‘Aboot time tae’ – Ulster-Scots grouch complains as ghost of Rabbie Burns appears in Templepatrick 224 years late

FAMED Scottish bard Rabbie Burns will be celebrating his 261st birthday in Northern Ireland, TGL can exclusively reveal, or his ghost will, which is nearly as good. 

Templepatrick resident and retired teacher Bob Service and his wife Isobel were initially put out when he took up residence in their spare bedroom two nights ago. 

“We recognised him from the pictures and it was a big shock to be sure,” Bob said, “but having reared three sons, we are used to nocturnal comings and goings. 

“He’s been flitting through the walls between here and the Templeton Hotel next door and helping himself to their drink,” Isobel added, “he’s harmless enough, he doesn’t come near us, I don’t even think he knows we’re here, singing away to himself, reciting verses and scribbling away. He seems content in his own company. Though he did follow us to church on Sunday,” she added.

The couple haven’t the faintest idea why he picked their house to haunt, if that indeed is what it going on.  

“There’s nae mystery about it at a’,” says local Ulster-Scots occultist Boyd McKillop,  “This property was McAdam’s Tap back in the day, an’ Sammy Thomson o’ Carngranny will bae doon frae Mallusk (his final restin place) presently tae celebrate Mr Burns’s birthday wi’ him.

“Sam, a dab han at tha Scotch verses himsell,  went owre tae visit Mr Burns in Dumfries in 17 an 94 wi’ his guid green John Williamson.  This maun bae tha return visit – an’ about time!” 

“My advice is gae tha man peace an’ he’ll awa hame in due course.” 

Just as TGL was leaving Templepatrick, Leitrim Ulster-Scots equality activist Sawney McCleaver arrived, saying that he had been visited by a spirit in the night, which told him to come up to update Mr Burns on the campaign for Human Rights.  

“That’ll naw tak lang, but at least they’ll be a night’s drinkin in it,” he concluded. 

©Ten Grand Leo

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