BBC To Show ‘Desperate Fishwives’ – An Insight Into The Crazy Lives Of Wives Of Lough Neagh Fishermen
A controversial insight into the daily lives of East Tyrone women married to Loughshore fishermen is to be screened over the summer, with some critics predicting it will become the greatest TV series since Dallas in the 1980s.
Details on the Desperate Fishwives plot have been hard to come by with BBC officials remaining tight-lipped about the project, instead releasing information on some of the main characters who may become immediate superstars such as Sue-Ellen and Miss Ellie.
Crystal is a 36-year-old red-haired ex-PSNI officer married to Bob McCourt, a 600 eel-a-day fisherman. Crystal, bored as Bob spends 20 hrs a day on Lough Neagh fishing and blathering, takes a notion to the local priest who in return hears her confession 4 times a day. Crystal tries to gain acceptance into the local community despite her shady past as an Armagh woman.
Pamela-Jane (39), who won the 1998 Ardboe Miss Wrangler Jeans competition at sports day, is married to Rob Coney – the captain of the Rams Island trout-fishing boat. Mrs Coney spends her days running a massage parlour in Moortown, frequented by many well-known local celebs such as Malachi Cush, Paddy Heaney and Philip Jordan who often leave smiling a lot.
Francine (23) causes consternation when she weds 81-year old Patsy Quinn, the millionaire ‘King of the Salmon’ fishing businessman. Francine fills her hours walking around the Washingbay winking at young men and dressed in long frocks and sparkling jewellery.
BBC producer Williard Butler added:
“The show follows six fishwives about for 12 months. We encounter fighting, diffing, slapping, cousin-fancying, fishing, crying, laughing, drinking and punching as the women meet up once a week. This will create serious tourism for the area.”
The first episode is to be aired June 31st at 8pm.
A 60-year old Derrylaughan man is said to be livid after his winning performance during the 1972 under-16 wheelbarrow race has been declared null and void due to his lifting partner’s subsequent disqualification.
Dimitri Popov, who was visiting distant cousins in Brocagh that year, sadly passed away in 1999 in a circus accident but his widow has been informed of the decision.
His racing partner, John Boy McCabe, is enraged at the decision which saw him return the ice-cream tokens he won as a result of his victorious participation as a 16-year old:
“It’s scandalous. Dimitri wasn’t on drugs. He was drunk ok but that was because he looked a bit older than what he was at the time and was drinking in Falls’ Bar from midday with everyone else. All this is based on the Olympic doping scandal but you can’t tar them all with the one brush. If anything it was me who did all the work. All he did was houl my legs. I’m gutted.”
The Washingbay Sports Day committee have subsequently awarded the ice cream tokens to the second placed team, Pierre LeGrille and Thierry Jambon from Paris, who were also holidaying in Brocagh at the time. A formal presentation will take place in front of the Eiffel Tower in August.
A sporting event aimed at bringing the communities in Tyrone closer together was declared a resounding success by organisers this morning.
The Clonoe Cage Cross-Community Fighting Extravaganza drew an impressive turn-out, with over 300 competitors paying £2.50 each to climb into the specially-constructed cage.
“These guys should be proud of themselves”, said 76-year old organiser and former parish priest from Benburb Frank McLean. “They were falling over each other to get into the cage and start fighting away. I’ve never seen enthusiasm like it. I watched these two lads form Cappagh and Moygashel slugging away like their lives depended on it. They didn’t even hear the bell. That’s how committed they are to making this sort of community event work. They just wanted to put on a great show. All the lads were the same. In fact, we had to intervene so many times the taser ran out of charge. After that we just stood back and watched”.
Participant Steve Lewis said,
“Aye it was some night boys. I was in the cage with this wan boyo from the Washing Bay. Some fighter. Even managed to knock me down a couple of times. Credit where credit’s due. That’s why I decided to show him some respect by scissor-kicking him in the face when we were back in the dressing room. And then hoofing him in the groin. Twice.”
McLean confirmed that working in cross-community projects such as this had been one of the highlights of his life.
“It’s moments like these you treasure. Some of the boys even started getting into all that bad-boy tag-team stuff like they used to do on the wrestling on the telly in the 70s, because there was these two boys who showed up wearing balaclavas and holding a couple of fake Armalites, waving them at the crowd and all. Jays, I was helpless with the laughter. I nearly ended myself. And do you know, even the crowd were getting into it, can you imagine? Jeering and chanting and suchlike”.
McLean confirmed that the next cross-community event planned in time for Christmas, ‘Brantry Bare-Knuckle Boxing’, is already generating interest.
The man who walks up and down the shores of Lough Neagh selling handbags, sunglasses and mineral, despite there being no customers since 1990, has finally made a sale after Fr Fay bought a Choc-Ice for £1 yesterday evening.
Pat Quinn celebrated the windfall by buying ten 10p mix-ups at Falls’ shop, giving two to his wife Brenda.
Washingbay resort, which used to see thousands flock to from all over Europe to bathe in the icy eely waters, closed its doors to the public 24 years ago in preparation for the failed lignite excavations. Quinn, however, failed to give up on his sideline of selling useful goods to bathers and excited children and roamed the shore from 3pm-9pm every day since, rain, hail or dull.
An elated Quinn added:
“I’m ecstatic. I haven’t sold a thing since 1990 as no one comes here any more. I can’t describe the loneliness of it all. But I knew some day someone would cross my path and wasn’t it divine intervention – Fr Fay. He says he was just checking the area to make sure young ones weren’t curting in cars and hedges. I don’t give a damn what he was at – he bought a Choc-Ice. I’m retiring today.”
Fr Fay maintains this was just the start of a cleaning up of morals and standards in today’s youth in East Tyrone. From the front door of his mansion he told us:
“It’s a back to basics approach. All I see now is young ones walking about probably looking for courting and stuff wearing shorts and vests and winking. In my day I was in the bog stooling away or saying the rosary. I’ll put the romance out of them. I’ll be in the Greenvale this weekend and I’ll not hesitate to step in if I recognise one of my parishioners facing someone from another parish.”
Fr Fay added that the Choc-Ice was alright just.
Following the uproar and public apology over Joe Brolly’s comments on Rachel Wyse’s appointment as the Sky Sports GAA presenter, the Dungiven man is to prove he has turned over a new leaf by staring in a 3-part action drama on the shores of Lough Neagh.
Brolly will play Butch Colcannon, a lifeguard stationed down at the Washingbay in East Tyrone, who makes sure stray female bathers don’t get caught up in weeds or strangled by eels from the Sargasso Sea.
The show’s PR agent Danny Donnelly is sure that this mini-series will shunt Brolly back into everyone’s good books:
“Joe really wants to prove to the Irish audience that he’s a dead-on guy. His appearance as Butch Colcannon will win back the hearts of the housewife and the respect of the husband. Joe has already been receiving expert training from American navy seals and can now comfortably diffuse an underwater bomb designed to obliterate a shoal of whales who accidentally swim up the Bann. That sort of gives away the second episode but I just wanted to highlight how serious he is taking this.”
Butch’s love interest, a hairdresser from Brackaville who rekindles a friendship they had when a young Butch used to throw stones with her at the Brits in the village whilst holidaying there in the early 70s, is to be played by Miss Edendork 1988 Jackie Mallon who also holds a 20m swimming badge from Dungannon Leisure Centre.
“Joe will come across as someone who is accepting of women in powerful jobs, homosexuality, ethnic minorities, the Cavanaghs, cats, the Chinese, Bellaghy ones, Jews, transvestites, leprechauns, county music, the DUP, bald people, soccer fans and many others in the three episodes. It’ll be what the doctor ordered.”
Episode one of Washingbaywatch will be filmed at the shore this weekend. See BBC Traffic Watch for road closures.
The bi-annual change of clocks brought havoc throughout Tyrone once again, amidst mass confusion as well as some confrontational scenes.
Following news on Sunday that a local bookmaker was caught out after forgetting to change his clock, many residents, furious at having an hour taken away from them, vented their anger at farmers, who they blame for the twice-yearly clock change. Three people staged a mildly-irate protest outside a farm in Cloughfin, with banners saying ‘It’s Our Hour – Leave It The Feck Alone’, and, ‘You Can Take Our Sleep But You’ll Never Take Our Freedom’.
Demonstrator Claire Doherty from Dregish, said,
“Who do thon farmers think they are taking an hour off everyone? Them with their farming ways, tootling along in their tractors all deliberate-like, just to annoy other road users. If it’s an extra hour in the daylight they want why can’t they just change their own buckin’ clocks?”
The farmer in question, 62-year old Kieran Gormley,told us:
“It’s got bog-all to do with me. Why would I want to lose an hour? I like my bed as much as anyone else. Or did we gain an hour? I always forget. What time is it anyway? If I’ve missed Bargain Hunt I’ll go off the bap. I’ve only just got the clocks all up to date from the last change. Some handlin”.
Technology has particularly given problems across the county, with one man from Drummurrer locking himself in his bedroom for sixteen hours with a baseball bat after believing a very meticulous, time-conscious burglar had broken into his house and changed the clock on his television and mobile phone, when in fact they had automatically updated themselves.
A family of seven from the Washingbay had their own problems.
“It was tara”, said mother-of-five Teresa McKernon. “All of us changed the big clock in the kitchen without realising everyone else had done the same thing, so we all went to to bed at 3 o’clock in the afternoon thinking it was 10pm. Thinking about it, the day did fly by. We were making our supper when we were still half-way through our chicken dinner. My husband was putting his pyjamas when he was eating his sherry trifle”.
A man from Gortin, 37-year old Sandy McMaster, also got caught out by the change.
“There’s was something last night on ITV+1 I wanted to see but I hadn’t got round to changing the clocks. I didn’t know whether to turn it on at the right time, the hour before, or the hour after. My head nearly exploded trying to work it out. Damn farmers”.
Secret documents filed in a filing cabinet in Derrylaughan have revealed that The Washingbay Restoration Committee have commenced discussions aimed at increasing tourism in East Tyrone. One of the most adventurous plans is to create a nudist beach down at the Washingbay, behind the Kevin Barry’s football field.
A committee member who wishes to remain nameless but goes by the name ‘Kennedy’ explained the thinking:
“Years ago, thousands would descend on these shores during the summer from faraway places like France, Bulgaria, America and Glenelly. Then the clergy started shouting about the fumbling going on at night in the cars as romantic couples courted to the backdrop of eels and pollans dancing in the Lough. Before long, the weeds had grown up and the potholes were ruining the lawnmowers. We want to restore the bay to its former beauty with a bit of a twist. Buck naked bathing.”
The first of its kind in Ireland, customers must abide by two rules:
- NO LOOKING AT OTHER PEOPLE FOR MORE THAN FIVE SECONDS
- NO SCRATCHING
Kennedy maintains this initiative could propel the county into the 21st century:
“If you go to America or Sweden, there bes people with nothing on them walking into bars and shops and stuff and no one bats an eyelid. If this goes ahead, Tyrone will be mentioned in the same breath as Los Angeles or Sydney. We just need to get the weeds cut down and drain the lough a little to create a bit more room around the edges. And import sand and perhaps use some of those big heaters you find in beer gardens.”
The approximate cost of a nudist beach runs into £400’000 but Kennedy confirmed he has a promise of half a million pounds from a few local businessmen, clergy and turf dealers if this proposal gets the green light.
In recent years, it was noticed that the average Brocagh adult consumed two full 12 lb turkeys over the space of four days around Christmas, more than double that of anyone anywhere on the planet. This year it appears that the average per person in the area was 2.5 turkeys, resulting in some unusual behaviour today.
Local shopkeeper Billy Dorman explained:
“Yes, there’s a definite side effect this year. The local lads seem to have developed a reddy skin thing drooping from their chin. I think the official name is the wattle. Ugly looking think. And when they see a good looking girl come in, it flares and goes all red, and their hair seems to fan and stand on end. Some sight when they’re just in looking for bread.”
Greenvale niteclub owner Kieran Hendron confirmed that Brocagh ones are unmistakeable on the dancefloor this Christmas:
“Aye, they strut. From the moment they arrive it’s like a pile of John Travoltas in the one place. With every step they cock their head forward and make a ‘gobble’ sort of noise. And with that wattle thing hanging from their bake…..”
Government health officials admitted that although the physical similarities are funny, a negative side-effect is the aggression. Two Derrylaughan men was set upon by a ‘rafter’ of skateboarding Brocagh lads down at the Washingbay when they eyed up one of their sisters. PSNI spokeswoman said the Brocagh gang emitted a high-pitched shrill indicating they were becoming aggressive which developed into intense sparring where the Broconians leap at them with the large, sharp talons, and tried to peck and grasp the head of the bewildered sons of Kevin Barry.
Chicken will only be sold in Brocagh tomorrow.
Previously confidential state files show that the government considered anyone from Tyrone to be completely terrifying and kept a file on every person born and reared in the county, code-naming the folder ‘MB’.
When pressed this morning on what MB stood for, ex-Tory Secretary of State Basil Winklebottom confirmed it stood for ‘Mad Bastards’.
The previously 1986 secret files were released by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) under the 30-year ruling and contained some startling detail into the life and habits of everyone from Ardboe to Aughabrack. It was generally concluded that:
- The Ardboe diet consisted of fried eel for breakfast, fried pollan for lunch and eel stew for dinner. Ardboe children were sent to school with eel bites for a snack
- Donaghmore residents were well read and could quote Shakespeare even whilst down at the shop getting corned beef.
- Loughmacrory men used a petrol cologne before going to dances
- Urney was a no-go area for Strabanese locals
Winklebottom admitted meeting a Tyronnie on the streets of London had most MPs tossing and turning at night:
“Do you know scientists in 1986 were sure that a Tyrone woman could wrestle a bear and defeat it? They carried out 3 experiments and all 3 times, the woman from Dromore won. And the men were all into Boomtown Rats, Springsteen and the Undertones, and dressed accordingly. We’ve always had trouble with Tyrone going back 1000 years now and if they’d mobilised the whole of Tyrone in 1983 we’d have been hammered. Then Johnny Logan arrived on the scene and they softened a bit.”
Other secret revelations and plans from 1986 included:
- Fly Frank McGuigan over from America to give the restless locals something to go and watch at the weekends.
- Build a Nuclear Power Station at the Washingbay
- Reclaim Ballinderry
- Amalgamate Augher and Clogher to create Claugher.
- Make the Chopper bicycle the new county coat of arms
The catalogue of files for 1986-197 will be publicly available online on PRONI website from Tuesday 27 December 2013 and files will be available to view at PRONI from Friday 30 December.
The annual County Tyrone Potato Appreciation Society Convention was abandoned yesterday after police and priests were unable to contain a mass brawl in Cappagh Hall. Eyewitnesses claim to have seen men and women ‘throwing deadly slaps’ and ‘clodding spuds’ at each other after a disagreement over the correct local pronunciation of the potato.
Current County Tyrone Potato Appreciation Society chairperson Mary Nolan (68) was not in the mood for a peaceful resolution:
“Them there loughshore ones and go and buck. I’ve never heard of people calling spuds ‘pitters’. Pitters? Everyone knows it ‘purdees’. It was always purdees going back to the 1800s because I was there. And the Strabane ones can bugger off too. Their representative started going on about ‘poundies’. Sure that’s a completely different sort of dish. The westies and the easties couldn’t handle the truth and started boxing and slapping. Well, us Cappaghonians didn’t take it lying down so they got a few hard purdees up their gobs for their troubles.”
Nolan confirmed that they have officially changed their name to the County Tyrone Purdee Appreciation Society much to the annoyance of Washingbay rep Johnny Corr (77):
“Well, if that’s true I’d like to announce the formation of the Continuity Pitter Society. Anyone can sign up, even disaffected purdee people. We will make sure the local spud is called by its correct title. I’d also like to extend a hand of friendship to the new Strabane militant group, The Real Poundie Association. Together we can crush the Purdees. Up the Pitters.”
Fr Henry McAteer, who was called to the scene of the riot, recommended a time of reflection and cool heads:
“This is an emotive issue in Tyrone. The correct pronunciation has hampered us for centuries. It threatened to derail the 1798 rebellion in Tyrone after a massive fallout between the Brocagh and Aghyaran ones over a plate of spuds. I’m prepared to act as peacemaker and suggest we call them praties from now on.”
Fr McAteer has since been chased back to Maynooth.
Louis Walsh has stunned the Clonoe community and in particular songwriter Packie Taggart after he publicly criticised their ‘Fields Of Old Clonoe’ on BBC Radio this morning, calling it ‘old-fashioned’, ‘dung’ and ‘a rip-off’. The recently penned song, written for their appearance in the Tyrone County Final this weekend, has been labelled suspiciously similar to the lyrics and sound of ‘The Fields Of Athenry’:
By the side of Tessie’s wall I heard Cassidy calling
Mickey Harte, you may stay away
For you stole McAliskey on me
You’ll not be getting young Paul Coney.
Now keep on drivin til you’re at the Washingbay.
Low lie the fields of Old Clonoe
For we’re only about 5 miles from Ardboe
We used to have Prince McCabe
And big McClure with his hands like spades
We’ll be dancing when the cup is in Clonoe
Packie Taggart, 99-year old a retired livestock castrator, jumped to the defence of his song.
“It sounds nothing like Athenry. Sure that’s about a man stealing corn and being sent til Australia. My song is about the prospect of Harte stealing our lads to play for the county. No similarities at all. And the beauty of my song is that, unlike Athenry, I promote the majesty of Ardboe and Washingbay. This Louis Walsh boy can go buck himself.”
Walsh was critical of the subject matter as well as the fact that it is only two verses:
“The song will need to be played on loop as it’s over in 40 seconds. Also, was McClure really that big? In time, they’ll be saying he was 7 foot tall, wait til ye see. I heard he wasn’t deadly at shovelling or digging anyway.”
We’ll have full coverage tomorrow as Carrickmore release their song.
A man from Omagh inadvertently found himself 4,000 miles from home when he got on the wrong flight home and ended up in America.
Seamie Corrigan, an unemployed car mechanic from Drumragh near Omagh, had spent a month travelling around Italy trying unsuccessfully to get work as a part-time bullfighter. In his final few days there he received third degree sunburn, and it is thought that when he bought a ticket at the airport in Rome to return to Ireland, when asked his destination he was in so much discomfort that ‘Omagh’ came out as ‘Oma-haaagh’.
“I made a hames of it so I did”, said a shame-faced Corrigan. “I was killed with the sunburn and all, so by the time I got on the airyplane I was getting tore into the duty free like a man possessed. When I got off at the other end the truth is I was wrote aff. I fell into the taxi and just told yer man to take me to Omagh town centre”.
Asked how soon he realised he was in the wrong continent, an indignant Corrigan replied,
“Incontinent? Watch it ye boy. That was just a wee misunderstanding on the plane. I spilled a glass of water on my trousers, that’s all. Don’t you believe anything different. Anyways, the queues for the bogs on that plane was ridiculous. I was burstin’”.
Looking back, Corrigan realised something wasn’t quite right as soon as he arrived in Omaha in Nebraska.
“I suppose I should have twigged straightaway I wasn’t back in Ireland when it was September and the rain wasn’t throwin’ it down. And the taxi driver was speaking with this really funny accent, saying ‘howdy’ and ‘shucks’ and suchlike, but I just assumed he was from Killeeshil or some place like that”.
The hapless Corrigan only realised the extent of his problem when he went into a local bar to order a drink, and was greeted by a barmaid with a warm and friendly smile who provided prompt and efficient service.
“Ach, Omagh is alright, but some of them wemmin working in the bars have a face like a pishmire. That’s when I knew something had gone badly wrong. And they don’t even have bullfighting in Italy. Some handlin’”.
The incident follows a report just a few weeks ago of a man from the Washingbay area who ended up spending nearly a month in Washington DC before realising he was on the wrong continent over 3,000 miles off course.
News emerged last night that the Dungannon & South Tyrone District Council are investigating over 14’000 complaints from the US relating to false or exaggerated claims about Tyrone made by independent travel agent Sperrin Travels, based in Cookstown.
Sean Keegan, owner and manager of the business which caters for the lucrative American market, is accused of creating falsehoods or embellishments based on scant knowledge of the area, which were published on the website as fact. The site boasted a whole series of attractions, including:
Ballygawley Play Park! If you like Disneyland, Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, then you’ll love Ballygawley Play Park. Experience the thrills and spills of numerous rides including the Magic Slide, Runaway Roundabout, and the Neverland Swings that even Peter Pan would love! Fairytale dreams really do come true in Ballygawley Play Park!
“Damn it to hell” said a furious Biff Masterson from America. “We’d gotten our travel booked and came all the way from the good old US of A and darn it, now our whole darned itinerary is in a pickle. Gee, this guy really needs a kick in the fanny. Our first day at Ballygawley Play Park was a god damn tragedy. A swing, a slide and a drunk man singing ‘Three Blind Mice”.
Keegan has been accused of exaggerating the truth beyond all recognition and failing to check even the most basic of facts about Tyrone and its environs:
“Sure, it’s easy done” said a shame-faced Keegan, who only recently loved to Tyrone from Dublin 6 months ago. “Who’d have thought there would be a place called Greencastle without there being a feckin’ green castle in it? No mills in Newmills – that’s just a stupid name then.”
The website also said it could organise a tour of all the likely sites of ‘the world-famous ‘Pomeroy Diamond’, a rare gemstone worth millions buried somewhere in the County that has proved as elusive and as enigmatic as the one thon old woman dropped into the sea at the end of Titanic’.
Chet Hogan, also from America, said
“Wow, seriously. This dude needs to wake up and smell the coffee already. We’ve water-boarded folks in Guantamino for less”.
The website has since been taken off-line as Keegan hastily re-writes the website, including its descriptions of Coalisland, Windmill and Washingbay.
In an attempt to add a few more years onto our planet’s lifespan, Derrytresk entrepreneur Harry Campbell has revealed plans to run all motors east of Coalisland on cattle flatulence. Scientists have long suspected that the methane produced by windy cows could be put to a specific use but it has taken the unemployed Campbell, a former Miss World escort, to take the plunge which it is set to make the wacky inventor millions he thinks.
“There’s all this take of compressing methane gas for vehicle fuel but that just sounded like a racket to me to make money for compressing firms. I was driving down the Washingbay Road and the gas motor I have was starting to splutter. The fuel gauge had been running on empty for a couple of days and it was late evening. I just thought ‘feck this’ and drove straight through a hedge and parked beside a couple of cows. I had an oul bit of blue piping so I shoved one end up the cow’s backside and the other into my gas tank. Lo and behold the Datsun burst into life and she’s been running on that dose of methane for three weeks now. Look about you. Every field in the lowlands is full of cattle just staring at you like mobile fuel pumps. I’ve managed to convince a handful of locals to change to gas and their lives have been transformed. Deadly.”
Campbell has patented the bit of blue pipe and is selling it for a fiver outside Spring Island on most days. He is currently drawing up plans with local farmers to get makeshift lanes running into fields as well as some kind of pay scheme for the fuel which is proving difficult.
“Talks are on-going but some farmers are being a bit bollocksy about it. I’d suggested getting a 2-for-1 deal with the methane on one hand and a bit of hand-milking at the same time. £40 for a full tank and a pint of unpasteurised milk. We’ll get it ironed out. I’m also looking at potentially using cow dung as some kind of facial masks for women looking pampered.”
Cow-fuel is available in a field in Drummurrer this weekend.