programme ideas and their content which was brainstormed by senior councillors, many of which will apparently go into a final proposal to be submitted to Irish TV. Some of those ideas include the following: –
Mr Black’s Girls
A sitcom about a loud, nosy, foul-mouthed Irish patriarch and his family which is filmed in front of a live studio audience. Contains faintly humorous dialogue miraculously turned into hilarious comedy gold by the adding of ‘feck’, ‘fecking’ or ‘fecked’ to every other line.
Dancing on Ice
Tyrone’s version of the BBC’s Dancing on Ice, but filmed outdoors instead of inside. Celebrities from around the county skate on a permanent field of ice whilst battling sub-zero temperatures, howling winds and freezing rain, in the middle of summer. To be filmed at the Garvaghey Complex.
Lynette Fay, presenting Country Afternoon in a bright red bathing suit, whilst being chatted up by David Hasselhoff wearing badly-fitting swim shorts, standing on top of the Berlin Wall.
Following the success of BBC2’s Lambing Live in March, Dogging Live follows poodles, Labradors and Alsatians as they go about their nightly duties. Filmed by middle-aged men in a poorly lit car park near Strabane after midnight.
Priests Say The Funniest Things
Some of the funniest lines by Tyrone’s parish priests caught on camera, including side-splitting communions, hilarious funerals, month’s mind bloopers, and secretly-recorded confessions by Tyrone’s faithful.
Wild About Tyrone
A wildlife programme, this half-hour special will feature the indigenous but rarely seen strange and exotic creatures of Tyrone, including grass snakes, pollen fish, and Coalisland traffic wardens.
PJ and Hugo Duncan
PJ and Hugo Duncan re-live their 90s classic hit, ‘Let’s Get Ready To Skiddly Dee’ which got to number 16 in the Strabane pop charts in 1986. Performed in front of a disapproving Simon Cowell.
Dances with Wolves
A movie about the perils of drinking far too much at Sense nightclub in the Glenavon Hotel, where a combination of pounding music, the smoke machine, alcohol, and desperation, leads to poor partner-selection on the dance floor. Followed by Gorillas in the Mist.
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.
Newlyweds Paul and Julia Brannigan have put Tattyreagh on the map after making it through to the TV stages of the X-Factor auditions singing a song they made up in the taxi on the way over to the show. Scribbled on the back of a packet of sweetie cigarettes, “Tattyreagh – You Don’t Have A Picture-house But You’re Deadly To Me’ wooed the judges so much that Simon Cowell is considering visiting the townland before the end of the month. Paul said it’s a dream come through:
“To be honest, we were going to sing “Islands In The Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Then, with a few shots in us, we thought feck it and wrote a song there and then in the taxi about the homeland. We’ve since lost the piece of cardboard it was on but we managed to include stuff like the scrap metal yard, sheep farming and the bath-doctor. It was hard rhyming something with bath-doctor so we pretended there was a Costcutters and that was near enough. We sang it to the tune of Raglan Road, cupping our ears and all, but they didn’t seem to notice.”
All four judges sent them through with Louis Walsh saying that Tattyreagh is the new New Orleans and that they were his favourite. Gary Barlow criticised the lengthy song title but maintained the heart-breaking line “The Quiggery Waters won’t run through us/But we don’t kick up a fuss” won him over and praised the couple for looking so clean and upright for not having a river. Simon Cowell added:
“This will be up there with Africa by Toto or London’s Burning by The Clash. Tattyreagh seems so exotic. “We normally go to Darcy’s Coal merchants/And after to the HalfWay House for a lock of pints” might not be an exact rhyme but it’ll be on the tip of the tongue of every 15-year old next week. Dannii Minogue was crying and she wasn’t even judging. We WILL build a picture-house for these people”
The Brannigans say they’ll definitely sing Islands In The Stream in the TV auditions unless they “start on the shots again and make up a song about the road to Fintona and the bastard tractors that houl everyone up.”