With the news that the Old Cross of Ardboe is failing to pull in the tourist numbers it managed twenty years ago, the loughshore village received a potential boost when a local taxidermist, Larry Devlin, claimed late last night to a taxi driver standing outside the Battery Bar that he saw the face of Brian McGuigan in a pint of stout he bought shortly after midnight.
Devlin, who had just sobered up before offering an interview this morning, says his only regret is that no one else was in the bar drinking at the time whilst the barman was too busy counting the money he found down the sides of the seats.
“I couldn’t believe it boyso. I was having one for the road before I headed back to face herself and intended taking my time over it. I looked down at my pint, contemplating moving into the water-filter business when I saw it as clear as day. Young McGuigan was staring back at me from the head of the pint. Ghost-oh I thought. I went to take a picture of it but fumbled my phone into the pint itself, ruining the apparition as well as the mobile. But it was definitely him. Same snout and all. I’m not sure what this means. I phoned the priest there and he says he’ll get back to me when he works out a sound economic initiative, whatever that means.”
Not everyone has bought the story it appears, especially those from the long-suffering neighbouring parish. Moortown tourism officer Malachy Coney claims it’s a ruthless attempt to keep the Moortown people ‘down’, especially after the recent worrying figures on the Old Cross.
“Cute hoors. That old cross has been raking it in for Ardboe for decades now but it was drying up. We were the poor cousins down the road. Isn’t it a bit of a coincidence for the face of Brian McGuigan to appear in a pint of stout the same day of the report? And what the hell does that mean anyway? Them boys will find a way to make money from this. Mark my words. Bastards. Always one step ahead of us. We’ll have to put our ‘Moortown Strange Sounds‘ idea on hold. There’s a man up the Aneter Road who has been hearing odd noises from his pipes upstairs and we were hoping to base a ghost tour around this. We can’t compete with something semi-religious like this.”
Brian McGuigan has yet to comment on his apparition.