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The End of Northern Ireland

The End Of Northern Ireland

AND it came to pass in the year 2007, that verily, the Lord came
unto Noah, (who was now living in Ballymoney), and said, 'Once again,
the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see all manner
of evils, terrorists in government and the end of all flesh before
Build me another Ark and save two of every living thing, along
with a few good Free Presbyterians.'

And lo, He gave Noah the CAD drawings, saying, 'You have 6 months
to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days
and 40 nights.'

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his
yard - but no Ark. 'Noah!' He roared, 'I'm about to start the rain!
Where is the Ark?'

'Forgive me, Lord,' begged Noah, 'but things have changed.

'I needed Building Control approval and I've been arguing with the
Fire Brigade about the need for a sprinkler system.

'My neighbours claim that I should have obtained planning
permission for building the Ark in my garden because it is development of the
site, even though in my view it is a temporary structure. We had
to then go to appeal to the Planning Appeals Commission for a

'Once Seymour Sweeney saw what I was up to, he submitted
alternative plans with the backing of the local MP, and you have no idea how
hard it was convincing a Paisley that you were actually on my side.

'Then the Department of the Environment demanded a bond be posted
for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead
obstructions to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I
told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear
nothing of it.

'Getting the wood was another problem. All the decent trees have
Tree Preservation Orders on them and we live in a Site of Special
Scientific Interest set up in order to protect the spotted owl. I
tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to
save the owls - but no go! And in July I had to pay off racketeers
as insurance against the local kids taking the wood for the Eleventh
Night bonfire.

'When I started gathering the animals, the USPCA sued me. They
insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will.
They argued the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and
inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space. They said if
he spotted me with any pit bulls, I would never see the Ark float.

'Nor was I aware that marching the animals on to the Ark two by
two constituted a parade, so I had to apply to the Parades Commission
for permission. They just couldn't get their heads round the fact that
the end of the world is nigh, and that telling people it was could
maybe even have a positive effect on community relations.

'Then the Borough Council, the DoE and the Rivers Authority ruled
that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an
environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

'I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Equal
Opportunities Commission on how many disabled carpenter's I'm supposed to hire
for my building team. The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They
insist I have to hire only accredited workers with Ark-building

'Then Harland & Wolff stepped in, and said the project hadn't been
subject to normal tendering practices, as they hadn't been allowed
to present a business plan, so the whole thing went to judicial
It didn't help that the judge's grandfather had worked on the
Titanic and thought I was taking the piss.

'To make matters worse, Customs and Excise seized all my assets,
claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered
species. After several neighbours accused me of being 'on drugs',
the Assets Recovery Agency took some persuading that I had managed to
put this project together without any visible means of income after I
said I was relying on divine intervention.

'So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me
to finish this Ark.'

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow
stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, 'You mean you're not going to
destroy Northern Ireland?'

'No,' said the Lord. 'The Assembly beat me to it.'




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