CLAIMS are intensifying that political mischief is afoot after the lost Gaelic island of O’Brazeel has re-appeared off Portrush, right in the middle of an election campaign.
The jaws of dogs, dog walkers and joggers on West Strand collectively dropped last week as the mythic isle rose from the ocean about a mile off shore.
‘O’Brazeel’ or the ‘Fairy Isle’, that emerges like Brig-a-Doon once every century, has since been visible every evening beneath the spectacular northern lights.
The political temperature has soared because citizens of O’Brazeel, or ‘Fairy Islanders’ as they are known, are entitled to vote in Westminster elections under the 1911 Parliament Act.
They look set to assert that entitlement for the December 12 election.
Electoral Commission officers have already been to the isle to select a centrally located croft to act as a polling station.
O’Brazeel is part of East Londonderry and residents will cast their votes for the list of candidates running in that constituency.
Sinn Fein candidate Dermot Nichol and SDLP candidate Cara Hunter are both predicting that, as an isle steeped in ancient Gaelic lore, O’Brazeel residents will be voting for them.
“This could easily swing East Derry (traditionally a safe unionist seat) our way,” Cllr Nichol confidently predicted.
This was hotly disputed by sitting DUP MP Gregory Campbell.
“Well curry my yogurt for these latest gems of misinformation and inaccuracy,” Mr Campbell tweeted, “O’Brazeel is a mixed island and emerged between Bushfoot and Inishowen, exactly where Ulster-Scots poet John McKinley said it would.
“Strabane Ulster-Scot William Starrett voyaged to O’Brazeel during the 18th century emergence prior to composing his famed work ‘Voyage to O’Brazeel.’
“So away and tell that to yer can o’ coca cola,” he concluded.
Alliance candidate Chris McCaw said he had visited the ‘Fairy Isle’ shortly after its emergence and was glad to report that liberalism was well established there.
“I expect to clean up vote wise,” he declared, “Members of the LGBT community are well tolerated, and sectarian tension is unknown. Gaelic and Ulster-Scots communities co-exist harmoniously together, the societal obsession with conquering and reconquest being entirely absent!”
TGL went to O’Brazeel to sift the truth from the speculation and to find out what islanders thought about the election.
“We’ll not be remaining long here anyway,” one kelp fisherman said.
“The quicker we O’Braz-exit back under the better,” another gull egg abseiler added.
“My great-grandfather was up here in 1919,” a seal skelper told TGL, “how is it possible to be still fighting the same aule fight?” she asked curiously.
LATE BREAKING: TGL has learned that Sinn Fein’s decision to send their top party Gaelic speaker to canvas the ‘Fairy Isle’ has backfired after Sinn Fein Irish proved incomprehensible to residents.
Since their initial Ulster-Scots ‘Fairy Isle’ posturing, the DUP have also done no further campaigning, denying speculation that it is because there are no Loyal Order members on the island.