No date available yet for Naas renaming plebiscite

Vote to change Irish name of Naas

Paul O'Meara


Paul O'Meara


No date available yet for Naas renaming plebiscite

File photo: counting the votes in a previous election

An Nás or Nas na Ríogh?

The decision will be yours but not just yet.

A vote to change the Irish name of Naas is some way off yet, despite the efforts of one councillor, Seamie Moore.

Cllr Moore has campaigned to have a vote taken among the town’s electorate.

He believes that Nás na Ríogh (the meeting place of the kings) should replace An Nás.

It gets its name from the fact that the ancient kings of Ireland met in Naas on their way to Tara, which is itself recognised as the seat of power in ancient Ireland

It’s two years since Cllr. Moore sought to have the vote take place in tandem with the General Election poll.

He said at the time: “this has nothing to do with me; it’s about giving Irish back to Naas. The suppression of Irish in Naas has been successful and only one local address Loch Bui (in the Corban’s Lane/Fairgreen area) has survived.”

He is strongly in favour of the longer version, describing An Nás as an anglicised term.

If a vote is to take place it will likely be held along with another poll as this would be less expensive than asking the voters of the area to vote on the single issue of An Nás/Nas na Ríogh.

Any vote will be preceded by a comprehensive legal procedure which will map the area, give adequate notice and must have the support of at least half of the councillors who represent the Naas area.

Kildare County Council recently estimated the cost of staging a plebiscite as being in the region of €40-50,000 — which has been criticised on social media forums.

However this is based on the cost of staging an election and the cost would be much less if the vote was done in conjunction with another ballot. Naas Mayor Rob Power said that the it is important that allegation procedures are followed and the appropriate Goverment minister will have to be informed.

Cllr Moore said that a the vote could be taken alongside a forthcoming referendum and “not necessarily pushed out to 2019 (when the next local elections are due).

Kildare County Council official Sonya Kavanagh said that “initial advice” has been provided to KCC but further information is awaited.

Ms Kavanagh added: “This is one of a significant array of issues being dealt with so it does not and cannot have my undivided attention.”