One of Ireland’s finest clock-menders has been stood down from fixing the troubled Big Ben clock in London after only two days on the job. The lucrative contract, thought to be around £40m, has been handed to a Swiss firm who came second in the initial contract bids.
Liam Coyle (62) admitted changing the chimes ‘for a laugh’ whilst setting to work on fixing the clock, programming the ancient tower bells to ring out ‘A Nation Once Again’ and ‘Come Out Ye Black And Tans’ during various hourly alarms.
Big Ben PR co-ordinator Harry Seals admitted the joke was a source of major embarrassment for the city:
“Coyle’s CV references were good and we had no indication he would do something like this. It wasn’t until we saw a group of Irish men jumping in and out of the river Thames shouting ‘yahoo’, ‘yeooo’ whilst drinking beer that we realised it wasn’t your routine Big Ben chimes. Coyle was replaced immediately.”
One reveller, Johnny Lavery from Belfast, revealed he couldn’t believe his ears when some of the Wolfe Tones songs were being sounded out across London on the famed bells:
“We’d been drowning our sorrows after the rugby but this cheered us right up. As soon as we heard ‘Four Green Fields’ we went clean mad and jumped into the Thames. It was a dangerous enough stunt to be at, what with pollution levels and all, but that music does stuff like that to us, so it does.”
Coyle arrived home to Gortin tonight to a hero’s welcome with over 8 people lining the hedge up to his house.
Dungannon is set to launch a world-wide tourism initiative to showcase the quality of its parking facilities.
The announcement follows news that in the last three years Dungannon town centre has generated over £300,000 in revenue from parking in and around the town.
“Castle Hill’s the one we’re proudest of”, declared local councillor Enda McMann. “Fifty-five grand it brought in just in one year. Now that’s a class wee car park if ever I saw one. Worth every penny. Great views of Tyrone when you’re lugging your shopping back to the car. You know, you just can’t put a price on that. Well, actually, you can. £1.20 per hour and 80 pence for each hour thereafter. Mighty”.
“You go to places like Coalisland and the parking’s a disgrace there. You’re always reading about the poor parking or the bad driving or the buck eejit traffic wardens on these websites. What’s got into them journalists? Have they nothing better to do with their time? Anyway, come to Dungannon, and there will be parking spaces aplenty, I can assure you of that. London’s got the Thames, Paris has got that museum with the painting of the wummin in it with a face like thunder, but Dungannon has nice wide, clearly define parking bays. Bet them ones in New York couldn’t say that now, could they? We’ll be the envy of the world.”
However, criticism has poured in, accusing Dungannon Council of taking advantage of hard-pressed shoppers who have no alternative but to pay the parking charges.
“We’re getting criticised for taking money off residents of Tyrone”, said McMann. “Nonsense. Don’t worry, it’s all getting poured back into the local community. We’re going to use it to build more car parks. For example, folks is always sayin’ that there’s not enough room in the Tesco car park, and that they’re always parking on top of each other, so we’re going to demolish the Tesco completely and build one really really massive car park. That’ll sort it out. Smart thinking, see?”
The news follows from the announcement last week that by 2020 Omagh is expected to have more bridges than people.
A well known Coalisland journalist has returned to his home-place after a traumatic weekend in London in which he was given beans every morning all over his fry. Ronnie Cherry, who also confirmed the existence of Buckingham Palace and Downing Street, says he’ll not return any time soon.
“Some shower them Londoners. I got off the plane and went into the first cafe I saw and ordered the all-day fry. The man arrived down and sure weren’t there banes threw all over it. I says to your boy I asked for a fry and he says ‘that is one, init’. It was some shock to the system. I started missing The ‘Island already. I then asked him for some tay and he brought out this vietnamese soup concoction. I was nearly in tears with homesickness and I’d only been there 45 minutes”.
Cherry later attended a soccer game in the city which added to the confusing nature of the weekend break.
“I hadn’t a clue who was playing – Arsenholes and Vanilla or something – but sure they don’t know the rules at all. No 45s, only 2 lads on the field knew to use their hands, no reward for points. I got thrown out near the end for cheering any points the Arsenholes did score. Just deadly confusing.”
After instructing the waitress not to use beans the following morning, Ronnie’s worst nightmare occurred:
“I said to her ‘no banes’ and she just looked blankly at me. It’s like it is an impossible thing to do over there as she returned with the whole plate dripping in banes. I let rip at her and accused her of all sorts of racism before I was ushered off the premises”.
Cherry did confirm that all those landmarks you’d see on TV like the Thames, police men with hats, double decker buses and the House of Commons actually do exist.
“aye, we were wrong about that. We’d long believed the English made those places up to make them sound rich and all. I’d dare say the Queen is real too”
Cherry brought home 5000 sticks of rock for everyone in the town.