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