WATCH: Derelict Naas Shopping Centre and town trading crisis raised in Dáil

"Leaning towers of Naas have brought nothing but ridicule"

Laura Coates

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Laura Coates

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laura.coates@leinsterleader.ie

WATCH: Derelict Naas Shopping Centre and town trading crisis raised in Dáil

Kildare North Deputy Bernard Durkan speaking in the Dail yesterday on Naas Shopping Centre

Kildare North Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan slammed those responsible for the derelict Naas Shopping Centre building in the Dáil yesterday evening (Thursday, February 9).

"The leaning towers of Naas have brought nothing but ridicule to us as public representatives, and to the town itself, through no fault of the people of the town," he said.

He also said that in recent times a number of town businesses have closed, "and there are rumours of a number of other businesses closing, and this has come about because of a lack of footfall.

"People need to have a reason to come into the middle of the town."

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Video: Oireachtas TV

He said it was time for the Department of the Environment and the local authority to bring together all the players in the shopping centre saga and ask "what is happening?"

"The visual impact of any town has a huge impact on the town," he said.

"Business people in the town are worried they are going to be left like that."

He added that this crisis was happening just 25 miles from the middle of Dublin.

In response, Minister of State Catherine Byrne TD said that the management of the stalled development at Naas Shopping Centre is a matter for Kildare County Council and it would be improper for the Minister to become involved.

She added that a long-awaited arbitration hearing concerning a piece of land crucial to the opening of the centre has been scheduled for April 2017.