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’.
Damian Barton, the Derry manager who has been given an eight-week ban as a result of his involvement in an on-field melee in the McKenna Cup final against Tyrone, has been caught red-handed attempting to sneak his way onto the sideline for the match against Tyrone again tomorrow night.
Cookstown plumber, Leo Padraig McCaffrey, who was fixing Barton’s bath revealed that the Newbridge man was in the midst of a cunning plan:
“I was unclogging Barton’s bath when I heard a man with a strong Ardboe accent in the room adjacent to it. Although I had a fistful of blondie hair in my hand, I made my way over and saw Barton in an Ardboe jersey saying “I’m Kyle Coney, ghost oh boys” and stuff like that. I clocked on straight away what this gangster was at and toul him that Coney doesn’t play for the county any more.”
McCaffrey explained how Barton became a bit flustered, denying he was up to anything untoward at first, and then trying to tease out of him who is on the panel but was injured at the minute.
“I was having none of it. He was getting more desperate as I stood there shaking my head and then let rip calling me a typical Tyrone bollocks and was foaming and spitting and stuff. I hope Mickey appreciates what I have done.”
Barton has denied trying to gain access to the Tyrone dug-out and has promised to sit quietly in the crowd tomorrow. GAA officials, however, are investigating a Derry sub who has been named as Dickie Rock from Magilligan.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Nesbitt has been asked to refrain from hogging the hospitality prosecco tomorrow.
By Landan Seamy.
Local spy Sean McGrinny suspects that Mickey Harte is adopting a new tactic to frighten ‘southern teams’. The cunning plan dawned on him after reading the names of the Tyrone team that beat Derry in the final of the McKenna Cup.
“Usually,” explained McGrinny, “since I am a freelance spy and don’t get paid very much I can’t afford to buy a program going into the matches.
On Saturday evening I dressed up as a Senior Citizen in order to get into the match in Armagh at a reduced rate. My disguise worked well and the young man beside me seemed to take pity on my age for at half time he bought me a cup of tea and let me borrow his program. I nearly killed myself laughing when I saw the name sheet that Mickey Harte had handed in.
He called one of the Tyrone players Hugh Pat! Whilst those kind of double barrelled Christian names might be common down south they just don’t happen here.
Then I spotted the name Henry Og and I nearly wet myself. We all know in Tyrone that a child with the same name as the father would just be called “Wee” Henry or whatever.
I asked about 5 or 6 people coming out of the match if they agreed with me that Mickey was trying a new tactic and they nearly all did except for a few who were just trying to be awkward.
In order to prove to myself that I was correct I went home and fired off an email to the Queen’s Bench at the Royal Courts of Justice asking if anyone from the 6 counties had recently changed their name to Hugh Pat by deed poll. Needless to say I have had no response which more or less confirms my suspicions. I think this name changing tactic is a clever one coz the southerners will start to think we’re just as Irish up here as they are down there and then they’ll start to think we’re the match for them in all things Irish including football.”
There is a rumour that Kyle Coney has been told that he’s guaranteed a place on the team if he agrees to change his name to Cu Chulainn.
Recent tax returns have confirmed that a Greencastle entrepreneur has pocketed over £3.2m in profit due to his ‘Sperrin Air’ production line which sees customers buying wheelbarrows full of air he has gathered from high up in the Sperrin Mountains.
Dermie Doherty, who has over 140 wheelbarrows currently in action, travels up Sawel Mountain in the Sperrin range by foot and, armed only with his wheelbarrow, collects the natural high-altitude air by walking around randomly before wheeling it back to his yard and emptying it into jam jars or leaving it in the barrows for bulk sale.
However, despite a roaring trade and soaring profits, concerns have emerged over serious side effects including cheering on Derry and fancying close relatives. Long-time customer Patsy Hurl of Cappagh explained:
“There’s no better feeling than opening up a jar of Sperrin Air and breathing in the delights of pure mountain atmosphere. At £39.99 a shot it’s not cheap but you definitely feel healthier. But they way I cheered Emmet McGuckin’s penalty against my home county was a bit disconcerting. And then I fought a lad over my cousin’s affections at the Slaughtneil disco. I’m weaning off it.”
Doherty has promised to label the barrows or jam jars with a health warning that some may suffer Derry-related side effects but argued that the overall positives outweighed the cons:
“Only 3 in every 5 are showing signs of Derryitis. To me that’s good odds. I’m shipping 35 wheelbarrows full of Sperrin Air every day so I’m doing something right.”
Health watchdog ‘Fresh’ have asked customers to be careful when wheeling the air home as any spillage of the air from the barrow could contaminate Tyrone air with catastrophic effects.
The Tyrone County Board have assured Croke Park that their new mascot, Red Hand Man, won’t be appearing again this year after he goaded the rival Derry supporters with obscene hand gestures and verbals of a questionable nature.
The mascot, which is a large foam red hand placed over the head and body of a mystery person, ran onto the pitch with the team at the start and even took part in some of the warm up routines, much to the amusement of the children in the 5000-strong crowd at Owenbeg.
After Derry’s second goal in the first half, it was evident that the mascot was somewhat upset with the scoreline, as he folded in three of his massive foam fingers, leaving 2 large red fingers protruding in the air in front of the Derry support. Johnny Kearney from Knockloughrim explained:
“It was an obvious 2-fingered gesture at us, hi. I had to cover my wee lad’s eyes. Two boys from Swatragh were about to jump over the fence to give him a hiding, only he shouted that he was just letting us know Derry had scored 2 goals in case we couldn’t count. We didn’t know if that was an insult or not so we let it go.”
Later in the game, after Tyrone had taken the lead following a remarkable comeback, it appeared the mascot appeared to get carried away and, using his loudspeaker inside the costume, shouted over to the Derry support, ‘ha ha yiz inbred hoors‘, according to sources.
Ground security managed to pull Red Hand Man to safety as missiles such as blue rope, hammers, Mars bars, cans of Lilt, bales of hay, spanners and front wheels of wheelbarrows rained down from the stand as over 60 men tried to jump over the fence at the final whistle.
The Tyrone Board apologised for the mascot’s antics and added that he’d been drinking whiskey inside the costume as well.
A 12-year old schoolboy, who ran onto the field after Trillick’s County Final win over Killyclogher, told victorious player Mattie Donnelly ‘naw it’s alright’ after Donnelly offered to give him his winner’s medal.
John McCaughey, who claims he only ran on the pitch to get his tissue which blew onto the field of play, was third-man tackled by a gang of linesmen who thought he was probably up to no good.
McCaughey claims he would have told the New Zealand player Sonny Bill Williams, who offered his medal to a fan after the rugby World Cup, the exact same thing:
“I’m being called ungrateful and spoilt but sure what the hell would I want with an oul bit of metal that had nothing to do with me. Sure it’s like someone buying an ice-lolly and handing you the wrapper. It would probably only be worth a fiver on eBay anyway and what would a fiver get you now?”
It was initially reported that Killyclogher’s Mark Bradley, who witnessed the incident, told Donnelly that he’d take the medal if young McCaughey didn’t want it, to which Donnelly replied “you will in your bollocks”. On further investigation this does not appear to be totally true.
Meanwhile, rumours that Trillick are to declare for Fermanagh this week are refusing to go away. The village, which straddles the Tyrone/Fermanagh border, has often been described as a Fermanagh settlement in all but name, with many of the locals displaying Fermanaghesque tendencies such as looking sad and saying ‘as wide as a duck’s arse’ as well as labelling everything a ‘yoke’.
Trillick’s opponents next week, Scotstown, have asked Trillick to decide soon whether they’re from Tyrone or Fermanagh as it changes their game preparations entirely.
Mickey Harte has been offered another two years at the helm of the Tyrone Senior football team despite a brave but ultimately disastrous bid for the job by Brocagh man Charlie McGorry.
McGorry (61), who started showing an interest in GAA after watching the Dublin/Fermanagh quarter-final in August, was told he did not need to turn up for the interview part of the process following a calamitous practical when he was asked to take the senior panel for one coaching session up in the Garvaghey complex.
A member of the squad, who wished to remain anonymous, explained:
“It was a shambles. The county board told him to bring his own bibs and cones. Didn’t he turn up with bibs you’d put on a child and a packet of ice-cream cones. It was obvious that this man had never kicked a ball in his life.”
Things went from bad to worse when he produced from his bag a Black & Decker 18V Ni-Cad Cordless Drill Driver from Homebase, telling the players that he had been instructed to do some drills.
“It was at this point that we realised Mickey was safe for another while. I wouldn’t let this eejit train an under-8 side. He even brought us crisps for afterwards and they were all McCoy’s Salt and Vinegar. Mickey never gets us Salt and Vinegar as he says they’re fattening. He brings ready-salted Weightwatcher’s crisps.”
Meanwhile, Gavin Devlin has denied prepping McGorry for the job and therefore purposely sabotaging his chances of usurping Harte.
In a remarkable similarity to the recent McDonald’s McMór controversy, County Armagh residents are considering a week-long protest after it emerged that the delicious Red Hand Hot Dog, which has been on sale in over 40 Tyrone fast food outlets since they beat Monaghan in the quarter final, will not have its licence extended outside of the confines of Tyrone’s borders.
The Red Hand Hot Dog has been labelled as the most succulent sausage in a bap ever tasted in Ireland, merging the finest pig meat from the county with fresh homemade baps, and has seen hordes of Armaghicans swarm over the Blackwater every night to feast on an estimated 800 hot dogs on a weekly basis.
Charlemont man and hot dog aficionado, Kevin McNicholl, fumed:
“This is partitionist, racist, xenophobic or something. Why are Tyrone people happy to take our money when we travel to their county to eat these delicious sausages but won’t allow us to serve it in our own county? Sure do you ever see us banning our apples from being consumed in Tyrone? They’re just being mean-spirited. So much for taking the bun out of politics.”
Moy chip shop owner Leo McPollin, the first person to make the food, admitted he had no interest in extending the selling rights to any outlet in Armagh:
“Armagh ones have no right to be looking the licence for the Red Hand Hot Dog. They’ll probably ruin it with apple sauce or something like that. And I refute the accusation that I’m racist. I’ve a dog reared in Maghery.”
A ‘We Exist Y’Know’ rally is to be held in Armagh City tomorrow from 2pm-4pm with protesters urged to come dressed as baps.
Colm O’Rourke, the ex-Meath hatchet man and RTE pundit, has admitted to feeling ‘mightily relieved’ and ‘a little bit embarrassed’ after finally getting to the root of the ‘bad smell’ which he originally thought was following the Tyrone football team around the place.
O’Rourke, who visited his GP in the aftermath of the Tyrone/Monaghan quarter final after a particularly bad stench, was told by his doctor that the smell was in fact emanating from his own mouth, known in the medical world as Orificium Manuritis, or ‘talking dung’ in layman’s terms.
A friend of the Navan headmaster told us:
“Colm is a happy man tonight. He couldn’t understand why the foul smell would worsen every time he analysed Tyrone games. Don’t get me wrong, the smell was always there no matter what he was harping on about but any time he mentioned the ‘T’ word it went into overdrive. He thought it was coming from the Tyrone squad but we now know he was just spouting shite from his own orifice. It’s a great relief for everyone. Orificium Manuritis is apparently contagious, especially amongst journalists, so it’s important to manage the outbreak.”
RTE have promised to help O’Rourke during his rehabilitation process and will bar him from analysing Tyrone games for 24 months.
Meanwhile, a source from within the Tyrone camp has revealed that Mickey Harte has called an emergency squad meeting this week after watching last week’s ill-tempered semi final between Mayo and Dublin. It is thought that Harte believes Tyrone are ‘still too nice’ to compete with the big three and has called in trainers from the other semi finalists to share their acute expertise in diving, feigning, sledging and off the ball skulduggery which was brilliantly executed on Sunday, at the highest level.
After a series of baffling decisions in the All-Ireland Semi Final yesterday, Maurice Deegan was added to the list of public figures that Tyrone people are not to send Christmas Cards to whether they know them or not.
Deegan, who has reportedly been given the freedom of Kerry to herd goats down any town’s Main Street, becomes the 10th GAA figure on the list joining luminaries such as Paddy Heaney, Ciaran Whelan, Colm O’Rourke, Pat Spillane, Paddy Russell, Charlie Redmond, Declan O’Sullivan, Joe Brolly and Kevin McStay.
Tyrone Post Office PR Sammy Hurson reminded the public that there’ll be regular checks at their depots throughout December:
“We can confirm that Deegan has been added to the list so we’ve hired a few extra workers to make sure no Christmas Cards slip through and make their ways to these dastardly men. Any cards addressed to the ten men will be burned on the spot and filmed on YouTube.”
With Brolly and Heaney having a rash of Tyrone relations, the PO have suggested donating the price of a card and stamp to the Strabane Donkey Sanctuary or to sponsor a an eel up at the fishery in Toome.
Meanwhile, Deegan has been given the freedom of Kerry ‘For Services To The Kingdom’ according to a Kerry newspaper. The ‘Kerry Kop’ states that Deegan will be free to herd goats anywhere he wants as long as he uses a bit of blue pipe to shepherd the goats and not a stick or a quad bike.
Sources confirmed that Deegan is unaware of the offer but is unlikely to accept the offer after turning down a lifetime membership of the Mayo Supporters’ Society in 2013.
In a gesture of provincial solidarity, the Derry County Board have asked their supporters attending the weekend’s minor semi-final to weigh in behind their great rivals and eternal enemy Tyrone by waving their flags upside-down in the senior game.
The Derry flag, which has the red section closest to the flag pole, or stick, can easily be transformed into a Red Hand flag by holding the flag bit in both hands and have the stick then pointing straight up, making sure the white bit is on the left hand side, or right depending on how you look at it.
Derry County Board Flag Monitor Joe Henry McCrayon added:
“We sort of can’t get our heads around how it will look but it should resemble a pile of people just holding sticks in the air. Unless someone can come up with a better idea we’ll go with this one.”
The origins of having the red bit closest to the Derry pole as opposed to Tyrone having the white part fernenst it is shrouded in mystery. A local Derry myth tells the story of a match between Derry and Tyrone in 1906 when both supporters arrived with the same flag and a fight ensued between supporters, teams and officials as to who devised the red and white flag first. Legend says Tyrone gave in first during the brawl so they were made to use the white flag of surrender closest to the pole.
Alternatively, others say the white first for Tyrone was to signify purity and innocence in how they play the game whereas the Derry red represents the colour of card they’re used to getting.
Either way, Derry are expected to give Tyrone ‘a bit of stick’ the Sunday in a literal sense.