Irish: An Nás / Nás na Ríogh
View of the town and of Naas General Hospital
|Council||Kildare County Council|
|Dáil Éireann||Kildare North|
|Elevation||114 m (374 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC±0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (IST)|
|Telephone area code||045|
|Irish Grid Reference|
Naas (// NAYSS; Irish: Nás na Ríogh, or An Nás [ən̪ˠ n̪ˠaːsˠ]) is the county town of County Kildare in Ireland. In 2016, it had a population of 21,393, making it the second largest town in County Kildare after Newbridge.
Naas has been recorded in three forms which are written in Irish: Nás na Ríogh, translating as Place of Assembly of the Kings, An Nás translating to the Place of Assembly and Nás Laighean translating to Place of assembly of the Leinster Men.
In the Middle Ages, Naas became a walled market town and was occasionally raided by the O'Byrne and O'Toole clans from the nearby area which became County Wicklow. Naas features on the 1598 map by Abraham Ortelius as "Nosse".
A mayor and council were selected by local merchants and landowners. Naas became known as the "county town" of County Kildare because of its use as a place for trading, public meetings, local administration including law courts, racecourses and the army's Devoy Barracks (closed 1998).
In 1898, the Local Government Act established Naas Urban District Council (later called Naas Town Council). Naas Town Council was abolished in June 2014, when the Local Government Reform Act 2014 dissolved town councils and designated Kildare County Council as the administrative authority for the entire county.
Naas has a hospital Naas General Hospital, Naas Racecourse, Mondello Park International Motor Racing Circuit, a library, the 200-seat Moat Theatre, five-screen 3D Odeon cinema, RSA driving test centre, tax office, local authority offices, five supermarkets, several pubs, and a number of schools, hotels and nightclubs.
The town centre of Naas includes shops, restaurants, nightclubs, boutiques and shops. Other retail outlets have been developed in new retail parks and shopping centres on the outskirts of the town.
A shopping centre on Monread Road was completed in 2010 with Ireland's largest Tesco Superstore as the anchor tenant. Other retail parks serve the town on both ends - northern and southern - with outlets such as Harvey Norman, PC World, B&Q, Smyths Toys, and Halfords.
The Naas/Sallins area is served by two Aldi supermarkets, two Lidl stores, two Supervalu supermarkets, a Tesco Extra supermarket, a smaller Tesco Metro in the town centre, and (as of August 2019) a new Dunnes Stores food hall. Danish home retail group JYSK, a competitor for Sweden's IKEA, opened their first Irish store Newhall Retail Park in Naas during April 2019. Several smaller foodstores are scattered around the town.
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 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. Naas is part of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin which is run by Bishop Denis Nulty since August 4, 2013.
Naas railway station, which opened on 22 June 1855, closed for passenger traffic on 27 January 1947 to be re-purposed for goods trains. It reopened on 10 March 1947, but was closed 12 years later on 1 April 1959. The Sallins and Naas railway station, located in nearby Sallins, is now used by many residents of Naas and the surrounding area for the daily commute to Dublin, with travel times averaging around 30 minutes to Dublin's city centre.
The main bus transportation companies serving the area are Bus Éireann, JJ Kavanagh and Sons and Dublin Coach. Naas's main bus routes include Bus Éireann's service from Kildare to Dublin city centre (which passes through Naas), a JJ Kavanagh route to Blanchardstown, and Dublin Coach and JJ Kavanagh services to Dublin Airport.
The N7 Naas Road was upgraded in 2006 to a six-lane carriageway with grade-separated interchanges. Additional plans have been laid out to construct a large interchange at Osberstown-Millenium Park as part of the M7 upgrade. A ring road is also being constructed and several sections of the project have already been completed.[needs update]
- M7 Motorway – Connects Naas with Limerick, as well as Cork (via M8) and Waterford (via M9)
- N7 (R448 N From Monread Boulevard to Maudlins Interchange) – Connects Naas with Dublin.
- R410 – Connects Naas with Blessington
- 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, Maynooth, Clane and Celbridge.
- (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 five secondary schools, St. Mary's College Naas, a girls' convent school, Meanscoil Iognáid Rís Nás na Riogh (Naas CBS), for boys, Piper's Hill College (formerly St. Patrick's Community College), Naas Community College and Gaelcholáiste Chill Dara, a mixed Irish speaking Secondary School. Naas has many primary schools, including the Convent of Mercy, a girls' school, St. Corban's Boys National School, a school for boys, Scoil Bhríde, a mixed school, Ballycane, another mixed school teaching classes from Junior Infants to 2nd class, St. David's, a mixed school, Gaelsoil Nás na Ríogh (located at the Piper's Hill campus), Kilashee National School and Naas Community National School is located at Cradockstown.
Naas has a public library which is located in the canal harbour area.
Sport and leisure
Local association football (soccer) clubs include Naas AFC Soccer Club, Redwood Naas FC, Monread FC Soccer Club, and Naas United FC Soccer Club, several of which play in the Kildare and District Football League.
Other sports clubs include Naas Rugby Club, Naas Hockey Club, Naas Cycling Club, Naas Panthers Gymnastics Academy, Naas Lawn Tennis Club (with 11 courts) and Naas Athletic Club on the Caragh Road.
Naas Golf Club, one of three local golf clubs, is actually located in Sallins.
There are several equestrian facilities in the area, with Naas Racecourse (about 1 km from the town centre), and Punchestown Racecourse (just to the south west of the town at Eadestown). Osborne Stables is also based at Craddockstown, Naas. The annual Punchestown Race Festival is a major event for a full week in April. The Oxegen music festival was held at Punchestown during the summer for a number of years but hasn't been rescheduled since it were cancelled in 2014.
There are also a number of swimming pools and leisure centres in the area.
- Gormflaith ingen Murchada (c.960–1030), third wife of Brian Ború
- Mother Teresa Ellen Dease (1820–1889), foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loretto Sisters) in North America (at Toronto)
- Major Leonard Greenham Star Molloy (1861–1937), Harley Street doctor and politician
- Thomas Burgh (1670–1730), architect and Member of Parliament for Naas
- Hubert de Burgh (1879–1960), cricketer
- John Lyons (1824–1867), a Victoria Cross recipient, was originally from Carlow and died at Naas in 1867
- Michael Roe (b.1955), racing driver
- Larry Tompkins, (b.1963), Gaelic football manager
- Andrew Strong (b.1973), singer and actor, famous for his role in The Commitments, was brought up in Naas
- Geordan Murphy (b.1978), rugby union player, Ireland and Leicester Tigers
- Jamie Heaslip (b.1983), rugby union player, Ireland, Naas and Leinster
- Joseph Bourke (c.1740–1794), 3rd Earl of Mayo
- Sir John de Robeck (1862–1928), Admiral of the Fleet, Royal Navy, 1925-1928
- Jenny McCudden, journalist and television producer
- Marian Finucane (1950 - 2020), radio presenter and television host, lived in Naas
Naas is twinned with the following places:
- Allaire, Brittany, France
- Casalattico, Lazio region, Italy
- Dillingen an der Donau, Bavaria, Germany
- Omaha, Nebraska, United States
- St David's, Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom
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- See also 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
- See 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
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