A Derrytresk farmer has sent her husband off to fight for whatever side he wants in Crimea if any combat starts, describing it as a great opportunity for him to see the world and to broaden his horizons.
Danny Hagan (49) was this morning said to be ‘sort of excited’ but ‘mostly terrified’ as he had originally set his sights on a family holiday in Mayo. Speaking from Belfast International Airport, Hagan admitted:
“Aye, it’s a bit of a handlin aright. One minute I’m out lambing with gay abandon in our field and the next I’m sitting here in Belfast with a one-way ticket to Crimea and a ruck-sack filled with tins of corned beef and a gallon of buttermilk.”
The official Derrytresk send-off saw up to 12 people line the streets on both sides waving Ukraine, Russian and Crimean flags at 6am this morning. Reports suggest a row broke out after he left between supporters of the three regions, resulting in one PSNI officer arriving and employing a strong water pistol to dampen down raw emotions.
Cathy Hagan (53) told us this trip will be good for her husband:
“To be honest I always wanted to marry some kind of soldier so this will maybe re-spark the marriage. I was watching him out lambing yesterday and it was doing nothing for me. This is a whole new ball game now. I don’t know who he’ll fight for. Probably the Russians as he’s deadly for the vodka.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin has already acted to secure the services of Hagan by piping non-stop Malachi Cush music through loudspeakers in Crimea as well as inviting Ardboe and Killyman GAA clubs over to play an exhibition game on his arrival in Simferopol.
Homecoming plans have been shelved for a while with Cathy Hagan informing us ‘sure we’ll see how he goes’.
The Rock, famous for its disused water pump and Ciaran Gourley, has made an audacious early bid to stage the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in case Ireland wins it this year. Strabane man Ryan Dolan will represent Ireland in this year’s contest in Malmo and ‘Euro For The Rock’ chief organiser, Kitty McCreesh, reckons it’s only right that a county Tyrone village gets to stage the event.
“Ah sure why not. There bes Portuguese and Latvians in Cookstown and Dungannon all the time. Why can’t but put up a few thousand Ukrainians, Spaniards, Maltese, Swedes and the likes up around these parts for the guts of a week. If you take a drive around Galcussagh, Rough Hill, Sessiagh Hill, Knockavaddy and Mullynure you’ll see acres of space that would cater for tents, wigwams, them there cars that are also caravans or whatever them foreigners sleep in. Hammocks etc. My husband says he’d look after the Swedes any day of the week, especially the blade who won it last year. We’ll put on a quare welcome and the Rock Accordian Band says they’ll play for free when parading the 44 countries around the football field before the singing bit. I cannot see any problems with this idea at all. It’ll be rock-on in the Rock next year. Isn’t it a great way to promote the disused pump and the general friendliness of Rock people. We might even get two dots above the ‘o’ in Rock to give us a continental feel, like The Röck.”
Pierre Dumont of the Eurovision 2014 Committee confirmed they received the bid and will make an announcement shortly. Dumont did express concerns about the crowding around the disused water pump and whether or not they can employ enough security to control it:
“Yes, there is a concern about the water pump. Although disused, it’s still up there with the towers in Pisa and Paris, the Great Wall of China and the Statue of Liberty. In school in Montpellier, one of the first things I was taught about when it came to foreign places of interest was the ‘Rock Disused Water Pump’. I’m giddedly excited myself about the possibility of seeing it so I can’t imagine how people in Luxembourg or Belarus feel. It’s a grave concern and might scupper their bid. And anyway, Cookstown isn’t what it used to be they say, like Pompeii.”