OPINION: Twenty-one ways you know you’re from the heartland of Kildare

Paul O'Meara gives his views

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

OPINION: Twenty-one ways you know you’re from the heartland of Kildare

The Hill of Allen in West Kildare, the reputed home of Fionn Mac Chumhaill

You are a resident of County Kildare and the place is expanding at pace.

For some, its heart is the western part of the county where you’re likely to be closer to bogland than asphalt. You know you belong there if…

* You’ve lived for eight months in Prosperous, Rathangan, Allenwood, Coill Dubh, Derrinturn or Robertstown. Donadea could be included but it partly resembles a yuppified, gated community.

* Motorway driving is challenging. And among the many mysteries is why there aren’t any bikes in the inside margin and you’ve not a clue about the meaning of half the symbols on the motorway signs.

* You have, in your time, been to a barn dance.

* A Honda 50 offers more in the way of practicality than it does as an item for a transport museum.

* You know what a buckrake is.

* To you, a bullock is also known as a “bayst”.

* You can find Ballyteague Castle from any point in Co. Kildare without paper or digital navigational assistance.

* “It was f….. Cat” is your description of a less-than-stimulating night out. “Cat” can alternate with “Mule.”

* You're a regular listener to Kfm Radio’s K Country programme, one of the longest running radio programmes in the country, presented by Liam Kett. And you have Mr Kett mithered with multiple requests for Christy Moore’s My Little Honda 50.

* You know there's an island in Lullymore and you’re also fond of recalling that the coldest air temperature recorded in Ireland was at Lullymore — nearly minus 19 degrees celsius in January 1979. Hardy lads are we.

* The highlight of your week is a trip to Whitewater in Newbridge where you approach the escalator warily; never quite convinced your shoes won’t get caught where the escalator meets the floor and you’ll be projected violently forward; and the half of the county looking at you.

* You’ve used a beet fork and you understand why its extremities are rounded.

* The boys are “the bys”; a melodion is less of a musical instrument than a “melojan” and the Guardian newspaper is the “Garjen”.

* Cattle farmers are cattlemen; sheep farmers are sheepmen and dairy farmers are, no, not milkmen, but dairymen.

* Homesickness strikes around Mondello if you’ve left Coill Dubh on the main artery to what sees itself as civilisation (but is really creeping suburbanisation), via Dag Weld’s; or before the first sign welcoming you to Milltown, after you’ve left Allenwood.

* You’re quite the regular at Tougher’s, Newhall, for the weekend country music gigs; snaykin' out later to retrieve your stetson from the car boot.

* You’re still banging on about Allenwood’s first county football title, won in 2004 with Johnny Doyle kicking points from 60 metres into a gale force wind with 10 men hanging out of him.

* You’ve sent a stamped addressed envelope to Macra na Feirme headquarters looking for one of those plastic sun stripes emblazoned with the words “Move with Macra”.

* You understand why Shem Moran is to Robertstown GAA what Steven Gerrard is to Liverpool FC.

* You know when someone says “the guards are pullin’ up the road” that it’s nothing to do with a resurfacing nixer ; but it might be time to head in the opposite direction.

* Ardscoil Rath Iomgháin in Rathangan is, and will always be, “The Tech”.