Following a surge in the popularity of cow-dung art in mid-Ulster, the Department of Arts and Entertainment has given the go-ahead for a state of the art gallery beside the Garvaghey pitches to showcase the best of what Tyrone have to offer in this discipline.
Cow-dung art, also known as An Pictiur Shoite in Irish, dates back to the time of St Patrick when a group of poor women, in an area of what is now known as Cookstown, offered St Patrick some dung-art in appreciation for the great Masses he said when passing through.
In recent weeks, cow-dung art has experienced something of a resurgence in the county after a 62-year-old posted an Instagram picture he created of his wife in a bikini using only the fresh dung of his own cattle.
Gerry McGarrity, who boasts over 500 drawings he created using only local produce and his fingers, said the centre could draw millions of tourists to Tyrone in the same way as the Louvre in Paris:
“There’s a big market for cow-dung art across the globe. It is a form of 3D art as you can smell the pictures as well as look at them. In my opinion it’s £4.5m of tax-payers money well spent. Think of the chip van or potato stall potential outside the building too, bringing more money to the local community.”
Early brochures suggest that the picture of McGarrity’s wife in the bikini will be the ‘Mona Lisa’ flagship display for the cow-dung arts centre and will be called ‘McGarrity’s Wife In A Bikini’.
Airports across Ireland are said to be under immense strain as over 200 politicians and their advisors are set to spend the weekend across the globe in order to commemorate St Patrick, who was captured centuries ago by Irish pirates.
Although the identity of the pirates are, at best, sketchy, many believe that a sizeable amount of them were from the Sperrin mountains.
Many Sinn Fein, SDLP and Independent councillors have told their local communities to try to sort out their own issues for the next seven weeks as they’ll be in no fit state to deal with potholes or fly-tipping for a few days after their return due to over-indulgence. Some DUP, UUP and TUV politicians were also spotted at various airports although most claim it was just a coincidence, despite one Fermanagh DUP member wearing a ‘Kiss Me Quick, I’m Irish’ t-shirt.
Sinn Fein party member Felimidh O’Fearghail (33) admitted there’s far better craic in Dubai than in the likes of Drumquin over the national holiday:
“Yes, I could stay in Drumquin and watch the horses and Slaughtneil. But, compare that to being a real Irish person in the United Arab Emirates and getting free drink and them women mad after ye. It’s a no-brainer.”
Carrickmore parishioner Colm Gormley (88) admitted he’s worried that his favourite politicians won’t be about for a week:
“What if there’s a sinkhole? Only one man can save us but McElduff will be doing the Waves of Tory in Morrocco. It’s a frightening time for our parishioners.”
Nigel Dodds’ PR team have denied reports he’s already in Brazil dressed as a leprechaun and going mad with a hurl.
Following Arlene Foster’s comments that St Patrick’s Day was ‘too gaelicised’for unionist and loyalist communities, it is believed that Stormont have speedily passed a motion to re-brand St Patrick in time for 2017.
Early signs indicate that a bowler hat and a white horse may be added to murals depicting the Englishman who was kidnapped by Irish pirates and hated snakes. Omagh-born designer, Kieran McKinstry, revealed he has already submitted three sketches after being commissioned by the NI Assembly.
“Foster and McGuinness just said to ‘Prod him up a wee bit’. Foster wanted him sitting on a Lambeg drum but McGuinness felt that wasn’t very realistic so I decided on the horse and the hat. He already wore a hat anyway so it’s wasn’t too much of a stretch to visualise it.”
If successful, government officials will investigate the possibility of merging St Patrick’s Day and the 12th of July, maybe having it around the 14th of May and calling in Paddy Orangeman Day. Gertie Mullan of Dungannon was suspicious:
“Paddy Orangeman Day is a con. Everyone knows that if this happened the whole island will be stocious drunk that day, both sides of the divide, and then Stormont will pull a fast one and bring in water charges or internment or something with no one sober enough to argue or rally against it. They’re a pile of crooks.”
Meanwhile, recent papers found in a well in Downpatrick indicate that St Patrick hated the shepherding and was often caught lying down on the job eating fish and drinking rainwater behind trees.
A Kildress plumbing supplier this morning announced during Mass that he is thinking of not drinking at all this Tuesday. Fr Buckett, who was pontificating during the Homily at the time, had to chastise the left hand side of the church for laughing out loud at Leo McGirr’s proclamation.
Giggling was still heard during Communion with many in the congregation maintaining McGirr’s head was ‘away with it altogether’ and advised him to get professional help. Publicans and off-licence owners have also moved quickly to play down McGirr’s intentions, claiming he is ‘probably and atheist’ or even worse.
The plumbing merchant, who claims to sell the cheapest compression fittings in Ulster, is adamant he knows what he is talking about:
“People are trying to make it out that I am doting or away with the fairies. I even heard my wife say I must be ‘a devil worshipping hoor’. But surely St Patrick didn’t come to Ireland to get people to drink too much on a particular day of the year. He arrived to straighten out places like Brackaville and Newtownstewart and troublesome reptiles. I’m not touching a drop and will honour our patron saint through religious observation.”
Close friend and reality TV addict John Morgan hopes McGirr will change his mind within the next 48 hours for his own sake:
“Leo is always coming out with statements like this. I remember him saying he wasn’t going to get drunk when his eldest child was born. Or he wasn’t drinking when his youngest made her First Communion. No one takes him seriously now as on both occasions he was flat out on the bar stool for 12 hours like any normal person.”
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church have warned people not to lose the message of St Patrick completely by drinking too much but also reminded followers that although Arthur Guinness may have been a staunch Protestant, they’re all Christians together and that Guinness were great sponsors for the Annual Priests’ Convention in Maynooth.
The final family yet to receive a grant have announced that a £3000 cheque arrived this morning for the upkeep of a badger sanctuary in their garden. This news means that every family in Tyrone have now received a grant for something in the last ten years, ranging from ‘keeping an eye on Lough Neagh for invaders’ to ‘looking after the Strabane Christmas Tree’.
Economic sceptic Professor Harry Brown maintains this handing out of money for anything has to stop.
“I thought I’d seen it all until I met Paddy Grant from Brocagh last week. He told me he’d received a grant for being a Grant. Then there was Mary Shackleton up near Glenelly who pocketed £5000 for speaking three words in Irish every day – ‘tá mé anseo’ (I am here). She’s originally from Plymouth in England and lives alone apart from a wild cat that visits. That’s just madness.”
Professor Brown appears to be in the minority though as several awardees came forward this morning to defend their funding. Noel McGrinn from Dromore explained:
“The professor should learn to wind his neck in and maybe research a wee bit as to why these grants are handed out. For example, I get £1500 a year for making sure I preserve a small patch of grass around my back that a local holy woman claims St Patrick urinated on during his travels across Tyrone. There were no toilets in those days so her ‘vision’ might actually be true. I think that’s money well spent by the Department of Granting and we’re preserving a small bit of Ulster culture.”
The highest award this year was for Drummurrer handy man Terence McNeill who received £30’000 for pacifying local roosters and hens by singing soothing lullabys like Humpty Dumpty and Three Blind Mice.
Tyrone Tribulations can reveal that the first wild snake to be discovered in Ireland since the time of Saint Patrick has been captured alive in one of Ireland’s oldest counties, Tyrone.
The tiny village of Moy, made famous by Gaelic football star Plunkett Donaghy and former underage Ulster rugby talent Shaun Kavannagh, finds itself once again on the map for an altogether more slippery reason.
A one metre snake, at this stage considered to be completely safe and non-venomous (simply due to the fact that no-one has been bitten by it so far) was found warming itself next to a wheelie bin out the back of the co-operative store, which locals are now petitioning to have renamed ‘Steve Irwins’
Manageress on duty at the time, Julie Rushe, is believed to have been so frightened by her discovery that she repeated the word ‘Jaysus’ over 200 times before reporting the find.
It is thought to have survived on scraps from the local Chinese take-away, easily accessed with its forked tongue.
The juvenile snake, christened “Brolly” by locals, is believed to have wriggled its way to Ireland undetected in the bag of one of three local youths who have just returned from a working holiday in Australia.
The three, who have spent the last year backpacking and fruit picking on a banana farm in Queensland, have returned home to see their beloved Moy take on Moortown in the first round of the Tyrone Senior Football Championship.
Cardinal Rodney Serpentine, formerly of East London, spoke to us from the Armagh Cathedral – ironically the exact place Saint Patrick reputedly showed Saint Bridget how to weave the cross that made her a household name.
“Would you Adam and Eve it? Fantastic news for the area. It has really tipped the scales in Tyrone’s favour for an influx of American and Australian tourists who will now feel more at home here, what with animals they see all the time and not just your usual cows and stray badgers.”
“Its funny really because when I first came to here from London, I was told to look out for the snakes around the Moy!”
Tomney’s bar are also offering a promotion on pints of snake-bite at £7.50 each until the end of May.
It is expected that the snake will be relocated to Australia, or else just flushed down the toilet.
The BBC confirmed this morning that they have decided not air an episode of Antiques Roadshow due to the ‘staggering amounts of garbage’ that people produced.
Producers of the show, which was based on a field just outside Trillick, were said to have become exasperated at some of the articles presented by locals for valuation, which included: a half-used tube of Peter Canavan’s hair gel from 1982; a digital clock that the owner insisted was from the Tudor period; a Tyrone GAA air freshener; a parking ticket issued in Coalisland High Street, believed to the only one of its kind in existence.
Presenter Fiona Bruce was reported to have said,
“I don’t mean to be rude or disrespectful to the wonderful people of Tyrone, but the stuff they brought in was shit. It was like some of them had just rummaged around in the back of the cupboard to see what they could find just so they could get on the BBC.”
This was hotly disputed by local organiser Terence Kerr, who fumed,
“How dare she accuse us of that sort of behaviour just to get on telly? It might be junk to them but it’s priceless to us. I myself have a genuine St Brigid’s cross made by none other St Patrick himself when he was passing through Carnteel in the sixth century, one of only four originals he made. Of course it’s of enormous sentimental value to me and I would never even think of parting with it. Not for less than twenty quid at any rate”.
Another attendee, 54-year old Bernie Duggan from Annaghmore, argued,
“To be honest, I just had a wee rummage in the back of the cupboard to see what I could find, so’s I could maybe get on the TV. And to my surprise I discovered what I’m sure is an un-released recording of Hugo Duncan doing a cover version of Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ when he was letting his hair down one night in Kelly’s Bar in 1978. I’ve no idea how it got there, but it’s got to be worth a few quid”.
The show was abandoned after five hours, when the most expensive item valued was a packet of Opal Fruits, circa 1982, still in its original wrapping, which was valued at 50 pence.
An Urney man, who claims he’s the last living descendant of Saint Patrick, maintains the national saint wasn’t all that fussed on alcohol and was also an opponent of fracking but liked stupid knock knock jokes.
Dessie Jones, who claims a direct lineage from St Patrick and walks around Urney wearing green cloaks, mitre and a staff, reckons his ancestor wouldn’t be all that bothered on the whole celebrations malarky but loved the sort of music More Power To Your Elbow play:
“Aye, stories have been passed down about our Paddy. He was some character by all accounts but a bit ruthless with animals he didn’t like. The snakes didn’t stand a chance as soon as one of them ate a hole in his favourite tunic. Also, one sip of the hard stuff and he was under the table. I couldn’t see him wetting the day with a few black ones but loved the fiddledy dee music and shouted ‘yeoooo’ a lot.”
Dessie was quick to point out that Patrick wasn’t a party pooper:
“No, quite the opposite I’m led to believe. My father said he was supposedly a deadly man for tripping people by sticking a foot out from under a hedge. And he was a sucker for the knock knock jokes. His favourite was the atheist one: ‘Knock Knock‘. ‘Who’s there?’. ‘God‘. ‘Who?’. ‘God‘. ‘Who?’. ‘God‘. ‘Must have been the wind‘. As I said he was some joker, our Paddy.”
Jones reminded people that Patrick had strong views on fracking and wouldn’t be surprised if he made it rain for 200 days on Fermanagh if it goes ahead.
“Two things our Paddy hated. Fracking and people eating with their mouths open. I’m also told he had a brilliant throw and could hurl rocks at police accurately from 100 yards away.”
Urney have confirmed they will honour St Patrick with a whiskey tasting session after Mass.
Results of the recently published 2011 census have produced some surprising results, including the finding of a previously undiscovered village just outside Omagh.
Largybeg, just two miles east of Omagh, is thought to have lain undiscovered since the dark ages until census takers happened upon the 200-strong village two years ago. Local man Ezekial O’Neill, a 54-year old wizard, was very philosophical.
“Yep, turns out we’ve spent the last five centuries worshipping Sperrin, god of the pollan fish and patron saint of the hot cross bun, when we should in fact have been worshipping this other god. Canavan I think his name is. We feel tara embarrassed.”
“We’ve come a long way you know”, said Barabas McGee, a local leper, in defence of the village. “The last time someone was hung drawn and quartered must have been months ago. They just get hung these days. I think it’s great news. All the menfolk I’ve spoken to are really happy and gay about it”.
Others however were concerned at the news that they were 500 years behind everyone else.
“Apparently we now have to stop burning witches, which is mighty craic altogether on a full moon”, complained Moses Donnelly, a latrine pit emptier. “Sure, where’s the harm in that? It’s political correctness gone mad. I remember someone in the village saying they tried to bring us into the modern world a wee while back with this fella who came in spouting all the stuff about the new century and all that. Can’t remember his name. St Patrick I think. We don’t hold with all that new-fangled dung”.
“It’s tara. There’s a clatter of stuff I can’t do now. We’re told there’s laws against cousin-marryin, and you can’t drink until you’re a certain age”, said 7 year old chimney sweep Ezra Coyle. “And how am I supposed to sacrifice a goat on the altar every week if I’m not allowed a knife until I’m 18? Sperrin will go off his bap. Thou had better believe it”.
Since being discovered, many in Largybeg have wasted no time in catching up to the 21st century, with some unfortunate consequences. Last Monday, 26-year old Jebediah Connelly, a part-time minstrel, was given a £20 fine for ‘sexting’, the sending of obscene messages and pictures by mobile phone, after he was caught in Omagh tying rude drawings to an iPhone and hurling it at a female passerby.
Omagh Town Council have pledged to help integrate Largybeg into the local community, as soon as the local outbreak of bubonic plague has subsided. They will play a gaelic football game against Dregish next week.
Recent ecclesiastical papers released under the 1500 year rule at Trinity College in Dublin have revealed that St Patrick admitted he had his work cut out making Tyrone natives to give up their Pagan ways and embrace Christianity, predominately in Newmills, Pomeroy and Brackaville.
Written in Latin, St Patrick penned a letter to a mate in Wales detailing his frustration and exasperation at the heathen way of life in and around Brackaville and at once stage remarked that it’d be ‘easier to take the wet from water than to get them boys to pray even for a second’. Latin expert, Dr Patrick Mossey, translated his first short letter in its entirety:
This is turning out to be some handling. Converting Ardboe was tough. They worshipped the pollan fish before I arrived. A man fired a dog at me through the window of a pub in Coagh. But none of that compares to the troubles I’m having in Brackaville. These people are something else, lad. Twice I’ve tried to preach from the hill on the Derryvale Road and it’d be going well initially. Then a shower of women from Edendork would arrive and the orgies would start. I’d be shouting over the mass of bare arses. Deadly annoying, Alad.
They still sacrifice things there y’know. Wolves, deer, Armagh people. I’m thinking of calling it a day and hoping the Coalisland ones marry into this area, bringing their more refined ways with them. Ach I’ll miss the craic a bit at Campbell’s shebeen but God didn’t send me to gulp down the black stuff in Brackaville.
Although little evidence remains in Brackaville of St Patrick’s failed attempt to Christianise the area, some of the older members of the community do remember something of a boy called Patrick who tried to do something here but admit that might have been the lignite man they ignored in 1984.