In what is now being labeled as a ‘lone wolf initiative’, Stewartstown have already begun the process of leaving Europe, inspired by the recent Catalonian vote as well as all the talk about Brexit, according to a shop-owner in the town.
A series of meetings for ‘Stexit’ have already been scheduled for next week, including what to call the new independent state, currency and passport issues.
Randy Gillis, who has run the only sweet shop in the town since 1922, admitted he’s excited about the venture:
“We have always felt different to everyone else. We’d see the Tullyhogue and Cookstown ones driving through our town and you’d get an urge to fire stones at them because of their strange accent and eyes. Sometimes we have showered them with rocks. It’s a weird feeling. This is exciting news.”
Early frontrunners for the new name includes The Independent Republic of Tintown and Stewstin.
Coagh have reacted to the news by banning all sellers of tickets for Stewartstown GAA or the newly formed Stewartstown Triangle Band, the first triangle band in Europe.
Stexit is being planned for the day after Hallowe’en.
A swoop on a house in Kildress has unveiled detailed plans to create maximum mayhem on the Down GAA senior football team this weekend ahead of their championship opener in Omagh.
The plot, codenamed ‘Mourne Mayhem’, included the hiring of the Dungannon Silver Band to play outside an hotel on Saturday night in Omagh where James McCartan and his Down team will be staying ahead of the big game. Other subplots included asking some of the best looking women in the county, and men, to seduce certain key members of the Down squad, leaving them physically useless by the time of the throw in.
Triangle player in the Dungannon Brass Band, Declan Murtagh, admitted his conscience got the better of him and drove straight to the PSNI office this morning:
“I was finding it hard to sleep at night. About a week ago we were asked by a man in a Kildress accent to play about twenty tunes outside Silverbirch Hotel at midnight before the game. He said he’d make it worthwhile for us and would throw in boxes of Brasso for us to polish out instruments and stuff. As tempting as that was – every man loves a shiny triangle – I felt bad as my wife’s from Kilkeel. Anyway, I touted.”
PSNI detectives revealed a series of back-up plans were also concocted including getting youngsters to run up and kick important Down players on the ankle in the hotel lobby the morning of the game. Chief Superintendent Sammy Prenter admitted the idea to gather up the best looking people in the county and position them at various parts of the hotel was a clear sign of a great but devious mind:
“This group had drawn up a list of 10 people who they all thought were great-looking and were going to approach them tomorrow to lure Down players back to their hotel rooms on Saturday night and then keep them active til the early hours. It might have worked too. There’s a woman from Urney on the list who’s a real stunner as well as a man from Drumquin who would melt any man’s heart. We got there just in time.”
The Tyrone GAA management team have denied any knowledge of the plot but added that it was great to see no stone unturned.
The small village of Tullyallen is to make history this Sunday at a junior football game when their 12-man triangle band make their first appearance in public. The band, made up of mostly pensioners from Killeeshil, Cabragh and Dungannon, promise to play classics like ‘Finnegan’s Wake‘, ‘Lily the Pink‘ and ‘Big Strong Man‘ on their triangles. It is the first band made up of triangles in Ireland, probably Europe and possibly the world.
Band leader, Sadie McGuigan (76) told us:
“We were all saying it was a great pity that the pipe band had gone under, over 50 years ago. So we agreed to resurrect it but realised no one had a note in their head. Someone remembered playing the triangle in the 1950s at a primary school play and so we bought 12 triangles. Lo and behold, we all sounded the same and it has just taken off from there. We’re very excited to be putting Tullyallen back on the map.”
Killeeshil have asked the band to play for 20 mins before the game with Drumragh as well as marching around the field in a parade. McGuigan is fully aware of the task ahead:
“We just know the three songs on the triangle so I’ve worked it out we might need to play each about 30 times. For the parade we’ll just make something up, maybe ‘Whiskey in the Jar‘. “
McGuigan reacted angrily when asked if anyone will be able to make out the songs as every note sounds the same:
“Away and jump. Triangle playing is one of the hardest instruments to master. That’s why no one has attempted a band before. Anyway, people can just pretend to hear whatever song they like when we play. That’s the beauty of the triangle. In our heads it might be ‘Paddy McGinty’s Goat‘ – in your head it might be ‘Faith of our Fathers‘. Everyone’s a winner.”
The pre-match festivities kick off at 2:30pm.
Despite allegations that degrees and masters have been dumbed down over the past decade, Queen’s University have announced that they are to run a course in Courting Rituals in 2013, focusing mostly on the romantic customs around the Dromore and Tummery Road area. In what will be surely a tourism boost for the area, the course coordinator, Dr Gary Greene, claimed that the field trips will centre mainly on the Dromore area, taking in the night time habits in the dances and ceili at the weekends.
“There’s no denying that courting customs in the Dromore area are unique to most in the northern hemisphere. I have been studying them closely and feel there is enough to go on to create an honours degree in the subject. One such well-known custom I experienced up close during a Hallowe’en bonfire a couple of weeks ago. It started out with young women of all sizes sitting together around the bonfire and turning their spinning wheels. A group of men draped in red blankets and playing musical instruments, like the triangle or the spoons, approaches them, and each man chooses a woman to serenade with a song by one of the many country and western singers from Tyrone. If the woman of his choice likes him back, she’ll take out a small stool from under her skirt and invite him to sit on it. Then the man will wrap her in his red blanket, and they’ll start eating the face off each other, in a romantic-ish way. It really is a townland of passion.”
Other Dromore rituals such as ‘burdin’ (boarding in English) need to be witnessed inside the home. “Burdin” was once a common courting practice in northwestern Europe and Colonial America but is only practised in Dromore and especially on the Fintona Road. With parental oversight, an adolescent boy and girl would stay the night together in the same bed, but tightly wrapped in separate blankets, sometimes with a thick burd (board) or plank placed between them. This setup permitted intimacy but no groping. Parents says it got them used to the opposite sex whilst preventing them going ‘buck mad’ when they turned 18.
Dromore has the lowest percentages of divorce in Europe and is said to be rife with pleasant copulation.