The cranes at Naas Town Centre
For the past decade, members of this ill-loved, neglected trio have hung idle over the centre of Naas town. They have seen the country’s economic bust and resurgence, shops shuttering in the town centre, the spreading of business and the community to the outskirts of the town and much more besides.
They have presided over happy days and community events, seen 10 Easter Parades and Hallowe’en witches walks.
In the past year alone, they have survived a hurricane which had locals eyeing them nervously — although, we’re told, they are safe as houses and constructed to withstand much stronger winds than Ophelia eventually delivered. They also saw the town whited out with an unexpected snowstorm at the beginning of March.
There are teenagers starting secondary school at St Mary’s and Naas CBS and Piper’s Hill next September who have no memory of what Naas looks like without those three cranes looming over its centre.
Paris has its Eiffel Tower, Rio has Christ the Redeemer, and even Belfast has the mighty Harland and Wolff cranes Samson and Goliath — all landmarks on the horizon by which those cities are known.
Naas has never named its unfortunate erections — and with the Irish habit of conferring a nickname on anything that stands still long enough, that’s surely a sign that locals hold no affection for them and the white elephant shopping centre project that they represent, on which construction started over a decade ago.
The Three Stooges might be apt, except we’re not even laughing at them any more.
The town has endured the visual pollution of those three cranes long enough.
It is past time to pull them down and get rid of them, whatever plans may or may not come to fruition with the derelict shopping centre.
The people of Naas have endured long enough these blots and eyesores.