Thursday 21 September 2017

Billy Keane: In the east Meath became Ireland's valley of the kings

'Sean Boylan harnessed passion's play in the '70s, '80s and '90s. Meath played with an almost unique blend of vagabond and creative at the same time.' Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
'Sean Boylan harnessed passion's play in the '70s, '80s and '90s. Meath played with an almost unique blend of vagabond and creative at the same time.' Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Billy Keane

Billy Keane

Gaelic football is the guarantor of Meath sovereignty. Big cities consume the identities of the adjacent places. Greater London lassoes many miles of land from the city centre out. Old hamlets where ducks quacked in trout-filled ponds and men in white played cricket on village greens are now urban sprawls.

We stood in a taxi queue for nearly two hours, out foreign, with two wonderful Meath sisters from Oldcastle. Aisling and Aoife live and work abroad. Their house is the last Meath home before the Cavan border – and they are Meath to the core.

Car after car passed by and then Aoife uttered an "ah here" when a taxi man told us he was quitting for the day. Aoife was moved to utter a strongly felt "ah here" – pronounced 'ah he-orr' – with a heavy emphasis on the rolling r. "Ah here" means 'we've had enough of this lark and what's this that's going on at all.' Meath are sick of being beaten by Dublin. Their team might just be about to shout out a collective "ah here."

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss