And there we have it folks. The Louth Meath border will stay unchanged. Drawda will remain hemmed in by a thought process welded to the past. Within seconds of the announcement, triumphalist declarations appeared on the social media accounts of Meath politicians, not quite breaking the local Internet but pretty close.
Parochialism, short-termism and a well-run campaign by Meath County Council won the day. The Meath delegation were quick to point out that the Louth submission wasn’t as thick as the Meath submission. They got that right – it was based on facts, population statistics and socio-economic growth models, not purely on the bluster of emotional stories from border Jims who are 110% Royal Kepak boyo and don’t you forget it.
By flooding the submissions with a tidal wave of emotion, Meath ensured that any sense was washed away, drowned in sea of parochialism. Future planning has always been our Achilles heel. Just look at the state of the place.
Drogheda’s Thomas Byrne TD chipped in. Thanks to the result, the likes of Maynooth, Kilcock and Clonee would not now be on the chopping board, he scaremongered, conjuring up images of neighbouring counties sharpening knives and salivating over the Royal rump. This type of scaremongering may be great for getting re-elected but it deflects from the real issues at stake and does a disservice to the area, especially those trapped in Cllr. Paddy Meade’s ‘Gaza Strip’ of East Meath.
Throughout the campaign, fake news dominated the narrative. There was no truth to the stories that Meath people (born in the Lourdes) would be arrested for sitting on their gates and waving the green and gold at LH reg cars – The Make Drawda Bigger Again campaign team was at pains to explain to stress this. Only the kind of county that refuses to print ‘Welcome to’ on their border signs would spread such lies.
On mature reflection though, the proposed expansion was not a land grab by Louth, it was a case of studying demographic changes and planning for the future social and economic prosperity of Drawda and East Meath. There would have been no ethnic cleansing.
The first The Faa Side heard of the result was the ringing of church bells in East Meath on Wednesday evening. There’s either another one of those mass Royal weddings where young ones pretend to love Meath farmers who grew rich on the EU subsidies teat… or the border result is out. How to be sure? The Faa Side positioned its ears, one pointing to Navan, the other Dundalk. Laughter could be heard in both directions. The past won and good luck to it, they say it’s comforting there. Just ax Brexit.
While we await the coming of a post-parochial society, here are three cities that have escaped boundaries to become great.
Rome – Implausibly founded by humans raised by wolves, Romulus (Drawda) and Remus (East Meath) founded a city but were beset by border squabbles. In a move robbed from the Navan playbuke, Romulus had Remus whacked. Soon the Romans had borders from Scotland to Egypt and from Portugal to Babylonia. They brought civilization and decent haircuts with them, something the citizens of East Meath would benefit immensely from.
Constantinople – Despite being a city on two continents, she put aside continental rivalry and decided to pitch in and develop the city as an economic hub and eventual capital of the Byzantine Empire and latterly the Ottoman Empire.
Budapest – Two separate entities on either side of the Danube overcame petty local rivalry to become a great destination for getting your teeth done on the cheap.