Why Naas is a sound town

Award

Paul O'Meara

Reporter:

Paul O'Meara

Email:

editor@kildarenow.ie

Why Naas is a sound town

Naas is the winner

The seventh ‘Sound Town’ award of 2020 has been awarded to Naas, which has been recognised for its warm atmosphere, community spirit and sense of civic pride. 

Dublin native Grace Hall was welcomed with open arms when she moved to Naas back in 2010, and now plans to live in the town that stole her heart for the rest of her life. 

As a young mother, Grace has been taken aback by the kindness and generosity she has experienced from the people of Naas, as well as the resources and amenities available for residents. Looking to make new friends after becoming a parent, Grace joined up with Studio 3 Yoga, Pilates and Holistic Centre, which offers mother and baby classes, and was soon part of a network of other parents living locally. Everyone she met made her feel right at home and Grace immediately became part of the community.

It was clear to Grace that people in Naas look out for each other. On another occasion, Grace fell on the ground and hurt herself while out on a walk. She was picked up by a woman passing by who happened to own a local coffee shop. The woman looked after Grace, gave her a cup of tea, and called a loved one to ensure she got home safely.

Grace was also heartened to learn about the numerous community initiatives in Naas, such as the Men’s Shed, Meals on Wheels, and Friends of Naas Hospital. These all provide vital support to people living in the area. Likewise, enthusiastic volunteers have grouped together to buy groceries for the elderly and vulnerable throughout COVID-19. Grace hopes that people in the town will continue this great work beyond the pandemic.

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Meanwhile, Facebook pages such as ‘Naas Ball’ have thousands of followers and keep residents like Grace up to date with what’s happening around the town. On one recent occasion, the page alerted its followers to graffiti that had been sprayed in a local playground, prompting a group of volunteers to get together and swiftly clean it up. This sense of town pride is hardly a surprise; Naas has been active in Ireland’s Tidy Towns competition for many years, with the help of Kildare County Council.

“There’s definitely something special about Naas,” Grace explains. “I’ve learned so much more about the place, even since entering Sound Town. One thing that recently stood out for me was when someone said that Naas is a great place not to be lonely. And I thought about how relevant that was, after everything that’s happened this year. I know Naas is a town, but it really feels like a village – people are so helpful and welcoming.”

Commenting on the announcement of Naas winning the Sound Town award, Today FM’s Weekend Breakfast presenter Alison Curtis said:   “The Sound Town award once again comes to a well-deserving winner. It’s a privilege to recognise the acts of kindness that make up the everyday lives of people living in Ireland’s towns. It’s also clear that the people of Naas have made their town a thoughtful, kind, and welcoming place to anyone lucky enough to set foot in it. I am delighted to present our seventh Sound Town award of the year to Naas.”

 “There’s definitely something special about Naas,” Grace explains. “I’ve learned so much more about the place, even since entering Sound Town. One thing that recently stood out for me was when someone said that Naas is a great place not to be lonely. And I thought about how relevant that was, after everything that’s happened this year. I know Naas is a town, but it really feels like a village – people are so helpful and welcoming.” 

Commenting on the announcement of Naas winning the Sound Town award, Today FM’s Weekend Breakfast presenter Alison Curtis said:    “The Sound Town award once again comes to a well-deserving winner. It’s a privilege to recognise the acts of kindness that make up the everyday lives of people living in Ireland’s towns. It’s also clear that the people of Naas have made their town a thoughtful, kind, and welcoming place to anyone lucky enough to set foot in it. I am delighted to present our seventh Sound Town award of the year to Naas, County Kildare.”  

‘Sound Town’ is a Today FM and Cadbury Ireland initiative, which aims to shine a light on what makes Irish communities so unique. It awards a ‘Sound Town’ status to communities that embody generosity, kindness and general soundness. Throughout the year, monthly winning towns are selected by Today FM’s Weekend Breakfast presenter Alison Curtis and presented with an official ‘Sound Town’ plaque. Each monthly winning town will be shortlisted for a chance to win €10,000 when the overall 2020 Sound Town winner is announced at the end of the year.