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War of words over Ulster 'Uncyclopedia'

By Lesley-Anne Henry

We love "potatoes, pastie baps, Ulster fry ups" and our official languages are "swearing or ethno-religious slurs". This is 'Norn Iron' - by the 'Norn' Irish.

A hilarious new website, the Uncyclopedia, lets users say what they think of "our wee country".

But the website has sparked controversy with its comments.

In a link the Uncyclopedia brands Northern Ireland as "a small desolate land with little or no redeeming features".

And in a mocked Belfast bid to host the 2016 Olympics it reads: "The Olympic flame will be ignited by a petrol bomb thrown by a native of the city (preferably from the Ardoyne area), wearing the traditional costume of shell suit, baseball cap and balaclava mask. It will burn for the duration of the games in an Ulsterbus hijacked and situated on the roof of the stadium."

However, Sinn Fein's Conor Maskey, a councillor for Ardoyne, thinks people should be relaxed about the site. He said: "I wouldn't be massively over-sensitive about spoof websites. Political satire has a role to play in our future."

Ballycastle is also ridiculed. It is described as having a "nice mix of Catholics, Protestants, druggies and underage drinkers".

The site refers to the numerous pubs and their clientele.

James McCarry, an independent republican candidate in Moyle District Council's by-election next month, is furious.

He said: "I want this site removed and I have been on to Moyle Council to help in getting it removed and they have said they will investigate it. This site is disgraceful."

Commentator Newton Emerson, who penned the spoof Portadown News, said Ulster folk should learn to take a joke.

He said an entry should be place on 'Uncyclopedia' referring to those calling for its removal.

The entry should read: "People in Northern Ireland think they have a great sense of humour, but actually they don't," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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