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Naas ( ; , , or An Nás ) is the county town of County Kildaremarker, Irelandmarker. With a population of over 23,000, it is also the largest town in the county.

Naas is a major "Dublin Suburb" town, with many people living in Naas and working in Dublinmarker. Naas is considered the most affluent area in County Kildare with the town consisting of mainly middle and upper class residents. The nearby N7 dual carriageway and M7 motorway connect Naas to Dublin and to the south and southwest; it is one of the busiest routes in the country.

History

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. After the Norman invasion some meetings of the Irish parliament were held in the town. Many of the earlier settlers in Kildare were Cambro-Normans from Walesmarker, and so the medieval church was dedicated to Saint David.

In the Middle Ages Naas became a walled market town which was occasionally raided by the O'Byrne and O'Toole clans based in the nearby area which became County Wicklowmarker.

Naas features on the 1598 map "A Modern Depiction of Ireland, One of the British Isles" 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 army barracks, it became known as the "county town" of County Kildare.

In the former Parliament of Ireland that was established in 1297 and ended in 1800, the constituency of Naas had 2 seats.

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 was defeated in an unsuccessful attack on the town. A leader of the United Irishmen, Theobald Wolfe Tone, is buried just outside Naas, at Bodenstownmarker.

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 which has also been based in Naas since 1898, and which oversees the work of the Town Council.

Today, Naas is the 15th largest town in the Republic of Ireland. The town is planning new housing developments during the next five years with a projected population of 30,000.

Amenities



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, rugby club, two major nightclubs, 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 under consideration as a public car park.

The town has two Roman Catholic Churches, one Church of Ireland Church, and one Presbyterian Church. The Church of Our Lady & St. David is a Roman Catholic Parish Church dating from 1827. The original parish church, St. David's Church, is held by the Church of Ireland. In 1997, the second Catholic Church opened in Ballycane on the east side of town and is dedicated to the Irish Martyrs.

Industry and business

Local industrial enterprises include Intelmarker, 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 and Irish Commercials. The town also includes law offices, hotels and a livestock mart. Naas is also home to the most expensive boutique in Ireland the Emporium Kalu in the centre of the town.

Under construction is the new Naas Shopping Mall at Corbans Avenue which is due to be completed in November 2009 .

St. David's Church of Ireland


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.

Education

Naas has three secondary schools, St. Mary's, a girls convent school, the Christian Brothers School, for boys, and St. Patrick's, a mixed school (relocating to Pipers Hill, Kilashee, for the start of the 2009/10 year).

It also has primary schools, including the Convent of Mercy, a girl's school, St. Corban's B.N.S., a school for boys, Ballycane, a mixed school teaching classes from Junior Infants to 2nd class and St. David's, a mixed school.

Places of interest

There are two racecourses near Naas. Punchestown Racecoursemarker 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.

People



Scouts

Naas has one of the lagrest scouting groups in Ireland, with 2 Beaver nights, 2 cub nights, 3 Scout nights and also a very large Venture group.

Sport



  • Naas AFC Soccer Club [70678]with over 500 players, from 5years of age, to Senior club.
  • Naas GAA is the local Gaelic Athletic Association club.
  • Naas Athletic Club on the Caraghmarker Road.
  • Naas Rugby Club, Forenaughts, Naas.
  • Naas Racecourse
  • Punchestown, horse racing is frequently held, as well as other international events
  • KBowl 10 pin Bowling
  • Osborne Stables, Craddockstown, Naas


Transport

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 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.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Slí Na Sláinte - the Canal Walk


Naas is twinned with the towns and cities of

The town was twinned with New Zealandmarker for the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

See also



References

  1. Naas GAA website
  2. Naas Athletic Club
  3. Naas Town Council - 2006 report - Page 4 - Twinning in Naas


Sources

  • Nolan W. & McGrath T. (eds.) Kildare History and Society (Geography, Dublin 2006) ISBN 978-0-906602-57-7


External links




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