All post-primary schools in Tyrone were united today in their support for the new GSCE English Literature exam which will see traditional texts such as Shakespeare, O’Casey, Hemmingway and WB Yeats replaced with the writings of Ronan McSherry, Alan Rodgers, Kevin Hughes and Catherine Wylie amongst others.
President of the Tyrone Schools United Committee, Master McGrath, explained the reasoning behind their stance:
“To be honest, we’re sick of reading that Romeo prancey nonsense. Who in their right mind talks like that now, apart from a lock of families in Donaghmore? Then you’ve Yeats waffling on about swans or Easter. Give me a critical analysis of the writings of Ronan’s Rant in the Herald any day: “taunting the Man U fans was like poking a rottweiler with a stick” is lyrically magical and far better than anything Wilfred Owen ever attempted.”
McGrath added that he’s very much looking forward to seeing his students get their teeth into Alan Rodgers’ match reports, Catherine Wylie’s account of the Nigella Lawson case or Sheena McStravick’s take on the botox addiction in Mid-Ulster. He added:
“We need to get people reading for enjoyment. We have a wealth of literary talent in the county, instead of analysing the Macbeth codswallop. Ciaran Woods wrote an article last year on the pain of playing with in-grown toenails and it had me in tears. Such emotion. Our children need to be brought up on this stuff, not the pure balls William Wordsworth was spouting.”
Students will be allowed to choose two of their own modules alongside a compulsory module on Owen Mulligan’s latest book.
Tyrone Tribulations can exclusively reveal that the queue for Garth Brooks tickets in Dungannon has set off a county-wide queuing addiction encompassing all manner of entertainment, in the hope of making it onto the news.
Our west Tyrone reporter Jasmine Cat revealed the extent of the phenomenon around the Strabane area:
“As we speak there is a queue of about 4o pensioners outside the front door at Strabane Parish Church for Sunday’s Mass at 10am, four days away. Fr Bollan is seen as someone who says a good quick mass and numbers are limited. Missing out means attending the noon Mass and it usually lasts the guts of an hour. There’s also a good size queue for the Strabane Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender drama night on Friday the 14th. That’s a quare wait for them; the majority are married farmers who just want to attend anything that might be free and for the chance of getting on TV.”
In the east of the county we have reports of large queues forming already outside the bru office in Dungannon for Monday’s payouts as well as for the bus at Quinn’s Coach Hire in Ardboe for the Derry game on Saturday night.
Ardboe Cross committee member reckons their queue is the most unusual:
“This queuing craic has to stop. There’s a queue of 200 for the Ardboe Cross even though it’s permanently open. No one is budging past the entrance gate. They’re just waiting til UTV or BBC get here. Sure not even the Mid-Ulster Herald are interested.”
Meanwhile a mile-long queue in a field in Ballygawley has finally dispersed after three days with no one quite clear what they were queuing for.
Following last Thursday’s news of a Loughmacrory A Level student being discovered with 3 A* grades, three more men across the county have been found with similar qualifications in their GCSEs. Police authorities have placed the county on alert level ‘Amber’, and have warned residents to brace themselves for the discovery of further smart arsed lads.
DI Sean Robertson of the PSNI said,
“We’re not sure if they’re all part of a cell, or a ‘brain cell’ as we’re calling it. At present the evidence points to this being true, as they all appear to have a fondness for Dickens and a common understanding of simultaneous equations. It’s a sad day for the county. Who’d have thought there might have been a brain cell around these parts? We’ve always had intelligent women but smart Tyrone boys were a thing for fantasy books”.
56 year old Deirdre McConnell, a part-time chapel-attender from Eskra, was a neighbour of one of the accused men, 16 year old Desmond Coyle.
“Sure, Dessie always kept himself to himself. Quiet wee lad growing up. I remember hearing talk that he was a prodigy, that he could use a knife and fork by the time he was twelve and put on his own socks at fifteen, but people say things in spite. I suppose looking back the writing was on the wall by that stage. There were rumours that he was once caught with a girlie magazine with ‘Wuthering Heights’ hidden inside. It makes me feel sick”.
Inspection of Coyle’s home last night discovered several incriminating documents under his bed, including the Ulster Herald, three copies of The Economist, and an old edition of ‘Juno and the Paycock’. A geometry set and a dictionary were found at the homes of one of the other men. It is alleged that Coyle fully intended to use the grades to attempt to better himself, either in Belfast or possibly England.
Authorities are also investigating the sale of a scientific calculator in Omagh to see whether there may be a connection to the four men.
Meanwhile, a girl in Derrytresk who achieved what has been described as a ‘rake of A* grades’ is to have a rampart named after her.