The Benburb Joiners and Plumbers Society have been hailed as ‘saints’ after they raised £36 from a wet sponge game and donated £30 of it to Greece, strengthening their ancient ties with their sister city, Athens.
Greek treasurer and former Benburb Pipe Band member Pathos Havalavaho admitted the £30 was a ‘quare lift’ for his nation but questioned the retention of the £6 by the Benburb Joiners and Plumbers Society for administrative costs including expenses such as sponges and bucket.
“We are very grateful for the £30 but questions have to be asked about the remaining £6. Surely the sponges could have been donated and buckets aren’t exactly scare. This reeks of corruption but I still welcome the £30. It has given us a quare lift.”
Benburb, which was twinned with Athens in 1954 in what appears to be a spelling error when Beirut were firm favourites at the time to pair up with the Greek capital, have promised to hold future events to help ‘those less fortunate than us in Benburb’.
Moy entrepreneur and triangle maker Johnny Padden doubted whether Benburb charity people would honour that promise.
“On hundreds of occasions we’ve asked our neighbours in Benburb to raise money for the upkeep of our lovely flower beds in the village centre but they haven’t given us a bean. Yet, they’re flirting with the Greeks now. And another thing, Greece will never see that £6 as yer man Jordan who runs that charity in Benburb was steaming full earlier in Tomney’s. Crook.”
Meanwhile, Benburb Sunday passed off peacefully last weekend with only one man caught urinating.
An inexperienced session musician has admitted to being way out his comfort zone during a session at Tomney’s in the Moy on Monday night. Noel Sharkey, 78, of Gorestown Road had been touted as the best musician to come out of The Moy since Ryan Kelly after he won the tin whistle solo in P7 playing Roddy McCorley at the Dungannon Feis in 1941.
“It was cat” said Sharkey, still shaken by the experience. “It was all going fine to start with. The Eglish crowd let me play alongside them and we were doing Nancy Spain. Nice and easy on the fingers. And then the man on the fiddle decided to up it with Phil the Fluter’s Ball. To make it worse he started tearing away, getting faster and faster. Flip, like there wasn’t enough pressure with all the Moy regulars willing me on without the rest of those lads playing like the clappers and me trying to keep up. I think the fiddler must have smelt the fear off me, the oul Eglish bollocks. I was doing my best but by the time he started onto the Kerry Polka, I just shut my eyes and hoped everyone would think I was really into the session, but to be honest I was just praying it would stop and the sweat was blinding me anyway. At one point I thought my hands were going to fall off. Even the boy on the bodhran seemed to be doing okay, and you know what them lot are like.”
Fortunately, Sharkey had the presence of mind to create a diversion.
“I started throwing in the odd ‘yeooo!’ and ‘hup!’ at the top of my voice like I was mad into it. I saw Christy Moore do it once with the Dubliners on You Tube and thought it was class. Come to think of it, maybe Christy was struggling to keep up as well. He was certainly doing plenty of sweating”.
As the Polka finished, Noel pretended he’d consumed a bad pint, lifted his accordion, made his excuses and headed home. Looking back on the evening Sharkey commented, “Lucky escape. Jaysus, what a nightmare. The longest five minutes of my life. I’ll only be doing Roddy McCorley or Raglan Road from now on”.