A 32-year-old puddle in Laytown, Co. Meath is to be given lake status in a geographical ceremony later this month. Lake Meade will be the first non-manmade lake in the country to be formed since an oxbow lake appeared on the Boyne in the aftermath of the last Ice Age.
Locals insisted the lake be named in honour of Laytown-Bettystown Cathaoirleach Paddy Meade for his tireless campaigning on behalf of the soon to be ex-puddle.
Alverno Heights resident Aidan Fitzsimon contacted the council 25 years ago when then puddle was just seven. However, no action was taken on the matter.
Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd was instrumental in the status change. “When Mr. Fitzsimons contacted the council 25 years ago it was felt that the puddle was too immature to handle being a lake but he has shown over the years a maturity far beyond his years. I’m delighted for him.”
The puddle has been Garda vetted and dredged for bodies.
Like many things that happened ages ago, nobody can quite remember exactly how or when exactly the puddle first appeared only that it was sometime in 1983. Local resident Rosie Brodigan recalled,“It was 1983 and it started to rain. A puddle was formed there on the road there. It’s still there now. Look. There it is. All wet still.”
The Faa Side spoke to the puddle this morning about life in Laytown.
Pretty good. Delighted my work has finally been recognised. I’d like to thank Cllr. Meade for making my dream possible. Thanks Paddy mate. Top job!
So, now you’re a lake, will you be lording it over the other puddles on the road?
Ah no, don’t talk wet. I’m fairly well grounded. I’ll still be the same guy. I won’t let it change me.
How do you keep going when all the other puddles evaporate? It must be tough losing your friends all the time.
It can be tough yeah. It’s hard to find a partner. You learn to live in the moment.
What’s your earliest memory?
Chernobyl. I don’t really remember it but I’ve seen the photos. If you look closely you can see I’ve got scars from all that acid rain. But the locals are great. A family across the road there who’ve since upgraded to Bettystown made a shelter for me and when that blew away they brought me in and put me in the bath for a week.
That’s class. They were too good for here.
But things got better I presume, I mean you’re still here.
Oh God yeah. I guess I was too young to appreciate the seismic shift in geopolitics when the Berlin Wall came down. Things have gotten better since then no doubting it.
I remember Italia 90. That was great, such a buzz about the place. And then of course I got a non-speaking role in The Crying Game, which was filmed here. But me film career never really went to the next level. That’s a regret as I feel I could have made more of me talent.
What’s your secret to longevity?
Stay positive. Even when cars splash you or a group of kids try to kick you to death, which happens a lot around here. It’s a rough spot.
A high water table also helps.
Any plans for the future?
Now I’m a lake I’ll look to build on that and maybe one day link to a river. I’m hoping Cllr. Paddy can help me with that.
I’m sure he will.