An Nás / Nás na Ríogh
View of the town and of Naas General Hospital
|Motto: Prudens ut Serpens (Latin)
The Wisdom of the Snake
|Dáil Éireann||Kildare North|
|Elevation||114 m (374 ft)|
|Irish Grid Reference||N893196|
Naas (//; Irish: Nás na Ríogh, pronounced [n̪ˠaːsˠ n̪ˠə ɾˠiː], or An Nás [ən̪ˠ n̪ˠaːsˠ]) is the county town of County Kildare in Ireland. With a population of 20,713, it is also the largest town in the North Kildare Suburban region. Naas is a major commuter suburb, with many people residing there and working in Dublin. The nearby N7 Naas Dual Carriageway connects Naas with Dublin and the M50 Motorway. The M7 Motorway Connects Naas with the South and South West.
The Irish language name for Naas, Nás na Ríogh literally means Meeting Place of the Kings, as the place historically hosted meetings of pre-Norman Irish kings from the Kingdom of Leinster. After the Norman invasion in 1169–71, some meetings of the Parliament of Ireland were held in the town. Many of the earlier settlers in Kildare were Cambro-Normans from Wales, and so the medieval church was dedicated to Saint David.
In the Middle Ages, Naas became a walled market town, occasionally raided by the O'Byrne and O'Toole clans based in the nearby area which became County Wicklow. Naas features on the 1598 map by Abraham Ortelius as "Nosse". (It is worth noticing the "O Byrne" and "O Tolo" (O'Toole) names appearing prominently on the map).
A mayor and council were selected by the richer merchants and landowners; the mayor was titled the "Sovereign of Naas" and carried a ceremonial mace until the post was abolished in 1840. Because of its importance as a place for trading, public meetings and local administration, with its law courts, racecourse and the army's Devoy Barracks that closed 1998, it became known as the "county town" of County Kildare.
One of the first battles of the rebellion of 1798 took place in Naas on 24 May 1798 when a force of about 1,000 rebels were defeated in an unsuccessful attack on the town. A leader of the United Irishmen, Theobald Wolfe Tone, is buried just outside Naas, at Bodenstown.
In 1898, the Local Government Act established Naas Urban District Council (now Naas Town Council). Its jurisdiction had a circular boundary with a 2.4 km (1.5 mi) radius from the new town hall on the main street. Most of the rest of County Kildare is managed directly by Kildare County Council, also based in Naas since 1898, and which oversees the work of the Town Council.
- County Kildare's local Radio Station Kfm 97.3FM – 97.6FM is located in the M7 business park which is located in the suburbs just west of the town.
- The regional newspaper, The Leinster Leader, is published in Naas.
- Kildare County's local TV Station Kildare TV or KTV is located in Naas West based in the Osprey Hotel Complex on John Devoy Avenue
Places of interest
Amenities in the town include: a library, tax office, a new Gaelic Athletic Association club, athletics club, a range of schools, Naas General Hospital, horse racecourse, soccer club, tennis club, soccer club, hockey club, rugby club, two major nightclubs including the popular 'time: bar and venue', five-screen 3D cinema, several pubs, five supermarkets, county council offices, a number of hotels and the new Moat Theatre.
A large new public swimming pool and leisure centre opened on Carragh Avenue in 2009 and the old swimming pool site is now a public car park.
The town has two Roman Catholic churches, one Church of Ireland church, and one Presbyterian church.The original parish church, St. David's Church, is used by the Church of Ireland. The Roman Catholic parish church, the Church of Our Lady and St. David, dates from 1827. In 1997, the second Catholic Church opened in Ballycane on the east side of town and is dedicated to the Irish Martyrs.
There are two racecourses near Naas. Punchestown Racecourse is just to the south east of the town, in the parish of Eadestown, and Naas Racecourse is about 1 km from the town centre. The annual Punchestown Race Festival is a major event for a whole week in April. The Oxegen music festival is also held at Punchestown in the second weekend of July.
Naas has one of the largest scouting groups in Ireland, with 2 Beaver nights, 3 cub nights, 3 Scout nights, a very large Venture group and a rover group.
Local industrial enterprises include Kerry Group, Intel, Xilinx, Hewlett Packard. Other economic activities include local government, Aldi's national headquarters, and indigenous manufacturers such as Green Isle Foods, Dawn Farm Foods, Readymix, Dennison Trailers, Omos Street Furniture, Amvic Ireland, Pasta Concepts, Phamapac, QK Meats, Redlen, Simply Soups, Taravale Foods, Granning Axles.Volvo Irish Commercials have a truck dealership in the town. The town also includes law offices, hotels and a livestock mart. Naas is also home to the ladies designer fashion boutique, Emporium Kalu in the centre of the town. Naas boasts the largest Tesco Extra hypermarket in Ireland located on the Monread Road in the northside of the town. The Tesco Extra site will be further developed into a shopping centre with 18 more retail units including Costa Coffee, Argos and Boots stores planned for summer 2011.A Tesco Metro store is located on the Blessington Road. A second Aldi store is located on Monread Rd near Tesco Extra.
Recently[when?] a lot of proposed stores and retail have been announced for Naas such as, Superquinn will be moving onto the Limerick Road along with plans for an Eight-Screen Cinema and leisure centre. A new Penney's (Primark) superstore will be located on the old Superquinn site in the town centre. Under construction is the new Naas Shopping Mall at Corbans Avenue which has seen work postponed due to the economic downturn and lack of funding. Naas is considered[by whom?] now to be the largest Retail Centre in County Kildare, largely as a result of its critical mass of bulky goods floorspace located in Large Modern Retail Parks in the Town's suburbs.
The town of Naas is surrounded by commercial parks with stores such as Harvey Norman, Smyths Toy's, Clery's, PC World, Halfords and Heatons. The largest commercial park is located near the Newhall Interchange. A major business park is under construction at Osberstown.
On 9 October 2012, the largest creation of jobs in the history of the Naas area was announced. Kerry Group is to set up a €100 million, 28-acre campus on Millennium Blvd at Millennium Park in the NW of the town. Construction started in August 2013 and hundreds of jobs are to be created during construction and when completed.
Naas railway station opened on 22 June 1855, closed for passenger traffic on 27 January 1947 and for goods traffic on 10 March 1947, and finally closed altogether on 1 April 1959. The railway station at Sallins is now used by many residents of Naas and the surrounding area for the daily commute to Dublin, with frequent trains throughout the day and travel times less than 30 minutes to Dublin city centre.
The N7 Naas Road, which connects Naas to Dublin, was upgraded in 2006 with a six-lane carriageway with grade-separated interchanges. Plans have been laid out to construct a large interchange at the Osberstown-Millenium Park as part of the M7 upgrade. An orbital ring road is also being built; several phases have already been opened.
- M7 Motorway – Connects Naas with Limerick, Cork, Waterford (Via M9)
- N7 ( R448 N From Monread Boulevard to Maudlins Interchange) – Connects Naas with Dublin.
- R410 – Connects Naas with Blessington (Treacherous during Winter Months)
- R411 – Connects Naas with Ballymore Eustace
- R448 – Connects Naas with Kilcullen
- R445 – Connects Naas with Newbridge
- R409 – Connects Naas with Caragh
- R407 – Connects Naas with Sallins, Clane
- (South Outer Ring) – Connects Limerick Road at Primrose (West Naas) with Blessington Road at Mountain View (East Naas)
- (Millennium Blvd Ring Road) – Connects Limerick Road at Newhall Interchange M7 with Monread Road at Millennium Roundabout
Naas has three secondary schools, St. Mary's, a girls convent school, the Christian Brothers School, for boys, and Pipers Hill College (formerly St. Patrick's Community College), a mixed school. A gaelscoil and the Irish Vocational Education Association (IVEA) headquarters are also located in the Piper's Hill campus. It also has primary schools, including the Convent of Mercy, a girl's school, a school for boys, Scoil Bhride, a mixed school and Ballycane, another mixed school teaching classes from Junior Infants to 2nd class and St. David's, a mixed school.
Naas has a large public library which is located in the canal harbour area.
Mayor Darren Scully resigned from office on 22 November 2011 over remarks he made. He had made remarks on a national radio station, 4fm, and then repeated them the local radio station, Kfm, that due to the aggression he had allegedly received "in every single case I've had" that he would no longer represent black Africans. The comments provoked accusations of racism, which he denied. He was expelled from Fine Gael in February 2012, but was readmitted to the party in November 2013, ahead of the Irish local elections, 2014.
- Gormflaith ingen Murchada (c. 960–1030), third wife of Brian Ború, little wetser according to legend
- Mother Teresa Ellen Dease (4 May 1820 – 1 July 1889), foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loretto Sisters) in North America (at Toronto)
- Joe Scrumpty McDonnell legendary town bum from 1930s
- Major Leonard Greenham Star Molloy D.S.O., M.P. (1861–1937), Harley Street doctor and politician
- Thomas Burgh (1670–1730), architect
- Hubert de Burgh (16 February 1879 – 6 October 1960), cricketer
- John Lyons, recipient of the Victoria Cross
- Michael Roe (born 8 August 1955), racing driver
- Larry Tompkins, (born 13 June 1963), Gaelic football manager
- Darren Scully (born 1971/1972), Mayor of Naas until he resigned over comments about the "aggressive attitude" of "black Africans"
- Andrew Strong (born 14 November 1973), singer and actor, famous for his role in The Commitments, was brought up in Naas
- Geordan Murphy (born 19 April 1978), rugby union player, Ireland and Leicester Tigers
- Jamie Heaslip (born 15 December 1983), rugby union player, Ireland, Naas and Leinster
- Joseph Bourke, 3rd Earl of Mayo
- Jenny McCudden
- Naas Rugby Club (Naas RFC), Forenaughts, Naas. One of the largest memberships for a senior club in Leinster.
- Naas AFC Soccer Club  with over 500 players, from 5years of age, to Senior club.
- Monread FC Soccer Club
- Naas United FC Soccer Club
- Naas GAA is the local Gaelic Athletic Association club.
- Naas Hockey Club, located at the Carragh road sport center. They are currently in division 3.
- Naas Athletic Club on the Caragh Road.
- Naas Golf Club is one of three local golf clubs and is located in Sallins.
- Naas Lawn Tennis Club. is one of Ireland's premium tennis clubs, with the recent edition of a 3 court indoor facility.
- Naas Racecourse.
- Punchestown, horse racing is frequently held, as well as other international events.
- KBowl 10 pin Bowling.
- Osborne Stables, Craddockstown, Naas.
- Naas Sub Aqua Club
- Naas Panthers Gymnastics Academy.
Naas is twinned with the following places:
- Allaire- France
- Casalattico – Italy
- Dillingen an der Donau – Germany
- Omaha – Nebraska, United States
- St David's – Wales
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- Wright, George Newenham (1825). An historical guide to the city of Dublin, illustrated by engravings, and a plan of the city. Dublin: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy. p. 31.
- "Naas Racecourse". Naasracecourse.com. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- "Kerry Group to create up to 900 jobs in Kildare". RTÉ News. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
- [dead link]
- "Welcome to Osberstown — Co. Kildare". Osberstown.com. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
- "Naas station". Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
- Bus Eireann, Dublin Coach, Rapid Town Link and web site
- Schedule JJ Kavanagh web site
- ARUP Consulting Engineers (November 2008). "M7 Osbertown Interchange: Environmental Impact Statement". Kildare County Council & Naas Town Council. Retrieved 27 February 2009.
- Kildare County Council (March 2008). "Naas Southern Ring Road Opens". Retrieved 6 April 2009.
- "St. Corban's B.N.S". Stcorbans.com. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- Nass Library web site
- "Darren Scully resigns as Mayor of Naas". RTÉ News. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
- O'Connor, Niall (23 November 2011). "Pressure mounts on FG to expel race row mayor as history of controversy emerges". Evening Herald. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- Blaney, Ferghal; Mallon, Sandra (23 November 2011). "Irish town mayor quits after refusing to deal with black people because they are 'aggressive and bad-mannered'". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- "Councillor Darren Scully restored to Fine Gael fold after expulsion". RTÉ. 5 November 2013.
- O'Connell, Hugh (2012-02-02). "Darren Scully loses Fine Gael whip after remarks about African immigrants". TheJournal.ie.
- Hosford, Paul (2013-11-05). "Racism row councillor re-admitted to Fine Gael". TheJournal.ie.
- "and www.histpop.org for post 1821 figures, 1813 estimate from Mason's Statistical Survey For a discussion on the accuracy of pre-famine census returns see JJ Lee "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses Irish Population, Economy and Society edited by JM Goldstrom and LA Clarkson (1981) p54, in and also New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850 by Joel Mokyr and Cormac O Grada in The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Nov., 1984), pp. 473–488.". Cso.ie. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Jenny McCudden and Quincy Lehr to read at City Museum". Galway Independent. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2008.
- "Naas AFC". Naas AFC. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
- "Monread FC". Monread FC. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Naas United Football Club, Donnelly Mirrors: Kildare Soccer Team". Soccer-ireland.com. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Naas GAA". Naasgaa.ie. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Naas Athletic Club". Naas Athletic Club. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Tennis, Fun. Since 1881". Naas Lawn Tennis Club. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- http://www.gymnasticsireland.com/local-clubs/specific/69/naas-panthers-gymnastics-academy. Missing or empty
- "Naas Town Council – 2006 report – Page 4 – Twinning in Naas" (PDF). Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- Nolan W. & McGrath T. (eds.) Kildare History and Society (Geography, Dublin 2006) ISBN 978-0-906602-57-7
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