By Aughohilly Schniffles
What do an architect, a stone mason and a sculptor all have in common? We went along to meet Edendork Chairman Patsy McCann to find out…
It seems Edendork are looking for their ‘Thing’. The Red Hand County is littered with prominent features: Donaghmore and Ardboe have their respective crosses, Dungannon has the Hill of the O’Neills, Derrylaughan have the flies, Clann na Gael has Brian Dooher, Clonoe have the McClures, while the Windmill have certified lunatics living normal lives.
“y’see – were luckin till stand out a bit, particularly now the hall is going to be demolished for our new primary school. Tyrone Crystal and Tyrone Brick have shut up shop… If Powerscreen was till close its doors, we’d be left with just a primary school and a chapel, and sure everybody knows that there’s no craic in mass these days.”
While Dublin is famous for Molly Malone, the Phil Lynott statue, and the Spire, Edendork have taken stock and engaged help from a range of professionals to enhance their profile county-wide.
“Apart from a few fine young footballers, what have we left? The bingo has stopped, all the good factories are closing, and as much as we love it, the bazaar only takes up one day. We want to get back on the map for something other than Johnny Three Bulbs.” [referring to the story about the local man with 3 eyes that was on Sky News last year].
With £3,500 already spent on architect, stone masonry and sculpting prototype fees, Edendork seem serious about their new eye-catching, focal point. However the project appears to have temporarily stalled after the architect halted its services following Edendork issuing 3,500 entries into the club lotto as payment.
“We held a committee meeting about it and considered stealing the Nally Stand off Carrickmore, but that was narrowly defeated by a single vote – thirteen to twelve. We need something, like! Not that we’re jealous or nothing, but look at the Rock- why’s it even called the Rock – there are no rocks even anywhere round it. Their pitch is even tarra sandy like…”
It is unclear how the committee vote ran in at thirteen to twelve, given there are only five people on the committee. McCann declined to comment, but wouldn’t stop winking.
In unrelated news, former pro-wrestler and actor Dwayne Johnson will be attending a fund-raising event on the Tullyodonnell Road outside Cookstown for the Rock St Patrick’s GAA club, which will be a major coup for the area.
Following the news of David Cameron’s alleged affection for pigs and other porcine related animals, Dungannon Piggery have hired extra security after members of the UUP, Sinn Fein, SDLP, DUP and even the Green Party were spotting loitering suspiciously outside the wire fences which keep the pigs safe from harm.
Piggery owner and animal-lover Caoimhin Bacon revealed he was not overly surprised at the allegations against the UK’s Prime Minister:
“I’ve known for years that men in a governmental position develop an affinity with all manner of pork, from wild boars to the common domestic pig. I even remember an Alliance politician who was mad into the warthogs. I don’t understand it myself but I suppose it takes all kinds.”
Bacon (55) maintains that the allegations against the English PM will encourage some current MLAs to become slightly bolder in their pursuit of their porky pleasures:
“Even this morning I spotted a Sinn Fein MLA working in cahoots with a high profile DUP politician trying to lure a crowd of sows over by throwing a pile of truffles at them. The Asian Pot-Bellied pig seems to be a big favourite of the SDLP lads so we’ll be keeping a close eye on that one too.”
The Dungannon Piggery Ltd have installed electric fencing around their premises since this morning’s revelations and have hired over 200 security men who previously worked at the old defunct Tyrone Brick factory. One of the heavies, Padraig McDonald, admitted that this was much harder work than his previous employment:
“At Tyrone Brick all we had to do was keep an eye out for young teenagers looking to steal bricks to throw at the Brits and to make sure they didn’t lift too many. This work is much harder. I even caught one MLA from Carrickmore this morning in a field, dressed up as a tree and moving inch by inch towards our premises. Sleeked enough characters.”
Dungannon Piggery is closed to the public until further notice.
There was great excitement today in amongst Ulster’s Muslims after it was revealed that Edendork parish have decided to offer the Hall entirely to the Muslim community from September onwards, as long as they play bingo in it at least once a month.
Following the recent controversies in Belfast and the ill-judged remarks from pastors and politicians, the 4,000 strong Muslim community have been looking for a community centre for general cultural gatherings. The hall, which was once described as ‘a little piece of Italy in Tyrone’ by someone, will also double up as a Mosque. The chance to clean up with grants was a deciding factor in the decision.
Dungannon Muslim, Hous Bin Pharteen, was ecstatic at the news:
“This is deadly. We were hiring out a disused shed around the back of the defunct Tyrone Brick for praying and stuff but this moves us into view for the whole of the province. It’s such a beautiful building. Those who say it’s the ugliest structure in Ireland are slabbers.”
Opposition to the Mosque has come from nearby engineering firm Hurson and Sons. Company CEO Jimmy Hurson predicts issues over a work-shy workforce at his clay-making business 500 yards from the hall:
“Don’t get me wrong. I think Muslims are a great bunch of lads. However, my workers will only pretend get confused when the adhān (Muslim call to prayer) is played by that boy in the trumpet. To get one tae break a day is plentiful. I can see these boys, mostly from Coalisland and Clonoe, bringing in 10 lunches and downing tools every time the bugle is sounded.”
After it was pointed out that the call to prayer is recited, probably by loudspeaker, and not played on a musical instrument, Hurson remained doubtful:
“Anyway, with the adhān to be played 5 times a day, I fear my workers will suddenly become Muslims in order to skive off work. They’ll find a way to screw me. I know them.”
Local residents have been assured that if they send one of the Muslims to McCann’s shop for a packet of Paris Buns or a Knutty Krust, the correct change will come back as predicted by First Minister Peter Robinson.
There are also high hopes South Tyrone Hospital may reopen due to the predicted influx of doctors and surgeons into mid-Ulster.
By Fr Riddle Lynn (guest journalist from portglenone.wordpress.com)
As a result of the unpleasantness which inevitably arises in the Portglenone area, at the very mention of the topic of Antrim and Derry, we decided to ask our readers to tell us what they felt were the 20 most influential things ever to have come out of County Tyrone.
We received literally some replies, most of which were either unprintable or illegal and one involving a goat which, quite frankly, was not even physically possible. Our Pointless Statistics Team once more got on the job but when they were finished, they put together this table of results in offending order;
20. West Tyrone Constituency Boundary: The relatively new parliamentary area has been cleverly passing itself off as France for some time now resulting in its attracting thousands of tourists expecting to see Eurodisney and The Eiffel Tower. The disappointed pilgrims are forced to make do with an electricity pylon in Urney and Eurospar, Omagh.
19. Cranagh: The village adjudged by National Geographic Magazine as ‘the furthest you can go out of the way before you start coming out the other side’.
18. Paul Brady: The curly, surly ginger, singer/songwriter and professional ‘Bosco’ impersonator who brought us the classic refrain;
I wanna take you to Coalisland
And count the off-licences per man
And in the evening when the sun goes down
We’d rip the ATM from the local filling station
17. Making Pat Spillane Puke: A classic reversal of the normal pattern of Pat Spillane making everyone else hurl their fadge.
16. The Place Name ‘Sandholes’: Deriving from the Old French ‘Sans Houlles’, meaning ‘Without Arse”, the area is credited as the home of the design of cheap supermarket denim which reduces ‘buttock protrusion’ in male wearers over 35 years of age.
15. Splash: The popular Saturday night, light entertainment programme where fading celebrities imitate their own careers by falling unceremoniously from a great height without being touched in an attempt to garner advantage which is scarcely deserved. The format is based on the career of Brian Dooher. (Apart from the great height bit obviously)
14. The Carnteel Road: By an amazing freak of geography, motorists travelling directly from Aughnacloy to Dungannon will pass the end of the Carnteel Road on no less than 14 occasions.
13. The Place Name ‘Orritor’: For the sheer joy of positioning a district which sounds like a body cavity in close proximity to another called ‘Sandholes’.
12. Sir James Cricket: A comedian who has sustained a 40 year career with an act based entirely on a humorous tea-towel which my mother brought back from Westport in 1972. Don’t come here.
11. Benburb Sunday: A day where children up to the age of 12 were rounded up by monks and made to pay to slide down a hill on a carpet of rough hardboard resulting in semi-permanent scarring of skin tissue on the thigh and elbow.
10. Dennis Taylor’s Wiggly Index Finger: Widely regarded as being amongst the finest of the gargantuan-spectacle wearing ball potter’s eleven fingers.
9. Penfold from Dangermouse: No list would be complete without the pint-sized, sidekick, cartoon-moaner and his hilarious catchphrase; “Carrickmore Gaelic Fudball Club”.
8. The Amazing Disappearing Letters ‘T’& ‘W’: Used to such wonderful effect in the pronunciation of places such as ‘Cookson” ‘Stewarson’ and ‘Twincamton’.
7. Eugene McMenamin’s Unfeasibly Black Eyebrows: The Strabane based MLA holds the distinction of having been balancing two ‘Granny Grey Beard’ caterpillars on his forehead since 1984.
6. The Red Hand of Ulster: Yeah, thanks a bunch for that!
5. The Carland Bypass: The wonderful decision to remove the one corner which broke the utter monotony of driving between Cookstown and Dungannon.
4. Eponymously Titled Products which are now Defunct: Tyrone Brick, Tyrone Crystal, Tyrone Power, Tyrone Moderate Alcohol Consumers.
3. Consilio et Prudentia: Although also the names of two Late (possibly ex) (possibly Latex) Nuns from Loretto convent in Omagh, this is actually the irony valve straining motto of the county translating as…wait for it…no I’m serious….”Wisdom & Prudence”.
2. The Untimely Demise of Tyrone Tom’s Red Shorts: The ill-thought out decision to use the Greencastle man’s iconic shorts as an agreed alternative to the Union flag on Belfast City Hall.
And of course topping the list
Tyrone is to be firmly put on the world map after Edendork Pipe Band received confirmation that they’ll parade Brazil and Croatia around the field in Sao Paulo at the opening game in the 2014 World Cup.
Pipe Major Jemmy O’Neill wasn’t overly surprised at the news:
“When we applied we had a fair idea we’d get the nod. I know there were 69’000 bands who applied from all over the world but I think when they saw a video of us parading the Ladies Football teams of Carrickmore and Coalisland around the Brackaville field last month they knew they were on to a good thing.”
O’Neill is adamant that locals will dig deep to raise the £150’000 needed to fly the entire band, instruments, WAGS and husbands over next June:
“I’m sure we’ll raise the money no bother. For the next 6 months we’ll have a man standing outside the entrance to Tyrone Brick with an empty Quality Street so drivers can slow down and toss in coppers and loose change. We’ll also be selling ballots around houses around Christmas. Tickets cost £100 and you can win a lifetime’s supply of bricks from what was left in the old factory.”
This is not the first time a Tyrone band has performed at a major sporting event. In 1984, Cloughfin played The Star Spangled Banner for Carl Lewis at his medal ceremony for the 100m during the Los Angeles Olympics. O’Neill reckons they’ll learn from Cloughfin’s experience:
“I was a member of Cloughfin and we never forgot they way we were treated. Not one sandwich was laid on after our performance. Not one. They thought the £80’000 fee would sweeten us but all we wanted were corned beef sandwiches. Eff Los Angeles we said. This time we’re taking no chances and bringing half a million sandwiches with us.”
O’Neill now becomes the first man to play at the World Cup, Olympics and the Tyrone Ladies Final.