Police have urged whist players across the country to calm down a bit after a fifth whist game resulted in a mass brawl last week, this time in the sleepy village of Carrickmore.
Following on from the shooting in Ardboe last month when an unsuccessful and irate whist player shot at the car tyres of one of his opponents after the event, Carrickmore Social Club was the latest scene of whist violence which threatens to grip the county in fear.
Although the exact reason for the brawl in unclear, onlookers claim there was a menace in the air from the first minute the cards were shuffled. Henry Gormley, a whist expert of 71 years, maintains the game may need to go underground until order is restored again:
“It is out of control. Whist is on the verge of witnessing drive-by shootings and the like. This happened with dominos in the 1970s. All of a sudden domino meetings were witnessing riots all over the county and it was finally halted after a man was scalped in Derrytresk halfway through a game. Us Tyrone ones just take things too seriously after a while.”
Last week there were 32 Whist Drives held in GAA rooms across Tyrone, with police reporting disturbances at 31 of them.
In a fit of revenge for arriving in the house the previous night heavily inebriated, Derrytresk woman Kitty Devlin exacted revenge by making her worse-for-wear husband Kevin push their 1996 Volkswagen GTi eight miles from Dungannon to Derryvarne in the townland last month.
The Devlins had made the trip to Boots the Chemist in The Oaks Centre Dungannon early that morning to pick up a bag of cheap women’s leg razors and Lynx deodorant for their children, despite Mr Devlin’s hungover condition.
“He came in roaring and singing the night before from a whist drive night in Maghery, waking the whole house up. Then he moaned the whole way to Dungannon that morning about the fact that none of the windows opened in the motor and him feeling sick. It was whilst browsing through shower gels that I concocted my plan to make him pay for the late night drunken antics.”
On returning to the car, Mrs Devlin pretended to start the motor, claiming the battery was dead and for her husband to give it a push start.
“Little did the bollocks know but I had her in 5th gear the whole way home. I kept bellowing at him to keep er lit as it was near catching. I had no intention of starting that engine. Even when he threw up four times, at Edendork, Coalisland, Clonoe pitch and Annaghmore School I felt no sympathy. That’ll learn him.”
Kitty finally started the car in second gear less than 50 yards from their house and sped off, leaving her husband in a quare state according to neighbour Jimmy Quinn:
“I’ve never seen a vision like it. His face as red as the fiery pits of hell and him covered in vomit. A bad doing by Kitty who’s 18 stone but sure the wemen now are lethal. That’s lethal in a bad way I mean.”
Mr Devlin has since stayed on the wagon, lost two stone and is considering starting a new fitness fad called ‘push starting a car in 5th gear’.