Naas

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Naas
Irish: An Nás
County Kildare
IMG NaasHospital.jpg
View of the town and of Naas General Hospital
Location
Grid reference: N893196
Location: 53°13’4"N, 6°39’49"W
Data
Population: 20,713  (2011)
Local Government
Parliamentary
constituency:
Kildare North
Website: http://www.naas.ie

Naas is the county town of County Kildare. 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.

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 from the Kingdom of Leinster. After the Norman invasion in 1169-71, some meetings of the Irish parliament were held in the town. Many of the earlier settlers in Kildare were Cambro-Normans from Wales, and so the mediæval church was dedicated to St 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".[1] (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,[2] it became known as the county town of County Kildare.[3]

In the former Parliament of Ireland, until its abolition in 1800, the Borough of Naas returned two members to the House of Commons.

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.

Media

  • Radio: Kfm 97.3FM - 97.6FM
  • Newspaper: The Leinster Leader
  • Television: Kildare TV

Churches

  • Church of Ireland: St David's
  • Presbyterian: one church
  • Roman Catholic:
    • Our Lady and St David
    • Irish Martyrs

Places of interest

St David's church
Canal Harbour, Basin Street
Canal from Abbey Bridge
South Main Street

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.

Sport

"Perpetual Motion", at the north end of the Naas By-Pass
  • Naas Rugby Club (Naas RFC), Forenaughts, Naas. One of the largest memberships for a senior club in Leinster.
  • Naas AFC Soccer Club [1] with over 500 players, from 5years of age, to Senior club.[4]
  • Monread FC Soccer Club [5]
  • Naas United FC Soccer Club [6]
  • Naas GAA is the local Gaelic Athletic Association club.[7]
  • Naas Athletic Club on the Caragh Road.[8]
  • Naas Golf Club is one of three local golf clubs and is located in Sallins.
  • Naas Lawn Tennis Club.[9] 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

Outside links

Commons-logo.svg
("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Naas)

References