A Seskinore writer of a new children’s book has been accused of copying a long-standing children’s classic.
Last month author Marty Gallagher of Doogary Road was in discussion with several well-known Tyrone-based publishing houses about a children’s book he had written entitled ‘Darragh the Tank Engine’ about a fictional train and his little train friends, before being accused of copying a similarly named character and story-format from another popular children’s book.
“My characters are completely different from anything else that’s out there”, protested Gallagher. “See, I have this one boyo in it who’s not a train at all but a human who looks after all the railways and trains and suchlike, called the Plump Regulator. I know it’s probably a bit size-ist but it just seems like the right character. I can’t explain it. I’m copying no-one hi. It’s deadly. And if it gets made into a telly programme I don’t want some posh actor from London narrating it. I like the idea of someone with a strong regional accent, like that John Bishop fella. He’s quite good. It’s just something about the Scouse accent. Class”.
Gallagher turned to writing a few years ago after heavily investing in a typewriter manufacturing business in Belfast, which promptly went out of business two weeks later.
“Aye, who could have predicted the changes ahead, eh?” said Gallagher ruefully. “I tried to save the business by diversifying into selling filofaxes, but it was too little too late. That’s why I’ve since turned my hand to writing. I’ve some imagination, even although I don’t know where my half my ideas come from”.
One of the would-be publishers based in Trillick, the publishing heartland of Tyrone, who didn’t want to give her name, declared,
“I know where his bloody ideas come from. He needs to catch himself on. He approached us with a book last year called Barry Cotter, about a boy wizard from Cappagh who got up to all sorts of stuff with his mate, Sean Greasely. Wonder where he got that idea? And then there was his other so-called book, ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Washingbay’. Honestly, you couldn’t make it up. And obviously neither can he”.
As of yesterday evening, Gallagher was hard at work on his typewriter expanding his range of train characters, including a “a friendly wee Welsh engine called Ivor”.
Police were called yesterday when a man lost his temper in his local supermarket after forgetting to bring his supply of carrier bags with him for the fifth consecutive visit to the shop. Prominent Killyclogher businessman Terence McNabb, 46, arrived at the check-out to discover that he had yet again forgotten to bring his ‘bags for life’ and was told that he would be charged 5 pence for each plastic one.
Check-out assistant Gemma Carson, 18, of Drumquin, said,
“He started off trying to stuff all the shopping into his pockets and down his trousers. How was that ever going to work with a 2-litre bottle of Pepsi and multi-pack of Tayto Spirals? After that he just went off his head. I said I’d have to charge him the 5p carrier bag tax and he started shouting all the bad curses like ‘them environmentalists can go an feck’, and suchlike. It was awful, like watching that fillum with Michael Douglas when he goes mental in the shop with the machine gun. This was just as bad. Well, this man didn’t have a machine gun, but he did have a frozen garlic baguette that he kept waving about in quite a scary way”.
By the time the PSNI arrived McNabb was sitting on the floor suffering from concussion after having head-butted the Thomas the Tank Engine children’s ride. He was forcibly removed from the shop whilst shouting, ‘feck the dolphins’ at the top of his voice, before asking if he could have the coupons for the pyrex dish offer. After examination of CCTV footage he was later charged with threatening a police officer with a box of Tictacs, and criminal damage for having broken Thomas’s funnel.
Supermarket manager Sean Keenan said,
“This bollix has got form. He was in here last year after Kerry bate Tyrone in the GAA, wreckin’ the Kerrygold butter display. Loony. He won’t be welcome back. Well, not until he’s paid over the 5 pence. Every penny counts”.