Butt Mullins’ Restaurant is situated within the old town walls. It is believed that one of the old town gates was built on this site. During recent reconstruction a number of large granite stones with medieval markings were found on the back wall. They are believed to be part of the Friary or Monastery, known to have existed on or near the site.
The name Butt Mullins originated from the name given to a local Jarvey who was a well-known colourful character in Naas in the early part of the 20th. century. At that time a small hotel existed on the site of the present day restaurant and Butt spent most of his time moving people to and from the hotel to the nearby railway station situated on the Dublin Road (the Sallins to Tullow line closed in the early 60’s. Butt was well known for bringing people on the “scenic route” from the station to the hotel. He was one of the most loyal regulars in the hotel bar and it seems that Butt’s horse was never killed with overwork.
The town was known as Nas na Ri (the Place of Assembly of the Kings) giving some clue to the history of the town. Early records have mentioned the “Kings of Naas”, the battles fought around and in Naas, the assemblies held, the tributes paid, etc. Naas was an important centre in the ancient kingdom of Leinster and held an important position on the ancient road between Tara to the north (seat of the Ard Ri) and the Kings of Munster to the south. The Moats of Naas (earthen fortifications) were recorded in ancient times as to be almost impregnable. Only one of the ancient moats still stands today, behind the town hall.
In June 1206 King John held a parliament in Naas of which some records still exist. St. David’s Chruch recently celebrated over seven hundred years in existence which reflects the importance of the Anglo Norman influence on the history of the county.
County Kildare is the acknowledged centre of the Irish Thoroughbred Industry. The Curragh Racecourse, home of flat racing in Ireland, dates back to 1741, and Punchestown Racecourse held its first meeting in 1824. One hundred years later in June 1924 Naas Racecourse held its first official meeting which included flat, hurdle, and steeplechase races. The Irish National Stud, incorporating the Japanese Gardens, is located just outside Kildare Town.
The Moat Club in Naas is one of the longest established and best known theatre groups in Ireland. The Club has won many of the top awards for amateur theatre over the years. The Old Moat Club building dates from around 1760 and has gone through a number of transformations. The building was purchased by the Moat Club in 1958.
Naas Town is proud to be twinned with the following towns: St. Davids (Wales), Casalattico (Italy), Allier (France), Omaha (Nebraska) and Dillingent (Germany).
Naas Town was proud to be the host town for New Zealand for the Special Olympics 2003.