DERRY JOURNAL 250: Return of the JED

The legendary JED (Journal Editor) was a popular “gossip” column that appeared in the 1980s and 1990s. Here is a “best of” compilation

A senior member of the Pennyburn Housing Executive’s office made a home visit to a family in the Galliagh Borough this week, accompanied by a local councillor.

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There he minded his own business as the family’s black labrador dog lazily waddled up and calmly “doed his business” against poor Seamus’ leg.

He is now rumored to be refusing to be called on visits to talk about wet spots.

Question: Who was the first man to be run over by a rubbish bin in Derry?

Reply on a £10 note to a certain deputy bank manager, Bank of Ireland, Strand Road, Derry.

Coolagh Celtic FC manager Patsy O’Neill called legendary football referee Matt Morrison at this Derry home last weekend to check if her game was going on.

“Most of the roads around Limavady here are covered in ice and there is a lot of deep snow in the fields,” explains Patsy.

“Wait a minute ’til I look out my window and check,” replied Matt, who, upon returning to the phone, commented, “Patsy, my yard is clean. We continue.”

So both teams arrived at the Lisnagelvin Playing Fields, ready to go… and yes, you guessed it, it was more of an ice rink than a soccer field.

“We should have played the game in Matt’s backyard,” observed Patsy.

At a recent quiz held at the Ulsterbus club in Derry, quizmaster Pat Ramsey, former councilor, asked a question: “In 1977 something dangerous came up in the Foyle. What was that?”

“Martin G*****,” replied popular quiz fan Jackie Gibson.

I never thought I would feel sorry for Merlyn Rees, former Foreign Secretary of Northern Ireland, but yesterday even I felt a pang of regret for the once great man.

During the great debate over the Gulf crisis, Merlyn stood up and, with the eyes of the world on him, asked British Prime Minister John Major if he could (I quote) “guarantee that Saddam Hussein will be expelled from Northern Ireland. ..” As Hansard would say “laughter”.

Jim Feeny, a well-known man in town, obviously knows quite a bit about the music world, judging by an encounter at Harrison Musique just before Christmas.

A john came into the store and asked Jim if he could get him a record he had just heard on the radio, he couldn’t remember who it was, he couldn’t name the song and he wasn’t sure how it went.

Armed with that information, Jim said, “I’ll have it for you on Monday.”

A certain Mrs. McCallion was looking forward to Christmas and was delighted when her husband gave her some money to buy her own present.

On Christmas Eve she was walking around town just as the shops were closing.

She decided on a pair of black leather boots in her shoe size and took them home.

The next day at dawn she excitedly opened the package and tried on her new shoes. But somehow she couldn’t squeeze in as she pulled on the first boot.

It was Christmas morning, the shops are all closed and yes, you guessed it – Mrs McCallion had bought two REAL boots!

One woman who evidently believes in the power of the border to stop nuclear fallout and chemical warfare is M****, daughter of a well-known photographer.

Watching the news the other night, she said to her father, “Daddy, with all the talk about nuclear war and fallout and all that, wouldn’t it be safer to move into our house in Fahan?”

The distance between Belmont and Fahan definitely makes a difference.

On a recent visit to St Brigid’s Primary School, Carnhill, the Mayor, Colr. David Davis, happens to be a reception class nativity play performed for the parents of little loved ones.

His entry into the classroom in full mayoral gear brought production to an abrupt halt.

“Well, children, who do you think that is?” inquired the teacher, Mrs. Sara Farren, beaming.

The stony silence was broken by the third angel from the left – “God,” she whispered in a reverent voice.

Due to recent poor weather, part of the Westway in Creggan has been flooded and Jean N**** has called the Department of Environment (DoE) to complain.

The department said they would send someone up that evening to investigate.

Her husband Eamonn was fast asleep by this time and was unaware of her phone call.

A few hours later a man in rain gear and waders knocked on the door and Eamonn opened it. “Blocks?” asked the man.

“I don’t want any,” Eamonn replied. “Blocks,” the man insisted. “Nah, I don’t want to buy one,” Eamonn said adamantly.

Then our waterproof friend said he was interested in clogged drains.

When the penny dropped, Eamonn pointed to the huge puddle outside his door – only for the DoE man to say:

“Oh, that’s none of our business!”

Listen, Conal McFeely, a well-known union official, was recently in charge of a fishing expedition in the West.

Not having much luck in the lake, they found themselves with the boys crammed back onto the bus in search of something better.

They chose a suitable spot along the road and stayed there for some time when a farmer approached.

Conal feared a bit of flak and explained that they were down for the weekend, last place wasn’t good and as they passed they just decided to try that lake for luck.

“Lake?” says the farmer. “It’s a flooded field.”

Have you heard of Doreen D… from Shipquay Street who bought a Peugeot?

She only had it briefly when she realized the lights were bad. She drove all the way to Ballyshannon, where she bought the car, and had a mechanic look at it.

“Your headlights are dirty,” he said, solving the problem on the spot.

I was asked to mention the following: “Four farmers were drinking with Liam D**** at the North Pole Bar in Drumfries, outside Buncrana, and arguing over whether Liam’s duck was a drake – or not.

“After heavy drinks, they decided to go to Liam’s house and do a thorough inspection.

“After Liam examined it and drank and argued until five in the morning, Liam still hadn’t found out from them what it was.

“The next day, Liam’s wife found out it was a banty hen.”

I’m still waiting for the punch line.

The unluckiest raffle winner in Derry over the Christmas period has to have been Gerry G, one of the Ulsterbus engineering department’s stalwarts.

He was delighted to win a bottle of vodka in the factory draw, and the boys cheered greatly.

What he didn’t know was that they had swapped the vodka for water and written his name in the hat 27 times!

Well, that’s the story anyway. Gerry still claims it was vodka. Draw organizer Raymond ‘Vladivar’ H expects to license the Ulsterbus tap.

Mention of Ulsterbus – I was reading the snooker column recently and noticed a small article that said Ulsterbus couldn’t fulfill the game because they had NO TRANSPORT.

Does anyone know where Castlederg is?

A Creggan boy went to a dance there the other night and exchanged all his money for punts before leaving. He had to borrow money to get in.

And I was at Texas Homecare recently when I overheard the clerk say to a man nearby, ‘Castlederg? Oh yeah, that’s just outside Portrush, isn’t it?’

Whatever they say about Strabane, at least people know where it is…

I am told that Mr. Jamesie Coyle realized a lifelong ambition on Tuesday. Did Mr Coyle from Shantallow in Derry win the pools, marry Raquel Welch, get a part in Neighbors etc you might be wondering?

no His picture with the accordion appeared on the front page of this famous newspaper.

Football, Gaelic, darts, snooker, quizzes, bocce, squash, track and field and all the rest aren’t enough for the avid sports fans of The Journal.

A boy called last week and asked about the result of Sunday night’s 49ers American football game.

Keiron ‘Sports Extra’ Tourish couldn’t help.

“I’m afraid Paul McCauley isn’t back yet,” he explained.

The story goes that a band played at a Derry club and at the end of the night played the national anthem, The Soldiers’ Song.

Noticing the range of odd expressions, they realized they had made a small mistake – they were at the Service Club in Crawford Square.

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