Omagh Christian Brothers’ Grammar School and the town’s Loreto Grammar, who plan to phase out transfer selection entirely by 2020, have quietly admitted to a real fear that children from East Tyrone will try to infiltrate their halls of learning.
And in a move to counter the threat, both schools are currently trialling accent and behavioural tests to weed out any 11-year old within 15 miles of Lough Neagh, a move which does not go against the Catholic church’s stance on the selection process.
An anonymous member of the Board of Governors from one of these prestigious schools admitted they are on red alert:
“We had an Open Night recently and the amount of parents saying ‘ghost oh‘ at the Science experiments was alarming to say the least. And a lot of them were wearing turned-up jeans which were far too short in the leg which is a real sign they’re east of the Ballygawley roundabout people.”
A leaked document shows how prospective pupils will be shown a picture of a woman, asked what they see and if they shout ‘blade‘ they’ll be asked to leave the premises immediately. Pupils will also be asked to recite the whole of Me an’ me Da (Livin’ in Drumlister) by The ‘Bard of Tyrone’, the Rev. W. F. Marshall. Again, any 11-year old who doesn’t rhyme it off within a minute will not receive a place in either school.
This is not the first time a Tyrone school has resorted to extreme entrance measures. In 1986, St Patrick’s Boys’ Academy in Dungannon refused entry to a First Year when he arrived carrying a John Lynch (Castlederg) lunchbox, or ‘lynchbox’ as the young boy called it as he took the bus back to Omagh later that morning.
Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ O Sullivan has been linked with a move to the bubbling metropolis of Coalisland, after residents reported seeing him enter Mc Glone and Mc Cabe property specialists and stopping to sign a few autographs for the kids.
It is believed Ronnie and his wife are interested in renting a property in the Mountcairn area of the town, while waiting on planning permission to convert the former RUC station into a luxury five million pound home complete with pool and pool table (in different rooms).
We understand that after a conversation with Dennis Taylor about the love that he still holds for his home town, ‘The Rocket’ was tempted to take a look for himself. Tyrone Tribulations can confirm that Ronnie had already visited Gervin’s snooker hall, where Mr Taylor plied his trade in his formative years, and is keen to get a funny picture of himself on the wall beside the Steve Davis one. His relocation was hugely influenced by the proximity of the former barracks to a thriving snooker hall, and the lure of free ‘park and walk’ facilities literally anywhere round the town- day or night.
Ronnie was also snapped by locals, wolfing down a Philly cheese steak at Landi’s restaurant which he clearly enjoyed and was even very grateful for the free dozen or so chips he got with it, informing staff that ‘you just don’t get that in England.’
Ronnie’s family are also keen on the move, with his young son Ronnie junior very excited about schooling at St Patrick’s Academy in Dungannon especially now that its mixed and there are plenty of girls to mingle with.
“Jeez, they’ll go mad for the wee hoor’s accent”
admitted St Patrick’s Academy’s new principal Patsy Sweeney who was voted in with help from a recent surge in far right Dungannon polling.
Maisy Dooey, next door but one from the former police station, was happy to have a few words with us:
“Ach, sure it’ll be great to see the oul barracks tuck down. I’m fed up looking at all the Republican stuff on the front of her…”
When quizzed about the prospect of new neighbours from England, she added
“aye, lucksee, sure it’s one set of Brits not long out, and a new set moves in. Let’s hope these ones aren’t as noisy. I’d say they will love how close they are to the lough, y’know with young childer an all that, apart from all the flies. Throw me over them weishing pegs will you, I’ve a load just finished spin cycle there”
The Rocket O’Sullivan’s good friend Ronnie Wood of Rolling Stones’ fame is also reputedly very familiar with Coalisland, having never missed an International Music Festival held there since its inception in 1994, reportedly enjoying the Polish bands’ dancing, and drinking down the line till the wee hours.
Ronnie was last seen outside the barber shop, staring in the window for some time as if looking in a mirror, until the proprietor came out and chased him.
Brocagh twins, Peter and Paul Ward, were this afternoon said to be in hiding after their mother ‘got a bit mixed up’ and sent her first-year sons to St Patrick’s Academy in Dungannon in school skirts and blouses. Frances Ward maintains she got confused due to the fact that their three older sisters also went to the same school and that she was not trying to save money on uniforms in the hope that no one would notice.
“Ah come on, I’m not that stingy. It was a very understandable mistake. I was used to the girls getting ready for the bus and simply threw the hand-me-downs to the twins. I did think something was wrong but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. They’re quiet lads so they didn’t complain. I’m told the Carnan ones on the bus gave them deadly abuse.”
Reports from the school suggest they were immediately put in detention for “Brazen Tomfoolery”, breaking the previous record of 3 hours for a first year in the school, a record held by a boy from Killyman who fired a tin whistle in bad temper at the principal in 1981. The Wards’ detentions were rescinded after the truth was revealed.
Frances Ward’s neighbour, Packie Quinn, disagrees that it was an honest mistake:
“That woman is the most miserly living being in Brocagh. I know rightly she didn’t want to fork out for a new set of uniforms and so thought no one would bat an eyelid. Them poor lads are mortified. Bad enough the uniform but why did she plait the longer haired boy? She was up to her work.”
In other educational news, Tyrone schools are considering bringing back slapping for ‘acting the lig’ or ‘slabbering about their holidays’.