New community centre opens in Naas

Naas-based company pays for the facility

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

paul@leinsterleader.ie

New community centre opens in Naas

Liam Queally, Rob Power, Ciaran Murray, Peter Carey and Larry Murrin

Paul O'Mearapaul@leinsterleader.ie

The long awaited community centre at Monread, developed and funded by the Queally family opened officially last week.

Politicians, representatives of community groups as well as business people attended the opening. The Queally family own a number of food manufacturing plants in Naas, many of them close to the centre. It is not known how much the project cost but the centre provides a meaningful response to the demands for a venue for sporting and recreational pursuits in Naas.

These include the Naas Youth Orchestra, which performed. The centre will be managed by a committee made up of two councilors, a representative of Queally’s and a community representative and the committee will be chaired by well known Naas man and accountant John Greely.

“We will do our best to make this facility as widely available as possible at the lowest possible price — but it has to break even,” said Mr. Greely.

It will be managed by K Leisure, which also runs fitness facilities elsewhere in Naas as well as Newbridge and Athy. Naas Mayor Rob Power said the Queally family have been supporting Naas “for longer than I’ve been here.” He said the project to provide a community centre was “a long time in the offing” and thanked members of the then Naas Town Council, including councillors Seamie Moore and Darren Scully and the late Cllr. Willie Callaghan, for pursuing the project.

Liam Queally traced the family’s connection with Naas back to 1981 with the official opening of QK Cold Stores. It was one of six companies that they own, including Dawn Farm Foods and Irish Dog Foods.

Today the group employs 1,400 people with an overall economic contribution of over €50m annually. Some 4,600 are employed globally and its products are sold in 80 countries.

The group has supported many groups and sports clubs in the Naas area.

“We like to think we make a positive contribution to Naas,” he said.

Wendy McGrath of Naas Youth Orchestra also welcomed the centre and said the NTO is always looking to encourage new members to join.