Not coat-trailing but fleece-trailing…


This picture almost speaks for itself, doesn’t it? This is the story that’s been convulsing Tyrone – or at least providing an opportunity to sound off on the phone-ins – about a Protestant farmer out by Ardboe who got up in the morning to find his sheep had been spray-painted in a tricolour scheme. God help me, I couldn’t help a chuckle, although the farmer, who now can’t sell his sheep, is entitled to be annoyed about it.

On one level, I suppose, this is of a piece with the sort of low-level sectarianism you get a lot of in north Antrim, Coleraine and such places. The form, one suspects, has something to do with that Tyrone farmboy culture that impels Queens students to hold wheelie bin races at three in the morning – the possibility of drink having been taken over Halloween can’t be dismissed either. But there you go – in Belfast people mark their territory by painting kerbstones, in rural Tyrone they paint sheep. Just when you think this place can’t surprise you…


  1. tgmac said,

    November 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Oh for the love of all sanity. Is this what passes for BBC news coverage these days? The sectarian sheep wars of 2009. I suppose we’ll have the campaign of the fluffy bunnies in 2010. Time to rebuild the maze any day now.

    As for culchies marking sheep. Unless things have changed, it was usual practice to mark sheep in my days in cased they strayed onto someone elses property. Maybe ear tags are enough these days. However, this doesn’t protect the sheep from the more licentious townies that seem to wander about the countryside these days in their desire to commune with nature or espy an old farmhouse that they’ll buy for ojous amounts of money.

  2. Mark Victorystooge said,

    November 5, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Tiocfaidh ar la
    Sing out the baa
    Sing ooh aah up the baa
    Sing ooh aah up the baa

  3. November 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

    it would be much more difficult to paint a union jack on a sheep …not to mention the flag of Kazakhstan, Dominica or Nepal

  4. ejh said,

    November 6, 2009 at 11:23 am

    The emblem on the Spanish flag is also particularly tricky. I cheated when I had to do it, and printed it out from the Internet.

  5. Mark Victorystooge said,

    November 6, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Possibly some kind of stencil would do it.

  6. Phil said,

    November 6, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I cheated when I had to do it, and printed it out from the Internet.

    How did you get the sheep to stay still?

  7. ejh said,

    November 6, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Ho de ho.

    Click on 6 in the picture box

  8. Rebels Yell! said,

    November 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    YoYo, the Provo Ewe From Arboe has been the source of many a chuckle over the last few days. However, the speed at which Willie Frazer jumped on the cattle trailer with his regular EWE tube update was remarkable. However, when Mr McDaid was set upon by a pack of sectarian loyalists, unionists quarters including Willie weren’t flocking to put similar efforts into their condemnation.

    Therefore, can we conclude that a sheep has more respect than Catholics in some unionist quarters!

  9. November 11, 2009 at 10:59 am

    […] Splintered Sunrise berichtet von der irisch-nationalistischen Instrumentalisierung protestantisch-unionistischer […]

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