The annual Naas Local History Group Heritage Award night in Naas Community Library on Tuesday the 2nd of April began with history group chairperson James Durney presenting the group’s Heritage Cup and scroll for 2013 to the English Family in recognition of their contribution to the conservation and preservation of the built heritage of Naas by restoring two nineteenth century cottages at Gleann Na Greine.
Thanking the group Seán English said that his family got great satisfaction in restoring the cottages and then receiving the heritage award was the icing on the cake for them. He then presented a short power-point presentation of the various stages of the restoration and explained them as he went. The work was carried out by family member, builder Mr Tom Mulligan.
The special Gleann Na Greine evening then continued with history group’s Ronnie Kinane and brother Adrian Mullowney who grew up in the area giving us a vivid description of what the area was like when they were growing up. The families who lived there, Leo Purcell still lives there he told us that Stephen J. Browne built the nice brick houses and Liam Kenny reminded us that these houses plus Miss Stacks were Gleann Na Greine and the rest were the Old Tipper Road which was severed in two by the coming of the Naas/ Tullow branch railway in 1885, an event which led to Naas being discussed in the British House of Commons resulting in the Friary Road Bridge having to be build ten years later.
Liam ably assisted by Seán Sourke described what Naas was like before and after the Railway by means of overlay Maps while Stan Hickey with his own ingenious invented hand drawn map complete with drop down ribbons showed us the changes created in Naas by the coming of the canal in the late eighteenth century and the railway in the late nineteenth century. Cllr Seamie Moore and many others joined in what was a most enjoyable evening away from the bitter cold in the comfort of Naas Community Library.
Paddy Behan Naas Local History Group PRO.