The bar manager at Bar 15 in Belfast confirmed this morning, with the aid of CCTV footage, that a group of co-workers from Cookstown managed to break the 2-hour barrier for non-verbal communication on their annual night out in the big city.
The 5 workers from ‘That IT Shower’ on Molesworth Street all managed to ‘check in’ on Facebook, post a combined 45 pictures of their cocktails on Instagram and browse the latest developments on the Strictly Come Dancing potential line-up on Twitter for two hours and five minutes before a Team Leader asked the rest of the group if anyone wanted another drink.
Waitress Abba Edberg from Sweden added:
“It was a quite remarkable feat. When they all took an individual selfie within the first five minutes I knew we could be onto a new world record here as they spent the next 25 minutes checking to see who liked their picture. Then the Instagramming started and it was all downhill from there. They are a resilient bunch. Oh how we cheered behind the bar when they reached the 2-hour mark.”
One of ‘That IT Shower’ workers told us this morning that it was the best staff night out ever. Billy Sheehy (40) remarked:
“It was deadly craic. I got 210 likes for my selfie, 44 likes for an Instagram of my Margarita with sepia filter and how I laughed at some of the comments on Twitter about Daniel O’Donnell’s appearance on SCD. We’re just a mad bunch of lads and I cannot wait personally until next year’s do. I’m suffering today though…my battery’s dead.”
The previous record for staff night out non-verbal communication occured in 1998 at the joint Sinn Fein and DUP fancy dress party at Stormont which lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes, ending when Martin McGuinness told a dirty joke about a woman in Portrush.
Following intense social media speculation that Cast Away 2 possibly starring Tom Hanks again is to be set in Urney in West Tyrone, local dignitaries have warned the multi-Oscared actor that he should expect no preferential treatment from local businesses or services for the duration of his stay near the Donegal border.
Twitter and Facebook were awash with rumours that a second instalment of the feature film, which starred Tom Hanks as a successful systems engineer who falls out of a plane and ends up living on an island for four years talking to a ball and growing his beard, is to be set in one of the remotest parts of the planet with no Internet with Urney emerging as an odds-on favourite.
Urney, which means ‘deadly quiet’ in Irish, also came close to landing the location of Mississippi Burning in 1988 but eventually lost out to Mississippi. Lord Mayor of Urney Prionsias Pilatey sent an important signal to the production team of Cast Away 2:
“We’re not star-struck type of people. In fact we’re the opposite. It that bollocks Hanks arrives here in his BMW and starts ordering caviar for breakfast served by a 38-year old virgin then he’s another thing coming. We have neither of those things here anyway.”
After intensive research, the Tyrone Tribulations media team could find no official plans to make another Cast Away and traced the origin of the rumour to the Twitter account of Strabane teenager Terence Wiley (@thestraman) who tweeted ‘no fcukin internet signal in Urney. It’s like Cast Away 2.”
Tom Hanks was unavailable for comment or something to that effect.
What started out as a harmless comment on Twitter concerning Madonna’s fall at an awards ceremony during the week has turned nasty with a clear West v East split emerging from the online spat.
Omagh teacher Pat Dougan (@horseitintoye) initiated the debate when he innocently tweeted
“Holy smokes, Madonna fell there on the TV”
at 9:45 on Wednesday night. Within minutes, tension escalated quickly when Mary Farrell (@badgerlass) from Brocagh replied at 9:46:
@horseitintoye Nice comment there, Mr Obvious
Unable to ignore the slight, Dougan retorted:
@badgerlass How about you learn some manners, ye prick
Which led to the following dialogue:
@horseitintoye – Ah, shut up ye grumpy oul bollocks
@badgerlass – You’re some girl. Typical Brocagh woman
@horseitintoye – Say it til my face ye slabber
@badgerlass – Yiz are all the same down there. Tramps.
@horseitintoye I’ll go up there and bate the bollix off a ye
@badgerlass – aye, in yer horse and cart. Don’t bring yer diseases please
@horseitintoye – aye, yer ma is yer sister, dick. Westie pansy.
@badgerlass – stupid hoor.
The high-stakes dialogue continued until after midnight with over 300 twitter users weighing in behind either Dougan or Farrell, with landmarks (e.g. Ardboe Cross v the Tin Men), footballers (e.g. Frank McGuigan v Ryan McMenamin), politicians (e.g.Michelle O’Neill v Barry McElduff) petrol prices and weather all used as weapons in the heated exchanges.
With no let up in the argument the following morning, and amidst threats of ‘arriving up with a crowd of our ones‘ from both sides, Twitter was moved to suspend over 700 accounts from the county for 24 hours in order to dampen emotions and calm the situation.
The Tyrone Tourism Board are to meet this evening to brainstorm ideas on how to repair east v west relations, with a ‘sharing and exchange of home-made gifts’ somewhere near the Ballygawley roundabout the firm favourite.
In the run up to the Oscars, two Hollywood stars who have been nominated for Best Actor have been involved in an ugly social media argument over who should appear on the front cover of this month’s Mid-Ulster Focus magazine.
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) locked horns on Twitter after Tom Hanks suggested it would be a good time for any awardee to appear on the front cover of the latest edition of the mid-Ulster based publication with the Oscars coming up on the 22nd February in California.
Cumberbatch, who made his name as Sherlock Holmes on the BBC, claimed he was a massive fan of Cookstown Sausages and often daydreams of walking along the Coalisland Canal, adding that it would be a dream come true to appear on the front cover of Mid-Ulster Focus and that he was a far out relation of the Corr clan from the area.
Cooper appeared to be alerted by his people of Cumberbatch’s tweet and was quick to retort:
“Away a that a ye Cumberbatch. You wouldn’t know a Cookstown Sausage from a Stewartstown Steak. #chancer.”
before adding three minutes later:
“The Oscars should be held up at Tullyhogue Fort. Such a lovely place. #lovemidulsterfocus #lovemrcorr.”
Disappointingly, the Twitter war descended into a personal slanging match with Cooper calling Cumberbatch ‘Benny Cucumberbitch’ and Cumberbatch retorting repeatedly with the ‘#hangover-was-shite’ hashtag.
At the moment of writing, Mid-Ulster Focus has yet to reveal who they will have on the front cover of their magazine in the run up to the Oscars later in the month, adding that ‘it’ll probably be Mid-Ulster related‘.
You can download a copy of Mid-Ulster Focus for £1 from here – http://midulsterfocus.com/
or click here
Heaney, who was voted ‘Rear of the Year’ for seven consecutive years at the Kildress Sports, signed up to Twitter by teasing his female following with a profile picture of him as a cheeky young lad playing for Carrickmore as well as an unidentified road scene.
34 year old Galbally woman Leona Kilpatrick reckons it’s a subliminal message:
“Paddy Heaney, to us women, is WB Yeats and Liam Neeson rolled into one. He has that dashing swagger coupled with words to melt a woman’s heart. That picture of the road – I think it means you can find the road to my heart if you look hard enough. He’s a bit like Willy Wonka doing this. I’ll be looking long and hard, mark my words.”
As of now, the Irish News’ Heaney has 400 followers, 388 of which are women aged 25-45. This has sparked a backlash from men across the province who have taken to switching off the wifi and confiscating the password.
Relationships guru Donglan Bogue explained this away as ‘pure jealousy’:
“It’s an open secret that GAA chairmen and their male members of club committees have been nervous about getting Heaney to speak at charity debates or opening pitches. Paddy has the same effect on women as Elvis would have had back in the 50s. Some say he’s the 5th Beatle. Others would have other words for him.”
Twitter have yet to confirm whether or not Heaney will receive a blue tick beside his name. If he does he joins Nadine Coyle as Derry blue tickers as Eoghan Quigg has yet to be recognised.
Following the news that Strabane is in the top 5 areas which swear most on Twitter, locals have reacted will a swelling of pride and have set about cashing in on their new-found fame.
Coming in just below Falkirk in Scotland, almost 7% of all tweets in Strabane contain a swear word with plans already underway to make the town the foul-mouthed capital of Europe. Lord Mayor John McElhinnion beamed the pride when he met the media this morning:
“Ah it’s f**kin great news. Strabane gets a bad press now and again but this news was a big two fingers up at all the haters, yiz shower of b@$t@rds. I can see us going from strength to strength now, starting with our plans to twin Strabane with Shyte Brook in Shropshire in England.”
McElhinnion unveiled the new Welcome To Strabane sign within hours of the news story appearing on the BBC website and vowed that this was only the beginning of big changes for the better in West Tyrone.
“We have plans to start a summer school in swearing where children earn scholarships to attend a week-long workshop in swearing and general bad mouthing. Local schools will also be asked to preserve the language we speak from primary one. There’ll be no f*@king slacking off now. Strike while the iron is hot.”
The Lord Mayor hopes the news will see a spike in tourism which currently stands at 55 visitors per year.
Meanwhile Donaghmore finished bottom of the table with no one yet to swear online from the village although one Twitter user did use ‘frig’ after Armagh defeated Tyrone in the championship.
In a move which has been described as ‘draconian’ and ‘pure mad’, Stormont officials have moved to ban anyone from photo-bombing in county Tyrone.
Photo-bombing, the modern phenomenon of unexpectedly dropping in behind someone being photographed, has been on the rise in the county ever since mobile phones replaced Polaroid instant cameras in 2008 as the most popular camera device in homes.
A government insider informed us today:
“Photo-bombing is a throwback to the bad old days. Our many communities don’t need this and that’s why from today anyone caught photo-bombing will be gathered up in unmarked jeeps and interned indefinitely. We want these people off the streets and Tyrone is a good place to start off as there seems to be a rash of photo-bombers all over that land. Ireland says NO to photo-bombers. We might need to re-word the Good Friday Agreement just.”
Initial reports gathered from Twitter and Facebook suggests there have already been three photo-bombers arrested – in Ardboe, Galbally and Loughmacrory, sparking outrage and spontaneous bonfires in all three regions. Galbally tourism director Jill Maguire is adamant there will be resistance to the government’s latest initiative. Using a voice-warp microphone she told us:
“Them boys sitting up in Belfast are out of order. I can’t believe Martin McGuinness has sanctioned this move, and him a serial photo-bomber at football matches and christenings. We’re sending this message out loud and clear – we will not be moved. We’ll be photo-bombing like mad tonight all over the county.”
Although rumours of a continuity photo-bombing group forming in Brocagh are wide of the mark, there has been a rash of digital cameras and balaclavas bought in Dungannon, Cookstown and Omagh today in an obvious show of defiance. PSNI have drafted in 40 UN troops to help monitor the situation. A county holds its breath.
Cookstown has become a ‘nightmare’ for pedestrians and motorists alike after it emerged that there are more residents on mobility scooters than those walking about on two feet. Of the 11’000 population in the district, 6000 were on the scooters ranging from ages 3-103 including an entire teaching staff at a local school.
Cynics have pointed out that the DLA culture in the town has become so endemic that people were prepared to give up their ability to walk for the majority of the day in order to claim the £56.75 per week tax-free benefit. Jack Sheehy, who won the 2009 disco-dancing competition in the Greenvale before succumbing to a mysterious ‘sore legs’ syndrome, denies the accusations:
“People should walk in my shoes before they make a judgement. Or you know what I mean. One minute I was an unemployed dancing extraordinaire, the next I’ve deadly sore legs and on a scooter. It’s hard for me to you know. There be times when a good song comes on and I instinctively get up to dance and fall over after three minutes or so when I remember my legs are deadly sore.”
Trouser stall owner Imran Kant admits it’s almost impossible to hold the town market now on a Saturday.
“It’s like an attack of the mobility scooterers. At 9am you can hear the whirl of the wheels from all around and before long there are 3000+ Cookstonians smashing into each other on their way for the bargains. It’s a savage sight. You end up spending more time lifting up overturned scooters in the rush to get a pair of £8 jeans.”
Doubts over the legitimacy of some of the claims have been magnified after a picture was released on Twitter showing souped-up scooters being raced down the main street at four in the morning, cheered on by other recipients of the DLA allowance, jumping up and down when bets came up.
A gathering of 5600 sky enthusiasts were left disappointed and angry after social media outlets wrongly reported a clear and permanent sighting of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) on Saturday and Sunday nights in Tattyreagh. Locals have denied it was another ploy to raise funds for the football club.
Skygazers from as far afield as Russia and Taiwan converged on the small townland only to discover the lights were simply Omagh in the distance.
Japanese astronomy expert Jon Hi was particularly upset after flying to Ireland with 140 of his countrymen:
“Some shower. I read on Twitter that the North Pole’s Aurora Borealis were brilliant in Tattyreagh. After finding it on the map, we made a 15000 mile journey only to find out it’s just the new streetlights Omagh up the road. I’m mightily pissed off with Tattyreagh and I’m going to blacken its name in Japan forever more.”
Tattyreagh Tourism Director Killian Hanratty denies it was a devious ploy to boost tourism to the area:
“They’re scandalous accusations being bandied about by them Fintona ones. I can’t deny that we’ve made serious money from the crisps and mineral stall we happened to have on the side of the road beside the big field that people were congregating on. 5000 thirsty people afterall. The proceeds will go towards new toilet facilities at the football pitch.”
This is the second time Tattyreagh has featured in the international news for a mistaken phenomenon. In 1986, thousands again flocked to Tattyreagh to see Halley’s Comet which had reportedly fallen onto the football field. It was later proven to be a Superser gas heater with all bars on. The money taken from the crisps and mineral stall that year paid for the football club’s new stand.
Foremen from across the county breathed a sigh of relief after a day of minimal productivity as builders kept checking their phones to see if Prince William in England had a baby yet. The birth tonight means work levels should return to normal unless they start debating names. Henry Henderson of Coalisland, who’s overseeing the construction of a new coal museum in the town, says hardly a brick was built today:
“Well that was a disaster, like. I have 22 lads on site here and all they did was check their phones for Facebook and twitter updates on that buckin woman. One fellow, from Annaghmore, failed to attend the birth of his own child today in case he missed out on the craic with the lads if the other one was born in England. The country has couped. I blame Sky TV and that Graham Norton boy”.
Dermot Devlin from Crannagh, a plumber at the site, says he was looking forward to a good sleep tonight.
“Jaysus us I never slept a wink last night over the head of it. All I could think of was oul William pacing the hospital’s corridors and yer woman screaming. Then there’s the oul Queen and her maybe suffering in the heat with the crown on and all that regalia. She didn’t need to be worrying about this. I’ll have a beer tonight.”
Other major news tonight from Coalisland has shocked the world’s paparazzi as local photographer Olly Carr has been chosen to take the first pics of the child. A shellshocked Carr told us:
“Holy God. Surely not. All I have is a wee disposable yoke from Boots after my main contraption melted at Peatland’s Park yesterday. This is some handlin. I wouldn’t even know what road to take to get to Buckingham. I think the M1 would be quickest. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited like. I’ll take a few close ups of yer woman houlin the chile saying ‘cheese’ and then get out. What is she called anyway? Hope there’s sandwiches laid on”.
A Brocagh woman today told of her near-panic of going almost an entire day without getting a text from anyone. 24 year old Teresa Monteith, an accounts clerk from Ballybeg Road, admitted:
“I normally get one from my boyfriend by the time I’ve got to work about that evening’s dinner but nothing arrived, although we usually have bacon and cabbage on a Wednesday so I didn’t think much of it. But then I usually get a couple from my mum as well which are mostly about my da and his toilet troubles, but the phone just sat there in front of my desk, doing nothing. And Shona at work sometimes sends me a couple of texts even though she sits across from me but that’s so we can talk about Patricia and her stupid trousers without her knowing”.
After having decided at 11.30am just to ignore the phone for the rest of the day because she was so busy, Monteith finally succumbed after lunch and checked her ‘Manage Connections’ settings before eventually sending a text to herself entitled ‘Test’ to satisfy herself that the service was working. She subsequently consoled herself by going onto Facebook for 45 minutes and ‘liking’ several posts, including one from her sister-in-law wearing a sombrero and holding a vuvuzela, and another from her friend Clare which said how much she liked Nathan Turner’s new haircut.
Teresa then spent another hour typing in the names of people she went to school with to see if she could find anything of interest about them on the internet, and a further 15 minutes googling her own name.
After promising herself at 3.45pm that she wouldn’t be the first to send someone else a text, she received one at 4.10pm from her partner Eric, after she sent him a text that said ‘y havent u textd me?’, followed by a sad smiley face icon.
The entire staff of an unnamed newspaper with offices based in Omagh are facing the axe after a rebel investigative journalist uncovered a culture of hiding from the boss whilst on duty. The renegade hack, a former employee of the newspaper group in question, managed to collate video and photographic evidence of the mass skiving which will form the basis of an exclusive documentary that will be aired on mainstream TV next summer.
“Finally got the bastards,” Deckie Brogan told us, “but I wasn’t aware at the extent of it all. I caught a Stewartstown employee, laden with awards and all, and he was hiding out in the boiler house behind the car park with a mattress, pillow and mini-TV with freeview. The owners thought he was out sourcing stories on farming. He was getting them on the Internet the night before. Then there was a boy from Beragh who was hiding behind a skip in the town when he was meant to be at football matches getting reports. He’d set an alarm to go off about fifteen minutes before the the end of the working day, check the scores on Twitter and go back to the offices looking foundered for effect. It was widespread.”
Fermanagh man Brogan will also relate the story of a Derry journalist who insisted on wearing dark glasses supposedly because of the glare of the screen. He simply slept with his hands on the keyboard. An Armagh employee, who was meant to be sourcing articles on fashion trends, would leave the office at half nine, check into the Silver Berch Hotel and read the Ulster Tatler for a few hours. One of the journalists who was caught redhanded admitted:
“Ah Jeepers, I’m done for now. It’s a sad state of affairs that a private sector worker can’t hide but that’s a sign of the times. I might as well get another job that I can do a bit of skiving in. Teaching maybe.”
The newspaper are asking readers to text in their choice as to who should be sacked first. Texts cost £2.
Despite being ‘laughed out of it’ during the infant weeks of his new business venture ‘iPigs’, Urney entrepreneur Joe McCafferty has turned the sleepy townland of Urney into Europe’s most affluent area after Paris in under a year.
Such is the reputation of the West Tyrone hinterland, high earners in Hollywood and Russian cosmonauts are considering buying a second home in the area.
McCafferty, despondent at the the chronic effect the never-ending recession has had on his homeplace, took a gamble and opened a pig-renting shop iPig. Despite being told that his idea was “a load of shit” by struggling local shop owners, Joe persisted and is now the wealthiest man in Ireland after Michael Lyster and Gay Byrne.
“I just thought the country was couped and had a lock of pigs floating about the back yard. I cleaned them up and started Joe’s iPigs and didn’t people start renting pigs. I’ve no idea why. I just suppose folk were so broke they thought somehow owning a pig for a week might make them happy. Anyone with a pig on a leash seemed to be without a care in the world.
Since word got out, over 400 pigs from iPigs were rented out for an average of 3 days with customers are young as 4.
“I think they then became a fashion accessory amongst youngsters so word got out on Twitter that the next big thing was to have a rented pig. I then started selling iPig pig clothes as accessories. They were like hot cakes. Within three months I’d made £3.5m I think. Another lad tried opening a rival pig-renting shop was Micropig at the other end of the street but I threatened him and then bought him off. To those who said I was mad – up yours, ye dicks.”
McCafferty has pumped much of his takings back into the townland and has built a massage parlour and a castle, opened a Harrods, Top Man, Prada, Georgio Armani and a Chanel shop.
Someone looking like Keira Knightly was reportedly seen down near Clady looking at houses whilst Nigella Lawson loosely talked about opening a cafe in the main street.
Joe’s iPig pigs can be rented for £5 a day for a maximum of two weeks.