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26 March 1998 Edition

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The great mystery of our time

By Meadbh Gallagher

Sometime close to the end of the 20th century a small island nation sited off the coast of mainland Europe disappeared.

Its black box was recovered later from the banks of the Thames along with a number of its national flags. There has since been no reported sightings of the island or the recovered items.

However, it is believed that the island vanished in what one survivor - the owner of a small boat and a smaller island - described as Grotesque, Unprecedented, Bizarre and Unbelievable circumstances.

While details are sketchy and the survivor is regarded as an unreliable witness , it is understood that the sequence of events which led to the tragedy was as follows:

A large section of the island's population were persuaded that `for the sake of peace' they must vote the island as a nation out of existence.

An already Absolutely Pissed Off minority who were not allowed to vote in the main part of the island were then informed by the majority that they no longer existed. A section of that minority, who called themselves The Greater Number, remained.

The majority then became conscious that the Greater Number were still not happy. They reassured the Greater Number that they really loved them and would do anything for them.

The Greater Number rejected all foolish advances and used unpleasant language to show their feelings.

They also refused to recognise the majority, who they said clearly no longer existed either de facto or de jure and words to that effect.

No longer sure of their own identity and terrified they'd put a foot wrong outside their own territory, the majority wandered aimlessly, eventually disappearing into a padded limbo.

The Greater Number remained for a while watching them vanish without trace. But then they too disappeared as well, victims of being a figment of their own imagination that, without support from others, were unable to survive by themselves.

At the time, sources at Westminster played down the incident, though they were widely credited with having pulled off the whole extraordinary event.

Weather records suggest that a balmy, bright forecast had been made prior to the fatal time by both British and Irish national met offices.

Widespread warnings from several alternative forecasters were ignored.

An Phoblacht
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