By Landan Seamy
A 46 year old aspiring secret agent from Seskinore has phoned the Ulster Herman to say he’s “almost definite” that the back door draw is a fix.
Sean McGrinny revealed always had his suspicions when the draw was on TV but then RTE and the GAA colluded to put it on the radio so no-one could see. The full phonecall transcript follows:
“Any old fool could be suspicious” mused Sean “when it was TV. The way they’d be pushing the balls around in a big glass barrel that was see through put doubts in everyone’s mind. But then the southerners thought they’d stifle the questions from the north by transferring the draw to the radio”.
“To my shame” confessed Sean, “I nearly forgot to be suspicious myself until last year when I happened to be in Dublin on the morning of the day when Tyrone drew Armagh. I can’t say why I was there being a spy and all but to cut a long story short I found myself in a pub in Donnybrook and there were some people there who looked wild like RTE people. I can’t recall exactly what they were saying cause I was quite pissed but I’ll never forget the big grin on their faces as they looked at me in my Tyrone shirt. It was obviously all a fix”.
“This year I took the liberty of asking people in and around Seskinore who they thought Tyrone would draw. At least 17 people predicted Meath. 18 if you count my mother in law. That was nearly half of the people I asked. Most of the others predicted Derry. Not a single person predicted Tipperary. What more proof do you want than that? The whole thing is a bloody fix”.
“Why is the draw on at 8.30 in the morning when most people are at work. RTE and the GAA thought they had the whole thing sewn up but they didn’t count on me. Being a spy I’m in control of my own agenda so I got up early on Monday morning and sat down to listen to the ‘draw’.”
“Their first cynical tactic to stop people listening was they delayed the news by talking for ages to someone in Athens about whether or not Greece will default on it’s debt. I mean is anyone in Ireland even remotely interested?”.
“When the draw started I turned the radio to full volume and couldn’t hear a single ball being shuffled during the entire affair. The only noise I could hear was someone making tea in the background. As Tyrone drew Meath someone in the RTE studios shouted “Jesus” in a cynical and shameless attempt to fool people into thinking it wasn’t fixed”.
Sean’s proud wife says that he comes from a long line of shrewd observers. His father was one of the first people in Tyrone to realise that men did not land on the moon. He was famous around Fintona and was once told to leave the pub at 2AM simply for insisting that there was something suspicious about JFK’s assassination. Sean’s grandfather was no cod either and had a theory that it was an emigrant from Tattysallagh who helped Shakespeare write 9 or 10 of his best plays.
In a bid to recognise The Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus which from 1568 to 1960 was called “The Circumcision of the Lord and the Octave of the Nativity” and celebrated on the 1st January, over 5000 Tyrone men have agreed to be circumcised on that day with many opting for public ceremonies.
Although the Church have distanced themselves from the event, many theologians have backed the initiative as an honourable attempt to overturn the decision of Pope John XXIII’s in 1960 who renamed the day by omitting any reference to circumcision.
One volunteer from Cappagh, Pat Rice (61), maintains he is a little bit nervous but reckons it sends a message out to today’s youth that Christianity is still alive and well in mid-Ulster:
“I admit I’ve had a few sleepless nights thinking about it, especially as ours is being carried out in the middle of the local football field on the back of a lorry. But the organisers promise the crowd will be told to stay behind the fence and there is a ban on zooming devices such as cameras or binoculars. I’ll throw a few half’uns into me first and it’ll be dead on.”
The largest group appears to be in Ardboe with over 900 men agreeing to the circumcision. Gardener Leo Tomney agrees that it sends out a positive message:
“Young ones nowadays have lost their way. They’d rather stay in the house on their computers instead of going to Devotions or doing a stint at the Missions. By showing them that we’re proud of our faith and are willing to undergo open-air surgery, maybe it’ll turn a few back to the light. I’ve a new pair of jeans and all for the big day.”
200 nurses will be on standby throughout the day.
The Kerryman, who lambasted Tyrone for a decade for having the temerity to bring more than six defenders back into their own half and famously labelled their brand of football ‘puke’ and ‘basketball’, maintains his comments were taken out of context:
“No, I never said anything of the sort. Defending is an art and the more defenders you have the more arty it is. It was magical to watch The Mighty Kingdom swarm around the Donegal forwards. Sometimes we had eight defenders on one Donegal man – it was a pleasure to behold. Kerry have always been innovators and this new blanket tactic we have invented will change the game of Gaelic football. But, a word of warning – no one will be able to do it the way we do it.”
When pressed on the statistics which showed that Kerry made 1399 hand passes and 3 foot passes, he added:
“And what? Listen, foot-passing is an archaic mode of transferring the ball from one player to the next. It’s unreliable and statistically inaccurate the majority of time. No, again Kerry have redefined keeping possession. We’re just brilliant at it.”
Spillane finally became irate when our journalist posed the question regarding the 72 tactical fouls Kerry made outside the scoring zone:
“Away back up north with you and stop whining. It’s a man’s game. You Ulster men come down here with your fancy dan football, soloing and kicking the ball to each other. Well, where’s Sam now? He’s well hidden under the Kerry blanket. Yerra.”
The multiple All-Star forward also defended Barry John Keane’s cynical ploy of kicking the ball off the goalkeeper’s tee in injury time as ‘high jinks’ and that the ‘sun was probably in his eyes’. He added:
“If Sean Cavanagh had done that it’s a different matter. He’d probably have stabbed the ball with a penknife anyway. Puke stuff.”
The final family yet to receive a grant have announced that a £3000 cheque arrived this morning for the upkeep of a badger sanctuary in their garden. This news means that every family in Tyrone have now received a grant for something in the last ten years, ranging from ‘keeping an eye on Lough Neagh for invaders’ to ‘looking after the Strabane Christmas Tree’.
Economic sceptic Professor Harry Brown maintains this handing out of money for anything has to stop.
“I thought I’d seen it all until I met Paddy Grant from Brocagh last week. He told me he’d received a grant for being a Grant. Then there was Mary Shackleton up near Glenelly who pocketed £5000 for speaking three words in Irish every day – ‘tá mé anseo’ (I am here). She’s originally from Plymouth in England and lives alone apart from a wild cat that visits. That’s just madness.”
Professor Brown appears to be in the minority though as several awardees came forward this morning to defend their funding. Noel McGrinn from Dromore explained:
“The professor should learn to wind his neck in and maybe research a wee bit as to why these grants are handed out. For example, I get £1500 a year for making sure I preserve a small patch of grass around my back that a local holy woman claims St Patrick urinated on during his travels across Tyrone. There were no toilets in those days so her ‘vision’ might actually be true. I think that’s money well spent by the Department of Granting and we’re preserving a small bit of Ulster culture.”
The highest award this year was for Drummurrer handy man Terence McNeill who received £30’000 for pacifying local roosters and hens by singing soothing lullabys like Humpty Dumpty and Three Blind Mice.
Findings by the Institute of Ulster has discovered that nearly half of all Tyrone men have a genetic aversion to summer picnics.
The report published earlier this week, confirmed a fact which many in the county already suspected, which is that men have a hypersensitivity to sitting in middle of a dunged field eating scotch eggs and cheese and onion sandwiches.
Researcher Wolfgang O’Neill explained,
“These are very unusual findings. Show a Dungannon man a tartan rug and he’s likely to break into a sweat and start muttering about having to clean the gutter or paint the garage. Under laboratory conditions we tested over a dozen men from Fintona, and every single one of them started shouting, ‘the rain’s on its way’, every time we showed them a vacuum flask. Bizarre”.
The study also showed that when the Tyrone men are placed within an al fresco picnic environment, the symptoms of the allergy begin to intensify. These vary, but can include fidgeting, sighing extremely loudly, and looking at watches, to extreme irritability, yelling at children, and and getting blind drunk.
“Aye, that sounds about right”, said chronic picnic allergy sufferer Padraig Kershaw from Omagh. “My wife’s mad for the picnics, so she is. First glimpse of sunshine and she’s got the feckin’ windbreak out. Where’s the joy in sitting in the middle of Dungannon Park surrounded by midges, watching the clouds rolling in, eating tomato sandwiches?”
Another, 52-year old Patsy McGurk from Aughabrack, said,
“Al fresco? Don’t know him. Don’t want to. Know what I hate most about picnics? No back support. It’s worse than sitting on a bloody beach. We’re built for barbeques. If I’m going to get chronic food poisoning, I’d rather have it in my own garden, not some damn field miles from anywhere. At least at home you can have a decent bowel movement in comfort. I’m too old for squatting over a bloody clump of thistles”.
Extreme sufferers of the condition were found to have other symptoms in common, including involuntary shouting, ‘we’d best be getting back’, every time they saw a Tupperware box.
Tyrone Tribulations can reveal that the first wild snake to be discovered in Ireland since the time of Saint Patrick has been captured alive in one of Ireland’s oldest counties, Tyrone.
The tiny village of Moy, made famous by Gaelic football star Plunkett Donaghy and former underage Ulster rugby talent Shaun Kavannagh, finds itself once again on the map for an altogether more slippery reason.
A one metre snake, at this stage considered to be completely safe and non-venomous (simply due to the fact that no-one has been bitten by it so far) was found warming itself next to a wheelie bin out the back of the co-operative store, which locals are now petitioning to have renamed ‘Steve Irwins’
Manageress on duty at the time, Julie Rushe, is believed to have been so frightened by her discovery that she repeated the word ‘Jaysus’ over 200 times before reporting the find.
It is thought to have survived on scraps from the local Chinese take-away, easily accessed with its forked tongue.
The juvenile snake, christened “Brolly” by locals, is believed to have wriggled its way to Ireland undetected in the bag of one of three local youths who have just returned from a working holiday in Australia.
The three, who have spent the last year backpacking and fruit picking on a banana farm in Queensland, have returned home to see their beloved Moy take on Moortown in the first round of the Tyrone Senior Football Championship.
Cardinal Rodney Serpentine, formerly of East London, spoke to us from the Armagh Cathedral – ironically the exact place Saint Patrick reputedly showed Saint Bridget how to weave the cross that made her a household name.
“Would you Adam and Eve it? Fantastic news for the area. It has really tipped the scales in Tyrone’s favour for an influx of American and Australian tourists who will now feel more at home here, what with animals they see all the time and not just your usual cows and stray badgers.”
“Its funny really because when I first came to here from London, I was told to look out for the snakes around the Moy!”
Tomney’s bar are also offering a promotion on pints of snake-bite at £7.50 each until the end of May.
It is expected that the snake will be relocated to Australia, or else just flushed down the toilet.
Kildress Independent Movement’s Paddy Conway has been ordered to re-think his campaign slogan after parents complained of children copying the language used on his local election posters.
The motto in question – “Vote Conway. Sure The Rest Of Them Are Slippery Fcukers Anyway” – has been displayed on telephone poles and lamp posts since last Tuesday as Conway stands for the first time for his new Kildress Independence Movement which seeks to see Kildress stand alone as a separate county in Ulster in two years.
Local primary school teacher Grace McMinn maintains young children are mimicking the unfortunately choice of words:
“Yes, just yesterday I was teaching the children about World War II and at the end I asked the class what they knew about Adolf Hitler. A young lad from up the road put his hand up and said he was a ‘slippery fcuker’. Then I was out supervising the children at lunch time and I heard hundreds of ‘slippery fcukers’ being yelled out, even girls playing hop scotch. Conway must take these posters down now.”
Paddy Conway (48) who pledges to free Kildress by 2016 from the Tyrone jurisdiction, is adamant the posters will remain:
“Listen I tell it how it is. I’ll even go into these schools and repeat my message. Everyone knows they are a shower of slippery fcukers. Believe me, I could have said worse. Up Kildress.”
Conway went on to spell out his vision for the area:
“By 2016 we’ll be County Kildress with our own currency which might or might not be bramble bushes or blackberries. We’ll have zero tolerance for asylum seekers from Galbally or Greencastle and our army will be renowned for one of the most brutal in Europe, kicking the dung out of anyone littering or parking erratically. Up Kildress.”
Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff has denied he has responded by changing his slogan to ‘Vote For Me, Or Else…..”
A Cappagh woman took matters into her own hands when she faced accusations of being ‘genteel’ and ‘ladylike’ from some of her friends.
38-year old Dervla McComish, a tractor mechanic from Cappagh, was accused of ‘behaving like a lady’, when she was spotted sticking her small finger up as she was drinking a pint of Carlsberg Super Strength in Tally’s Bar in Galbally on Friday night.
“I was affronted”, growled McComish. “I’ve not been that offended since my sister accused me of being ‘a bit feminine’ in 2006. Jaysus, I nearly bit her head off. Probably would have done if I had any teeth left. Can’t go around with a reputation like that”.
“Aw, they’re taking the haun out of her”, said brother-in-law Gary McCaffrey. “The last thing big Dervla is is ladylike. How anyone could look her in the eye and say something like that would be impossible. Partly because she’s got a lazy eye. Hard to know which one to look at”.
McComish was also accused of eating with her mouth closed, saying ‘please’ when ordering drinks at the bar, and trying to stifle her own farts.
McComish decided to prove her lack of womanliness by climbing into a neighbouring field and punching an unsuspecting cow in the middle of its face.
“You should have seen the poor thing”, said onlooker Mattie Cullen. “Went down like a sack of spuds. And the rest of the herd didn’t fancy their chances either going by all the dung in the field. Honestly, you don’t want to bump into Dervla McComish on a dark night. Come to think of it, you don’t want to bump into her in broad daylight either”.
On the way back into the pub McComish sought to dispel any remaining doubt as to her lack of femininity by head butting a skip.
McComish last wore a dress for the Ulster Young Mechanics Dinner in 1996, when she was described as looking ‘like Hugo in drag’, a comment that she was secretly pleased about as she had always had a thing for ‘cuddly wee singing men’.
An announcement was made yesterday in Stormont confirming plans that Hugo Duncan, one of Ulster’s most celebrated performers and presenters, is likely to be privatised.
Following the successful privatisation of the Post Office just last week, proponents of the hare-brained scheme are now keen to move forward as quickly as possible.
“Thon Hugo Duncan is an institution in Northern Ireland, same as the Post Office is”, said local Tyrone councillor Enda McMann. “So let’s get the wee man from Strabane privatised and be done with. He’s a national treasure, so he’ll be worth a lock of pounds. We’ll make a buckin’ fortune”.
McMann believes there are substantial gains to be made for those willing to invest, and in particular those interested in sponsorship.
“Aye, we expect to get as much as £10m from corporate sponsors, although he might have to make a few tiny concessions. Like changing his name. If we can get some big brands interested he might have to get rid of the Uncle Hugo and change it to something like Ikea Hugo or Moy Park Hugo or Femfresh Hugo or Springisland Duncan. But it’s a small price to pay. When Hugo sees the cheque he’ll be riding the pig’s back hi. A big ‘Tayto’ tattoo plastered all over his forehead won’t be a problem”.
However, opponents of the proposal were far from happy. 46-year old velcro-fastener Kevin Doris from Clogher, said,
“Hugo’s Strabane’s answer to Tony Blackburn. There’s no-one like him. He belongs to the people. Take him into private ownership and in no time we’ll be listening to hophip music and disco rap and suchlike”.
The Strabane-born singer and broadcaster has already attracted interest from potential investors who have indicated they may be willing to invest as much as £1,000 for every ‘skiddly dee’, or up to £4m for a year’s sponsorship of ‘die diddly’.
If a sell-off were to be successful, discussions are already underway on whether Lynette Fay could be floated on the Stock Exchange.