DERRY JOURNAL 250: Return of the JED

The legendary JED (Journal editor) was a popular ‘gossip’ column that appeared throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Here’s a ‘best of’ compilation

By Kevin Mullan
Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 12:41 pm

The legendary JED (Journal editor) was a popular ‘gossip’ column that appeared throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Here’s a ‘best of’ compilation


A senior member from the Housing Executive’s offices in Pennyburn was on a house visit to a family in the Galliagh area of the city this week, accompanied by a local city councillor.

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There he was minding his own business when the family’s black labrador dog waddled up lazily and calmly ‘did its business’ against poor Seamus’s leg.

Rumours has it he now refuses to be called out on visits to discuss damp patches.


Question: Who was the first man in Derry to get run over by wheelie bin?

Answer on a ten pound note to a certain Assistant Bank Manager, Bank of Ireland, Strand Road, Derry.


Last weekend Patsy O’Neill, manager of Coolagh Celtic F.C. rang legendary soccer referee Matt Morrison at this home in Derry to check if their game was going ahead.

“Most of the roads around Limavady here are covered in ice and there is a lot of snow lying deep in the fields,” explained Patsy.

“Hold on a minute ‘till I look out my window and check,” replied Matt, who, on returning to the phone commented, “Patsy, my garden’s clear. We’ll go ahead.”

So both teams arrived at Lisnagelvin Playing Fields ready to go ahead...and yes, you have guessed, it was more like a skating rink than a soccer pitch.

“We should have played the game in Matt’s garden,” remarked Patsy.


At a recent quiz held in the Ulsterbus club in Derry, quizmaster Pat Ramsey, ex-City councillor, posed a question: “Something dangerous came up the Foyle in 1977. What was it?”

“Martin G*****,” replied noted quiz buff Jackie Gibson.


Never thought I’d feel sorry for Merlyn Rees, the former Northern Ireland Secretary of State, but yesterday even I felt a twinge of remorse for the once great man.

During the big debate on the Gulf Crisis, Merlyn got up and as the eyes of the world were on him asked the British Prime Minister John Major if he could (and I quote) “guarantee that when Saddam Hussein is driven out of Northern Ireland...” As Hansard would say “Laughter”.


Jim Feeny, well known man about town obviously knows quite a bit about the music world if an encounter in Harrison Musique just before Christmas is anything to go by.

A punter walked into the shop and asked Jim if he could get him a record he’d just heard played on the radio, he couldn’t remember who it was by, he couldn’t name the song and he wasn’t sure how it went.

Armed with that information, Jim said: “I’ll have it for you on Monday.”


A certain Mrs McCallion was looking forward to Christmas, and was delighted when her husband gave her some cash to buy her own present.

On Christmas Eve, off she went through town, just as the shops were closing.

She settled on a pair of black leather boots which were her shoe-size and took them home.

The next day at dawn, she excitedly opened the packaging and tried on her new footwear. But somehow, as she put on the first boot, she couldn’t squeeze into it.

It was Christmas morning, the shops are all closed, and, yes you’ve guessed it - Mrs McCallion had bought herself two RIGHT boots!


One woman who obviously believes in the power of the Border to stop nuclear fallout and chemical warfare is M****, daughter of a very well known photographer.

Sitting watching the news the other night she said to her father: “Daddy with all this talk of nuclear warfare, fallout and all that wouldn’t it be safer to move to our house in Fahan?”

The distance between Belmont and Fahan is bound to make a difference.


On a recent visit to St. Brigid’s Primary School, Carnhill, the Mayor, Colr. David Davis, happened upon a reception class’s Nativity play being performed for the parents of the little dears.

His entrance into the classroom in full mayoral regalia brought the production to a screeching halt.

“Well, children, who do you think this is?” enquired teacher Mrs. Sara Farren brightly.

The stony silence was broken by the third angel from the left - “God,” she whispered, in awe-stricken tones.


Due to recent bad weather, part of Westway in Creggan was flooded and Jean N**** telephoned the Department of the Environment (DoE) to complain.

The Department said that they’d send someone up that evening to investigate.

Her husband Eamonn was fast asleep at the time and knew nothing of her telephone call.

A few hours later, a man in waterproofs and waders knocked at the door, and Eamonn answered. “Blocks?” asked the man.

“I don’t want any,” replied Eamonn. “Blocks,” insisted the man. “Naw, I don’t want to buy any,” Eamonn stated adamantly.

Then our waterproof friend said he was interested in blocked drains.

The penny having dropped, Eamonn pointed to the huge puddle outside his door - only for the DoE man to say:

“Aw, that’s nothing to do with us!”


Hear Conal McFeely, well-known union official, was in charge of a fishing expedition to ‘the Wesht’ recently.

Not having much luck in the lake they were at the lads piled back on the bus in search of better.

They picked a likely spot along the road and were there for some time when a farmer approached.

Fearing a bit of flak, Conal explained they were down for the weekend, the last spot was no good and as they were passing by they just decided to try this lake for luck.

“Lake?” says the farmer. “That’s a flooded field.”

Pastures new, Conal?


Did you hear about Doreen D....up from Shipquay Street, who bought herself a Peugeot car.

She only had it a short while when she noted the lights were poor. She drove all the way up to Ballyshannon, where she had bought the car, and had a mechanic look at it.

“Your headlights are dirty,” he said, solving the problem there and then.


I have been asked to mention the following: “Four farmers along with Liam D**** were drinking in the North Pole bar at Drumfries, outside Buncrana, and were arguing whether Liam’s duck was - or was not - a drake.

“After considerable drinks they decided to go to Liam’s house and examine it in detail.

“After examining it and drinking and arguing until five o’clock in the morning, Liam still hadn’t found out from them what it was.

“It was the next day that Liam’s wife found it was a banty hen.”

I’m still waiting for the punch-line.


The unluckiest raffle winner in Derry over the Christmas period must have been Gerry G, one of the stalwarts of the Ulsterbus engineering section.

He was delighted when he won a bottle of vodka in a draw at the works, and he got a great cheer from the lads.

What he didn’t know was that they had switched the vodka for water and put his name in the hat 27 times!

Well that’s the story, anyway. Gerry is still claiming it was vodka. Draw organiser Raymond ‘Vladivar’ H reckons he’s going to franchise the water tap at Ulsterbus.


Mentioning Ulsterbus - I was reading the snooker column recently and noticed a little item which said that Ulsterbus had failed to fulfil the fixture because they had NO TRANSPORT.


Does anybody know where Castlederg is?

A Creggan lad headed off to a dance there the other night and changed all his money into Punts before leaving. He had to borrow money to get in.

And I was in Texas Homecare recently when I heard the shop assistant say to a man nearby - “Castlederg? Oh yes, that’s just outside Portrush, isn’t it?”

Whatever they say about Strabane, at least people know where it is....


I’m told that a lifetime’s ambition was achieved by Mr. Jamesie Coyle on Tuesday. Did Mr. Coyle, of Shantallow in Derry, win the pools, marry Raquel Welch, get a part in “Neighbours”, etc., you may ask?

No. His picture, complete with accordion, appeared on the front page of this illustrious newspaper.


Soccer, Gaelic, darts, snooker, quizzes, bowls, squash, athletics and all the rest aren’t enough for the avid ‘Journal’ sports fans.

One lad rang up last week looking for the result of the 49ers American football match on Sunday night.

Keiron ‘Sports Extra’ Tourish wasn’t able to help.

“I’m afraid Paul McCauley isn’t back yet,” he explained.


Story goes that a band were playing in a club in Derry and at the end of the night they played the National Anthem, The Soldiers’ Song.

Noting the gamut of strange expressions they realised they had made a little error - they were in the Services Club in Crawford Square.