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An Nás Loading...
genitive: an Náis
validated name
Naas Loading...
Explanatory note
  • English

    place of assembly

    Naas was an important stronghold of the kings of Leinster before the Norman invasion and there are many examples of the placename in Irish literature. In the pre-Norman genealogies of Laighin (Leinster) for instance, there are references to the stronghold of Nás. Dún Náis (‘the fort of Naas’) is referred to in the Annals of the Four Masters under the year 705. In the early Irish Annals (under the year 863), rí Náis (‘the king of Naas’) is mentioned and there are further similar examples.

    When a longer form of the name is written (very occasionally) in Irish literature, Nás Laighean (‘Naas of Leinster’) is used more frequently than Nás na Ríogh. Therefore, both Nás without any qualification, and Nás Laighean are found in Irish documentation much earlier and more frequently than Nás na Ríogh. A letter written in Irish on behalf of the Earl of Desmond in 1579 for instance refers to Nás Laighean. Another example of the placename worth mentioning is An tÁs from the mid-17th century. In this instance the article, ‘An’, is used in initial position, as it is in the modern form An Nás. There are also examples of the placename as it was referred to by native Irish speakers in the 18th century, such as the following in a manuscript written by a scribe from Co. Dublin in 1730, ‘Nás b[arúntacht] agus baile a Laighean’ (meaning ‘Naas, a barony and a town in Leinster’) or, ‘a g[c]úirt in Náis’ (‘in the court of An Nás’) in 1739. The use of ‘An’ in the last example is also worth noting.

    There are frequent examples of the placename in Anglo-Norman sources, such as le Nas (dated 1275), without any specific qualifiier (such as Laighean/na Ríogh) and occasionally preceded by the article le/the, similar to An Nás in Irish.

    With the revival of Irish in the late 19th and early 20th century, two long forms and one short form of the name were recommended in a bilingual gazetteer of post-towns published in 1905 and in 1922, i.e. Nás Laighean, Nás na Ríogh and An Nás. The form Nás na Ríogh subsequently gained currency as a postal address and through its use in schools.

    An Nás is the legal Irish version of Naas according to the Placenames (Centres of population and districts) Order 2005 which was made by the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs on the advice of the Placenames Commission under the terms of the Official Languages Act 2003. It has been the official Irish name since 1969, when it was included in the publication Ainmneacha Gaeilge na mBailte Poist -- a bilingual list of the post-towns of Ireland -- prepared by An Coimisiún Logainmneacha. Provisional lists of the placenames were published in book-form prior to the publication of the official list, in order to allow the public the opportunity to comment on the recommended Irish forms.

Irish Grid

N 89 19


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