Photo gallery: opening of the Naas bypass in 1983

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Naas bypass.

The date will be marked on Friday afternoon with a ceremony at Aras Chill Dara.

Leinster Leader historian Liam Kenny has provided this trove of photographs from the opening ceremony of the bypass in 1983.

Then Minister for the Environment Dick Spring, TD, is pictured with Cllr Pat O’Reilly, chair of Naas Urban District Council (RIP) and Cllr Patsy Lawlor, chair of Kildare County Council and mother of Anthony Lawlor TD.

The photo of the party sitting on the platform also includes Sylvester Barrett, TD, former Minister for the Environment and Kildare County Manager Gerry Ward.

The vintage car pictured is a Silver Stream. It was the first car with a Kildare registration mark: IO-1, and was assembled about 1908 by a retired engineer who lived near Kilcullen. It was brougt to the motorway just before it opened in October 1983, to mark the very newest highlight for Kildare motorists (the motorway with a visit by the oldest.

The bridge under construction over the canal is located near Sallins. Coincidentally, the canal was built in 1783, the nearby railway to Naas in 1883 and the motorway in 1983, and they all cross each other between Naas and Sallins.