The second part of our investigation leads us to numbers 10-15 plus the stiffs.
10. Brian Dooher
Our captain retired a couple of years later after operations to replace both legs, arms and lungs. Dooher soon worked his way up the veterinary scene and made the front page of TIME magazine in 2013 after he became the first person to clone a cow. Unfortunately the cloned animal soon got out of control in West Tyrone, wrecking property and killing over 200 cows elsewhere. Brian is currently on the run from authorities as well as over 30 irked farmers.
11. Martin Penrose
Penrose continued to play minor football right into his mid-30s before an application form for a passport revealed his real age. Penrose went on to star in many sci-fi films including Star Trek and Game of Thrones before returning to Carrickmore to open a gluten-free vegetable shop in the village.
12. Joe McMahon
Joe’s performance in the final of 2008 garnered rave reviews as did the magnificent state of his beard. McMahon’s beard soon became big in demand on TV chat shows and advertising. Despite a £3m offer from Gillette, Joe refused to allow his beard to become the face of the international brand, leading to acrimony between the Omagh man and his facial hair. McMahon won the fight by shaving the beard off against its will but lost the war as women stopped flocking around him in their droves.
13. Tommy McGuigan
Despite a wonderful 2008, Tommy headed back to Ardboe after the game and decided to become a hermit, shunning the celebrations. 10 years of solitude later, McGuigan can sometimes be seen roving the lough shore with a guitar singing songs of lost love and reading poems into himself.
14. Sean Cavanagh
Only recently retired from the county scene, novelist Sean Cavanagh continues to play for his club and enjoys the hurly-burly of the local championship.
15. Colm McCullagh
Despite having to go off early in the final, McCullagh earned his stripes that year after several sterling performances. McCullagh unfortunately became addicted to the Rocky movies post-retirement and in particular Rocky 4. Changing his name to Ivan Drago, Colm can be seen in bare-knuckle fights in fields around Dromore
Stephen O’Neill: O’Neill was last spotted in Croke Park a few weeks ago shaking his head
Kevin Hughes: Hub scored the penultimate point that day and went on to write several books on the score. Hughes almost picked up an All-Ireland for Derrytresk a few years later, playing as a ringer under the false name Ronie O’Neill.
Brian McGuigan: Brian came on late that day after a bad bout of diarrhea from a feed of eels for breakfast that morning which left him weak. McGuigan, ironically, now runs an eel-skin clothing shop in Moortown.
Owen Mulligan: Another late sub, Mulligan moved to London soon after to forge a career as a Tory politician only to be kicked out of the party due to an incident involving suspenders and a then-unknown Teresa May
Colm Cavanagh: Colm continues to ply his trade for the county despite carrying half a team on his shoulders.
10 years ago to the day, Brian Dooher staggered up the steps in Croke Park to lift his second Sam Maguire as captain and Tyrone’s third in all.
Today and tomorrow we ask….Where Are They Now?
- Pascal McConnell
McConnell found life hard away from the lights and razzamatazz of inter-county football. After three years of touring Europe in a camper van, McConnell finally found happiness after enrolling with American wrestling organisation WWE, becoming the Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion as ‘Newtownstewart Nuke Man‘ with his signature poke-in-the-eye move on a beaten Undertaker in Miami in 2014 securing the title.
2. Ryan McMenamin
Ricey turned to God soon after retiring, preaching around the States at the same time as McConnell was decking superstars on the canvas. Ryan finally joined an extreme monastery in Kentucky and after shaving his body hair, took a vow of silence for 3 years. McMenamin returned home in 2017 to become spiritual advisor to the Fermanagh senior team and prays 21 hours a day.
3. Justin McMahon
The Omagh man filled the void of football by becoming a catwalk model for Wrangler Jeans in Soho’s famous Fashion Mile. Justin came into a spot of bother after a bust up with another male model from Essex and is currently doing community service around London teaching school kids how to psychologically crush component in high stakes games.
4. Ryan Mellon
The Moy man, who often glory-hunted in All Ireland Finals, opened a pig-renting shop in Benburb in 2011 for those wanting the animal as a fashion accessory. Getting the idea from a Japanese programme he saw on Sky channel 177, Mellon bought 400 pigs. After renting out only 3 in the first year, Ryan finally opened a butchers.
5. Davy Harte
Harte continued to play football until recently when he scored an own-point after a 55m run through his own defence, leaving supporters worried. The Nephew now advises cat-owners on feline etiquette and behaviour, having kept over 2000 cats in his cat orphanage off the Omagh Road.
6. Conor Gormley
In 2013, a frustrated Gormley started up ‘Pub Bouncers Ltd’, supplying self-trained bouncers to the most notorious pubs in the county. After a successful three years, Conor moved underground and now terrorises street gangs in the Carrickmore and Galbally area on his own, often using his infamous staring technique.
7. Philip Jordan
Jordan now resides in an old people’s home after undergoing his 29th hip operation in under 3 years. Philip, god help him, spends his days telling eye-rolling nurses about his heroic feats on the field and in the RTE studios but has recurring nightmares about being attacked by an angry group of orange-vested men from Lurgan.
8. Collie Holmes
Holmes retired soon after, becoming a private detective in the greater-Armagh area with his trusty sidekick Johnny Watson from Blackwatertown. Despite not solving any crimes, Holmes continues to pursue his latest mission, finding out why Armagh only won the one All Ireland.
9. Enda McGinley
The silver-tongued McGinley never really recovered from his concussion in 2003 and sporadically slips into thinking he’s Graham Norton by appearing on TV and radio three times a week. Enda, who played the remainder of the ’03 final thinking he was an extra in Knight Rider, claims he’s presenting the Eurovision in 2019.
PART 2 TOMORROW
Jim Gavin was allegedly witnessed ‘running around the corner’ after GAA officials foiled an attempt by the Dublin management to get the Croke Park field widened out onto Jones’ Road in an apparent ruse to outfox Tyrone.
After Tyrone reportedly shortened the field in the last game between the two in Omagh last month, Gavin and Jason Sherlock were witnessed directing and shouting at a groundsman to paint a line right up the middle of Jones’ Road, almost on the doorstep of The Croke Park Hotel, shortly after midnight last night whilst wearing blue mining hats with strong torches on them.
The ambitious tactic, which would have also meant the moving of the Hogan stand back 200 yards using strong diggers, would have resulted in the width of the Croke Park pitch being almost trebled, allowing players such as Kilkenny and Fenton to stretch Tyrone like no team has ever been able to manage before.
A Dublin GAA spokesman denied the ploy was thwarted by a GAA official:
“That’s hypothetical nonsense. Gavin and Sherlock were just making sure the groundsman could paint in the straight line whilst tired, such is their dedication to every detail. The diggers were also just there by pure accident.”
Tyrone and Dublin officials will attend this week’s visit to Croke Park by the Pope, in plain clothes, to make sure no other skulduggery occurs to the ground under the nose of the Pontiff.
A fringe Dublin player has apparently been axed from the panel after he was seen dancing wildly to an 80s song in a well-known drinking establishment, wearing an official “4-in-a-row, even more dough” t-shirt soon after Dublin’s final opponents were revealed.
The player, who admitted he got dressed too excitedly after the Monaghan/Tyrone semi-final in order to get to the niteclub before anyone else, has also been told to hand back his car and personalised dinner plates within seven days.
Clubber and Dublin player groupie Martha McCrystal revealed she was a bit surprised to see the t-shirt out so early:
I was bopping away and then spotted the player dancing clean mad to a Michael Jackson remix song and him wearing the 4-in-a-row garb. He even was kicking mock points and goals during his dance routine and shouting something about ‘strive for five’ whilst winking, suggesting he’s thinking about next year already, the craytur.
Dublin GAA have refused to comment on the incident although one member told us off the record that there is an embargo on the t-shirts until the final whistle on September 2nd which must be strictly adhered to.
Meanwhile a hypnotist, who was brought into the Tyrone training session yesterday in order to convince them that Dublin were not that great, was seen leaving the complex five minutes after arriving. Sources revealed he mistakenly convinced Gavin Devlin into thinking he was the actual manager, resulting in Devlin phoning club-mate Kyle Coney and making him captain for the final.
After denials from Sky TV and Mickey Harte from having any influence over the narrowing of Healy Park for the clash between Dublin and Tyrone on Saturday night, the spotlight has now been shone on ‘wee fairies from the Plumbridge direction’ as well as the referee David Coldrick.
Omagh groundsman Patrick Hanlan revealed he received a visitor to his door on Friday night around midnight but couldn’t make it out because of the darkness as well as the visitor wearing a cloak:
“All the person said was ‘Ye may narrow that pitch’. I thought it was a sort of a threat but hadn’t a clue who it was. It could have been Harte, a Sky rep or even the referee Coldrick but the more I think about it, they had a Plumbridge accent and looked very small under the cloak. It may have been a fairy from the Plum or Cranagh direction.”
Referee David Coldrick has also come under suspicion as it has been explained that a narrower pitch leaves it easier to keep up with the play, though he may have underestimated the distance he’d need to take it in by.
Meanwhile, rumours emanating from Ballybofey suggest that Donegal officials have set about narrowing the Tyrone changing rooms, making it awkward for players to get changed with dignity.
In order to gain any advantage over Roscommon, Tyrone have upped the ante by kitting out Gavin Devlin in a ‘Navy Slim Fit Wool Waistcoat’ from M&S with matching hanky and pocket watch so he can stylishly keep the time on Saturday on the sideline.
Although funded by an anonymous source, the £399 gear has come in for criticism from all over the county, including in his native Ardboe. Plumber and part-time magician Kieran Forbes admitted:
“No one from Ardboe has ever worn a waistcoat since the dawn of humanity and why Horse is starting now I don’t know. Well, I do know but he won’t admit it.”
Devlin has denied any suggestions that he is borrowing his idea for match-day attire from the current England manager Gareth Southgate:
“No, not at all. My motto is look good, manage good. I made that up yesterday and I’ve stuck to it ever since. “
Devlin will complete his dress-wear with a pair of Simon Suede Horsebit Buckle Loafers which were reduced from £180 to £145 in Dungannon, with no socks.
The GAA have decided to go on the front foot following the backlash to the arrest of a Tyrone supporter for flying a Palestinian flag in Navan at the weekend by banning the flying of Tyrone flags for their upcoming game against Carlow.
When pushed on the reasons for the new sanction, Croke Park officials cited two new rulings they thought up overnight in an underground bunker in Dublin:
Firstly, too many of the Tyrone flags have the Irish language on them. How are we going to get Arlene Foster to attend the Ulster Final when she has to look at Tyrone flags on the TV spelt out in their mother tongue? Secondly, we find the red hand offensive.
Guards in Carlow have been instructed to deploy water cannons and plastic bullets if necessary on anyone seen flying a Tyrone flag and to arrest anyone displaying the Tyrone hat, scarf or headband. They have also sounded a warning to Tyrone players not to be getting too excited when scoring and kissing the badge or something.
Meanwhile, Gardai have admitted they didn’t arrest other Palestine flag holders in Navan because they initially believed they were actually Carlow flags, and not because they eventually caught themselves on.
Tyrone county officials have admitted to being stretched this week after scrambling to prepare the Healy Park away dressing room to meet the demands of multiple All-Ireland champions and multi-millionaires Dublin.
The Boys in Blue, who thrashed Tyrone last August in between holidays to Dubai and Kinsale, arrive by private jet in Omagh on Saturday night for the second round of fixtures in the National League.
A leaked A4 sheet of paper revealed the extent of the Dublin management’s expectations when visiting county grounds:
– Heated benches
– Unlimited supply of unfiltered Dublin water
– personalised hangers with each player’s initials on them
– newspapers from across the world including the Financial Times
– soothing classical music and strictly no country music
– No member of the public within a 400 year radius
– Framed picture of Bertie Ahern
– 73 degree fahrenheit exactly
– a ping-pong table
– a large urn containing noodles and jellied eel
– two smartly dressed hostesses from Omagh
– a temporary runway for landing and taking off
A Tyrone GAA sources added:
“We’ve been able to meet most of the demands but a few towards the end are proving problematic. We need to get this right or Dublin could throw us out of the Association altogether.”
If all else fails, the Gortin Road will be cordoned off as a temporary landing strip for the Jackeen players.
County On High Alert As Four Pomeroy Men Named In Starting 15, Fulfilling Revelations 13:11 Prophecy
Religious leaders have appealed for calm after it emerged that four Pomeroy players have been named in the Tyrone senior starting team to play Antrim in the McKenna Cup in Armagh tonight.
Although manager Mickey Harte has been known to make last minute changes, he is coming under acute pressure to bench at least one of them by doomsday merchants within the county.
Panic was widespread last night when Pastor Evan McGenical from Greencastle announced that in the Book of Relevations there is a reference to the ‘four horned men from the mountain that’s just a hill’ and how they would ‘come forth and massacre the men from the city’, a prelude to the Second Coming himself.
Pastor Genical added:
“I know Mickey isn’t one for the Revelations but he surely sees the warning signs. I know nothing about GAA and gaelic football but even I think it’s unusual to have even one Pomeroy man on the squad, never mind four of them starting. This could be the end for Tyrone in general.”
Sources have confirmed that Armagh ground staff are considering heightening the Red Hand fear by playing the music to The Omen when Tyrone make their way onto the field tonight.
Experts are currently tabling possible reasons as to why painters from Tyrone are the worst at cutting-in in the northern hemisphere, according to a survey conducted by the World Painters’ and Decorators’ Association.
To make matters worse, it appears that their near neighbours and fierce rivals, Derry painters, are the world’s best cutting-in merchants according to their findings.
Professor Donald Plum from Massachusetts claims to have found a list of three possible reasons after a detailed study within the county last week.
“On my travels around the county, I established that over 70% of painters were shaking. I’m not quite sure what the official diagnosis is but to my knowledge it usually indicates one of three things: they’re either hungover, worried about something or just plain gulpins. The last prognosis there doesn’t make sense as the Derry ones are worse gulpins.”
Off-licence sales in Derry match or better Tyrone’s, leaving the possible solution that Tyrone painters are worried about something as the most likely scenario.
“What they’re actually worried about we need to find out. But they’re making a pure hames of walls and ceilings all over the county. This morning, a painter from Brocagh just had to paint a child’s bedroom wall but left the ceiling looking like the Sistine Chapel, it was that bad. And he was shaking like mad.”
Possible reasons for the shaking include Jobseekers’ Allowance officials lurking about, the after-effects of the heavy Dublin defeat in August and leaving their wives at home.
Meanwhile Derry milkmen also came out top of the class for job satisfaction, especially those working in Tyrone. There may be a link between both findings today.
In the lead up to the mouth-watering All Ireland semi-final against Dublin, we look back at the 2008 All-Ireland semi-final side and find out how they have fared since that successful campaign:
The Newtownstewart giant, whose save in the All-Ireland final that year is a thing of legend, found time away from the limelight hard to embrace, initially. Family and friends looked on in sympathy as Pascal would stand in the garden at any time of the day or night, shouting at people to fire something at him so he could catch it or parry it away; glass bottles, squeaky dog toys, old tins of lynx Africa – you name it. Eventually, he managed to dust himself down, gave one glove to Niall Morgan and one to Red Mickey and move on with his life. Packie now runs a memorabilia shop which has Gooch Cooper’s eyeball as its main attraction.
RYAN ‘RICEY’ MCMENAMIN
His greatest on field moment came when allegedly he had Alan Brogan’s girlfriend’s phone number written on his wrist and stared Brogan out while he checked the digits…this may not be true but it’s a great story. The tigerish Dromore defender gave manys a forward nightmares in his day. Ironically Ricey is now the proud owner of the ‘Sleepeasy Pillows’ franchise across Ireland. This business venture came after a stint in Hollywood when he played the part of an angry dog in many mafia films. His ‘Ricey Krispies’ cereal idea, which was just like ordinary Rice Krispies except they had the odd nut or bolt in it for a sense of adventure, was soon halted after a rash of law suits. Ryan is also an avid panto participant, and likes to pot native plants in his wee back shed.
The Omagh full back continues to defy medical and scientific recommendations and still togs out for the county. Wikipedia has never been able to ascertain his real age, ranging from 29 to 55. Justin has never been able to pass through security checks at airports and has broken over 12 of their machines to date due to the amount of metal in him. His Christmas party trick of having all cutlery magnetically stuck to him has worn thin recently as family have resorted to eating with their hands.
From The Moy, Mellon hit the big time when he scored the first 2 points in the 2005 final. The versatile villager unfortunately got lost one night coming out of Tomneys. The story goes that he followed a three legged dog over the Armagh border in 2011, never to return. He was last spotted on St Patrick’s Day on a tractor during the parade in Armagh, looking sad and unkempt. Some say he has Stockholm Syndrome and is starting to admire his captors. Mellon was also an avid strawberry taster before his capture, and could tell exactly how many days old a given berry was just by sniffing it.
The Errigal half-back, who spectacularly found the net against Dublin in the rain in 2008, is currently earning his coaching badges and is set to manage Accrington Stanley in England this year. Harte, who had to work harder than any other player because his uncle used to give him a skite on the back of his head if he didn’t, aims to manage is home county eventually when Mickey retires in 2035. He is due to launch a new range of fragrances for men next Valentine’s Day.
Carrickmore’s rock in the centre of the defence, like McConnell, has found post-county fame tough. He reportedly had nightmares over his block in the 2003 final, and in his dreams McDonnell scored. Due to his sleepwalking, he now has a restraining order against him, preventing him coming close to ANY McDonnell in Armagh between 10pm and 8am on any night of the year. Conor often wakes up in a cold sweat like in one of them 80s ‘Nam movies, and curses Ciaran Gourley for not marking up even though the Rock man was nowhere near it. No one really knows why he claims Ciaran. Some claim Gourley kept him up all night before the final, listening to his complete Philomena Begley collection full blast. Gormley had to sleep on a blanket on the ground, in foetal position, as he still sleeps now (when he can get some sleep that is).
This teak tough defender epitomised Mickey Harte’s mantra of transitioning from defence to attack. In some 73 Championship appearances for the Red Hand County, he never once lost possession, by either kick or hand pass. This unfortunately troubled him after he hung the boots up. Jordan melted down his 3 Celtic crosses and sold the gold, which he used as capital to open a fantastic wee pizza shop in the Moy. The downside to the story comes in the fact that Philip refused to give any pizza to anyone. When the shop was finally repossessed, Jordan hollered in court “Why should I give anything away, I never gave a thing away in my whole life. Go get your own… and by the way – its got nothing to do with money, I couldn’t care less about the money”. His cash payments for articles in the Irish News, and appearances on The Sunday Game now keep him afloat. He is best friends with Diarmuid Marsden’s brother, who is also called Philip. Jordan narrowly escaped a mauling after waving at Derrytresk supporters during a Moy win.
Ever hear of BBC’s Homes Under The Hammer? Well, Colly has nothing to do with that at all. In fact quite the opposite. After helping to dismantle Kerry three times in the noughties, Colly started his own demolition business and has several multi-million projects all over the world. When interviewed recently, he maintains his favourite demolition to date was against Dara O Se in Croker.
ENDA MC GINLEY
The man known on the team as “Thunder” consistently broke the hearts of opposing teams. The then Pope was asked to look into the fact that every game Enda scored in, Tyrone went on to win, and decreed it was a Category 5 Miracle, in line with finding a sweet in an jacket you haven’t worn in a while, or coming across a shopping trolley with a pound still in it. McGinley wisely exploited his heaven sent supernatural gifts, and set up a dating channel on late night TV. “He Who Scores Wins” is a massive hit in Essex.
The man, The Legend. One of the finest things God ever covered in skin, Dooher needs no introductions from plebs like us. Last word on the Clann na Gael veterinarian was that he punched a pregnant cow when it was misbehaving. The cow split down the middle, formed two whole new cows and birthed triplets. The farmer was obviously delighted. It is rumoured he has since been frozen in a cryogenic chamber, should Mickey Harte ever need someone to take a really tough training session, or the county ever goes to war.
Penrose hasn’t been seen since 2008. A keen hide-and-seek specialist, Martin hid for 45 hrs outside in his garden in order to break the World Record but never returned. The time now stands at 9 years and people around Carrickmore say he lets yelps out of him to let you know he’s still about, hiding. Of course, Penrose was well known for his speedy legs and small centre of gravity and once scored a famous goal by running under Seamus Moynihan’s testicles unchallenged.
JOE MC MAHON
Oooh… this is a great one! Last year Joe was walking through TK MAXX in Belfast, looking for a pair of cheap Calvin Klein boxers, when he was spotted by David Benioff, and immediately asked to play FIVE different characters in the hit TV show game of Thrones by the writer. His rustic, rugged, hard as nails, Iron-age looks captivated the American instantly. It is understood Benioff was later furious when Joe shaved off his beard for a family christening, so as not to spook the child, but as the director started to shout at big Joe he soon silenced as the beard grew back instantaneously, this time with thorns in it. Needless to say Joe got a pay rise, a new house and Benioff now avoids him at all costs for fear of his life.
TOMMY MC GUIGAN
After his pot-luck, but sexy goal in the ’08 All Ireland Final, Tommy unexpectedly went on to train boxers such as Carl “The Jackal” Frampton and David “The Haye-maker” Haye. Unfortunately Tommy doesn’t know a whole pile about boxing and both have slipped down through the ranks recently. Tommy, who is now known simply as ‘Shane’ is still a deadly fella, but shouldn’t be training world class boxers.
Sean is playing yet and still has pure jet black hair much to the annoyance of the McMahons. Sean has kicked 16,253 balls from that shimmy since the Armagh quarter final, but his wife says his shimmy when asked to do household chores is less admirable. We wont say too much more about him at this juncture as we are due to interview him at his home in the coming weeks, and don’t want to spoil it…
COLM MC CULLAGH
The remarkable McCullagh had to leave the field early in the ’08 final due to a dodgy curry he had the night before in Drumcondra when he sneaked out for an hour with Mulligan. Unbeknownst to most, Colm was the source subject for that Brad Pitt film about the man getting younger the older he got. McCullagh now looks like a 12-year-old and, remarkably, is even faster than he was in 2008. For charity, he ran 100m whilst his club showed Usain Bolt running his 100m simultaneously on a big screen. Despite a scorching start, Colm had to retire after 50m due to a dodgy Indian he had the night before. He is currently studying for his 11+.
Notable mentions to:
OWEN MULLIGAN – Came on in the final that year. Currently a best-selling novelist and aims to bring out his latest raunchy novel – The Real Cookstown Sausage – in 2020. Can be seen in LacyLadys Male strip bar every Thursday night in London for a small fee of 500 quid. Mulligan was also caught last year hiding in the toilets at Croke Park til everyone was gone, running onto the field and doing that famous double dummy over and over and staring blankly into Hill 16 til the lawnmower man asked him if he’d no home to go to.
KEVIN “HUB” HUGHES – Hughes, whose iconic point in the 2008 final finally killed off Kerry, currently works for NASA as a meteor spotter. To date, he has spotted well over 3000 meteors as well as 4 O’Neills balls he launched throughout his career. Hub’s attemp to become an Olympic javelin thrower ended prematurely after a near miss with a pile of school children when practising in his back field last year.
STEPHEN O NEILL – O’Neill, player of the year in 2005, became a male model in London’s West End and a fashion icon for that mountain look. Returning to Ireland in 2013, he and Francie Bellew tour the country telling stories about their rivalry. To date, Bellew hasn’t said anything and sometimes sheds a tear during O’Neill’s recollections. Stephen’s favourite bar of chocolate is the Bounty, but he hates coconut by itself.
PETER DONNELLY – Peter still currently holds two county records: The biggest pike ever caught at Roughan Lough on open day, and the closest to the pin at the 16th at Dungannon golf course – even though he teed off from the 7th tee box. He has helped atheletes such as Mo Farah avoid journalist’s questions over the past 18 months, and once ate a whole box of Celebrations on Christmas Eve, which unsurprisingly led him to missing Christmas dinner the following day. His ma wasn’t happy and his da was buckin livid. He likes to collect newts in jam jars, and is said to be the driving force behind that whole mental world class race track at Coalisland’s old clay pits, fair play to him.
BRIAN MC GUIGAN – Brian had to change his name to Ryan to keep Japanese tourists away from his place of work. He wanted to get out of the bar trade after US college agents kept plaguing him on “parting with secrets on how to be the perfect quarter back” despite him never having watched a game of baseball in his life. He used to serve anyone who ordered a raw Jameson for free, and often brings up a packet of Jafa cakes to Mickey Harte’s house of a Wednesday. He was put out by Mickey’s wife recently when she discovered a wee note pad and dictaphone hanging from his three quarter zip top from Begley’s shop with the words “Ardboe Senior Champs 2017 PLAN” on the front of the notes.
Compiled and researched by Aughohilly Schniffles & Gombeen
Despite attempts to prevent media hearing about the decision, we can categorically confirm that the initial proceedings to thaw out Joe McMahon who was frozen in a state-of-the-art cubicle in Garvaghey the day after he announced his retirement have been activated despite Tyrone being two difficult fixtures away from meeting the Kingdom.
Scientists have warned Harte and his backroom team that it will take up to 6 weeks to thoroughly defrost the Omagh defender, just in time for the All-Ireland Final if Tyrone were fortunate to get that far.
The reason for the early move appears to be the reinvention of Kieran Donaghy as a towering beanpole of a full forward, as witnessed by his destructive display against Galway at the weekend.
An insider warned us:
“Don’t be writing a story about this. McGeeney will be using it as an example of Tyrone getting ahead of themselves again. We’re only doing this in case we meet Kerry in the final, and it takes that long as McMahon timbers well over the winter.”
Specialists have also briefed Harte on other obstacles to overcome when McMahon is fully thawed, such as informing him on changes in world politics as well as what’s been happening in Emmerdale, of which McMahon is fanatical about.
“When Joe hears that Frank has slept with Charity behind Megan’s back he’ll go clean mad. Then there’s the whole stuff about the Tories and the DUP. It’ll take a good psychiatrist to get his head ready for Croke.”
Experts maintain the defrosting process cannot be rushed, with one wit claiming ‘it’ll be some summer for Tyrone – win, lose or thaw.’
Niall McGinn, who became the first Dungannon Swifts player to move to South Korea for footballing reasons, finally clinched his transfer despite a throw-away comment which was lost in translation, almost scuppering the lucrative move.
McGinn, who once scored 0-7 against Derrylaughan during a midge storm, asked the club chairman, who also acts as Lord Mayor of the city of Gwangju, if he was for Clones on the 16th in a thick Tyrone accent.
Thinking McGinn had attempted to speak a bit of Korean, Chairman Gung-Ho had to be restrained as interpreters attempted to explain to him that McGinn had, actually, spoken in English.
Language expert Martin Kelly explained:
“It’s normal for new signings to attempt some of the local language. However, when Niall asked ‘are ye for Clones’ it sounded like ‘aya fa konas’ which means ‘get the f**k out of my sight’. It took a while for Lord Mayor Hung-Ho to accept the reality of what happened.”
McGinn, who is expected to fly out to his new club in the near future, has also pledged not to make the same mistake as one of his advisors who travelled out to Gwangju to look at houses.
Carl Carabine from Aberdeen unfortunately took a wrong decision at a fork in the road and travelled deep into North Korean territory before being picked up by their officials and enrolled in the army. He was last seen parading at Kim Jong-un’s 33rd birthday celebrations.
The current strain of Bushy Eyebrow Syndrome (BES) is proving difficult to contain in Tyrone, according medical experts, raising concerns about Tyrone’s upcoming Ulster semi-final against Donegal.
The 2017 version of the BES virus, which usually returns in anger every 25 years in the county, appears to be a particularly vicious towards young, fit male members of society with medical practitioners unable to halt the spread of it.
Because of their busy schedule, the Tyrone senior GAA side have been badly affected, as well as Omagh CBS. Rumours tonight maintain that Darren McCurry is currently unable to see out of his left eye, which he tends to use a lot during matches.
Pat McGarry, a water man for the squad, confirmed:
“I can’t see us winning. Both goalkeepers are almost blinded with the busy eyebrows now and they’re bad enough with full eyesight. Sean Cavanagh has only recently contacted the virus because he was training on his own but he’s in big trouble now. The BES is a balax.”
Conspiracy theorists maintain that the virus was brought into the county by a young Donegal supporter who popped into Sally’s in Omagh for a feed and purposely kept wiping his eyebrows on chairs and tables, spreading the disease like wildfire within hours.
The county squad have asked over 20 middlin club players to be on stand-by for next weekend in case BES wipes out the entire squad.
Following two consecutive 6-point defeats in four days in Ballybofey in two separate competitons, two Tyrone sleuths have made the sensational claim that Donegal’s management team employed the use of a rain and wind machine to defeat the Red Hands, a device left over from the days of Jimmy McGuinness’s reign.
The machine, which was built by McGuinness by hand and used during county training to harden his squad even further, has over 44 settings including ‘gale force’, ‘tropical’ and ‘unusually mild’. Our sources tell us that McGuinness was reluctant to hand over the keys but finally relented when Rory Gallagher threatened him with writing an autobiography and getting his nemesis Declan Bogue to ghost it.
Tyrone supporter Conleith Mackle from the Moy confirmed the conspiracy theories are probably true:
“During the NFL game last Saturday I could hear a loud droning noise coming from behind the town goals but I just thought it was the Donegal accent. It was dark so I couldn’t see but the rain was acting strangely. A lot of it was going upwards.”
Tyrone also lost their U21 quarter final to Donegal at the same venue 4 days later, by the same margin, in similar conditions. Mackle added,
“I stood at the town end goals this time and, although dark again, the droning was louder and I could see these men in suits running around a field using what looked like joysticks to control something. They even started arguing when someone pressed something they shouldn’t have. That might explain the sudden burst of heat which touched 37 degrees celcius for three minutes.”
Donegal officials were unavailable to comment but were spotted throwing a blanket over something this morning.
Tensions were said to be high tonight in Garvaghey after Tyrone County Board officials asked the county squad to pay £5.99 towards the snorkels and flippers needed for the match in Omagh to take place tomorrow night.
A star player, who wishes not to be named but is from Edendork, explained how players were shocked to see county board heavies arrive in sunglasses to collect the money:
“They did a number on us. About six big lads from Omagh and Tattyreagh arrived like juiced-up bouncers and demanded we all pay £5.99 for the wet gear. I could see the county board officals hiding behind a wall watching. Fair play to wee Mark Bradley. He said ‘no I’m not, you rotters’, but the biggest heavy with a tattooed neck lifted him and stuck him in the bin. It’s a shocking state of affairs.”
Sean Cavanagh negotiated the cost down to £4.99 which received a round of applause from his brother and the McMahon brothers.
The snorkel charge is the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures after players were asked to cut the grass at Garvaghey last week. Unfortunately, over £300’000 worth of damage was caused when an unnamed player, believedly from Clonoe, tried to mow the 3G pitch.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire, who attended the McKenna Cup gaelic football final in Newry, is said to have mastered the mid-Ulster vernacular after spending only two hours in the company of GAA aficionados.
Despite a drab, one-sided game, Brokenshire appears to have come away from the fixture all the richer from the experience and was even heard to say to his taxi-driver this morning ‘two hands for f**k sake‘ when his driver attempted to steer with one hand.
His advisor and former Conservative back-bencher, Tim Battleford, admitted he was shocked at how quickly Brokenshire has embraced his new surroundings, especially after last night’s attendance in Newry at the Tyrone/Derry final:
“We were watching the tennis this morning and he just jumped out of his seat and shouted at the umpire ‘away a that a ye referee ye bollocks’. The umpire hadn’t done anything wrong. Then when we were driving to the airport he saw a lollipop man stopping traffic and he shouted out the window ‘Hi linesman, are your f**king eyes painted on?”
Later, at Aldergrove airport, Brokenshire reportedly became irate at the length of time it was taking to get his satchel through security and was heard to roar “Let it in ta f**k wud ye“, a phrase he supposedly heard someone in the crowd shout at Colm Cavanagh as Ronan O’Neill made another fruitless run in the full forward line.
Brokenshire was also spotted chatting up his cousin this morning, probably another after-effect from the McKenna final.
An Ulster Council officer was said to be ‘comfortable’ this morning after he received serious burn damage to his hands and fingers seconds after drawing the tubes that sees Derry play Tyrone in next year’s Ulster Championship.
The draw, which was transmitted live on RTE2, also pitted Armagh against near neighbours Down to create two mouthwatering and lucrative fixtures for the Ulster Council. To his credit, the officer completed the draw process despite further damage to his hands when it emerged the Armagh and Down tubes were freezing cold.
An RTE studio manager attempted to explain the accident:
“It must have been the studio lights that made the Tyrone and Derry tubes heat up to 80 degrees celsius. Also, because of the length of time the draw took, the Armagh and Down tubes were like icicles by the time he got to them. That’s our explanation anyway. The Ulster man got a bit of a shock but he soldiered on through it, God help him.”
Meanwhile, neighbours confirmed that immediately after the draw was made Ronan O’Neill was spotted doing several dabs as he ran around his garden. Zachary Quinn from Gortin, a neighbour and friend, added:
“He was even doing dabs when he was getting into his motor this morning. He seems really pleased about something.”
Finally, RTE confirmed that Joe Brolly is to be given a specially-commissioned seat made of velcro to stop him sliding down off his seat in 2017.
It has emerged today that a Tyrone-born priest deliberately tripped Lee Keegan after communion during Sunday Mass in Westport, the day after Mayo dumped Tyrone out of the All Ireland series.
Keegan, the impish half back who expertly hounded Sean Cavanagh during the game, was said to be ‘shook up’ but has vowed to return to Mass this weekend nonetheless. Fr Jordan, a Trillick native, has denied any wrongdoing whilst claiming it was six of one and half a dozen of the other.
An on-looker added:
“It was a blatant trip. Keegan went sprawling onto the lap of the sacristan, Mary Boyle, and he’s not that type of worshipper. Fr Jordan was in foul form and I’ve no doubt it was related to the previous day’s result. His homily was all about the pulling and dragging that goes on in the fires of hell and stuff like that. A weird performance altogether.”
A close relative of Keegan also accused Fr Jordan of purposely gouging Keegan in the eye whilst giving communion although the Mayo half back is refusing to comment on the details.
This is not the first time Fr Boyle has courted controversy after a Tyrone defeat. In the aftermath of the semi-final loss to Kerry last year, the priest reportedly stormed into the Spar in Westport and kicked down the Kerry Butter stand, causing over £35 worth of damage. He was also accused of giving Armagh natives stricter penances after confessions during the height of the Tyrone/Armagh rivalry of 10 years ago.
Meanwhile Colm Cavanagh has come under fire in the Cavanagh household after the video showed him laughing at Keegan performing a WWE move on his brother Sean. Neighbours suggested there has been a simmering rivalry between the brothers ever since Sean gave Colm one of his All-Stars as a birthday present last year.
A new list of collective nouns has sparked outrage across the county after the contents of a new dictionary was leaked to media outlets by a photocopy manager in Dungannon.
The new wording helps to define sections of the community according to compilers Webster & McGlinchey but some of the terminology appears to have offended more sensitive areas of the county.
As a county, a group of Tyrone people are collectively to be known as ‘a shower of’ as in ‘I was at the match yesterday and there was a large shower of Tyrone people at it’. Other collective nouns included:
‘A herd of Carrickmore people, an abomination of Eglish ones, a gaggle of Gortin folk, an ambush of Cappagh lads, an annoyance of Aghalooians, a buffoonery of Brocagh women, a clatter of Clogher people, a dose of Donaghmore ones, a dungheap of Dregish folk, an embarrassment of Augher boys, a groan of Galbally girls, a lump of Loughmacrory people, a maul of Moortowns, a mess of Strabane folk, a plague of Coalisland lads, a prick of Derrytresk ones, a rabble of Ardboe players, and a shitload of Cookstown people’.
Retired teacher of English Dr Eamon O’Fee remarked:
“I find this very insulting. Who gives Webster & McGlinchey the right to name us like this? I’m from Dungannon and apparently we’re a ‘stench of Dungannon people’. It’s just not on. The only thing which was perhaps acceptable was the ‘tyranny’ of Edendork people or the ‘runt’ of Omagh ones but quite frankly the rest are offensive.”
Webster & McGlinchey are currently working on a Derry dictionary and have currently simply named the county collective as a ‘a lechery of Derry people’.