John Drennan: By-election lifting veil on despair of lost tribes
Seasoned politicians have been shocked by the deep distress they have seen in Meath East.
The Meath East by-election may, like the quiet child, have been overshadowed during most of the campaign by Enda's terribly big adventure in America and by the ongoing Irish existential crisis.
However, almost by accident, Meath has evolved into something more than the filling of a political vacancy.
A number of intriguing, though somewhat conventional, political questions will be resolved next week. The opposition will be praying Meath provides us with a caesura to the electoral magic carpet Fine Gael and Labour have enjoyed.