St. Patricks Ballyragget To Play 23 Challenge Games In Tyrone In February/March As Hurling Continues To Boom In County
Kilkenny’s St. Patricks Ballyragget have confirmed that they have been offered over 20 invitations to play challenge games in Tyrone early next year, with all 23 newly-formed hurling clubs offering full hospitality and overnight accommodation for the team and any supporters they wish to bring.
Despite not being a hurling stronghold, Tyrone has seen a boom in the sport in the past week, ever since St. Patricks Ballyragget hit the headlines for winning the Intermediate title in great style last week.
One such club, the new Windmill Whackers, explained their decision:
“I can’t believe we didn’t realise how great this game is. And who better to learn from but St Patrick’s Ballyragget. We have decided there will be a cup awarded to the winner of the challenge game. I repeat, THERE WILL BE A CUP AWARDED. We encourage the Kilkenny lads to bring family and friends, especially friends. There’ll be a Happy Hour in the clubrooms from 5pm-11pm.”
New West Tyrone hurling club, the Aghyaran Pullers, have already erected an extra stand at their modest ground in anticipation of Ballyragget’s visit on Feb 1st, as well as an extension to their bar, renamed Fifi’s.
It is expected that many clergy will not be re-elected at club AGMs this winter for fear of over-ruling any future challenge game choice of opponents.
Despite romping to an emotional victory in the Tráth na gCeisteanna section of the Ulster Scór final, the newly reformed Windmill GFC were subsequently kicked out of the competition after video footage confirmed a club member in the audience strategically farted on the correct answer every time during the multiple-choice round.
In an exciting contest, the East Tyrone side appeared to emerge victorious by one point over a determined Mayobridge quiz team from County Down, who will now progress to the All-Ireland finals in place the shamed Windmill.
Rumours of skulduggery began to emerge three questions into the 10-question multiple choice round when a loud fart was heard for the third time amongst the large Windmill contingent in the audience. Keen observer Leo Wallace from Bellaghy added:
“I found it odd when the first three rifts miraculously occurred on the correct answer each time. I was keeping a close eye this time and sure enough it happened again. When asked ‘What is the capital of Oman?’ I saw a Windmill supporter on his mobile phone Googling the answer, then shift into position and let rip when the question master offered ‘Muscat’ as one of the options. It was blatant cheating but also you had to admire the man’s ability to produce the wind on demand.”
On leaving the hall, the suspect was taken aside and over a dozen opened tins of beans were found inside his satchel. The offender maintained the beans were for his asthma.
On inspection of the video footage, the evidence became undeniable and the Scór committee had no option but to strike Windmill’s achievement from the record books. The club have also been asked to foot the bill for air fresheners for the hall.
Players from the Windmill club in Tyrone are said to be living in daily fear after their new manager gave each player a poster with his face on it, staring at them at all times in their own homes in an initiative he calls ‘Operation 1984’.
The poster, which has to be placed in the living-room beside the TV, is said to have moving eyes, giving the impression that their boss is monitoring their every word, munch and sip.
A player who wished to remain anonymous, described the culture of claustrophobia and bullying currently enveloping the senior team:
“Joe Brolly recently talked about elitism and a lack of fun. Well, he’s only treading the tip of the iceberg. Down here in the Windmill, we’re on a completely different level. I’m sure I heard the poster say something like ‘no’ when I opened a can of Harp during Strictly Come Dancing. I just poured it down the sink in case I’m dropped for the league next year.”
Another player who goes by the name of ‘Hulk’ added to the evidence of intimidation:
“I’m sure this thing can see into your mind. The wife was giving me the eyes and I’m sure I heard the poster say ‘that won’t be happening, lad’. I’m this close to pulling down the poster but I’m not giving up that full back position.”
The Windmill manager, who retired from teaching in 1988 after to failing to adopt to the new corporal punishment law, maintains the poster of him staring out is simply a method of bonding and camaraderie:
“These lads are paranoid. Sure how could there be 20 pairs of my eyes watching their every move. I’m all for the relaxing of draconian conditions put on club players by uptight managers and even as recently as yesterday I told the players that they’re allowed to eat one Yorkie bar or something similar once a month. If that’s not anti-elitism then I don’t know what is.”
Meanwhile, the Derrylaughan senior panel for 2016 was confirmed last night after a series of bleep tests, blood tests, personality tests, lie-detector tests, urine samples and forensic examination of hair follicles analysed. Currently they have 4 players confirmed in the hope that a re-test next week will see a better return.
Paul Quinn, who suspected his wife Alanna was not 31 as she said, came across the idea of counting her teeth whilst she slept after watching an episode of Country File which showed how farmers could estimate the age of their sheep by tallying their teeth.
A furious Quinn added:
“She has pulled the wool over my eyes. I had a fair idea she was older than 31 as she’d let a big ‘aaargghh’ out of her when she would get out of a chair or bed. So last night, whilst she slept, I got one of those surgeon lights for my head and a scalpel and sure enough, she has the teeth of a 60-65 year old. I’ve a big decision to make now.”
Quinn’s findings have placed women across the county on red alert as more suspicious men are predicted to follow the Moortown man’s lead and do some investigative work during the hours of darkness. An Ardboe child-minder told us:
“This is bad craic for us. I’m thinking of deploying mouse traps down the middle of the bed. My ma talked about super-glueing her mouth but that’s a bit mad I think.”
Meanwhile Quinn maintains he is aiming to employ a trough as a feeding destination for his 9 children after also seeing is successfully used on Country File last Sunday but rubbished rumours he is to use home-made human fertilizer for the garden.
East Tyrone was hiving with journalists this morning after it emerged that the newly re-formed Windmill GFC, who previously terrorised the Tyrone football scene, are considering offering David Moyes the vacant managerial position with immediate effect.
Moyes, who was this morning sacked by Manchester United, is said to be ‘considering his options’ and has been trying to find Windmill on Google Maps. An attractive package is being mulled over at the clubrooms in order to attract the Scot with an unlimited supply of jellied eels hopefully tipping the scales in their favour. Chairman Vinny ‘cut throat’ Dawson admitted:
“We’re very excited with the deal we’re proposing. As well as the eel situation, we are scouring the lough shore for old barns and sheds that we can do up and give Moyes that realistic rustic feeling of old Ireland that Americans pay millions for. As we speak there’s a shed above Moortown that fits the bill as soon as we can relocate the wild livestock. Moyes is the sort of boy we’ve been after. Ginger, fierce temper and a disregard for dental hygiene. He’ll fit right in here.”
Moyes’ PR woman has already touched down in Belfast and was quick to fan the flames of current rumours:
“David is a real eel man. He’s always making jokes about eels like ‘It’s a eely nice day today’ and all that type of stuff. In fact, he’s mad about them. Also he thinks Windmill also sounds romantic, like Niagara Falls or Ayers Rock. Paradise even. I think he visualises rolling glens with windmills twirling gently on hilltops and fair maidens dancing gaily in frocks with buckets of fresh milk draped across their shoulders. I’m heading that direction now to confirm his fantasies. I’ll be taking in Ardboe, Brocagh, Carnan and Ballinderry too.”
Meanwhile, Windmill are hoping to secure the services of Mickey Coleman to sing ‘The Old Cross of Ardboe’ and ‘Stop Yer Ticklin Jock’ before his unveiling.
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 recently reformed GAA club revealed they will run another AGM later in the month after a raft of ridiculous motions were passed whilst committee members drank the bar dry on the shores of Lough Neagh.
Windmill GAA, who once terrorised gaels across the county , held their first AGM in 35 years at The Battery Bar in Ardboe last Friday night, running from 9pm to 1am and then in someone’s house til 6am. It wasn’t until members woke up later on that day that they realised they would need to have a second go at the meeting.
Some of the motions passed initially but under review now are:
- Rounding up a pile of women from the local roads on match days to act as cheerleaders for home games
- Rename the club as the Windmill Corncrakes
- Announcer calls out bingo numbers after every point is scored
- Dancing nuns at half time
- Encourage chanting in crowd..eg..’youse are dead’ etc.
- Priest to throw ball in blindfolded and then has to make it off before he gets kicked
- New club crest consisting of real cannibalism
Chairman Lenny McGuigan conceded they needed to return to the drawing board:
“Yes, to be honest I can’t remember any of those motions at all. We were blind drunk on brandy ball home brew. Let that be a lesson to all clubs across the county. Keep the AGM dry. But we used to have cheerleaders y’know.”
Meanwhile, Tyrone GAA Central County have yet to ratify Windmill’s licence due to unresolved acts of depravity dating back to 1961.
Dungannon & South Tyrone Council have appointed a man from Windmill into the recently-created post of Communications Director to improve the contact between the Council and the community.
“We needed someone who can clearly articulate some of the initiatives and decisions of the Council, and translate them across the community in a straightforward and coherent way”, said Council spokesperson Marie Hagan. “Someone says the Windmill are straight-talking people, so we’ve appointed Kevin Boyle instead”.
Boyle, who will be based in Omagh, said,
“It’s quare news hi. I’m deadly good with gathering the words and stuff and putting them together, spaking the English with getting it across and the like. And what Tyrone really needs is someone who can be spaking about putting everything down using the opinions and people and all thon. You know like, ghost-oh. Up the Winemill. Fuck it.”
However, Boyle so far has not made a successful start in the role.
“He was told to advise the local press that BMW are possibly going to invest in a multi-million pound parts warehouse in Eglish” said Hagan. “All good positive stuff. But he somehow went and told the papers that the village was getting its own whorehouse, one of the biggest in Europe, creating over 200 jobs. He made a right hames of it. And you should have seen the deluge of job applications we got”.
Boyle is currently tasked with explaining the controversial reasoning behind the recent deferment in the decision to build the Aughnacloy to Derry A5 road extension.
“That’s an easy one”, said Boyle. “The people who bes deciding to do it have stopped going ahead with it so the road’s not got started yet at the minute. Not the road that’s already there because that’s already there and you be on it but the big road they said they were going to build but now they’re not, although they might. It’s the money and everything. And the fields and sheep and stuff. So that’s the situation there”.
Contemplating his tenure so far, Boyle said,
“I do sometimes get a bit mixed up, but I’m determined. It’s all about saying to people and giving the message really in a way that’s clearly speakable so that everybody knows the ideas straight away. I suppose it’s a gift”.
Gaels throughout the county have reacted with shock to the news that Windmill GFC are on the verge of reforming and might even take up the hurling too this time. The East Tyrone outfit disbanded some time in the early 80s after a series of misdeameanours on and off the field left them unable to put out a side at any level every week. Fears that the club may reform surfaced last week when sons of ex-players were spotting running around a field for an hour, stopping only to rugby tackle haystacks or shoulder into makeshift walls. Moortown stalwart Paddy Quinn made no bones about what this means for Tyrone GAA:
“I never thought this day would come. I remember as a kid being told stories about the Big Bad Wolf, The Troll Under the Bridge and the Windmill Full Back. That was the category they were placed in. I only played the once against the Windmill in 1977 and lost my complete bottom set of teeth, and I was a sub who didn’t get on. This is bad news for the supposed hard men in the county. They’ll be whimpering in their sleep over the summer.”
The Tyrone referees’ Society have met already to reassure each other that ‘things will be alright’ according to retired umpire Gary Coyle from Stewartstown:
“One of my last matches refereeing was a game between Urney and Windmill back in 1980. Played down at the shore, Urney faced the intimidating sight of the Windmill side eating raw meat as a warm-up to the backdrop of men wrestling salmon and trout on the Lough. I sounded the final whistle with Urney a point ahead and left the pitch, slowly walking backwards, pointing a gun at the furious Windmill contingent. Unfortunately, I was hit over the head by an elderly supporter wielding an umbrella and woke up in Cookstown, stripped bare, with my hands superglued to my head. We need to be prepared this time.”
Windmill’s new chairman, Vinny ‘Cut throat’ Dawson, says they will not be forgetting their roots:
“They said they’ll give us a go at division three next year. If I was the Brocagh chairman, I’d pull them out. We have long memories here and can vivdly recall the day they overturned the Maxi belonging to our manager back in 1982 down at their place. Long memories.”
Their first friendly is pencilled in for August 21st against a Maghaberry Prison GAA Select.
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.
An old Ardboe republican, John Joe McGraw (82), has denied attending the Irish Cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran and was instead, according to him, trying to court on old widow from Windmill he has been chasing since 1957. Rumours began to spread early yesterday evening that McGraw had been spotted on BBC sitting amongst the Glentoran supporters ‘laughing his head off’ as they sang songs about the Queen and East Belfast. McGraw was quick to deny the accusations:
“What the hell would I be doing at Windsor Park and me from Ardboe? If there was a soccer match in my garden I’d take the air rifle out and burst the ball. I know exactly where I was yesterday. Mrs Coney was hanging her briefs on the line as it was a quare day for the drying. I spotted her and made a beeline for her house, fixing my hair with a bit of spit. She was on my knee by the time of the Angelus. I knew her deceased husband – as miserable a hoor you’d ever have met. Anyway, have you seen the supposed man I was meant to be on Tv? Sure he’s from Turkey or something.”
A 1950s border campaign comrade remains skeptical. Peter Pollock, an 88 year old retired widower, is sure he saw McGraw during a break in play in the second half:
“To put it finely, he’s talking bollocks. I saw him laughing his head clean off during a rendition of God Save The Queen. Then in the second half he was clapping away as the Glentoran supporters sang something about the Pride of East Belfast. He’s some boy. See that story about Mrs Coney – a lie. He’s been chasing her since ’57, even after oul Mick Coney married her. She’s not interested. I know. I tackled her at Christmas up in the Windmill. What took him to Windsor I’ll never know. Peace process gone mad.”
Glentoran Supporters’ Club have refused to confirm McGraw was part of their Green Army that day but do admit the presence of a man in their end of the ground who ate eels in a bap at half time.
An unfortunate toilet stop before the end of work saw a Derrylaughan tiler, Kirby McGrath, stuck in the upstairs bathroom of a neighbour’s house well into the late evening. McGrath was repairing a leaking sink and was about to red up at 5:30 after a full day’s work with the problem solved before disaster struck. The leak, caused by faulty sealant used by a young lad from the Windmill a couple of years ago, had been troubling the McMahon household for a few weeks. Leo McMahon takes up the story:
“Thon cowboy from the Windmill seemed to have just used superglue and painted white over it. The bathroom had been steadily flooding since Hallowe’en. I knew Kirby was the best tiler in Derrylaughan so I had no hesitation in getting him in to fix the seal. He arrived, as expected, just after nine and set to work, promising to grout a few tiles as well which had given way recently. I arrived back at five to find out how much I owed him and didn’t McGrath have it mended and was tidying up, such is his perfection. I was a bit surprised to hear him still tramping about upstairs at six o’clock though. I told the wife to dish the dinner out anyway. Half six came and there was still this commotion upstairs. I put it down to Kirby perhaps finding a few more loose tiles.”
The McMahon family became alarmed when eight o’clock came and passed and the same futtering about was heard above them.
“It was getting beyond a joke to be honest and I was concerned for Kirby’s wife and young family who were probably waiting for him to return with bread for the table. Time was money for me too. At a quarter to nine I was about to head upstairs to see what the problem was, only to be met with Kirby bounding down telling me he was finally finished. I gave him the money he initially asked for as well as the extra time added on. He speedily ran out which I found a bit odd as he’s usually a talkative lad. It was only after inspecting the job that it became obvious what the delay was. Thon hoor Kirby had made a last minute toilet stop at half five and sure wouldn’t the thing not flush. He must’ve spent three hours flushing that toilet to get rid of it. The toilet roll was piled up beyond the rim of the basin. The dirty bastard left some mess and smell, and charged me for it. Then didn’t the toilet flood.”
McGrath refused to take responsibility for the incident but did admit he had a big feed of black pudding that morning before he left the house.