The recent annual Naas Local History Group heritage night in Naas Community Library began with history group chairperson James Durney presenting the group’s heritage cup and scroll for 2013 to the English family.
They received the award 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, Sean English said his family got great satisfaction from restoring the cottages . 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 builder Tom Mulligan.
The special Gleann Na Greine evening then continued with history group’s Ronnie Kinane and brother Adrian Mullowney who grew up there giving a vivid description of what the area was like when they were growing up. Leo Purcell who still lives there told the gathering that Stephen J. Browne built the brick houses.
Liam Kenny said the houses and Miss Stack’s dwelling formed Gleann Na Greine and the rest made up 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.
This resulted in the Friary Road Bridge having to be built ten years later. Liam, assisted by Sean Sourke, described Naas before and after the railway was built by means of overlay maps while Stan Hickey, brought a hand drawn map complete with drop down ribbons showing the changes in Naas brought by the canal in the late 18th century and the railway a century later.
- Paul O’Meara