Despite being cheered on by the entire county during a magnificent run to the All Ireland Final, the threat to the county players is now placed at ‘critical’ as they prepare to head back to their clubs for league football.
As the multi-award winning squad from the 00s can testify, there appears to be a strong correlation between playing well for the county and getting the lining kicked out of you in club games, by the same boys who clapped and roared you on a week earlier.
An All-Star winning forward who wishes to remain anonymous, said from his Cookstown home:
“The feeling of elation when you scored a clinker in Croke Park would soon turn to dread when it dawned on you that some failed corner back from Ardboe is probably going to break you in two at the weekend for scoring it. I remember I nailed one such goal against Dublin, involving dummies, and spotted a boy from Kildress cheering and giving me the thumbs up in the Canal End. Then, in a millisecond, he did the throat-slicing movement and gave me the fingers.”
With Tyrone having so many 5-star performers throughout the year, the threat level has been raised from the normal ‘high’ to ‘critical’ with referees made aware of the need to be extra-vigilant over the next few weeks.
A Trillick sharpshooter who didn’t even get on for most of the year told us he’s ‘dunging the togs’ in anticipation of taking on Urney in a week’s time. Urney, who are famed for their particular distaste of Donegal, have promised to tone down the comeuppance for Tyrone heroes playing for Trillick, but refused to make promises.
Strabane’s deadly rivals on the field and life in general, Urney, made a double announcement this morning after their tourism office confirmed the townland is to be twinned with Megan McKenna. Additionally, the parish are to ask the reality TV and Strabane-hating star to turn on their Christmas lights in 2016.
McKenna, who angrily revealed her distaste for the Strabanese people on Saturday night before hopping on an Easyjet to London to tell her friends about the savages she encountered in west Tyrone, is the first person to be twinned with another town, highlighting the high regard she is held in around the greater Urney area.
Urney mayor Seamus McGlattery added:
“This McKenna blade is a sound judge. She’s just vocalising what we Urneyites have known for centuries – the Strabanese are a sub-standard breed. And she was only there for a couple of hours. She’s a shrewd character and we’re happy to have her turn on our lights this Christmas. We’ve never had lights before, and sometimes we forego Christmas completely, but by God we will go all out this year.”
McGlattery confirmed that the townland committee stopped short of renaming the Urney Road ‘McKenna Lane’ but revealed they’ll reconsider the decision on an annual basis as long as the Celebrity Big Brother star maintains her verbal war on Strabane for another few months.
“To be honest, none of us had heard of this girl until Sunday morning but sure wasn’t that the same with Moses, Elvis and Pele. These people announce their greatness on the world with one piece on genius and that McKenna girl just had her Mount Sinai moment at the weekend.”
Urney Ladies GFC have decided to rename their team ‘Urney St Megan’s’ for the coming year as a mark of respect and gratitude.
A 76-year old pensioner, who popped out to Tesco for a few goods, was presumed dead after he failed to return home within six hours, resulting in a minute’s silence being observed for Leo Tally at a GAA friendly between Strabane and Urney.
The mistake was made after his wife of 49 years, Betty Tally, told neighbours he was ‘probably dead’ after he hadn’t returned due to the fact that he hated shops, spending money and big crowds, especially in the run up to Christmas. Mrs Tally has since said she was only codding and didn’t really mean for the local team’s manager to believe her.
The minute silence was interrupted when a spectator shouted:
“Sure that’s Leo Tally standing over there in the red raincoat”
whilst pointing at Tally who was also observing the minute silence, having missed who it was actually for.
Tally, a local playing legend from the 1960s, added:
“I was at Tesco for ages because everything I wanted to buy was on offer, 3 for the price of 2, so I ended up buying 3 of everything I wanted. That was about 120 items.”
Although Tally returned home before heading out to the game, his wife neglected to tell him she had informed others of his untimely passing.
“At first I was laughing about it but when I think back, I’m a bit annoyed that there were a few lads sniggering away during my minute silence and some were eating mineral and crisps. I’ll be having a word.
Strabane GAA have issued an apology to Mr Tally but reassured him that when he does die they’ll make sure everyone observes the silence perfectly.
PSNI officials are pointing the finger at Urney supporters after Dolores, the celebrity psychic eel from Ardboe, was found hanging from a nail hammered into an electric pole near Strabane. Police said the eel had been gutted.
At a well-attended showbiz event yesterday in front of over 40 onlookers including Plunkett Donaghy, Dolores was thrown into a tank with a stone at either side in the colours of each of the Intermediate finalists. The eel, who correctly predicted the new pope as well as the Great Wind of ’87, immediately swam towards the Edendork eel, indicating she thought the East Tyrone side would lift the title. To make matters worse, Dolores headed towards the Urney-coloured stone and defecated on it.
Witnesses confirmed that the Urney contingent in attendance appeared agitated at the proceedings, making neck-slicing gestures at the eel after it did its business on the Urney stone, with one Urney supporter reportedly shouting ‘you’re dead meat, Dolores’.
Ardboe fisherman Johnny Quinn remarked;
“I can’t believe Dolores is dead. Them bastards are savages.”
Dolores also predicted Aghaloo would win the Junior final over Brackaville Owen Roes, with both sides apparently happy with the eel’s prediction, suggesting the Owen Roes have a hefty bet on Aghaloo winning also.
Dolores’ remains will be arriving home tonight to Ardboe with a Mass at 8:30 pm followed by an outdoor barbecue where Dolores will be eaten.
Pope Francis, who has been lauded as one of the more progressive popes in recent centuries, surprised worshippers during an open air Mass in Philadelphia with an audible outburst during a minute’s silence for private intentions.
The Pope, who momentarily forgot he had a microphone wired into his robes, finished the silent minute with a quite clear ‘C’mon Urney te feck’ before blessing himself and carrying on with the rest of the ceremony.
Urney supporter and jersey washer Harriet McElhinney is adamant that, as expected, God is on the side of the West Tyrone men as they prepare for the Intermediate final against Edendork:
“We’re not getting complacent or anything but surely this is a sign that the man above is watching over us in our pursuit of senior status. Pope Francis is obviously keeping a close eye on Urney St Columba’s this year. I’d say he’s not overly fond of Edendork what with their gambling and all in that bingo hall. And St Malachy wasn’t half the man Columba was. Sure didn’t Columba build a monastery in Derry with his own hands, plastering it himself and him with his back broke from rowing back and forth to Scotland for sand.”
Papal officials confirmed Francis did not know his microphone was on at all times and apologised to Edendork players, officials and supporters, adding that McCurry would ‘take some watching’.
Meanwhile, the Vatican have granted Urney an audience with the Pope this week but have yet to decide whether or not to accept the gift of a bottle of home-made poitin after recent figures suggested 98 bottles of wine are consumed per person in the Vatican per year. Pope Francis maintains accepting the gift would be a bad start for his ‘Go Sober In October’ initiative.
Following intense social media speculation that Cast Away 2 possibly starring Tom Hanks again is to be set in Urney in West Tyrone, local dignitaries have warned the multi-Oscared actor that he should expect no preferential treatment from local businesses or services for the duration of his stay near the Donegal border.
Twitter and Facebook were awash with rumours that a second instalment of the feature film, which starred Tom Hanks as a successful systems engineer who falls out of a plane and ends up living on an island for four years talking to a ball and growing his beard, is to be set in one of the remotest parts of the planet with no Internet with Urney emerging as an odds-on favourite.
Urney, which means ‘deadly quiet’ in Irish, also came close to landing the location of Mississippi Burning in 1988 but eventually lost out to Mississippi. Lord Mayor of Urney Prionsias Pilatey sent an important signal to the production team of Cast Away 2:
“We’re not star-struck type of people. In fact we’re the opposite. It that bollocks Hanks arrives here in his BMW and starts ordering caviar for breakfast served by a 38-year old virgin then he’s another thing coming. We have neither of those things here anyway.”
After intensive research, the Tyrone Tribulations media team could find no official plans to make another Cast Away and traced the origin of the rumour to the Twitter account of Strabane teenager Terence Wiley (@thestraman) who tweeted ‘no fcukin internet signal in Urney. It’s like Cast Away 2.”
Tom Hanks was unavailable for comment or something to that effect.
After a heated debate at their Garvaghey Centre of Excellence regarding the national perception of the county, the entire Tyrone GAA management team have decided to revert to their 1960s, 70s, 80 and 90s form and get beat out the gate every time they play outside of Ulster in order to get people to like them again.
On top of this, the Tyrone GAA School of Dark Arts is to close with immediate effect with college professors Ryan McMenamin, Conor Gormley and Noel McGinn taking their last session tonight on gouging, slagging and nipping.
The discussion, which was chaired by ex-county player Plunkett Donaghy, discovered that the national affinity of Tyrone worsened the more games they won against non-Ulster outfits whilst they were at their most loved when they were getting hammered by the likes of Dublin, Kerry or Cork 20 years ago and beyond.
“We’ve decided to just lay down any time we come out of Ulster and not compete at a decent level. If that’s what it takes for the Dublin media to like us again then we’ll do it. We were everyone’s second favourite team in 1984 when we got blitzed by Dublin. After Meath hammered us in 1996, people just loved Tyrone. Now, we win a few games and we’re public enemy number one. It’s quite simple really and I don’t know why we didn’t think of it earlier.”
The closure of the GAA School of Dark Arts in Dregish will leave thousands of under-age footballers in the county lacking in the qualities that have obviously propelled Tyrone to greatness since 2003. Donaghy says there are no plans to open the college for the foreseeable future:
“Southern media rightly identified that we have been systematically coaching our young players how to log on to the Facebook accounts of opponents and gather crucial information on their girlfriends and mothers and stuff. Pascal Canavan himself was a master at this. Well, as from tonight, Professor Canavan will have to find another sideline. Brian Dooher’s students who have almost finished their Masters in ‘Half Somersaults in Tuck Position’ will have their fees refunded. “
Players who attempt to score heavily in games against non-Ulster sides will be instantaneously dropped from the squad and sent to Urney. Clubs are also prohibited from coaching Dark Arts in their clubrooms, even in Moortown.
With the news that a special area of Healy Park is to be designated for Irish speakers for this weekend’s Tyrone/Derry game, over 12 other sections are now under consideration after a raft of applications were submitted, inspired by the initiative of Coirnéal na Gaeilge to promote the use of the Irish language at gaelic games.
Already granted permission for later league games are a Portuguese section, plumber section, gay and lesbian section, section for those earning over £100’000 per annum, ex-prisoner section, Lithuanian section and an area set aside for people from Urney.
Awaiting confirmation are the solicitor section, an area for people recovering from man-flu, undertakers section, a section for children with more than 5 school detentions since 2013 and an area for animals.
Pat Quinn from Urney, a gay plumber who earns over £150’000 a year and possesses a Fáinne Óir (gold fáinne), is deliberating over which section to stand in:
“Officials told me that you cannot move between sections. So whichever one I pick out of the five sections I qualify for, I’ve to remain there for 70 minutes. This is a big decision.”
Healy Park officials have also stated that those in the ex-prisoner section will be in an area exempt from camera footage in case they’re not meant to be out yet. Also, farmers can only bring a maximum of 5 animals in order to dissuade conscientious farmers from bringing heavily pregnant livestock.
There was also confirmation tonight that Derry supporters will be in the new ‘keeping it in the family‘ section which will be available for this match only.
News coming through that Sean Cavanagh may be on his way to Beragh. More shortly
Reports emerging that Owen Mulligan has been looking at an estate agents shop in Ardboe, sparking rumours of a transfer out east
TRANSFER! Joe McMahon has made the move down the road to Drumragh for six bags of coal and two VIP tickets to see Nathan Carter in Drumragh College.
We return to the Owen Mulligan story. He was in fact just looking at his reflection in the window and not property browsing.
More on that Sean Cavanagh move to Beragh. Beragh officials are prepared to offer their historic Standing Stone as well as three months of home heating oil for Sean’s services. There appears to be a hold up due to Cavanagh’s demands that his brother Colm goes too. Beragh don’t want Colm.
Noises made about Tommy McGuigan moving to Trillick. More on that later.
Sensational news emerging that Derrytresk have bid for Kerry’s Declan O’Sullivan. More later.
Trillick’s Jewish community have announced they will not renew their season tickets if McGuigan moves out west. Deal off.
The O’Sullivan to Derrytresk story is gathering legs as reports are confirmed of a Kerry reg car speeding up from Dromid towards Ulster.
TRANSFER! Moy have sold Philip Jordan to a knackers yard.
Owen Mulligan has been spotted chatting to Donaghmore‘s chairwoman Debbie Donnelly, sparking rumours of a move to St Patrick’s.
Declan O’Sullivan has been spotted buying a bottle of mineral in Cavan Town. Deal closing in.
The Mulligan story has been quashed after it was confirmed he was just chatting Donnelly up.
Beragh have backed down and are prepared to take the two Cavanaghs in exchange for the Standing Stone and the Drumnakilly Devil.
O’Sullivan spotted in Fivemiletown asking for directions to Derrytresk. Onlookers say he looks excited.
TRANSFER! Omagh have bought Moortown underage sensation Paddy Quinn for a packet of Haribo and two VIP tickets to see Nathan Carter play at Drumragh College and have promised to have him speaking English by Christmas
Ageing journalist Ronan McSherry seen buying a Brackaville jersey in Dungannon, sparking rumours of a sensational comeback.
The Cavanagh to Beragh saga has taken another turn as it emerged that Cavanagh’s wife doesn’t like the shops in Beragh.
Owen Mulligan spotted playing bingo in Edendork Hall, suggesting of a move to St Malachy’s.
Carrickmore have made a bid for entire Clonoe team.
Cash strapped Clonoe have accepted Carrickmore’s bid for their entire team in part exchange for Conor Gormley.
The Rock have denied rumours they are in the market for a new lawn mower, stating ‘we are happy with the mower we have.’
Mulligan will not be going to Edendork. He was simply checking out the talent at bingo in a Wayne Rooney sort of way.
Philip Jordan has failed his medical at the knacker’s yard
Cavanagh to Beragh is off. Mrs Cavanagh has complained about the climate up there.
Conor Gormley has been revealed as a Clonoe O’Rahilly player at Tessie’s, the only one left, sparking wild scenes of jubilation. Ruthless manager Cassidy says ‘he’s better than the shower we had anyway”.
Tommy McGuigan has controversially tweeted ‘punch a Ballinderry man today #dicks’.
One hour of the Tyrone Transfer Window left
TRANSFER! Ryan McMenamin has been sold to Uruguay. Uruguayan manager Hector Solaris reckons he’ll give them ‘that 1954 bite back’. McMenamin learning Spanish.
Tommy McGuigan spotted with a t-shirt which says “Why Always Me?” on the front of it.
Declan O’Sullivan arrives in Derrytresk
Declan O’Sullivan leaves Derrytresk in tears. They were just messing.
Urney have announced they will not be buying anyone in this window. Restless locals storm embassy.
TRANSFER! Colm Cavanagh has been sold to Beragh on a free.
TRANSFER WINDOW SHUT!
Recent comments by First Minister Peter Robinson have opened a can of worms in the county as pubs, clubs and homes debate who they’d trust to go to the shops for them. Early figures show an extremely low percentage of trustworthiness within the county with no one in Coalisland prepared to admit they’d allow a Brackaville man or woman to go to the shops for them.
Regular mass-goer, and founder of the Christian Ethos In Coalisland group, Maire Lyons was crystal clear with her take on the issue of trust:
“As long as there’s breath in my body, I’d never allow a Brackavillonian to go to the shops for me. Put it like this, if you gave one of them money and a shopping bag and told them to get bread, milk and the papers for you, you’d never see that bag again. Or maybe you would but they’d be wearing it. Themuns are a shower of heathens up there. They’d take the eye out of your head if you stood still long enough. The bible says we’re all God’s children but they must be a different species completely.”
Such views were replicated throughout the county with only 3% of Urney folk trusting Clady locals to do the shopping for them. At the other end of the scale there appeared to be evidence of a love-in between Galbally and Donaghmore with 88% of Galballians trusting their neighbours to go to the Spar for them. Pat McGinn explained:
“Ah I love it when I ask someone from up the road to go to the shop for me for a pound of mince or a packet of sausage rolls. Them Donaghmore ones are wild generous and sometimes you’d look into the bag and they’ve thrown in about £300 worth of food and jewels and stuff. People say Donaghmore is the Kengsinton of Tyrone but I’d not have a bad word said about them. They even throw coppers at us in the pub. Wild kind.”
Meanwhile, an unexpected figure of 76% trustworthiness between Ardboe and Moortown residents was exposed as a fraud after it was revealed both areas have applied for a £30’000 grant to build a ‘Friendship Wall’ between them. Rumours suggest the money will be drank.
A swoop on a house in Kildress has unveiled detailed plans to create maximum mayhem on the Down GAA senior football team this weekend ahead of their championship opener in Omagh.
The plot, codenamed ‘Mourne Mayhem’, included the hiring of the Dungannon Silver Band to play outside an hotel on Saturday night in Omagh where James McCartan and his Down team will be staying ahead of the big game. Other subplots included asking some of the best looking women in the county, and men, to seduce certain key members of the Down squad, leaving them physically useless by the time of the throw in.
Triangle player in the Dungannon Brass Band, Declan Murtagh, admitted his conscience got the better of him and drove straight to the PSNI office this morning:
“I was finding it hard to sleep at night. About a week ago we were asked by a man in a Kildress accent to play about twenty tunes outside Silverbirch Hotel at midnight before the game. He said he’d make it worthwhile for us and would throw in boxes of Brasso for us to polish out instruments and stuff. As tempting as that was – every man loves a shiny triangle – I felt bad as my wife’s from Kilkeel. Anyway, I touted.”
PSNI detectives revealed a series of back-up plans were also concocted including getting youngsters to run up and kick important Down players on the ankle in the hotel lobby the morning of the game. Chief Superintendent Sammy Prenter admitted the idea to gather up the best looking people in the county and position them at various parts of the hotel was a clear sign of a great but devious mind:
“This group had drawn up a list of 10 people who they all thought were great-looking and were going to approach them tomorrow to lure Down players back to their hotel rooms on Saturday night and then keep them active til the early hours. It might have worked too. There’s a woman from Urney on the list who’s a real stunner as well as a man from Drumquin who would melt any man’s heart. We got there just in time.”
The Tyrone GAA management team have denied any knowledge of the plot but added that it was great to see no stone unturned.
An inaugural cycling race took place yesterday, in an event designed to compete directly with the Giro d’Italia road race which sees one of the stages taking in Armagh.
Local organiser, Terence Kerr from the Rock, proudly told us,
“It was an unqualified success. I know we only had one person who entered for it who didn’t even finish, but that’s not the point. Well, it sort of is, but you’ve got to try, haven’t you? And what’s so special about Armagh anyway? It’s not a patch on Tyrone. It says in the paper they’re starting the race at the Shambles in Armagh. Why not Donaghmore? You should see thon speed bumps on the main street. Now they’re a proper feckin’ shambles. That’s why we’ve done our own race. Armagh can stick their apple orchards up their holes”.
The lone participant, 32-stone man Sidney Clarke from Cabragh, collapsed with exhaustion just two miles into the 124-mile route.
“I had done all my preparation and loads of training and was taking it all deadly serious”, he admitted regretfully. “In fact I bought so many go-faster stickers out of Argos I couldn’t fit them all on my Raleigh Chopper. And all the gears were working apart from the first and second, so I’m not really sure what went wrong”.
Onlooker Gerard McMahon from Urney confirmed,
“Ah, now poor Sidney wouldn’t be fastest thing on two wheels. Some of the wee’ans coming out of St Joseph’s at home time were going faster than him. The poor man was on the bike for three hours, and that was just going up Pomeroy main street. And I don’t really think the stabilisers helped much. The critter. Sweat was lashin’ off him. He’s a big lad, carrying plenty of beef. By the time he finished, they had to burn the saddle. Tara”.
Kerr advised that the Giro D’Onaghmore race originally attracted interest from over 300 people, until nearly all of them realised the race was nothing to do with collecting their Giro from the post office on a Thursday morning. Plans are already underway for a 2015 cycling event, the Tour de Fintona.
The controversial television presenter Jeremy Clarkson was once again mired in controversy yesterday about a Tyrone-based filming of BBC2’s Top Gear, when he is said to have inadvertently muttered the word ‘Brolly’ by accident.
The episode, parts of which were released on YouTube, was filmed in a disused quarry near Orritor, which Clarkson is said to have wanted to use to, ‘drive tractors into each other and maybe blow up some caravans’.
But thousands of residents were last night demanding the presenter’s resignation after an incident which has once again embroiled the presenter in further controversy. The use of the B-word occurred when Clarkson was trying to choose between two vehicles, one a New Holland T7030 Delta and the other a John Deere 6330 Platinum, during which he is alleged to have said, “I really can’t choose between the two, they’re both brilliant”, but, on several careful listening of the recording may or may not have come out as, “I really can’t choose between the two, they’re both Brolly-ant”.
Many Tyrone residents were outraged.
“The hoor”, said Liam Donnelly, a pot hole maker from Urney. “Thon Clarkson needs to go. This is beyond a joke. If I actually bothered paying my licence fee I’d definitely stop. It’s only this past month I’ve been able to switch the telly on again after the RTE incident with that commentator last year. See? I can’t even bring myself to say Joe Brolly’s name. Oh”.
62-year old Conal Mulgrew, a trapeze artist from Seskinore, said,
“Top Gear’s had its day, although to be fair the last time I watched it they were reviewing the new Hillman Hunter, so it’s been a while. I don’t really bother. They don’t do nearly enough stuff about link boxes. Bet that would get the viewing figures up. Still, he can’t go about saying words like that. There might have been wee’ans watching. Or Sean Cavanagh’s oul wans”.
In a separate incident, complaints have also been made to the BBC about The Stig, who said that diffing was for ligs.
It was revealed yesterday that the two-year sponsorship deal between current sponsor Hunky Dorys and Tyrone GAA football is unlikely come to an end following a bold offer from local Urney chip shop owner, Pearse Donnelly.
In front of disbelieving county journalists at a hastily-convened press conference in Omagh, a proud Donnelly said,
“‘Pearse’s Cheesy Peas’ is one of the biggest chip shop businesses in upper north-west Tyrone”, he said, “But I’m ambitious and it’s time to take on the world. I want a ‘Cheesy Peas’ in every town and village within a 3-mile radius of Urney by 2018. That’s right lads, you heard me. We’re going all the way to Clady”.
Donnelly was at pains to point out the range of products available in his chip shop, and in particular his ‘Cheesy Peas’ speciality.
“Them Cheesy Peas is world famous. They’ve even got onto the television a couple of months ago. They’re perfect for the lads”. He explained, “Them boys need fattening up. It’s fine giving them a lock of crisps, but that doesn’t keep them warm, does it? I saw Ciaran McGinley training up at Garvaghey the other week and the lad was foundered, you could tell. His legs were blue. He needs a big feed in him. And a slap of my Cheesy Peas could sort him out no bother. My passion for Cheesy Peas is mirrored in the management and team’s passion for the GAA in Tyrone. We’re a perfect match. In the meantime me and the family are switching to Tayto. That’ll put the wind right up whoever owns Hunky Dorys”.
Critics have pointed out that the peas are of the processed variety, and that the cheese isn’t cheese at all, but from a Latvian-based manufacturer of a substance which translates as, ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cheese, Dairy, Or Killed Someone By Now’.
“Listen, luminous orange cheese is neither here nor there”, said Donnelly. “That’s the natural colour of cheddar. You learn that when you’re in the business. My customers aren’t complaining. You should see my shop on a Friday after midnight. People are fighting over Cheesy Peas. When you see grown men hoofing each other in the groin just to get to a portion of the stuff, you know you’re onto a winner”.
The deal between Hunky Dorys and the club was signed in 2012 for a two-year period for an undisclosed sum, but considered to be six-figures.
“Six-figure deal?” snorted Donnelly. “So what? I’m offering a seven-figure deal. £700 a year for three years. That’s got a seven in it. And don’t forget I’m offering unlimited cheesy peas to every player and a 25% discount for their families and all club officials. Beat that, Hunky Dorys”.
Donnelly denied that the TV appearance he referred to was an episode of ‘Watchdog’, when three people were taken to hospital with gastro-enteritis in February after having consumed extra-large portions of Cheesy Peas.
Neither Hunky Dorys or Tyrone GAA were available for comment.
By Fr Riddle Lynn (guest journalist from portglenone.wordpress.com)
As a result of the unpleasantness which inevitably arises in the Portglenone area, at the very mention of the topic of Antrim and Derry, we decided to ask our readers to tell us what they felt were the 20 most influential things ever to have come out of County Tyrone.
We received literally some replies, most of which were either unprintable or illegal and one involving a goat which, quite frankly, was not even physically possible. Our Pointless Statistics Team once more got on the job but when they were finished, they put together this table of results in offending order;
20. West Tyrone Constituency Boundary: The relatively new parliamentary area has been cleverly passing itself off as France for some time now resulting in its attracting thousands of tourists expecting to see Eurodisney and The Eiffel Tower. The disappointed pilgrims are forced to make do with an electricity pylon in Urney and Eurospar, Omagh.
19. Cranagh: The village adjudged by National Geographic Magazine as ‘the furthest you can go out of the way before you start coming out the other side’.
18. Paul Brady: The curly, surly ginger, singer/songwriter and professional ‘Bosco’ impersonator who brought us the classic refrain;
I wanna take you to Coalisland
And count the off-licences per man
And in the evening when the sun goes down
We’d rip the ATM from the local filling station
17. Making Pat Spillane Puke: A classic reversal of the normal pattern of Pat Spillane making everyone else hurl their fadge.
16. The Place Name ‘Sandholes’: Deriving from the Old French ‘Sans Houlles’, meaning ‘Without Arse”, the area is credited as the home of the design of cheap supermarket denim which reduces ‘buttock protrusion’ in male wearers over 35 years of age.
15. Splash: The popular Saturday night, light entertainment programme where fading celebrities imitate their own careers by falling unceremoniously from a great height without being touched in an attempt to garner advantage which is scarcely deserved. The format is based on the career of Brian Dooher. (Apart from the great height bit obviously)
14. The Carnteel Road: By an amazing freak of geography, motorists travelling directly from Aughnacloy to Dungannon will pass the end of the Carnteel Road on no less than 14 occasions.
13. The Place Name ‘Orritor’: For the sheer joy of positioning a district which sounds like a body cavity in close proximity to another called ‘Sandholes’.
12. Sir James Cricket: A comedian who has sustained a 40 year career with an act based entirely on a humorous tea-towel which my mother brought back from Westport in 1972. Don’t come here.
11. Benburb Sunday: A day where children up to the age of 12 were rounded up by monks and made to pay to slide down a hill on a carpet of rough hardboard resulting in semi-permanent scarring of skin tissue on the thigh and elbow.
10. Dennis Taylor’s Wiggly Index Finger: Widely regarded as being amongst the finest of the gargantuan-spectacle wearing ball potter’s eleven fingers.
9. Penfold from Dangermouse: No list would be complete without the pint-sized, sidekick, cartoon-moaner and his hilarious catchphrase; “Carrickmore Gaelic Fudball Club”.
8. The Amazing Disappearing Letters ‘T’& ‘W’: Used to such wonderful effect in the pronunciation of places such as ‘Cookson” ‘Stewarson’ and ‘Twincamton’.
7. Eugene McMenamin’s Unfeasibly Black Eyebrows: The Strabane based MLA holds the distinction of having been balancing two ‘Granny Grey Beard’ caterpillars on his forehead since 1984.
6. The Red Hand of Ulster: Yeah, thanks a bunch for that!
5. The Carland Bypass: The wonderful decision to remove the one corner which broke the utter monotony of driving between Cookstown and Dungannon.
4. Eponymously Titled Products which are now Defunct: Tyrone Brick, Tyrone Crystal, Tyrone Power, Tyrone Moderate Alcohol Consumers.
3. Consilio et Prudentia: Although also the names of two Late (possibly ex) (possibly Latex) Nuns from Loretto convent in Omagh, this is actually the irony valve straining motto of the county translating as…wait for it…no I’m serious….”Wisdom & Prudence”.
2. The Untimely Demise of Tyrone Tom’s Red Shorts: The ill-thought out decision to use the Greencastle man’s iconic shorts as an agreed alternative to the Union flag on Belfast City Hall.
And of course topping the list
A high-profile undercover investigator has shattered an underground refereeing ring in Strabane where up to 30 Tyrone referees meet up weekly and laugh at some of the decisions they made and are going to make the following weekend. Joe Wheeler, the Welsh freelance TV reporter, pretended to show an interest in refereeing this coming season by getting himself into some shape and buying a shiny new whistle.
After an initial vetting service, Wheeler was asked along to the first meeting which was held in an underground bunker on the Urney Road.
“To be honest, the vetting process wasn’t too taxing. They just asked me to blow the whistle three times and point in various directions. That was it. I was in.”
Wheeler was told he’d probably referee a few U16 games in Ardboe to harden him up before embarking on Division Three of the Tyrone All County League.
“They reckoned a few underage games between Ardboe and Moortown would make a man of me. But it was what went on during the meeting that shocked me. All 30 refs took turns in telling yarns about the worst decisions they made last weekend and everyone was bent over laughing. The drink was flying but it was some craic to be fair. One ref said he deliberately turned a blind eye to a player getting the head battered off him because he remembered the lad’s father refused him access to a rampart years ago. They did some guffawing at that one.”
The Welsh reporter was even more astounded when matters turned to this weekend’s matches:
“Remarkably, as well as being given their fixtures to referee this weekend, they were also given a scoreline to work towards. There was a rollover jackpot with all men putting a fiver into the pot which now stood at £490. Anyone who got their score correctly won the dough. A bonus pot of £100 was also given every week to the ref who made the worst decision. This time a ref from Killyman won for sending off a Killeeshil player for wearing ankle socks.”
Wheeler reported that they all agreed to give the following teams ‘a bad touch’ this year: Owen Roes, The Rock, The Moy, Killyclogher, Dregish, Derrytresk, Carrickmore and Kildress.
The Tyrone Referees’ Association were unavailable for comment.
An Urney man, who claims he’s the last living descendant of Saint Patrick, maintains the national saint wasn’t all that fussed on alcohol and was also an opponent of fracking but liked stupid knock knock jokes.
Dessie Jones, who claims a direct lineage from St Patrick and walks around Urney wearing green cloaks, mitre and a staff, reckons his ancestor wouldn’t be all that bothered on the whole celebrations malarky but loved the sort of music More Power To Your Elbow play:
“Aye, stories have been passed down about our Paddy. He was some character by all accounts but a bit ruthless with animals he didn’t like. The snakes didn’t stand a chance as soon as one of them ate a hole in his favourite tunic. Also, one sip of the hard stuff and he was under the table. I couldn’t see him wetting the day with a few black ones but loved the fiddledy dee music and shouted ‘yeoooo’ a lot.”
Dessie was quick to point out that Patrick wasn’t a party pooper:
“No, quite the opposite I’m led to believe. My father said he was supposedly a deadly man for tripping people by sticking a foot out from under a hedge. And he was a sucker for the knock knock jokes. His favourite was the atheist one: ‘Knock Knock‘. ‘Who’s there?’. ‘God‘. ‘Who?’. ‘God‘. ‘Who?’. ‘God‘. ‘Must have been the wind‘. As I said he was some joker, our Paddy.”
Jones reminded people that Patrick had strong views on fracking and wouldn’t be surprised if he made it rain for 200 days on Fermanagh if it goes ahead.
“Two things our Paddy hated. Fracking and people eating with their mouths open. I’m also told he had a brilliant throw and could hurl rocks at police accurately from 100 yards away.”
Urney have confirmed they will honour St Patrick with a whiskey tasting session after Mass.
Hospital authorities across the county have issued a plea to Tyrone residents to ‘calm down a bit’ on the dancing, as a four-fold increase in ‘jiving-related injuries’ put hospital services at breaking point at the weekend.
It is thought that the increasing popularity of local singers such as Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan and Lisa McHugh, combined with the forthcoming Garth Crooks concerts, have thrown residents into a frenzy of what many have euphemistically referred to as ‘dancing’.
“We’re on high alert”, admitted hospital doctor Sheila Quinn from Edendork. “It’s like a bizarre but very worrying form of hypnosis, particularly in some of the men. Put on ten seconds of ‘Wagon Wheel’, and suddenly they’re thirty years younger and John Travolta. You should see them. At best it’s 250 quid off of ‘You’ve Been Framed’ and at worse a 10-day spell in traction. Have they no sense? What makes them think that if their hips are clicking one minute, they can do a back flip the next? Holy Smokes”.
Crisis point was reached following the announcement of the Garth Brooks tour dates.
“Since then, we’re just swamped with injuries”, said Quinn. “Last Friday night we had admissions of a whole lock of different accidents at pubs and clubs, from dislocated wrists to sprained backs, locked knees, and broken ankles. And that’s just from people getting out of their stools. The actual jiving injuries were even worse”.
Authorities now fear that the outbreak has spread to domestic premises.
“We’re getting more and more call-outs to people’s homes”, admitted paramedic Aiden Mullan from Trillick. “We got an emergency call to Urney last Thursday and were treating this one boy for convulsions. Turns out that was just him tryin’ to throw some shapes to ‘Friends in Low Places’. Jaysus, we thought he had swallowed his tongue. And then on Sunday, this one in Seskinore had grabbed his missus after Sunday lunch when ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’ came on the radio. He tried to spin her round and ended up catapulting her straight through the conservatory window. Poor woman. We were picking glass out of her arse for hours”.
Hospital authorities have confirmed that they are to remain on high alert throughout spring or ‘until people wise up’. Meantime, radio broadcasters have been cautioned against ‘inciting people to jive’, with Hugo Duncan having already received a formal reprimand for deliberately playing ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ without a health warning.
The news that 11 new super-Councils are to be created throughout Northern Ireland from the existing 26 and that each is to be given extended powers, has resulted in hundreds of people throughout Tyrone believing that the Councils are actually to be granted magical superpowers.
Following the publication at the weekend of a survey by the Irish Council for Statistics, it appears that entire villages have caught the wrong end of the stick, with an alarming 16% of residents believing that council staff might turn into levitating, shape-shifting, fire-breathing oddballs, all at the tax payer’s expense.
56-year old Harry Patterson of Cabragh told us,
“Being given superpowers like time travel and trigonometry and the like is a bridge too far. It’s a breach of my human rights. I don’t want them council ones spying on me when I’m out in the shed doing stuff. Not that I’m doing anything wrong like. And certainly not with that woman from next door. There’s nothin’ wrong with being neighbourly, you know”, he said defensively.
The view was shared by Jacinta Ferguson, a 42-year old housewife from Urney.
“It’s a waste of damn time. I don’t want the council coming round, self-spawning all over my front garden or manipulating gravity and stuff, when all I want is my gutters rodded. They should get their priorities right”.
“If they end up having superpowers like Spider-Man there’s no saying where it could end”, agreed Tony Laverty from Windmill. “We can’t have people suddenly going into slow motion like in ‘The Matrix’ at the drop of a hat, can we? It would be like that TV programme where all them weird-looking hoors have amazing superpowers. ‘Mastermind’, that’s it”.
“We might end up with Barry McElduff waltzing through Carrickmore wearing a Batman outfit, and then where would be?” declared Deirdre Hughes from Drumquin. “I have no wish to see that man in tights, let me tell you that. I’m not making that mistake again. If them councillors want a superpower then they can go and teleport themselves to feck”.
Some were more circumspect, with a keen interest in what the superpowers might be.
“Will you maybe be able to get x-ray vision specs from the council?” enquired a 58-year old man from Trillick who didn’t want to be named. “That would be handy right enough, for, like, all sorts of things. And would you be able to see through like material, like say, I don’t know, clothes and suchlike? Just asking”. He added, “And a couple of them super-strength ones like The Hulk could rightly work some wonders for the St Macartan’s hi. Has anyone told Mickey Harte about this?”
58 year old Rebecca O’Neill from Brantry however was much less positive, snorting,
“They should go and speak to the Roads Department. Have you seen the state of my street? In my opinion they’ve been practising invisibility for bloody years”.
The new councils are expected to come into effect in a few months time.
A local clairvoyant has given in to pressure to stop pestering the souls of the departed after numerous complaints were made via another medium.
58-year old Nuala Brannigan from Dregish has been communicating with the spirit world for 35 years, but agreed yesterday to give it up after an unprecedented number of complaints.
Niall O’Neill, an 800-year old ghost originally of Cloughfin, said,
“She’s a pain in the arse. She’s always on the ouija board asking what the football results are going to be, or the Lotto numbers. As if we know. Just last week she was wanting to know where she had put her Heat magazine, and then blaming us lot for having shifted it. Gadzooks. Can she not just leave us alone? We’re fed up with being pestered. I’ve a whole lock of haunting and ghostly rattling to be getting on with and can hardly do it with that woman bending my ear all the time. And anyway, what’s a Heat magazine? And a football?”
550-year old hangman Ezra Maguire agreed.
“In the olden days people used to enquire about loved ones they had lost or maybe the whereabouts of a sentimental family heirloom. This woman’s constantly demanding ‘horse race winners’ this, or ‘Winning Streak’ that. Anyway, what century is it?”
Conor Kendall, who died in a baking accident in 1963, told us:
“I came into limbo expecting to get a bit of peace and quiet, and it’s nothing of the sort. I’ve got a ‘ghostly haunting’ exam this Friday and I haven’t even bought any chains yet”.
The challenges of being from another world were also pointed out by Kevin the Terrible, a former Viking from Urney who died in 2009.
“It’s not easy being spooky”, he agreed. “Last night I was out working walking the ramparts near the Rock for about eight hours. Jaysus, I was foundered. Well, I would have been if it wasn’t for the fact I’m already dead. It took my ectoplasm an age to thaw out. And to cap it all I had that woman Brannigan inside my bap asking where her car keys were”.
In her defence, Brannigan replied,
“Ah, come on. All I’m after is a wee bit of information most of the time. Where’s the harm in that? It’s the only option I’ve got, because the internet signal in Dregish is rubbish so I can’t get Google. And I’m hardly going to go all the way to Dungannon library to find out how to change the sump on my washing machine if I can get it from the undead”.
The ghost world confirmed that the last straw came on Monday after Brannigan spent over an hour harassing spirits about a number of different topics, including whether Tyrone’s new A5 road extension will ever get built, what setting to use for making a Baked Alaska, and the answer to Channel 4’s Countdown conundrum.